Berlin has so much to offer, we wanted to share our picks for some of the best bars in Berlin! Keep in mind it might be in a bar or club!
For the uninitiated, drinking in Berlin tends to be synonymous with beer gardens, lederhosen, and huge mugs of foamy pils. While I love a good beer hall just as much as the next person, since moving to Berlin six months ago I’ve learned that the German capital has so much more to offer in terms of places to grab a drink. Of course, beer is an important part of the drinking culture in Berlin, without which no visit to the city would be complete, but Berlin is also home to a number of more refined spots to get your buzz on. From specialty cocktails to self-serve wine to craft beer and more, Berlin has something to offer every kind of drinker on every kind of budget. Let me share with you the best bars in Berlin along with other great spots to sip your favorite spirit!
1. Mr. Susan
The number one spot on our list of the best bars in Berlin is Mr. Susan in Mitte, great for delicious craft cocktails. The bar’s 4.9 rating on Google (with 50+ reviews) speak to its quality, and there’s truly a drink for everyone on the menu. If you’re a fan of micheladas, be sure to try their creative spin on the classic–rather than sticking a beer in a glass of spiced tomato juice, you’re presented with a glass of beer and a kimchi-flavored popsicle to mix and dip as you please. (There’s also a radler version featuring a lemonade pop if that’s more your thing.)
Other highlights include the sesame cocktail, a mix of single malt whiskey, madeira, and apricot brandy, which is finished with a bit of sesame oil dispensed from an eyedropper as the drink is placed in front of you. Or any one of their seasonal cocktails for that matter. In the unlikely chance that nothing on the menu sparks your interest, the bartenders are incredibly knowledgeable and will happily recommend something tailored to your unique tastes.
To top it all off, the interior of the bar is beautifully decorated–you’ll feel like you’re spending the evening in your sophisticated, rich aunt’s parlor. Although the drinks are a bit pricier than some of the other spots on this list, they’re so good that you’ll definitely want to splurge on a second round.
Located in Berlin’s Friedrichshain/Kreuzberg neighborhood, just across the river from the East Side Gallery, is Hopfenreich, a cozy bar with a huge selection of craft beers on tap. The staff here is super friendly and more than happy to let you taste a few beers to make deciding among them a bit easier.
The bartender also gives some great recommendations and will happily help you pick out which brew is just your style (last time I was there, he suggested the perfect citrusy IPA for me). There are lots of cozy places to sit and a warm, candlelit atmosphere that will have you wanting to spend a whole evening here. The beers on tap change often, though, so don’t be surprised if your favorite isn’t available on your second visit. Just think of it as a reason to try out something new!
Another spot for creative, lovingly-crafted cocktails, the small bar Redwood in Mitte is a must-visit for those looking for a refined libation. Choose one of their specials like the Madame Butterfly, a concoction of genever, mezcal, lillet, green chartreuse, and coriander-cardamom-rose-pepper bitters (quite the mouthful!) served up in a coupe glass, or peruse the menu, which is organized by alcohol type on a scale of dry to sweet.
The bar itself is cozy but small, with space to sit in the front room near the bar and a handful of seats in the back. I’d recommend getting there on the earlier side–perhaps for a pre-dinner aperitif?–to ensure you have a place to sit. If you’re someone who loves to try creative mixed drinks made with specialty ingredients, you definitely have to give Redwood a try.
Dschungel (German for “jungle”) lives up to its name–while this bar in Neukölln looks unassuming from the outside, upon entering you’ll feel like you’ve walked into a forest wonderland. The ceiling and walls of the front room are covered with vines and the wooden furniture plays on the arborous vibe. Walk in past the bar to find a second room with small tables and couches on which to pass the time chatting with friends while you drink, in case you find the front room to be too loud for your taste. (Later in the night, there’s a third room in the back that opens up to give bargoers even more space.)
The drinks here are your standard Berlin fare and the customer service is a bit more, um, German… but the ambiance more than makes up for what the bar staff might lack in warmth. For the true Berlin experience, order a mate vodka (Club Mate, Berliners’ favorite carbonated, caffeinated tea drink, spiked with vodka) to get yourself ready for a late night out.
This cult brewery was originally founded in Copenhagen and its bar in Berlin is a must-visit for any beer connoisseur. Boasting 24 brews on tap, the bar, conveniently located a few steps from the Rosenthaler Platz U-Bahn station, serves several of Mikkeller’s own brews in addition to a number of guest beers coming from breweries around the world.
