Know Before You Go: Moabit
Berlin Local: Moabit
Even though Berlin itself is not that old a city by European standards Moabit is even younger. It is thought that the first settlers here were the French Protestant Huguenot refugees 300 years ago and by the late-19th Century it had developed industrially and residentially into what we would recognize today.
After the Post-War division of Berlin, Moabit fell within the Western Zone of Occupation, more specifically withing the British Sector. Originally within the District of Tiergarten in 1993 it was merged with the district of Mitte, the former centre of East Berlin and the main historical core of the city.
In later posts we will talk about the incredible history of Moabit but what about Moabit today?
It's a little quieter compared to some of the other districts in Berlin but is in a very, very convenient location with excellent and quick travel connections to the historical core of Berlin and also the Tiergarten and Zoolögischer Garten (which was the centre of West Berlin)
Described as a 'social catastrophe' 10 years ago the Kiez has undergone rapid change or gentrification. That said, it still maintains its slightly edgy character and is certainly far from sanitized. This is not the place that you would come to for wall-to-wall bars, and strips of restaurants but there are some absolute gems in 'the Kiez' and these are almost guaranteed to be far away from the tourist crowds.
Top Moabit Tips
The Arminius Markthalle
One of the must see/do cultural sites in Moabit is the Arminius Markthalle. Open from Mondays - Saturday it is one of the 3 surviving market halls in the city. Within it are numerous kitchens from all over the world, including Peruvian, Serbian, Italian, Austrian, Vietnamese, Canadian....there is also an rather upmarket Kitchen selling fish and chips!! If you anted food for later then there are numerous stalls selling gorgeous artisan breads and cheese's and meats.
Sounds like thirsty work right? Well, you will be pleased to know that there are also 3 lovely bars within the Markthalle, the newest one selling exclusively the Pilsner Urquell (in tanks direct from the Czech Republic) and also a bar selling fantastic locally-produced craft beers from Brewmeister.
The Markthalle is always shut on Sundays and sometimes entrance can be limited if there is an event being held there (these are almost always in the evenings and sometimes means that just part of the Markthalle is non-accessible. Generally the Markthalle is open between 8am - 10pm...kitchen usuallly open at 12pm with last orders at 9pm.
With its diverse demographics the options for eating in Moabit are also varied. Here are some of my favourites.
The Crunch Kantine is the the sort of you could walk by by if you did, and you were vegetarian or vegan then you would be missing out. Run single-handedly by a English chap Mike. Among the homemade desserts and fresh juices the main attraction is the superb "Eat-all-you-need" buffet of 14 dishes made from seasonal fresh produce. Worth the trip to a quiet part of Moabit for sure.
Crunch Kantine is open Wednesday - Sunday 12pm - 6pm (later opening is possible with reservation.
Located just a coupe of minutes walk from Turmstrasse U-bahn station this popular Falafel joint does, in the authors humble opinion at the least the best Fallafel in the whole of the city....and least better than any I have tried. Its pretty frantic at times, you may cow at the sight of the queue, you may feel that the staff working there could do with some customer-service training....but when you bite into the fallafel or hallumi (or hallumi and fallafel) sandwich you know it was worth it.
Located literally a stones throw away from Birkenstrasse U-Bahn Station Arema is another Moabit gem. Beautiful breakfasts and traditional but not boring German cuisine, it is a restaurant that has never let me down whether going there as a couple or with larger group. There is a weekly menu but I am usually drawn to one of two dishes when I frequent the establishment...either the Schnitel with bacon bits and fried potatoes or the Pork Steaks with Spätzle.
Breakfasts are until 4pm (which is handy if too much beer is consumed the night before) and the Restaurant/cafe is open from 9am - 1am daily.
Drinks & Nightlife
Kallasch & Moabiter Bar Projekt
Kallasch& Moabiter Bar Projekt is another low-key gem in Moabit that offers a little something for everyone. it hosts small concerts, poetry-slams, Mariokart tournaments as well as films on select evenings. Cosy but rough around the edges; it has that improvised, shabby Berlin feel about it and in a city with thousands of bars this one is highly regarded. Open from 5pm Wednesdays - Sundays (closing times vary). There is no website but check out their facebook page to see whats going on.
Another quirky bar/cafe right by Birkenstrasse U-Bahn. It is a beast of two halves. Cafe during teh day with really incredible breakfast, a little chaotic but in a nice way. and at night it turns in to a popular but low-key bar.G