In Berlin, fortune favors the bold — bold flavors, that is. As of 2016, Germany’s capital was home to more award-winning restaurants than any other city in the country. The food scene is vibrant indeed, whether you’re looking for fast casual or fine dining. Of the high-end options with excellent tasting menus, here are five to try now.
Restaurant Tim Raue
Chef Tim Raue, former gang member turned award-winning chef, spins out elegant pan-Asian cuisine inspired from his time working in kitchens abroad. For ultimate impressing, reserve the kitchen-facing, 12-seat Krug Table, which pairs Krug champagne with a four- to eight-course meal of items like black truffle dim sum and imperial caviar. The restaurant is also lovely for lunch during a day of sightseeing — it’s incredibly close to Checkpoint Charlie.
Located in a former light bulb factory, the restaurant’s industrially historic bones are elegantly juxtaposed to the menu’s avant-garde gastronomy. Helmed by well-regarded chef Daniel Achilles, Reinstoff is nothing less than dining theater; there’s no resisting the “oohs” and “aahs” that will fly out of your mouth as each creative course ensues.
There are two themed menus: The Near By menu represents cuisine utilizing locally sourced ingredients (imagine venison pickled in spruce sprouts), and the Far Away menu explores exotic ingredients from around the globe (think apricot soup with saffron meringue). Tasting menus range from five to nine courses.
5 – Cinco by Paco Pérez
Located inside the hip Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Das Stue hotel, Cinco is equally cool with fine photography on the walls and an art installation of copper pots on the ceiling. Catalonian chef Paco Pérez presents molecular Mediterranean cuisine that certainly enthralls all five senses. Be prepared to make dinner here your main event of the night. Tasting menus can reach up to 17 courses — all small bites packed with flavor and delightful design.
Lorenz Adlon Esszimmer
With beautiful views of the Brandenburg Gate, Lorenz Aldon Esszimmer, located inside historic Four-Star Hotel Aldon Kempinski, specializes in French cuisine with German influences presented with whimsical beauty. Imagine your pretzel rolls served on a bed of rocks (clean, of course); smoked eel unveiled from a cloche at your table; or desserts that look like a sea anemone.
Under the guidance of chef Hendrik Otto, the establishment has maintained its award-winning status since 2012. Tasting menus range from four to eight courses. And don’t miss the wine pairing: the cellar has exquisite selections from all over the world.
Although the name translates to “one floor below,” there’s nothing sub about this restaurant — except the location of one of the dining rooms. In fact, it’s just the opposite as hyper-locavore ingredients are prepared with an eye for artistry. Host Ivo Ebert, chef Andreas Rieger and manager Benjamin Becker (all formerly of the aforementioned Reinstoff) are the masterminds behind a roster of mostly esoteric natural wines and next-gen cooking. Although new to the scene (they opened in late 2015), Einsunternull makes a huge impression with clean Scandinavian-style design elements (concrete, white tones and light wood accents). At lunch, choose from three to six courses and at dinner, six to 10.