Beer Garden Bliss in Berlin

Eat, drink, and be merry. Berlin’s many restaurant-Biergarten hybrids make it all possible.

Winters are long and dark in Berlin, which makes the arrival of spring all the more welcome. As soon as the weather permits, Berliners like to spend as much time as possible outside, soaking up the sunshine and taking in the fresh air. There’s a special hybrid locale practically made for this very purpose: part restaurant, part Biergarten. In practically every part of the city, you’ll find these places, which are perfect for whiling away long leisurely hours and enjoying the spring season. Here are the Where Berlin favorites.

On the verdant edge of Tiergarten is Schleusenkrug, a spot beloved by locals and tourists alike. Grab the right table to watch boats as they go through the Landwehrkanal’s water lock. Apart from the great scenery and, of course, the beer, Schleusenkrug offers free-range meat sizzling off the grill and a menu of both lighter and heartier European dishes. 

Brachvogel beer garden, Berlin
Brachvogel affords guests views of the canal in a tree-lined biergarten that allows patrons to also work on their mini golf swing. (Courtesy Brachvogel)

Kreuzberg’s Brachvogel is another locale that combines a tree-lined garden with a canal view. From brunch to lunch to dinner, the culinary offerings are extensive and, in keeping with the Kreuzberg milieu, there’s a special vegan menu as well. Younger guests—or those who are still young at heart—can also practice their putt on Brachvogel’s own mini golf course. Parents will appreciate the on-site playground, which keeps the kids occupied and lets the grown-ups enjoy their beer in peace.

Overlooking the train tracks near Kreuzberg’s big Viktoriapark is Kurhaus Ponte Rosa, a welcoming and laid-back pastoral spot with plenty of indoor and outdoor seating. The menu focuses on fresh, crispy pizzas, which you can enjoy at one of the picnic tables or swinging in a hammock.

Further afield but well worth the U-Bahn journey is Luise. Tucked away in the quiet Dahlem district, Luise—named for the beloved Prussian queen—is best paired with a visit to the nearby Botanical Garden. Choose something meaty straight off the grill, or try their thin-crust pizzas or German classics.

No Berlin beer garden list would be complete without mentioning the two heavy hitters. First up is Cafe am Neuen See, a waterside location in the middle of the Tiergarten park. Besides satisfying meals, visitors can enjoy a seat in the beer garden or a row on the lake in summer, while winter brings glowing fireplaces and games of Eisstockschiessen—a Bavarian ice game similar to curling. On the other side of town lies the mother of all the city's beer gardens, Prater, the oldest in town and, for that reason, one of the more popular. Even on rainy days, the indoor seating can be overflowing with patrons enjoy Berliner Weisse (red or green, take your pick) and hearty German fare, including the requisite Bratwurst.