Category Archives: Germany

Berlin Beer Week 2017

Berlin Beer Week

“Why does Berlin not have a beer week? It was a simple question Tiffany Herrington asked Stefan Krueger back in 2015. That question turned into a conversation, which then became an event, when they connected with Dirk Hoplitschek to form the dream team becoming the official founders of Berlin’s most famous craft beer festival, Berlin Beer Week.”

The ethos of Berlin Beer Week is to bring together a select group of local and international artisanal brewers to run events at various locations around Berlin. The locations range from restaurants, brewpubs, beer bars, bottle shops and educational institutions. With the underlying mission to promote local businesses and people producing great beer!

Berlin Beer Week

Berlin Beer Week is now in its third iteration. The event has gotten bigger year-on-year, evinced in the number of breweries and partners for this year’s events.
Timing plays a part in the success of Berlin Beer Week, with an increasing number of expats and localschallenging the traditional Pilsners and Bavarian staples. It is however, primarily due to the passion of the co-founders, which has driven Berlin Beer Week forward.
Tiffany Herrington Berlin Beer Week
Tiffany Herrington

Tiffany is originally from California; a lawyer by trade, but discovered her love for beer while living in Seattle. From an initial curiosity, mixed in with European city hopping, and a beer drinking sabbatical – she was reborn a brewer.

Stephan Krueger Berlin Beer Week
Stephan Krueger

Stefan is a Berliner and serial entrepreneur, discovered “good beer” after a life-changing trip in America, when he met Gregg Koch, co-founder of the legendary Stone Brewing Company and had his first every Stone IPA. After returning to Berlin and noticing how dire the selection of beers was at the supermarkets, he decided to get into distribution and even launched his own pop-up craft beer bar, which was one of the first in Berlin.

Dirk Hoplitschek Berlin Beer Week
Dirk Hoplitschek

Dirk is a Berlin native and self-taught beer enthusiast. His introduction to craft beer was through trying anything that didn’t look generic at the speciality beverage stores. These experiences lead to Dirk co-founding, a beer-reviewing platform. He also works as a beer writer for Mixology Magazine, and is part of the Bierlinie distribution team.

In combination, the founders have a ton of energy, knowledge and passion for beer. Along with the connections and entrepreneurial mind-set they have scaled Berlin Beer Week to what it is today.

Berlin Beer Week

Craft Beer has taken a bit of time to reach Germany, primarily due to local resistance and the nationalistic approach towards Reinhetsgebot, the purity law that has defined beer in Germany for centuries. In a way this tradition has been hijacked by larger industrial beer markers to create a very large barrier of entry for independent breweries, by producing mass scale, low priced beer. This makes it very hard for smaller producers to compete with the economies of scale.

Luckily for us in Berlin there has been a massive wave of craft beer bars opening across the city, thanks to rising demand from consumers wanting to pay a bit more for quality and originality. It is however, a long road ahead before we start seeing more craft beer in people’s homes in Berlin, but the potential is huge and thus we are fortunate to have Tifanny, Stefan and Dirk as flag bearers for artisanal and independent beer makers.

The Kick-off Party of Berlin Beer Week is on July 21st and there will be a craft beer cruise, equipped with over 40 beers from more than 40 local, national and international breweries.

It will be craft beer heaven for 4 hours as you cruise through the centre of Berlin. It will be one party you do not want to miss. Tickets are limited and you can buy them here: Kick-off Party Tickets

Berlin Beer Week 2017 Quick facts

A ten-day, multi-venue celebration of craft beer culture and
community with numerous events taking place throughout the capital.

Dates: July 21 – 30


*Image Credits: Berlin Beer Week & Berlin Loves You

House of Small Wonder – American Brunch meets Japan

Brunch is an institution for me…which has been stamped into my DNA during my 8 year stint in New York. No weekend is perfect, with out having a lazy afternoon with friends over eggs, sandwiches, coffee, and of course cocktails!

That last bit of cocktails is even more important, if I had a big night out and need something for that hangover, which I am hiding under baseball hat and sunglasses!

Since I have moved to this awesome city, I am constantly on the hunt to find the Top Berlin Brunch spots. I was fortunate enough to come across House of Small Wonder and without knowing anything about its origins, I thought I had to check it out.

