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Considering that there are about as many Jews in Berlin as in Indianapolis, Indiana, there is a surprisingly large number of Jewish restaurants and shops here. Most of these establishments have sprouted up in the last five years or so, a development due in part to the renewed vigor of Jewish society in Berlin, in part to the support provided by the Jewish Community organization, and in part to a kind of "Jewish chic" in gentile German culture that makes a brush with Yiddishkeit - eating in a kosher cafe, for example - an "in" activity. The majority of customers, non-Jewish, may not know a mezuzah from a mazel tov, but there is a great interest in things Jewish, particularly when they can be eaten.

Am Wasserturm
Knaackstrasse 22, 10405 Berlin - Prenzlauer Berg | Tel: 44 28 07, Fax: no fax | U2 Senefelder Platz | Times: 10-2 daily. | Cards: EC-Chequecard
A few steps from the Rykestrasse synagogue lies the city's newest Jewish-style restaurant. In addition to a large assortment of traditional Jewish dishes, Am Wassertum offers a changing menu of other Jewish foods from the 140 countries of the world in which Jews live. Live music every Monday evening.

Arche Noah
Fasanenstr. 79-80, 10623 Berlin - Charlottenburg | Tel: 882 61 38, Fax: no fax | S+U Zoologischer Garten | Times: Sun-Fri 11:30-15:30 & 18:30pm-23:00pm, Sat 11:30am-15:30pm. | Cards: VISA, AmEx, Eurocard/MC, EC-Chequecard
Arche Noah is a snug little restaurant (there can't be more than a dozen tables) located on the top floor of the Jewish Community Center. The oldest kosher restaurant in the city, it's a bit stuffy and old-fashioned, but charming in an old-European kind of way, complete with starched, white tablecloths and dyspeptic waiters. And for a kosher fleishig dinner, it's the only place in town. You'll find a lot of old favorites (tscholent, kreplach, gefilte fish, brisket of beef, gedempte chicken) on the long menu, a kind of smorgasbord of grandma's holiday cooking. But Arche Noah also offers a wide selection of Israeli and Middle Eastern dishes. Kosher wine from Israel is available by the glass. Arche Noah presents a five-course Shabbath menu for DM50 and, on Tue from 6:30pm, a buffet featuring 30 different dishes from European and Middle Eastern kitchens for DM35.

Beth Café
Tucholsky Str 60, 10117 Berlin - Mitte | Tel: 281 31 35, Fax: no fax | U6 Oranienburger Tor, S1, S2 Oranienburger Str | Times: Sun-Thu 11-22, Fri 11-15. | Cards: Eurocard/MC, VISA.
Established in 1991, Beth Café has already become something of a landmark in the neighborhood, a popular stop for visitors touring the so-called Jewish Quarter. It is run by the orthodox Adass Yisroel congregation and offers a kosher meatless menu of light lunchtime meals. In addition to falafel and other Israeli specialties, soups and salads, they also offer, as a nod to the many American tourists who stop in, gefillte fish and bagels and lox (though they're not quite what you're used to at home). The small cafe has a somewhat austere atmosphere, although that may just be due to the self-consciousness of the German patrons. In the summer a quiet courtyard garden is open

Café Oren
Oranienburger Str 28, 10117 Berlin - Mitte | Tel: 282 82 28, Fax: no fax | U6 Oranienburger Tor; S1, S2 Oranienburger Str | Times: Mon-Fri noon-1am; Sat & Sun 10am-1am.
If any place constitutes a Jewish community "hangout," this is it. Not that it's an insider secret, however: the restaurant, though quite spacious, fills up just about every evening, and on weekends a reservation is advised. Located next door to the New Synagogue, it's well-placed for recuperating after a tramp around the Jewish sites in the neighborhood. Oren offers a meatless - but not kosher - menu featuring fish dishes (among them matjes in several formats), vegetarian casseroles and pastas, and middle-eastern specialties such as baba ganoush and humus. You can drink Israeli too: several Israeli wines are offered as well as Maccabee beer. In the summer, there's dining al fresco in the courtyard.

Rimon Restaurant
Oranienburger Str 26, 10117 Berlin - Mitte | Tel: 28 38 40 32, Fax: no fax | U6 Oranienburger Tor; S1, S2 Oranienburger Str. | Times: Daily 10am-2am. | Cards: VISA, AmEx, Eurocard/MC.
Rimon occupies two floors of an airy and spacious location in the Jewish Communication Center, just down the block from the New Synagogue. Not quite kosher, this vegetarian restaurant offers excellent and authentic Israeli specialties and Eastern European favorites such as gefillte fish, kreplach, latkes, and bagels. Fish is a specialty of the house. Around the corner, a take-out snack counter is attached to the restaurant. Rimon also offers a kosher catering service.

Salomon Bagels
Joachimstaler Strasse 13, 10719 Berlin - Charlottenburg | Tel: 821 0404, Fax: no fax | U9+U15 Kurfürstendamm | Times: Mon-Fri 9-20, Sat 9-16. | also at Potsdamer Platz Arkaden, 10785 Mitte | tel: 252 97626 | Transport: U2, S1, S2 Potsdamer Platz | Times: Mon-Fri 9-20, Sat 9-16.
For Andreas Pfeffer, owner and mentor of Salomon's, the bagel is a spiritual object. Its round shape is a metaphor for wholeness and reconciliation, the boiling and baking required to produce it a symbol for the union of water and fire. "Wisdom that one can eat," is his slogan. Whether transcendent or not, however, the bagels baked here are large, fresh and delicious. The Joachimstaler Strasse Salomon's is pocket-sized but cheery, with lox-colored walls and a huge golden chandelier poised over the glass vitrine. It's a steh-café, meaning there is standing only at the high tables, which is a shame because it's the kind of place you would like to linger in while noshing. In addition to six varieties of bagels, which can be bought by the dozen, Salomon's offers small sandwiches, cakes, and even homemade New York-style cheesecake. Salomon's new branch in the Potsdamer Platz Arkaden shopping mall, part of the DaimlerChrysler headquarters complex, is a much larger, much more comfortable affair. Chairs and sofas allow you finally to sit while enjoying a Salomon bagel, and an expanded menu makes the lingering that much more tempting.

Tabuna Restaurant and Café
Alt-Moabit 59, 10555 Berlin - Tiergarten | Tel: 390 70 40, Fax: no fax | U9 Turmstr | Times: Daily noon-midnight.
The restaurant's pride and joy, a stone tabuna oven, is set proudly by the front door to warm and welcome customers. It is, according to the owner, the only one in Europe, imported with loving care from Israel, and it does deliver: the huge pitas that emerge from its depths are crisp and delicate and delivered warm to your table. There's a generous offering of the appropriate fixings for accompaniment: kebabs of several varieties, falafel, kubba, humous, and the like. In addition, Tabuna offers continental and pasta dishes. The picture windows lining one side offer a view of the meandering (though not quite bucolic) Spree river and there's a terrace for dining outside when the weather is good. On weekends, there's often live Israeli and Russian folk music.

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