The weather outside is frightful, but so is all that red on your Corona-Warn-App, and just because you can eat indoors at a restaurant or bump elbows with strangers at a packed Christmas market doesn’t mean you want to. Fortunately, sipping Glühwein outdoors with a few friends is legal (for now), and eating at home is still as safe as ever. Here are our top picks for Advent eating and drinking where only the holiday spirit will be contagious:
Glide into the season at Zenner
After a makeover from the owners of Else and Renate, the riverside biergarten in Treptower Park was an instant hit when it opened this summer. The winter version seems promising too, with belly-warming specials like homemade Glühwein, raclette, cheese spätzle and waffles served next to a genuine ice rink. Rental skates are available for those who need them; reserve a time slot for either skating or curling (www.zenner.berlin) or try your luck on the spot. The ice magic is planned until December 20.
Mon–Fri 14-22, Sat-Sun 10:30-22, Alt-Treptow 14–17, Treptow
Have a toast at Little Sundays
Bite Club’s back at Gleisdreieck with a special winter edition featuring a few of the vendors you already know and love (Tempeh-Hof, Gringo Kitchen) plus some extra holiday treats: a plant market, a local gift bazaar, fire pits, hot cocktails and more. The gooey vegan cookies from newbie LoveBites alone look like they’ll be worth the numb extremities.
Dec 5 and 12, 11-19, Jules/B-Part, Luckenwalder Str. 6b, Kreuzberg
Glühwein and nibbles at Hoffgarten
The Christmas market at Schloss Charlottenburg has been cancelled, but you can always escape to the terrace of the nearby Hoffgarten. Normally known for its seasonal, modern take on German cuisine, the restaurant will be serving up more down-to-earth delights like waffles, pulled pork burgers, stew and of course plenty of Glühwein on Fridays (15–18) and weekends (13–18) until Christmas.
Schloßstr. 10, Charlottenburg
Warm your cockles at Clärchens Ballhaus
The historic ballroom has set up a Christmas market in its front courtyard. Grab a steaming mug of Glühwein and soak up the booze with a gingerbread waffle or some gooey raclette. The twinkly lights and candy-cane awnings give this Mitte icon maximum Christmas vibes from Tuesday to Sunday.
Tue-Fri 17-22, Sat 14-22, Sun 14-19, until December 19, Auguststr. 24/25, Mitte
Takeout duck from Golvet
The Advent-only “Duck to Fly” package has fluttered in from the Michelin-starred Golvet restaurant. Chef Jonas Zörner has composed an at-home feast that’s every bit as fine as his seven-course meals, made up of roast duck for two to three people accompanied by kale, spiced red cabbage, pretzel dumplings and duck confit, plus “caraway souls” (Swabian caraway sticks) from Moabit’s celebrated Domberger bakery. The whole package will be on sale until December 22 for either €95 euros (if you pick it up) or €115 (if you get it delivered).
Potsdamer Str. 58, Tiergarten, www.golvet.de
Get your goose at Jolesch
After flirting with roast celery root last year, the Austrian Christmas pros are back with a bird-only Christmas menu, starring either German goose (€170) or its non-union Polish equivalent (€135). Either version comes with kale and red cabbage, potato dumplings and cranberry sauce. Dining alone this year? Grab a goose leg with the same toppings (€30). Order two days in advance for delivery from now right up until December 23.
Christmas chill with Fräulein Frost
It’s not winter unless there’s ice (cream) – at least, not at the beloved Neukölln ice cream parlour and its two outposts in Tempelhof and Schöneberg. Through the holiday season, they’re selling festive varieties like gingerbread and candied almond in 470g tubs to take home and devour in one sitting while watching all eight hours of the new Beatles documentary. While you’re at it, pick up some gingerbread (organic, vegan and gluten-free), Dresdener Stollen, waffle sticks or candied almonds, and grab a glass of mulled wine (or punch for the kids).