House of Small WonderBerlin Brunch

Now when you try to go there for the first time, you will find the location a bit of mystery, because there is not a whole lot going on Johannistrasse, especially with the all the construction happening on the street right now. And with the location being right of Friedchstrasse with new glass building next to it, it’s not the most exciting place in Berlin to visit.

This entire feeling changes as soon as you walk into the ground floor entrance and when you see that staircase for the first time.

Berlin Brunch

Surrounded by potted plants and greenery, with tons of natural light, makes it one my favourite places to wait for a table upstairs! And yes unfortunately there will be wait to get spot, because it is very popular and judging by the number of Instagram posts on just the staircase, most people don’t seem mind the wait either 🙂

House of Small Wonder

Once you make your way up the winding staircase, this room, with large ceilings welcomes you, with really cool hipster décor, lots of wood and tons of natural light. This to me was so Brooklyn, when I first saw it!

House of Small WonderTop Brunch spot in Berlin

The food was simple but with a strong Japanese influence. Everything sounded fresh and there were a couple of things that just caught our eyes, which we had to try!

Homemade Biscuit Benedict

Homemade yogurt-scone with ham, soft cooked organic egg and wasabi hollandaise sauce

Eggs Benedict Berlin - House of Small Wonder

Kakuni Sandwich

Apple-fed pork belly kakuni on a wheat roll served with iceberg lettuce, tomato, sweet soy sauce and mustard mayonnaise. Served with spinach salad

Pork Belly Sandwich BerlinPork Belly Sandwich Berlin

Croque Madame

Ham and gruyere cheese sandwich griller with béchamel sauce and scrambled organic eggs

House of Small Wonder

I have been to House of Small wonder over four times since I have moved to Berlin and when I decided to write about the place, I discovered the co-founders, Mokoto Watanabe and Shaul Margulies created the first House of Small Wonder in Williamsburg, Brooklyn the summer of 2010! Ha! A month before I left New York to London! So clearly it was destiny for me to find this place and to be in my Top Berlin Brunch list!


TookTook Tips
  • Try to avoid the weekends, unfortunately this has hit a lot of the tourist lists and tends to be quite packed.
  • Get the Orange Juice, its super fresh!

  • if you only pick one thing, I would def pick between the pork belly sandwich and the house benedict. With my preference going to the sandwich, it is probably one of the best pork belly sandwiches you can get in Berlin right now!


Website: House of Small Wonder
Address:  Johannisstraße 20, 10117 Berlin
Price: €€
Friday 9AM–5PM
Saturday 9AM–5PM
Sunday 9AM–5PM
Monday 9AM–5PM
Tuesday 9AM–5PM
Wednesday 9AM–5PM
Thursday 9AM–5PM


Zweistrom – Shawarma & Falafel Heaven

I grew up in the Middle East in the 80’s and early 90’s. Fast food options were very limited. I still remember, when the first McDonald’s opened up in Saudi Arabia, the lines were insane! A three-story building packed with 100’s of golden arch groupies and the drive through lines that were already 50 cars deep, when you pulled in. Looking back at that today, it seems insane, because we are just talking about McDonald’s!

Luckily, despite the clear lack of options, before the explosion of restaurants, there was one undisputed king of all fast foods – The Shawarma!

The key for a good shawarma, regardless if it is chicken, beef or lamb, is the layering of the meat on the spit. It is the alternating patterns of meat and fat, rotating under even heat that gives the meat the right textures of burnt tips and tender pieces. The other key ingredients are pickled turnips, garlic mayo and amba (dipping sauce made of mangoes, vinegar, salt, mustard, turmeric, chilli and fenugreek).

All of which combines to give the perfect flavours. I did not know the word to describe it back then, but today I would call it pure Umami. Every single bite offered something interesting. The sour crunch of the pickled radish, in particular was my personal favourite

zweistrom berlin

There are not a lot of great shawarma places in Berlin. There two main reasons behind this. One – Arab immigrants are very new to Berlin. Two – This is still very much a doner city, so when you are looking for meat on a stick, most people head that direction.

