Is this the trendiest Italian restaurant in Mitte? Hard to say, but Hartweizen on Torstraße is certainly a contender. After all, some of the kitchen team used to cook at „Schwarzenraben“, a real gastronomic institution on Neue Schönhauser Straße which had to close in 2007. The starters are among the best in the city: Caponata di melanzane, a sweet and sour aubergine salad with pine nuts, or goat cheese slices with grilled Pecorino. The Apulian pasta variations change weekly. You’ve really enjoyed your wine? Then take a bottle of it with you – available at the bar. Perfetto!
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Nam Cao Hoai used to cook at Pan Asia and now caters to the trendy crowd in his restaurant Dudu on Torstraße. His crossover cuisine with a Vietnamese touch is of a very high standard though. It’s always pretty loud and crammed on the long wooden benches. Nevertheless, the unique Crunchy Dudus, really crunchy special rolls, the excellent Pho Chay soup, or the grilled salmon entice you to return again and again. Prices range between 7 and 18 Euros for a main dish. Weather permitting you can also feast in the front yard.
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3 Minutes sur Mer (French)
Looking for timeless French nonchalance? Look no further than 3 Minutes sur Mer. Similarly to its ‚big sister‘, the neighbouring Bandol sur Mer, the owners know pretty well how to cook in classic French style: They serve Fines-de-Claire oysters, escargots or sirloin steak among other things. The fish soup with its intensive aroma tastes like a sunny day at the seaside. The veal tartar with quail egg and chips or the Bouillabaisse with rosemary potatoes and confit vegetables are further examples for the perfect bistro cuisine. Voilà: a piece of France directly on Torstraße. Don’t forget to reserve a table – not by mail though!
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Ruben & Carla (Steak & Pastrami)
Tasty MEAT – in a few words that’s the concept of Ruben & Carla on Linienstraße. They serve tasty pastrami sandwiches (the classic marinated one costs 8 Euros) and home-made burgers (10 Euros) during the day. In the evening, candles are lighted and the restaurant becomes a mecca for fans of quality steaks which are served in so-called „Tagliata“ style – cut in thin slices (starting at 16,50 Euros). Vegetarians don’t need to stay away though. There is a weekly changing dish for them – just ask staff. Tip for dessert: the New York Cheese Cake is surely worth a little flab around the hips.
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First advice for „yamyam“: make sure to book a table (which is possible here unlike at some other Mitte restaurants). The restaurant on Alte Schönhauser Straße with its minimalist white décor is always heaving. You place your orders at the counter. Second advice: try the Bibimbap from the hot stone pot (8,90 Euros), a typical Korean dish including rice, different vegetables, tender beef, hot Gochujang and a fried egg. Nearly all dishes come with Kimchi, traditional pickled Chinese cabbage. Yummy – is all that remains to be said.
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Pauly Saal & Bar (Gourmet)
Yes, it’s one of these trendy celeb places. Naomi Campbell, Veronica Ferres, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have all been here. The people in the background are Jessica Paul, Stephan Landwehr and Boris Radczun, creators of „Grill Royal“ – another favourite of the celeb crowd. But Pauly Saal at the former gym of a girl’s school raises the culinary bar, too. Young chef Arne Anker creates excellent gourmet food: 4-, 6- or 7-course meals in the evening (76 to 97 Euros), two, three or four courses at noon (36/46/56 Euros). Among the current main courses are sheatfish with savoy, coriander and onions or Kalbstafelspitz (boiled veal) with Jerusalem artichoke, chervil root and lavender. Sounds unspectacular, but – fitting to a place like this – is actually quite remarkable. This top quality dinner place even boasts a beautiful garden in summer.
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Step into „Fleischerei“ and the tiles on the wall will soon convey to you that there really used to be a butcher’s counter here. That doesn’t mean that Fleischerei is uninviting though – it rather plays with the image in a cool and impish way. They dish up superb, modern German cuisine: juicy Schnitzel from Brandenburg piglets (16 Euros), rump steak from Brandenburg steers (23 Euros) or the butcher’s sandwich with slices of steak, aioli, tomato and greens (15 Euros). They are right to be proud to say: all dishes are handmade and home-made. Just really hearty.
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Katz Orange (International)
Even the location of Katz Orange deserves a mention: the clinker construction was home to Maxwell, one of the first fine restaurants in Mitte. It is still pretty fine there today but with a hip touch. On two floors, fancy vintage meets cosy furniture, with cute florets on the tables. They use predominantly local and regional produce at the kitchen. This becomes noticeable when looking at prices as well as tasting the food. Currently the menu includes mushroom strudel (18 Euros) or braised poulard (24 Euros). If there are two of you, you can also indulge in „Candies on Bone“ – different meat delicacies which have been cooked extra-long. Comparably delicious: the desserts – home-made with a lot of imagination and playfulness.
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Chén Chè (Vietnamese)
Like a well-kept secret, Chén Chè teahouse is tucked away in a backyard. Once inside, you quickly notice the value set on the authentic atmosphere which takes you away to a world of difference – pretty similar to Si An Truong’s other restaurants, Si An in Prenzlauer Berg and Chi Sing, also on Rosenthaler Straße. Incense wafts through the air, colourful birds chirp in a cage, a lot of wood makes the place feel cosy. Of course they offer some extraordinary sorts of tea like the tasty blue butterfly flower tea. They are not really cheap however. From 3 to 6 pm, Chén Chè invites you to tea time with pastries or traditional Dim Sum. Equally convincing are dishes like warm rice noodle salad with tender beef (8,40 Euros). The menu of the day is small but nice.
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