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Banish all thoughts of bland bratwursts and soggy sauerkraut. These days, the German capital has an impressive array of haute cuisine. Here’s our best choice among the Michelin Guide with, one, two and three stars
A decade ago, the dining scene in Berlin was viewed as a punchline and a punching bag by food critics around the world. In 2012, Frank Bruni of The New York Times sounded astonished that it was even possible to find a decent meal in the city best known for its stodgy, dreary cuisine. Since then, however, the Hauptstadt has morphed into one of the globe’s hottest dining destinations. If budget is no obstacle, the following Michelin-starred spots are ones where you can eat very, very well.
From the moment chef Micha Schäfer opened this tasting menu-only eatery with co-conspirator Billy Wagner, it was clear that this was going to be a different sort of fine dining restaurant. It’s a sort of Art Food Bar, informal and creative: a fun dining restaurant! For starters, absolutely every ingredient was to come from farms within a disarmingly small radius of the German capital – no exceptions. In other words, don’t expect to see vanilla, chocolate, olive oil or even black pepper on the constantly rotating menu. Such draconian limitations might cripple another chef’s style, but Schäfer thrives within the constraints and uses them as an excuse to explore local produce in surprising, often delightful ways.
Maybe you’ve spotted him on an episode of the Netflix show Chef’s Table or maybe you’ve spied him on the World’s Best Restaurants list. These days, it feels like Berlin’s original bad boy chef is just about everywhere. Tim Raue got rather rough start to life as a gang member in Kreuzberg, but he soon swapped the streets for the kitchen and rose to become arguably the city’s most famous chef. Raue stormed onto the scene at a time when fine dining here was still a stuffy, starched-tablecloth sort of affair and promptly broke all the rules. Though his eponymous restaurant now seems less radical than it once did, it’s still at the forefront of the local gastronomic scene.
Now considered a classic, this two-Michelin-star restaurant showcases chef Marco Müller’s sophisticated dishes. The tasting menu changes constantly, but diners might find themselves treated to dishes like miso ice cream with hazelnut milk, pike caviar and truffle. If you’re craving something a touch more casual, the wine bar offers all sorts charcuterie and ambitious, savoury bites. Order an appetizer of Maultaschen–the oversized, meat-stuff Swabian answer to ravioli–or perhaps a roasted black pudding. All the steaks are dry-aged for a minimum of four weeks and cooked to a flawless internal temperature of 50°C.