I discovered Zweistrom in Prenzlauer Berg, when I recently moved to Berlin. The place is renowned for their falafels, which is how I found it.

zweistrom berlin

On first impressions, the place is super basic. With limited indoor seating and on good weather days, there are plenty of seats outdoors.

zweistrom berlin

The menu is basic with mixture of various tellers (plates) and with some options to get it in brot (bread) – the taboon bread is typically served across the Middle East and is the perfect carb base for shawarmas. This bread is an option as well with the tellers.

After the seeing the menu for the first time, I decided to try the mixed platter, in order to try everything Zweistrom has to offer. And boy I was not disappointed!

zweistrom berlin

Every single bite was fascinating and offered everything you want from the food! It was pure bliss and it felt like being in a time machine and transporting me back to those childhood moments of pure satisfaction!

I have been to Zweistrom, eating at the restaurant inside and outside. And I have also done take away. It is right up there for some of the best comfort food in town for me. It is also a treat to see their plates when you eat there, because they are truly a work of art! With a price of under 7.50 euros, this is one of the best value for money places in town!

zweistrom berlin

And as for as the reason for my first visit…I have to say….yes the falafels are good as well 🙂


TookTook Tips

  • Get the mix teller if you are super hungry. It is a lot of food!
  • I would recommend eating in over take away


Address: Kollwitzstraße 104, 10435 Berlin, Germany


Thursday 12PM–2AM
Friday 12PM–2AM
Saturday 12PM–3AM
Sunday 12PM–3AM
Monday 12PM–2AM
Tuesday 12PM–2AM
Wednesday 12PM–2AM:

Burgermeister – The most famous burger joint in Berlin

I love burgers! There are very few things in world that can satisfy the taste buds, like a well-prepared beef patty, crispy bacon, and basic condiments, in between a slightly crispy but soft bun.

And as simple as it sounds, it is very easy to screw it up. I have written about Tommi’s Burger Joint as one of those places that gets it right And while I would rank Tommi’s higher in terms of quality. There is however, no doubt in mind Burgermeister wins hands down in terms of originality and experience. Not to mention for under 5 euros for the regular burgers, you get the best value for money. And deserves to be in the exclusive club of high quality burger joints in Berlin!

Located right in the middle of Schlesisches Tor under the beautifully constructed train tracks of the U1 leading to and from Schlesisches Tor Ubahn station. The station itself is rooted in history as it is named after one of the former 18TH century city gates.

A further fun fact making this a truly unique venue is that the King of Berlin Burgers is located in what used to be a public toilette! Don’t worry, there is very little of that left apart from the signage!

The go to burger to get is the house burger the ‘Meisterburger’! It is simple affair, just the way I like it, a well cooked juicy patty with fried onions, mustard, bacon and bbq sauce in a bun. It is not too big or messy. Every bite is delicious and fills you up perfectly.

The fries and sauces are decent but nothing to shout about. Though if your part of the 1am-3am crowd, the enhanced craving for greasy food from a night out, will make the chili cheese fries seem outstanding!

At the end of the day, Burgermeister is the people’s burger. It is one of those few places in Berlin, where you will see all sections of society, together; enjoying the simplicity of what a burger should be all about!


TookTook Tips

  • Prepare for a long line during peak lunch hours and early mornings on the weekends.
  • The burgers are not huge, so if you are going for the regular burgers, get a side or another burger! If you are really hungry!
  • The Meisterburger is the go to burger of choice!


Address: U1 Schlesisches Tor, Oberbaumstraße 8, 10997, Berlin

Phone: +49 30 23883840

Website: Burgermeister


Tuesday 11am–3am
Wednesday 11am–3am
Thursday 11am–3am
Friday 11am–4am
Saturday 12pm–4am
Sunday 12pm–3am
Monday 11am–3am

Price: €

ABC – Allan’s Breakfast Club & Wine Bar

Breakfast aka Frühstück is very popular in Berlin and there are plenty of places to go to, if you are looking for the traditional German breakfast of fresh fruits, delicious bread, a variety of cheese, butter and boiled eggs. There are also ample cafés doing their hipster bit of making versions of eggs benedict with ‘artisanal bread’ – the type where you need a steak knife to cut through it or they serve massive bowls of muesli – which have enough yogurt to feed a family of four!

