The basic interior of white walls, wooden tables and white candles is stark, but Lokal’s inspired, colourful takes on German food are popular. Earthy dishes are loaded with vegetables, so this is an excellent spot for vegetarians. Dinner reservations are a must. It’s near the fashionable Torstrasse in Scheunenviertel.
RESTAURANT AM STEINPLATZ
The 1920s get a 21st-century makeover at this stylish spot with an open kitchen where Marcus Zimmer feeds regional products into classic German and Berlin recipes. Even rustic beer-hall dishes such as Eisbein are imaginatively reinterpreted and beautifully plated.
The theatrical setting in a 1928 transformer station would be enough to seek out Matthias Gleiss’s sophisticated culinary outpost. More drama a waits on the plates, where traditional Berlin and other German dishes get a contemporary kick.
Below his high-concept gourmet temple in Scheunenviertel, Michelin-starred Marco Muller operates this casual wine bar with a distinctly earthy, carnivorous menu. Many meats and sausages are sourced from Berlin or nearby. There’s a great selection of wines by the glass.
ZUR LETZTEN INSTANZ
Radiating folksy Old Berlin charm, this rustic restaurant has been a hit since 1621, feeding everyone from Napoleon to Beethoven to Angela Merkel. These days it’s a bit tourist-geared, but food quality is still reassuringly high when it comes to local classics such as Grillhaxe and Bouletten.
MAX UND MORITZ
The patina of yesteryear hangs over this old-school brewpub named for the cheeky Wilhelm Busch cartoon characters. Since 1902 it has packed hungry diners and drinkers into it stile-and-stucco-ornamented rooms for sudsy home brews and granny-style Berlin fare. Wall reliefs tell the original owners’ life story.