Comprehensive guide to Berlin Germany with information on Mitte.

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Prenzlauer Berg
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Rungestr. 17, 10179 Berlin - Mitte | Tel: 278 63 36, Fax: 278 63 36 | U Heinrich-Heine Str., U+S Jannowitzbrücke | Times: Mon-Sat 17-24. | Prices: Mains DM19-37. Corkage DM12. | Cards: Visa, Eurocard. | Reservations by phone or email.
"Australia is my dream", your average German on the street will tell you, and Billabong goes a fair way towards fulfilling it at a price even the cheapest airlines would have problems competing with. The richness of Australia's multicultural mix is reflected in the diversity of the menu - try the red hot chicken curry or the New Zealand lamb chops with mint jelly. And if you're hankering for a chunk of the national symbol, Kangaroo will be served up steaming in a delicate port wine sauce. Billabong is the only restaurant in Berlin to have adopted Australia's B.Y.O. policy - if the award-winning Wakefield wines on the menu are not to your taste, you can bring your own wine from home or from the in-house wine shop.

Dada Falafel
Linienstr. 132, 10115 Berlin - Mitte | Tel: 27 59 69 27, Fax: no fax | U6 Oranienburger Tor; S-Bahn Oranienburger Str. | Sandwiches from DM4; Plates from DM6
Groovy little falafel/schwarma joint just off the Oranienburger Str. main drag where perfectly crunchy falafel balls prepared on the spot are served with a lush green salad and variety of colourfully flavoured sauces. This place is so good its hard to image why they need to make their pita bread all stale and chewy by heating them in the microwave - perhaps it comes from an Islamic conviction that only Allah is perfect.

Gipsstr. 3, 10119 Berlin - Mitte | Tel: 283 86622, Fax: no fax | S-Bahn Hackescher Markt | Times: Tue-Sun 11am until late | Cards: AmEx, MC, Visa | Prices: Mains DM22-36.
A German chef marooned in Australia learned pan-Pacific cooking and came home to open this place, naming it after his grandmother. Don't be put off by the stark interior: the food here is superb, and combines European and Asian influences with brio.

Il Contadino Sotto le Stelle
Auguststr. 34, 10119 Berlin - Mitte | Tel: 281 9023, Fax: no fax | U8 Rosenthaler Platz | Times: daily from 6pm | Cards: none | Prices: Mains DM18-25.
A seemingly chaotic Southern Italian place where it's impossible to get a table without a reservation. The food is tremendous, the menu (in Italian) changes often, and every detail, right down to some of the best bread in town, is in place.

Kellerrestaurant im Brecht-Haus
Chausseestr. 125, 10115 Berlin - Mitte | Tel: 282 3843, Fax: no fax | U6 Oranienburger Tor | Times: daily 6pm-1am, lunch in summer noon-3pm Mon-Fri | Cards: AmEx, MC | Prices: Mains DM18-28
In the cellar of Brecht's house, next door to the graveyard where he's buried, you can dine on dishes from his companion Helene Weigel's hand-written cookbook, specialties she brought from Bohemia, and learn why Brecht liked living with her. Great wine-list, excellent weekly specials, and a very nice garden in summer.

La Rustica
Kleine Präsidentenstr. 4, 10178 Berlin - Mitte | Tel: 218 9179, Fax: no fax | S-Bahn Hackescher Markt | Times: Open daily 11am-11pm | Cards: none | Prices: Mains 16-30.
Berlin's first family of Italian restaurants started with Muntagnola, a place with food so good you'd swear there was a Sicilian grandmother hidden in the kitchen. Impeccable Southern Italian fare then showed up at Contadino, in Mitte, which was smaller but no less excellent. The latest arrival is La Rustica, which doubles as a lunch place and pizzeria (the only one of these three places serving pizza), with a small deli in one corner. All feature superb and affordable cuisine with an emphasis on lesser-known dishes, a great wine-list, and occasionally crazy waiters. We don't recommend La Rustica's outdoor tables next to the train tracks, though, if you plan to converse with your dining companions.

Mäcky Messer
Mulackstr. 29, 10119 Berlin - Mitte | Tel: 283 4942, Fax: no fax | U8 Weinmeisterstr. | Times: Tue-Sun, 6pm-midnight | Cards: none | Prices: Mains DM12-18.
A German, even one from the fish intensive town of Hamburg, making sushi? Normally we'd tell you to be afraid, very afraid, but this guy has mastered the art beautifully. He also provides soups, Japanese salads, and the occasional larger dish in this excellent hole in the wall.

