Comprehensive guide to Berlin Germany with information on Oranienburger Straße and the Scheunenviertel.

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Oranienburger Strasse
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Oranienburger Straße and the Scheunenviertel

Take a walk round the Scheunenviertel in Mitte of a summer's evening and take in some of Berlin´s night-life. No, you haven´t passed the same bar six´re on Oranienburger Straße! Half the western world and their dogs (mostly well trained) have bought up shop space in this area and have endeavoured to extort their piece of the newly discovered Service Industry Pie by creating their own version of a Berlin café bar. Popular mostly with visitors, it is unlikely that any of these bars have built up a regular customer base or enjoy any loyalty. Some have expensive furniture, others have quirky decorations but hardly any have a soul. If there is a bar in this area of town which hasn´t been reviewed in this section, it is probably because it has been mistaken for another one.

Bar Lounge 808
Oranienburger Straße 42-43, 10117 Berlin - Mitte | Tel: 28 04 67 27, Fax: no fax | U6 Oranienburger Tor, N 6, 84. | Prices: comparable with those around the time of the German economic depression in the twenties. | Credit: AmEx, DC, MC, V | Times: 10 am 3am daily.
If you can afford it and you don´t mind paying these prices, then you will have the opportunity to observe the mirror lovers who want to keep their eye on the social scene, and have enough money to keep themselves and their "girlfriends" topped up with cocktails. Excruciatingly annoying chill-out House music, decor verging on vulgar, and patrons who actually like all that stuff. For many this bar represents the pinnacle of the social scene. For others, it constitutes a living hell. Incidentally... avoid eye contact with the waitress when settling your bill as any blink or involuntary gesture is inferred as an invitation to take the best part of 10 as a tip. It´s embarrassing having to ask for it back.

Keyser Soze
Tucholskystr. 33, 10115 Berlin - Mitte | Tel: 28 59 94 89, Fax: no fax | S1, S2 Oranienburger Str/U6 Oranienburger Tor | Times: open daily 11am-late .
Scenester hangout deluxe, as you might expect from a bar named after a character in such a pretentious film. Still, the ambiance is good, and even the food is acceptable, which is rare in a place like this. Good breakfasts if you get up late.

Obst & Gemüse
Oranienburger Str. 48, 10117 Berlin - Mitte | U6 Oranienburger Tor, N 6, 84. | Times: Daily from noonish.
This old fruit and vegetable shop is usually quite busy. Situated at Oranienburger Tor end of this café kilometer, it probably attracts most of its clientele by accident. Its only feature which sets it apart from its neighbours is that it is self service - not a reason in itself for a visit. One wonders if it would actually serve more of a purpose if it were turned back into a fruit shop as such stores are thin on the ground in this area.

Auguststr. 92, 10117 Berlin - Mitte | Times: daily from 9pm.
Relive the glorious days of the East in this tongue-in-cheek bar decorated with Commie kitsch, including a couple of seats made from a Trabant car. Just off Oranienburger Str., it nonetheless draws a fair crowd of locals, particularly during the week.

Tucholskystr. 30, 10117 Berlin - Mitte | Tel: 280 76 64, Fax: no fax | S Oranienburger Str., U6 Oranienburger Tor | Open daily
Although guilty of being part of the candle-using fraternity, this café bar hidden up Tucholsky Str. seems to be more than just the sum of its parts. Downstairs a variety of live music is performed in a rather cosy brick walled cellar while upstairs remarkably nice food can be enjoyed while viewing a strange assortment of pictures of 1960s Motown acts and other performers. Sometimes frequented by some of the Sophien Str. art lovers, but their presence doesn´t change the atmosphere.

Cafe Zapata - Tacheles
Oranienburger Str. 53-56, 10117 Berlin - Mitte | Tel: 283 1498, Fax: no fax | S-Bahn Oranienburger Tor, Tram 1, 13 , 50 N6, 84 | Open every day until your pockets are empty.
Enjoy a beer as you watch a stream of guided tours watching you watching them. Cafe Zapata projects one of the most unashamed tourist shows anywhere in Berlin. The combination of wrought iron furniture and baron wasteland beer garden shocks its visitors, and gasps of wonder are teased from old ladies as a switch behind the bar is flicked on cue to produce a breath of flames from the dragon sculpture on the bar. It is little more than a travelling circus that stays in one place. If you manage to get a table in the garden, and manage to avoid the guy selling poetry, enjoy your beer at 4.50 and think of the poor people next year who´ll be paying 5.50.

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