Updated July 2022
These are the best bars in Berlin. The order of these bars will change depending on my mood, but these are all gems in Berlin.
All the bars here are affordable and casual- no fancy pants bars that will charge you a week's wages for a round of drinks
You are here for one reason, so let's get into it.
1. Bad Fish
Stargarder Str. 14, 10437 Berlin
Bad Fish is the best bar in Berlin, and that is a fact. It is a casual, dive-bar type of place, popular with expats, but plenty of locals come here as well. They have seats outside so you can people watch on the very pleasant very Prenzlauer Berg Stargarder Straße, but it is inside where Bad Fish comes alive. If you are here until the wee hours your voice will be sore from talking, telling stories (you will tell lots of stories here, it is just what the place does to you), and breathing in second hand smoke (it gets smokey). They serve Guinness as well if you are into that. They apparently close at some hour but I have never witnessed it. There are lots of craft beers in bottles as well but just stick to the tap stuff, it is Germany after all. The music is good, the beer is fairly priced, and Bad Fish does not judge you. Just go.
2. Ick koof mir Dave Lombardo wenn ick reich bin
Zionskirchstraße 34, 10119 Berlin
Ick koof mir Dave Lombardo wenn ick reich bin ( "I will buy Dave Lombardo when I am rich". Dave Lombardo is the drummer in Slayer. ) is all about the outdoor seating in the Summer. It is on the border of Mitte-Prenzlauerberg, so you can pop up here if you are doing some shopping in Mitte. Enjoy the leafy street and the pleasant atmosphere of the well-heeled area. There is a church across the road if you want to confess your sins. Just saying. In winter the atmosphere inside is perfect- it is a typical Berlin alt-bau building (an old building basically) with high ceilings and large windows. Like in many Berlin bars, there is no cash register or screens of any sort behind the bar. The staff just have note pads and large leather wallets for change keeping change. It makes it feel a little more old school, more civilised, and less rushed. It feels like very classy bar, but the prices are very reasonable.
3. Lerchen und Eulen
Pücklerstraße 33, 10997 Berlin
This place is a treasure. Good location close to Görlitzer bahnhof, but on the back streets away from the busy-ness of that area. It does get a little crowded on weekends from about 9pm to midnight, and then clears out a bit after that when all the club goers leave to seek adventure of the Berlin sort. There are lots of different seating arrangements between sofas, chairs like in your granny houses and a little school bench by the toilets. There are plenty of fresh flowers and candles on every table, which make for an intimate and cozy atmosphere. The decor is done with care and is tasteful. Although the bar queue is a bit unorganized, the tasty long drinks and cocktails are worth the wait. Or just get a beer, they are cold. Prices are very reasonable. Perfect place for a chill evening with friends.
Birkenstraße 46, 10551 Berlin
Tiree is unique. It is in Moabit, so it is a little out of the way if you do not live in the area. But it deserves a place on the list nonetheless. It is a real Moabit institution at this stage. It is a different world. Ask for a Gin & Tonic and you will get a small jug. Ask for a big beer and you will get a large jug of beer. They have been known to serve 2 litre jugs of Gin & Tonic. And there are no take-backs - once it is on your table that is final. There is different art on the wall, and some multi-headed sculptures hanging from the ceiling. Warm people, crazy atmosphere. The owner is great fun. The service times vary, so you do not want to come if you are in a rush. But that would be defeating the point of Tirée - quirky, fun, relaxed. But there is no point rushing here. It is mostly Moabit locals here.
Fehrbelliner Str. 57, 10119 Berlin
Being close to ick koof mir Dave Lombardo wenn ick reich bin, this is on the Mitte-Prenzlauerberg border as well, in a beautiful area. As you may have guessed by the name, it is a wine bar, so do not come here if you are looking for some Helles. The large range of wines matches the sophisticated atmosphere. Unfortunately the previous concept of “pay what you think is fair” is now gone, and they have a menu with prices now like everywhere else. The staff are knowledgeable about the wine and can recommend something to match your taste and mood. Good for spending some time by yourself, or with a small group. There is lots of outdoor seating. Perfect for enjoying a nice Reisling on a nice balmy Summer evening.
Schöneberger Str. 16, 10963 Berlin
If you are a recently arrived tech worker new to Berlin, you will probably like this place - it is expat heaven. It will be expensive for Berlin standards - €6+ for a pint, but sometimes in the home of traditional beer you want a bitter IPA to quench your thirst, so it is worth it. The side bites are delicious and not too pricey. Your best bet is to sit outside - the seating area is huge, and has a beer garden vibe. There is a sandpit for the kids as well. They do BBQ style food if that is what you are in the mood for. It is one of the few places in Berlin where you can get craft beer on tap, so check it out if you like the stronger stuff. You get a lot of groups coming here and it is popular with the after-work crowd.
Planufer 96, 10967 Berlin
If you are looking for a relaxed bar in the heart of Kreuzberg, look no further. Hop off the U-Bahn in Schönleinstraße and walk 30 seconds to Fuchsbau. The atmosphere is pretty charming; it feels like a little hideout in the middle of the city. The bar is in a nice old building and at night time the candles come out. Beer prices are reasonable and they also make good cocktails, so check the menu and try something new. They also have a large selection of wines. The staff are friendly. For sunny days sit outside where you are close to the river. In Winter head inside find a nice table down the back and spend the night catching up with friends. After you are finished, go for a walk down past Admiralsbrücke and to the beautiful area by the river, where you will be greeted by swans and a grassy area to relax on.
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