Osteria Tarantina
Große Presidenten Straße 5, 10117 Berlin - Mitte | Tel: 28 38 70 90, Fax: no fax | S Hackescher Markt | Times: Mon-Fri 12-1, Sat-Sun: 17-1
Tucked in a nondescript side street near the Hackesche Höfe, by no means unnoticed by the youthful trendmongers who inhabit Mitte nights. Affordable excellence during the day, reserve at nights. Order anything that catches your imagination - it's all delicious, even the pizze.

Rosmini Pastamanufaktur
Invalidenstrasse 151, 10115 Berlin - Mitte | Tel: 28 09 68 44, Fax: 28 09 68 44 | S-Bahn Nordbahnhof; Tram 50 | Times: 11:30-Midnight | Seats up to 50 | Prices: Mains, DM14.50-DM28.00
HOT TIP: A new, small, and inconspicuous place with simple and extremely fresh pasta and salads, and a good wine list. The prices are very reasonable and there's a new menu every day. Like the name says, all pasta is made on the premises, ranging from campanelli, gnocchetti, orrechietti, to more standard fettuccine, rigatoni and linguini. Dishes are prepared with a slight Southern Italian touch. The head chef originally hails from Sicily. The small, open front room faces Invalidenstrasse through plate-glass windows, giving the place a lively, city neighborhood atmosphere. Service is prompt and knowledgeable. Portions are sufficient but not overwhelming. They also offer a three-course lunch menu from 12:00-15:30 for DM15.00.

Sieke's Weinhaus
Chausseestr. 15, 10115 Berlin - Mitte | Tel: 30 87 29 80, Fax: 30 87 29 78 | U7 Zinnowitzer Str. | Prices: Mains DM15-30
Sieke´s Winestore and Restaurant is located close to the Oranianburgerstr. district in Berlin - Mitte. Upon entering the premises you will find yourself among a fine collection of German wines proudly tended by the jovial staff. The shop stays open for as long as the restaurant, so this is a perfect place to buy a bottle or two on the way to evening engagements, particularly given that Sieke is likely to offer a sample of the wine he recommends. The second floor restaurant is decorated with light wooden furniture and offers dishes in contemporary German style. A special set 3 course menu is excellent value at around DM30,- (excluding wine). According to German tradition Sieke's offers special dishes and menus according to season and local festivities.

Jägerstr. 54/55, 10117 Berlin - Mitte | Tel: 202 97 30, Fax: no fax | U2 Hausvogteiplatz, U6 Französische Straße | Times: Mon-Sat 12-14.30 Uhr + 19-22.30 (kitchen hours) | Seats 65 inside, 24 outside. | Reservations a must. | Mains: DM30-60.
For gastronomic indulgence in an atmosphere of understated elegance try VAU - the most hyped restaurant in Berlin. The contemporary yet warm decor is pleasing but not distracting. Care has been taken to keep the noise level down, providing the perfect setting for the convivial appreciation of an extraordinary meal. Do not be surprised if you see Chancellor Schröder or the Foreign Minister Fischer dining here. We started with a complimentary wild mushroom appetizer. Despite the color (black) and ominous name (Totentrompeten--trumpets of death) I thoroughly enjoyed it and felt no ill effects. The menu is interesting but not outlandish; no octopus in curried papaya sauce here. The venison salad followed by pigeon breast with foie gras and mashed potatoes was outstanding. The cryptic "variation of apple" on our dessert menu turned out to be a sampler of apple specialties, a highlight being the green apple sorbet. A similar palette of chocolate desserts was accompanied by a demi tasse of cocoa.

viva Mexico!
Chausseestrasse 36, 10115 Berlin - Mitte | Tel: 280 78 65/6, Fax: no fax | U6 Zinnowitzerstrasse | Time: Mon-Fri 12:00-23:00, Sat 14:00-24:00, Sun 17:00-24:00 | Prices: Mains DM8-16.
It doesn't get more authentic than this. A small unassuming joint on a lonely stretch of Chausseestrasse, with some of the tastiest tacos, burritos, enchiladas, and quesadillas in town, served with homemade salsa and guacamole to-die-for made from old family recipes handed down by the owner's grandmother. They also make scrumptious Margaritas. Don't worry if you don't habla Espanol, the Mexican owner will help you figure out how to pronounce your food, and laugh along with you as you try. The service is friendly, though not too fast, and the prices are more than reasonable. Don't be surprised if you hear a lot of English and Spanish while you're dining. Americans and Mexicans alike know where to get real Mexican food in Berlin. The menu is in Spanish, English and German.

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