Ask for a taste if you’re having trouble deciding, or get a recommendation from one of the bartenders. Picnic tables outside are perfect for sipping your drink while people-watching on busy Torstraße, or you can sit inside in any of the bright rooms next to enjoy the quirky decor, complete with plant-filled beer growlers. If you get snacky, they also have a selection of locally-made cheeses and sausages to nosh on for a perfect pairing.
Part wine shop, part bar, the Weinerei Forum is a unique place to get a drink for more reasons than one. When you walk in, you’ll see a number of open wine bottles on the counter next to a donation jar, with someone standing by to tell you how the whole thing works. Basically, you pay a small cover fee of two euros in exchange for a wine glass. Then, you’re free to help yourself to any of the wines on offer. Yup, any of them, and as much as you’d like!
The catch is, at the end of your time there, you’re asked to pay what you think is a fair price for what you drank. It’s all on the honor system, and gives you the flexibility to taste a variety of wines even if you’re on a budget. There’s also a buffet towards the back of the space with fare like bread, salad, and pasta (or some other big dish) to ensure you’re not drinking on an empty stomach. If you find yourself wanting more of any of the wines, the bottles are all available for purchase. An evening here is a fun way to let your inner sommelier run free–I like to practice swirling, sniffing, and sipping the wines before comparing tasting notes with my friends. Give it a try yourself!
7. Späti Beer by the Canal
Guess what, next on our list of best bars in Berlin is not a bar at all!
Many visitors to Berlin (and to Germany more generally) are surprised by the country’s open container laws. “You mean you can drink on the street?!” I asked a local friend when I first arrived to the city, incredulous. Yup, it’s true–although drinking on public transport is frowned upon, it’s totally legal to bring a beer along on your tour of the city, or to uncork a bottle of wine for a picnic in the park.
Thanks to this law, one of my all-time-favorite places to drink in Berlin (and certainly the cheapest) is more of a do-it-yourself kind of evening. Find a späti, or late-night shop, pick your poison (a 500ml bottle of beer will set you back between 1.50€ to 2€), and head to the canal in Neukölln/Kreuzberg to claim a patch of grass. Particularly in the summer months when the weather is nice, it’s the perfect place to enjoy a drink by the water while you watch the swans and admire the sunset. You’ll likely have company if it’s nice out, as this is a time-honored Berlin tradition. Mauerpark is another good option for outdoor drinking–sit on the hill for the best view of the setting sun.
When you’ve finished your drink, don’t toss the bottle in the trash can–Germany has a bottle deposit program that is used by many low-income or homeless people to earn a bit of change. Just leave your bottle on the ground next to the bin, or better yet, give it to one of the people with bags you might see making their rounds!
Located in a part of town with no shortage of bars to choose from, you might wonder upon arrival what makes Zosch special, but your doubts will soon be assuaged when you see the delightfully old-fashioned bar and lively, all-ages crowd. Filled with students sharing an after-class pitcher, professionals unwinding with coworkers over glasses of wine, and expats chatting away in various languages as they sip on pints, this bar will have you feeling right at home, no matter who you are.
A real taste of “old Berlin” with an extensive (but basic) drink menu, Zosch will give you a feel for the typical Kneipe, or German pub. If you’re in Berlin for more than a few days, try to plan your visit on a Monday or Wednesday for live jazz music in the basement. The underground space feels like a completely different bar, with brick arches and long wooden tables packed with groups enjoying the tunes. While it’s certainly not hip or trendy, Zosch offers a side of Berlin that’s hard to come by these days–stop by for a beer and see for yourself.
This list just scratches the surface of all the great bars, pubs, and restaurants where you can enjoy a drink in Berlin, but I think it does show the variety of offerings in this great city. I hope you’ll try some of them out on your next visit to Germany’s capital!
Do you have a favorite place to have a drink in Berlin that I didn’t mention here? Tell us about your favorite spot in the comments. Prost!
Looking for some good eats in Berlin?? Give this a read!
Looking for best sights to see in Berlin?? Give this a read!
Best Bars in Berlin was written by Wellesley Boboc. Wellesley is our wonderful content editor who happens to be living in Berlin. We are very fortunate that she is willing to write these wonderful pieces for us on a city we adore! Afterall, no better advice than from a local!