Over the decades since the Wall came down, Berlin has been steadily evolving from a city where people avoided dining out to a downright exciting place to eat. Its 18 Michelin-starred restaurants, where the emphasis is on sterling ingredients and ultra-modern preparations, showcase the city’s sophisticated yet relaxed culinary sensibility.
Set in a glass-cube dining room with a retractable roof, Facil has made a name for itself among the city’s stylish set, who frequent this sleek, tree-filled Potsdamer Platz hotspot. Chef Michael Kempf’s food stands up to the hype, thanks to his penchant for novelty, his unpretentiousness, and his commitment to the very best ingredients. Don’t miss the desserts by master patissier Thomas Yoshida, who earned Gault Millau’s pastry chef of the year award in 2016.
A haven for Berlin’s culinary sophisticates and a favorite spot for oenophiles, Chef Marco Müller’s casual, inviting restaurant-wine bar in Mitte features top-notch meat and seafood dishes, along with one of the best burgers in town. There’s also a wonderful selection of wines by the glass and an idyllic summer terrace, where you can sip and nibble amidst the scents of the kitchen’s herb garden. For a full taste of Müller’s talent, try his “Inspiration Menu,” starting at 129 euros for 6 courses.
Superstar chef and Berlin native Tim Raue has won raves for a pared-down approach to his dishes, which feature top-notch ingredients and smart flavor-texture contrasts with an Asian twist. The Michelin guide calls his food “refined and inspired.” Multicourse lunch menus start at just 48 euros, and dinner includes set menus (including a vegetarian option) as well as a la carte options.
Beloved by celebrities and seekers of unusual flavor-texture combinations, this avant-garde Kreuzberg restaurant blends chef Sebastian Frank’s classical Austrian training with influences from Bavaria to Bangkok. Meat and wild game are a particular focus here, and evening menus range from 5-7 courses with optional wine and non-alcoholic drink pairings.
A chic, wood-paneled dining room is the setting for chef Christian Lohse’s celebrated restaurant, which has laid claim to two Michelin stars since 2008. While the atmosphere may be formal, hushed, and slightly old-school, Lohse’s food is contemporary and minimalist. Three- to six-course menus start at 105 euros, and include dishes like steamed lake trout with spring mushroom saute and a green pea infusion, or goose liver terrine with pepper caramel and purple eggplant marmalade.
Located at the historic Edison Höfe in Mitte, where the first light bulbs in Germany were manufactured at the turn of the 20th century, reinstoff is an intimate, relaxed, beautifully designed restaurant where chef Daniel Achilles serves modern European cuisine paired with French and German wines. There are two set menus: ganznah (close to home) und weiterdraußen (further afield), both of which demonstrate Achilles’ flair for unlikely flavor combinations.
Paying tribute to founder Lorenz Adlon, this uber-elegant hotel restaurant focuses on French-German cuisine by noted chef Henrik Otto, whose motto is "European-inspired, exciting and expressive cooking." Four, five, and six-course menus start at 145 euros and can include inspired dishes like lamb shoulder with fermented garlic, marinated pearl onions and grapes, and chick peas.
With just 26 seats and a single 10-course tasting menu, this trendy Mitte restaurant is one of the hottest in town, thanks to the purity and vibrant flavors in chef Billy Wagner’s “brutally local” dishes. You won’t find pepper or cinnamon, lemon, vanilla, chocolate, or tuna on the menu - you will find food that beautifully expresses the terroir of the Berlin-Brandenburg region.
The in-house restaurant on the 14th floor of the Intercontinental Hotel is where superstar chef Thomas Kammeier unleashes his creativity in the form of German-Mediterranean food with a modern sensibility. There are several daily changing three, four, and five-course menus ranging from 110-130 euros, including all-vegetarian dishes and optional wine pairing.
Set in a former doner kebab parlor in the Mitte district, this charming 20-seat restaurant has a chalkboard menu highlighting daily specials that celebrate modern French flavors and top-quality ingredients. Seasonal, five-course tasting menus (82 euros) can include dishes like cured sturgeon with lardo and pickled onion, or etouffee duck with sunchokes, black cabbage, and marjoram-infused pear.
Behind an unassuming facade on an industrial street in Kreuzberg, Swiss chef Hans Richard cooks up creative, visually-stunning dishes influenced by his time studying at the Academy of Art and Design in Basel. Mix-and-match four to seven-course dinner menus feature dishes like Welsh lamb with dates, fennel, and eggplant and fresh morels a la creme with smoked egg yolk.
Organic, regional ingredients take center stage at this fashionable restaurant in Mitte, located on the premises of a former Jewish girls’ school. The airy, elegant space, which opens out to a lush terrace in the summer, features contemporary art, Murano glass chandeliers, and a lounge-bar that draws a stylish crowd. Expect dishes that put a light, modern spin on German cuisine.
A minimalist basement in the Mitte district creates a hip but subtle backdrop for chef Andreas Rieger’s seasonal, vegetable-centered, fiercely regional dishes, which range from beef spareribs with potato and chamomile to three-day cooked beetroot with aronia and rose. Choose from 3-5 course menus at lunch and 6-10 courses at dinner.
Drawing inspiration from the Mediterranean and southeast Asia, chef Sonja Frühsammer serves innovative dishes showcasing high-quality seasonal produce. Set in an elegant West Berlin mansion, the restaurant offers four, five, and six course menus, along with an ‘early evening’ option (185 euros) which includes drinks as well as a tour of the kitchen and a special wine cellar.
That rare restaurant where the food is as magnificent as the view, Skykitchen sits on the top floor of the andel’s Hotel Berlin, on the edge of Prenzlauer Berg. Offering 3-8 course menus - including a vegetarian option - the restaurant celebrates the bounty of the region in dishes like Baltic Cod with parsnips and brambles and Beelitz rabbit on red beet.
The first restaurant outside Spain by Catalan star chef Paco Perez, Cinco takes its name from its goal to stimulate all five senses with every dish. Located at the Hotel Berlin Tiergarten, the restaurant offers a set “Experience Menu” (165 euros, not including wine) as well as changing a la carte options like El Prat artichokes with quail eggs, caviar, almonds, and lemon.
Quality ingredients come together to create distinct flavors at star chef Markus Semmler’s eponymous restaurant, where they only serve one multi-course menu per evening. Don’t miss the spirits menu, which includes a gin Semmler created especially for the Klostergut Wöltingerode.
While Bieberbau’s dining room bears the signature of the 19th-century sculptor Richard Bieber, it’s multicourse menus reflect the very best of the season and the region. Choose from three, four, and five-course prix fixe options, including a vegetarian menu which might feature dishes like asparagus and leek with creme fraiche and hazelnuts from Piedmont.