With its leafy, well-maintained residential streets and peaceful vibe, Prenzlauer Berg is an extremely pleasant spot to while away an afternoon. Check out a farmer’s market, take a stroll, or simply soak up the local lifestyle at a sidewalk café, watching the world go by. And when dinner hour approaches, there’s no need to move elsewhere to get a bite to eat. With a number of establishments for casual fine dining now settled into the ‘hood, even the most discerning foodies are sure to be sated with what Prenzlauer Berg has to offer.
Just opened last year, Bricole (Senefelderstr. 30) has already established itself as a local favorite in the lovely Helmholtzkiez neighborhood. It’s dubbed itself an hors d'œuvre bar, which is another way of saying all the dishes are appetizer-sized small plates to be mixed and matched, rooted in French cuisine but not exclusively so. The colorful array of delicious, creative dishes changes with the seasons, and vegetarians can count on one-third of the selection being plant-based. Go for the set tasting menus if you’re feeling indecisive, or choose from options like foie gras parfait with apple and onion marmalade, braised ox cheek with pea puree, or smoked buffalo mozzarella in a tomato consommé. Despite the high-caliber chef talent, the vibe is low-key and welcoming, with tables scattered on the sidewalk on warm evenings.
On the other side of the Platz for which this neighborhood is named is Mrs. Robinson’s (Pappelallee 29), a style-conscious spot with a knack for creative fusion. The changing menu incorporates Asian influences for a very contemporary culinary style, and the hipster clientele raves about the house-made infusions and syrups that go into the creative cocktails. Feast on dishes like octopus and aged beef skewers grilled over charcoal, lamb loin and sweetbreads in Cantonese-inspired XO sauce, or Mrs. Robinson’s famous fried chicken bao, a Chinese-style bun stuffed with crispy chicken, flying fish roe, and tabasco honey.
Just a couple minutes away on busy Eberswalder Straße is Les Valseuses (Eberswalder Str. 28), a snug, casual French bistro that’s easy to walk right past if you aren’t paying attention. The compact yet appealing menu is comprised of core French classics like duck rillettes, buttery escargots, entrecote with golden frites, and one of the best steak tartares in town, plus creative daily specials based on what’s fresh and in season – like seared tuna tataki, French-style grilled dorade, and braised spring artichokes. Whatever you do, make sure to save room for a crème brûlée for dessert.