Christmas is just around the corner and the temperatures are dropping rapidly, so it’s time to get your winter body ready, for survival reasons of course. We know our Mothers are starting to bake traditional Christmas cookies, preparing pre-Christmas food and stocking the house with alcohol. But the time before Christmas in Berlin offers a wonderful opportunity to get together with your friends and finish off the year by warming up your stomach for Christmas dinner.
Where to do just that? We, The Three Wise Hungry Girls, have picked our favourite spots to indulge the Christmas season in Berlin.
Caddy’s December Pick
Place: Pig & Tiger
Where: Schillerpromenade 32, 12049 Berlin (U-Bahn: Boddinstrasse/Leinestrasse)
Recommendation: Piggy Buns and Hite beer
Some may argue that December in Berlin is a time for glühwein and roasted almonds, which is fine, I get it. But if you really want to warm up your body from its core, Korean food is the way to go.
Luckily I found Pig & Tiger not far from my place in Neukölln. The restaurant is hidden away in the gorgeous Schillerkiez, which I recommend anyone coming to Berlin to check out.
Upon entering the cosy and trendy restaurant, I had one issue, I didn’t know what I wanted to order. It wasn’t that there weren’t fifty things on the menu, there were about 10, and they all looked really good. After some internal conflict between my head and my stomach, an agreement was reached.
I went for four dishes; the Chicken Kaarage, Magic Mandu, Happy Squid and Piggy Buns. I guess you could say my stomach got the best of the agreement. The Happy Squid was good, I really enjoy the lime-aioli marinate it came with. The Magic Mandy, handmade dumplings with a veggie filling of spring onions and gochu karu oil, were 110% nom-able. The Chicken Kaarage was good too, but after a few bites, I found it was a bit too rich for my liking.
My personal favourite was the Piggy Buns, for €7.90 I got two decent size bao buns with well-marinated pulled pork – oh hell yeah.
I also loved the interior design of this place. The lighting was dim enough so it created a relaxing atmosphere without taking away my sense of sight. I found the chairs to be quite comfortable and the staff were lovely too.
Theresa’s December Pick
Place: Le Saint Amour
Cuisine: French – Lyonnaise
Where: Maybachufer 2, 12047 Berlin
Opening hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 18:30 – 00:00
Recommendation: Coque au vin and the gateau fondant au chocolate
Walking into Le Saint Amour I felt like I was back in France. Everything is so French: the interior, the staff, the guests, even the smell. But no worries, the staff speaks good German and English.
To the food: the menu of the Le Saint Amour offers simple and traditional French dishes which are typical for the region around Lyon. The range might look small, but it is enough to get the taste of France in all its variation: Cheese, smoked duck, snails, steak et frites, chocolate cake, crème brulée.
We ate our way through the menu starting with the cheese variation (yes, I know you don’t start with cheese, but hey! It is cheese!). The plate included several different kinds of cheese which proved to be enough as a starter for 2 people.
For my main dish, I ordered the coqui au vin. The meat was soft and tasty and suited well to the potatoes and the sauce. The portion was just in the right size to be full but still have some place left for dessert. Since I am a little chocolate addict I finished the menu with a gateau fondant au chocolate – a chocolate cake. The perfect final of a great evening in France.
Marta’s December Pick
Restaurant: The Little Green Rabbit
Cuisine: Salads, soups, healthy greens
Where: Friedrichstrasse 200, 10117 Berlin (entrance Mauerstrasse)
Opening hours: Monday – Friday 8:00 – 17:00, Saturday – Sunday 11:00 – 16:00
Recommendation: Salmon salad with croutons
When the cold hits, I usually opt for hot food, that is supposed to keep me warm, cosy, and that works well with my hibernation state in the winter months. Yet, every now and then, I have this huge craving for something fresh, crunchy and accompanied by that long gone summer feeling.
My go-to place for that is currently The Little Green Rabbit, which has two locations in Mitte: one around Checkpoint Charlie and the other just a few steps away from Gendarmenmarkt. It offers a great selection of fresh, vegetable-based meals at affordable prices all year round, perfect for an instant power-up during your lunch break! If you’re like me, and have had your fair share of gingerbread already, and need a break, this is just what the doctor ordered.
I haven’t bumped into an item on the menu that I wouldn’t like yet, but my recent favourite is the salmon salad. Greens with a twist on the trusty salmon – a good mix of healthy and yummy! In the bowl you’ll find fresh salmon, a lettuce mix, carrots, cucumber, and fresh horseradish. Each salad comes with a side and a dressing of your choice. For this combination, I recommend croutons for the extra crunch, and the dijon sauce to give it some spiciness.
Also, good news for all the vegetarians out there – the main component (chicken, fish, etc) in each menu option can be replaced with tofu. How cool is that?