Unfortunately outside these two genres, there is very little out there for folks looking for an American style greasy affair to soak in all the booze from the night before. The things I dream of are hash browns, streaky bacon, corn beef hash, tatar tots, Biscuits and Gravy. The type of options you get in places like New York and London.

Luckily, it’s not all doom and gloom, as there are a few folks trying to break out of the vanilla brunch offerings and do things with care rather than trying too hard to stand out. And the leading light in this endeavour is Allan’s Breakfast Club (ABC).

Allan is the French owner and Head Chef. After spending a few years in Australia, and working in Berlin food scene, he started ABC, fusing the relaxed Aussie brunch culture with French elements – To create one of Berlin’s hottest Brunch spots.

I have been to visit Allan and his lovely staff, more than 6 times since I moved to Berlin. I have sampled most things on the menu and I have to give them high marks for friendly staff and making simple dishes with high quality ingredients.

While I am fan of their Eggs Benedict, I am even bigger fan of their bread bases dishes.

The French toast is genius with the nutella yogurt spread on the side.

The banana bread is just amazing! It’s perfectly baked and tastes amazingly fresh.

The Croque Monsieur may be the best one I have had so far in Berlin!

And if you are really hungry folks you can go for the ABC tasting plate to get the full spread of what the place can offer.

And of course if you got a hair of the dog moment, there is nothing like a strong bloody mary to help your weekend day along!

ABC is currently my go to comfort spot for a weekend meal and if you decide to go later in the evening, post 7:30pm, you also get to experience a vibrant wine bar with that same chill vibe you get for brunch.


TookTook Tips:

  • Make sure to get reservations for the weekend if you have a group. You can call a couple of days in advance usually and get a booking.

Address: Rykestraße 13, 10405 Berlin

Phone: +49 30 23925134

Website: ABC – Allans Breakfast Club & Wine Bar


Tuesday Closed
Wednesday Closed
Thursday 10AM–3PM, 6PM–12AM
Friday 10AM–3PM, 6PM–12AM
Saturday 10AM–4PM, 6PM–12AM
Sunday 10AM–4PM
Monday 10AM–3PM

Price: €€

Tommi’s Burger Joint – Comfort burger of choice

Tommi's Burger Joint Mitte

I am never a huge fan of chains but once in a while I make exceptions. Especially, when I have personally gone to a place over 4 times!

Tommi’s Burger Joint is currently on my exceptions list. This Icelandic import, currently has two locations in Berlin. The one on Invalidenstrasse 160 is stone throws away from where I live and one afternoon a few months ago I decided to go give it a go.


On first impressions, the place reminded me of the cult ‘Burger Joint’ in the Le Parker Meridien in NYC. Especially with the wooden furniture and cardboard signboards. The similarities even extend to how the burgers come out in white paper and to the size of burger. It makes you wonder if the inspiration for this institution comes from the place it shares a bit of their name.

Tommi's Burget Joint

Regardless of the obvious similarities and my nostalgic memories of living in New York, visiting and eating at the burger joint….Tommi’s does make consistently good fast food style burgers, which never disappoints!


The type of burger that satisfies your carnal craving for good old fashion beef, with simple seasoning, grilled medium-well to perfection. And not to mention, the perfect side of  McDonald’s size fries, which everyone loves, with out the sogginess.  Every batch is freshly made, to ensure you always get that crispy freshness in every bite.

Tommi Gunn's Burger Joint

There are better burger places in Berlin to get a Bacon Cheeseburger but this is my go to comfort burger in Berlin……for now.


TookTook Tips:

Try one of the two Einstök, Icelandic beers they have in bottles, white ale in particular goes really well with the burger.

Einstock Tommi's Burger Joint

Get their in house chipotle sauce. It’s a euro and totally worth adding to your burger, to give that tangy umami to the burger.

If your expecting a super quick meal during peak dinning hours of lunch and dinner, then skip it, because the place can get very crowded, averaging 15-20 minutes after you place your order.

Sweet potato fries are definitely worth getting if your sharing, but get the regular if your by yourself.

Website: Tommis Burger Joint

Address: Invalidenstrasse 160, 10115 Berlin

Telephone: +49 30 52132190

Timing: Monday – Sunday | 12:00 – 22:00  

Price: €