What to Eat
Food recommendations by Berlin-based gallerists

Duncan Ballantyne-Way, APR 2024

The Best Mini-éclair in Town by Cinta Villapadierna-Kewenig 

Cinta Villapadierna-Kewenig, Photo: Edgar Herbst

Founded in 1986 in Frechen near Cologne, Kewenig (then called Jule Kewenig) relocated permanently to Berlin in 2013, four years later it was taken over by Justus F. Kewenig who now runs it with his wife, Spanish-born Cinta Villapadierna-Kewenig. Alongside a space in Mallorca, the gallery encompasses three Berlin locations with its main site housed in the city’s second oldest surviving townhouse in Museum Island. There’s also an occasional showroom in a former sub-station in Moabit as well as the pied-à-terre in Charlottenburg, near where the couple live. This small gallery space with its black wooden floors, is “surrounded by delightful places to eat.” Says Cinta Villapadierna-Kewenig.

Ristorante Osteria Centrale Berlin – Bleibtreustr. 51

“A short walk from pied-à-terre is the family-run restaurant Osteria Centrale. Visiting them feels a bit like coming home for us, we’ve known them for years. We love it because it is so very easy going, with delicious, high quality, simple food – without doubt the best Ragu in town! The Italian father is in the kitchen and the Spanish mum runs the place, the children also work in the restaurant. So it’s really fun and you can just enjoy the easy ambience of watching them all scurrying around in there.

pied-à-terre Mommsenstr. 4

Cinta and her husband love the elevated atmosphere of Charlottenburg, and when there’s a Saturday morning opening at pied-à-terre, “we serve croissants and champagne, it’s very decadent! The gallery has a really different feel compared to our Mitte space. At pied-à-terre you have the whole neighbourhood passing by and when they come in they’re not afraid to ask to see the price list straightaway.”

Robert’s Café – Patisserie Bleibtreustr. 50

Just across the street is one of Charlottenburg’s  (it’s rather further down the street) lesser known gems, the patisserie, Robert’s Café. “It’s a tiny place, also run by a husband and wife team. Christina, the chief pâtissière, makes the most incredible Éclair and Paris-Brest; just really, really high class French desserts. It’s by far the best I’ve tried in Berlin. Her husband is in charge of the coffee, which is also really good and I go there just about every day! We once had a problem with one of our artist dinners in Mitte, that same day I dropped by and asked if they could rustle up 500 mini-éclair. They managed with just two days notice and everyone said it was the best thing about the whole party.

Heno Heno Berlin – Wielandstrasse 37

There’s a great, hidden Japanese place in Charlottenburg that is again really quite small. There’s no sushi but mainly some incredible soups, curries and rice dishes. It’s super simple with a tiny menu and walking in there is like entering into another different world. But it’s become serious hyped recently and at lunchtime you’ll never come across a more packed place in the area.

The Most Austrian Schnitzel by Patrick Ebensperger

Austrian-born Patrick Ebensperger started his gallery 19 years ago in Graz, Austria, where he still maintains a small vitrine. Alongside its main hub in Berlin, it also has a small off-space in Vienna. The gallery has moved a staggering 10 times during its lifetime, with each new space subtly changing the direction of the programme. Last year the gallery moved from Wedding to the Fichtebunker, a nineteenth-century gasometer and Second World War air-raid shelter in Kreuzberg. Patrick is enjoying the new art audience he is encountering in Kreuzberg which is “younger, maybe hipper. We find that people and collectors living next door are dropping by all the time. That sort of thing wouldn’t happen so often in Wedding, which is more artist based.”

Patrick Ebensperger

Tulus Lotrek Restaurant − Fichtestraße 24

“Just down the road is this fantastic Tulus Lotrek, a Michelin restaurant that I just really love. The dinner concept is of course strange because you can only order the whole four course or five course menu. So you only go once in a while, you wouldn’t have your staff Christmas party there! But it’s a fantastic place to go when you want really upper class food.”

Fichtebunker, Kreuzberg

Ebensperger are the first artspace to move into the bunker but Patrick believes more will follow as additional spaces are renovated. “You need to envision what it will eventually become. But there always needs to be one pioneer. Even after moving as many times as we have, this door opening aspect is super important to me.”

St. Barts – Graefestrasse 71. and Unkompress – Fichtestraße 23

“I don’t go to bars all that often because I haven’t drunk alcohol for about 15 years – I found it just took so much more energy from me that it gave to me. So when I do go out it’s usually for food. When I’m with friends I find St. Barts, with its long bar, offers a great combination between food and drink. We go there fairly often and the atmosphere is always fantastic. If I want to go to a classic bar to meet people it’s usually at Unkompress, a listening bar and hangout. It has live DJ sets and serves natural wine and filter cafe but it’s very small venue maybe for about 15 people.”

