Archive for July, 2009

Discovering Neukölln

Yes, yes. Neukölln is is traditionally the worst part of Berlin – run down and full of foreigners. However, in the past few years it’s been growing and becoming more attractive to Berliners. Here are a few of the places I’ve come to love in my time living here.

Balli Döner -Sonnenallee 132, 12059 Berlin AND also at Tempelhofer Damm 146, 12099 Berlin

This fine döner shop costs a bit more than other döner places (Falafel 2.20€, Döner im Brot, 3.00€, Döner Dürüm 3.50€). However, notworthy is that it’s a real turkish restaurant with a wood grill and many delicious entrees. They have various spices, sauces and minced garlic in olive oil on all the tables for you to season your cheap, delicious goodness as you desire. As of yet, its my favorite Berlin döner.

doener

Mae Charoen Thai-Imbiss – Sonnenallee 134, 12059 Berlin

Don’t be put off by its shabby facade and small interior, this place is one of the best places you can go for thai food in Berlin without spending exuberant amounts of money.  Dishes run from about 3-7 Euro and are very delicious. I can recommend any thing with green curry sauce and the definately the Pad-thai. If you have a larger group or are just looking for a classier place a can recomend “Phuket” over in Kreuzberg (Mehringdamm 67). Mae Charoen is right next to decent gelato shop if you need to cool down those taste-buds.

curry

City ChickenSonnenallee 59, 12045 Berlin

This place is fast food in its empitomy, however still worth a stop. You can eat huge portions for super cheap. 4 Euro gets you chicken nuggets, salad, fries, hummus and horseradish and and extra 50 cents gets you half-a-#*$%&§#-roasted-chicken instead of the nuggets. The name of the restaurant alone warants a visit.

city_chicken_gallery

Das Ä – Weserstraße 40, 12045 Berlin

Nice little bar for relaxing and enjoying the various evening programs – sometimes puppet shows! Their specialty beer is a Munich/Bavarian beer: Tegernseer – 2.50€ for 0,5 L.

Mama’sHobrechtstr. 61, 12047 Berlin

This pub is also a bit small, but very cozy. It’s a bit like being a pre-WWII living room that hasn’t been renovated, but still comfortable. My favorite point of interest is the czech beer: SVIJANY. Soooo good. I, personally, prefer their Naturtrüb-style, which is 6%. Their wine and booze selection is also quirky and delicious. This place is a good starting place or finishing bar for a pub crawl through Kreuzberg and Freidrichshain.

logosvijany

Cafe Dritter Raum – Herzbergstr. 14, 12055 Berlin

Well, finding a decent cafe in Neukölln in the past few years might have been impossible. However, a few are starting to sprout around the area to my pleasant surprise – I no longer have to take a train to enjoy a nice coffee shop. Dritter Raum is small, but cozy and affordable. If you’re willing to take a 10-15 min. bus or train ride you can also find numerous awesome and delicious cafes in Kreuzberg.

LouisRichardplatz 5, 12055 Berlin

this place offers Austrian cuisine and has some of the best and LARGEST (weighing in at about 1.2 kilo) schnitzel in town. I can’t count how many recommendations I have had from Berliner regarding the schnitzel here. There rest of the food is supposed to be just ok, but apparently one comes here for the schnitzel.

schnitzel

Ed & Fred Nut Depot – Sonnenallee 73, 12045

This place is one of the finest establishments that I have found in Berlin. They have roasted nuts, seeds, beans, etc. GALOR. Fresh-roasted coffee? Yes. Wasabi peas? Yes. Cornnuts? Yes. Any other questions? No. Get your sweet untoasted buns over there. May not be much for tourists, but for living in Berlin, it’s a gift from God.

pistacio_mix

Well, that’s about all for now. To be continued…

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Crocodilian: Rooms in Berlin = Bad Choice

Moving to a foreign city for a job, vacation, etc., albeit temporary, can be a bit stressful, trying to find accommodation for a month or 12 and don’t want to stay in a hotel the entire time. Berlin offers many solutions in this regard, be you professor, movie director, or even vagabond.

Let me start by telling you where NOT to look. I had an incredibly bad experience with the company “Crocodilian”. Though I haven’t rented through the agency, I have worked there and unless you enjoy throwing away your money to swindlers, I would avoid the agency at all costs. After I left the agency then manager told me I’d be lucky to get remuneration for all the hours I had spent in their crummy office with an ever-present, annoying,  yapping dog. In the end, I only received half of my due pay, taking advantage of this poor foreign worker. Thus, I would strongly caution others from placing their trust in them, especially in matters of finance.

So, what I can recommend are a number of other free or low-cost, reliable alternatives! If you can speak a bit of German then I would recommend the following websites:

http://www.wg-gesucht.de/wg-zimmer-in-Berlin.8.0.0.0.html

http://www.studenten-wg.de/Berlin,wg.html

Here you can cut the middle man and get in touch with the landlord or future roommates directly. They can help you find a place in just about any German city, not just Berlin, and has incredible search parameters. Need your own flat? Want to cut on costs and find a spare room? No problem. Search according to you price range, desired floor space and more.

Now if you’re looking for something a bit easier and completely in English, I can always recommend “Exberliner Flat Rentals“. The agency is reliable, easy to use, and comparatively cheap. Well, that’s my two cents in brief. If you’ve got further questions go a head and get a hold of me.

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