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FOOD + DRINK

Three Exceptional Berlin Bars Offering the Unexpected

FOOD + DRINK

Three Exceptional Berlin Bars Offering the Unexpected

Must-see spots to visit while exploring a city that truly knows how to entertain

by David Graver
on 09 April 2015

People from all over the globe venture to Berlin for the excitement its diverse nightlife scene has to offer. Famed nightclub Berghain commands one of the best global reputations for a wild night out—and its acclaimed Panorama Bar features a Long Island Iced Tea that warrants a visit on its own. There's more to the city than one renowned staple, and as we found in NYC, sometimes the most unlikely areas yield the most memorable watering holes. Scattered across the city's many neighborhoods, unique bar environments cater to every sort of urban adventurer. The following three selections offer something unexpected—be that luxuriant rum cocktails or an inclusive rooftop lounge with a superb view. Each is a guaranteed good night out—if you stop by early and carry cash of course.

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Rum Trader

Over the past 40 years, Rum Trader has built up quite the reputation. This venue in Charlottenburg stakes claim to the title of oldest cocktail bar in Berlin. Referring to itself as the "Institute for Advanced Drinking," the venue fits 25 people and contains just one table. From a charmed decor (that feels almost untouched over the past few decades) to the vintage glasses used for each craft cocktail, it's warm and welcoming, but reflects magic from a bygone era. The cash-only spot stays open late, and it's accessible only by ringing a buzzer to be let in. As one would expect, their specialty is rum, but they can work wonders with other spirits as well. For other speakeasy environments, Buck & Breck, Becketts Kopf and Tausend are other great options. Fasanenstraße 40, 10719 Berlin

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Nathanja und Heinrich

The ideal balance between cosy and spacious, Nathanja und Heinrich sports a strong selection of tap beers, good wines and a rotating menu of cocktails. Wide windows allow for delightful natural light during the day—especially when sitting at the benches lining the walls. The eclectic mix of old furniture contrasting the unfinished walls results in a refined shabbiness—a common decor choice in Berlin, but with its origins often defined by Nathanja und Heinrich. While cosy isn't a word one often associates with Berlin, day or night, this place is exactly that. Weichselstraße 44, 12045 Berlin

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Klunkerkranich

Positioned atop the Neukölln Arkaden building—a shopping center—this bar not only offers an excellent view of Berlin, but also remains devoid of the stiffness associated with many fancy rooftop locations. Klunkerkranich is all-inclusive, chilled out and most importantly: just plain fun. This is not the type of bar you'd expect on top of a mall parking lot. It's relaxed at times, exciting at others—depending on whether a DJ or performer is providing the entertainment. To make the location even more dynamic, there's even a sandpit for when the kids tag along and a wood-heavy cafe inside that's ideal for the winter months. Karl-Marx-Straße 66, 12043 Berlin

Rum Trader image courtesy of Wendy Miller, Klunkerkranich image courtesy of Mogli Oak, Nathanja und Heinrich and Bar Tausend image courtesy of respective venues

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