Wirtshaus zum Mitterhofer – Fichtestraße 1
“I love this fantastic Wirtshaus, a wonderfully low key and easy restaurant. And for me being Austrian, I never can say no to a good schnitzel! But what I really love about this restaurant is that it is on the same street, just a short walk down the road.”

Picnics, Churches and Revolutionary Walks by Jennifer Chert

Jennifer Chert

Jennifer Chert founded her gallery Chert in 2008, before being joined by Florian Lüdde in 2016 and Clarissa Tempestini in 2023. Having been based in Kreuzberg for over a decade, the gallery moved to its current location in Schöneberg in early 2022. Jennifer also recently moved away from Kreuzberg to the local area and now really “enjoys the slower pace of life and the single stores that have been around since the 60s and 70s. The atmosphere is charming and one gets the feeling that it’s been like this for a very long time.”

Ksara – Crellestrasse 17

Jennifer prefers self-organized picnics to restaurants, but some places make exceptions: “There is a very excellent Lebanese restaurant, called Ksara, just around the corner. It’s lovely because it’s at the end of this small Plaza where two streets cross and no cars are allowed. There’s a little stone fountain, and walking there in summer feels like entering an Italian town of the peripheries. When I go there, I sit at one of its outside tables and stay for ages, enjoying being outside and the good food.”


The area around the gallery is full of Berlin landmarks, including the famous Langenscheidtbrücke, the location of the famous motorbike accident in the film Wings of Desire. “There’s also the Apostel-Paulus-Kirche, which is a real unexpected beauty. I’m not religious, but it is in my culture as an upbringing, and I find these places fascinating. This evangelic church was built in the 1890s and badly damaged during the Second World War. It’s covered with frescoes on the walls and stained glass windows. If you’re around this part of town, peep inside.”

Urban Walks

“There’s a wonderful book we sell in our gallery bookshop called Revolutionary Berlin: A Walking Guide by Nathaniel Flakin, an American-German historian based in Berlin. It is an alternative guide to the city. I know this goes beyond our area, but it is a brilliant research that can introduce you to many of the hidden stories in the city. It shows you where historical riots happened, important places for the queer community, or allows you to follow in the footsteps of Rosa Luxemburg. I once found myself inside a Zapf Umzüge (storage and moving company) in Britz on a quest to find a displaced GDR Lenin statue per Nathaniel’s instructions. He also does tours a few times a month, and I can’t recommend them enough.”

The Art of the Aperitif by Tina Wentrup

Founded in 2004, Wentrup Gallery was formerly located in Kreuzberg before moving to its current location in a listed brick building in Charlottenburg. Recently the gallery opened an additional space in Venice. Tina Wentrup, who lives with her husband, and gallery co-founder, Jan Wentrup, in a flat above the gallery, was delighted to “take over one of the best locations in Knesebeckstraße, it has huge windowfront and is wonderfully close to excellent restaurants and coffee bars.”

Tina Wentrup, Photo: Patricia Parinejad

Giro Coffee Bar − Knesebeckstraße 5

“I’m a huge fan of coffee bars which is why I’m really drawn to Giro. It’s run by a fantastic young lady called Pia who brings the sunshine in the morning with her big smile. It has this old wooden bar that reminds me of being in Milan or Venice, where you just can stand around having nice chats with people you’ve never met before. It’s a really nice place to start the day and I always grab a double espresso. I just love it, the coffee’s delicious.”

Enoteca L’Angolino − Knesebeckstraße 92

As a legacy of her time living in Paris, Tina likes nothing more than meeting friends after work and enjoying an aperitif before dinner. “For me this time is precious. I like to go to a bar and have drinks at midnight but there’s something special about meeting your friends after work, having a glass and letting the day go down. We often go to Enoteca L’Angolino, a family business run by Claudio and his daughter. They have fantastic wines and delicious pasta and Claudio often brings out small selections of food and then of course, three hours later, you’re still there! It’s so uncomplicated and nicely done with a fantastic chef as well.”

Bostich − Ludwigkirchstraße 10A

“It opened about two years ago and architecturally I would say it is one of the more interesting bars. I really love seafood and you get delicious oysters here which remind me of Marseille. It has an excellent choice of French wine and champagne and you can just stay at the bar or pick a table. It’s just a lovely place to hangout.”

Bar Brass − Am Spreebord 9

For fine dining, Tina recommends visiting Bar Brass attached to Noack on the banks of the River Spree: “This one I really love for dinner as well, a really high class place. We know Mohammad Reza, one of the three chefs and I really love his food. I find that I barely go to places where I’m not in love with the people as well, and this has the perfect combination of people there.”