Berlin’s gastronomy scene is extremely diverse, experimental, creative, and of course, international. The culinary wishes are almost unlimited. However, for some time now, traditional Old Berlin cuisine has experienced a true renaissance and is more popular than ever. A insider tip in the middle of Germany’s capital is the “Treffpunkt Berlin” (Meeting Point Berlin) on Friedrichstrasse. Here, Old Berlin tradition is truly celebrated with special charm – not only culinarily but also with a typical Berlin attitude. An absolute insider tip.
Gourmet metropolis Berlin
Berlin has developed into a real gourmet metropolis, especially in the last ten years. The culinary scene is cosmopolitan, diverse, creative, and lively with an enormous range – from the cult currywurst stand to the luxury restaurant. The “Borchardt”, “Bocca di Bacco”, or “Grill Royal” have gained particular fame. Celebrities have also contributed to their excellent cuisine. While George Clooney and Barack Obama have already been guests at the “Borchardt”, actors like Matt Damon, Tom Hanks or Demi Moore have given the door a workout at the gourmet Italian restaurant “Bocca di Bacco”. The “Grill Royal” is frequented by Leonardo DiCaprio, Scarlett Johansson, Karl Lagerfeld, or numerous models. Remarkably, all three restaurants are located in the Mitte district, on or near Friedrichstrasse.
“Relying on personal recommendations”
Less prominent and glamorous, but all the more cozy and rustic is the “Treffpunkt Berlin – Alt Berliner Kneipe.” This restaurant is also only a few meters away from Friedrichstrasse. Inconspicuous, slightly set back in a side street, Mittelstrasse 55. In line with the motto “imma rin’ inne jute Stube!” or “lieba wat Jutet, dafür een bissken mehr!” (roughly translated: always good company in a cozy room), the host couple Kerstin and Axel Petersen are fully committed to Old Berlin tradition. When entering, the guest immediately feels that they have discovered something special. It quickly becomes clear that locals, regulars, and tourists mix naturally and enjoy Kerstin’s or Molle’s down-to-earth cuisine with Strippe (freshly tapped beer with a schnapps) from Axel. This special mix of guests is no coincidence. The “Treffpunkt” is not listed in any of Berlin’s gastronomy guides and does not advertise with its website on the Internet. Others do – on Facebook or TripAdvisor. “We deliberately want to be and remain an insider tip. We rely on personal recommendations. There is only one thing for that: good quality at fair prices,” says the boss.
Menu reveals passion
The rustic coziness and dark interior with local color are accompanied by the home team’s menu. The famous Berlin Schnauze is consciously given a place here. Clever sayings with caricatures make the selection of food an experience. No boring menu here; there is passion in it – just as it is cooked and the team works here.
Fresh and regional
Down-to-earth and without frills – that’s how Kerstin Petersen describes the Altberlin cuisine. And she knows what she’s talking about, as she works as a chef in the kitchen every day. Here, everything is prepared fresh and fried in the pan, not deep-fried. Typical Altberliner dishes include pork knuckle, meatballs, cabbage rolls, chicken fricassee, and of course, cabbage rolls, as well as currywurst or large breaded schnitzels. Traditional side dishes include boiled and fried potatoes, potato salad, and sauerkraut. Of course, the dishes are seasonal, such as with asparagus, chanterelles, goose legs with red cabbage, or venison stew. In addition to the classic menu, the “Treffpunkt” kitchen offers very special daily specials twice a week. These can include elaborate dishes such as Berlin bollen meat, Berlin liver, or sweet and sour kidneys, which are listed on the specialty menu at the entrance. The landlady also takes into account the requests of her regular guests when creating the daily menus.
From near and far
In the last 20 years, the audience at “Treffpunkt” has changed several times. While in the early 90s mainly construction workers came to eat, after the fall of the Berlin Wall, white-collar workers joined the blue-collar workers. Today, everything is mixed: craftsmen, businessmen, bankers, Berliners, regular guests from near and far, and tourists from all over Europe. The traditional Altberliner home cooking is back in trend – among young and old alike.