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Salumeria Lamuri Honor thy lunch

Da Baffi came, saw and conquered the stomachs of this city back in 2011. And all from the unlikeliest of Wedding footholds too. Not content with being emperor of the night, however, they have also now opened a sister lunchtime spot – bringing their whisker-licking cuisine down to Kreuzberg 36.

Uncovering an absolute gem of a property – dating back to 1870 when it used to be a butcher’s shop – the pristine mosaiques and carved wooden ceiling of Salumeria Lamuri make for an extraordinary setting. Even if it is just for a morning espresso or afternoon biscotti.

That said, as with most Italians, food takes pride of place here. The menu changes every day and usually consists of a well-honed selection of soups, salads, panini, pastas and risottos; plus one more substantial secondo dish. It’s all rivetingly fresh and soul-soothingly good – the gooey spinach, gorgonzola and walnut risotto, for example, having just the right amount of blue-cheese kick.

For those inspired by the experience to take their home-cooking beyond the ready-made tortellini and pesto stage, luckily it also operates as a delicatessen, peddling a bunch of fine pastas, wines and whatnot. Just in time too, seeing as the neighborhood Netto across the street recently burned to the ground.

La Pecora Nera Black sheep, done good

Somewhere deep down inside, we all have an Italian mamma. And in this joyous make-believe world, she cooks exactly like they do at La Pecora Nera. This being Berlin, however, the chef sports tattoos and untamed whiskers, but trust us, this is the real deal.

Roberto Falcone comes from Veneto and serves straight-up classics from his native region to an insatiable Schillerkiez clientele: Think lush slabs of polenta grilled with put-a-fork-in-it salsiccia and tangy radicchio leaves, or long chewy tubes of bigoli pasta with a rich meaty duck sauce. The menu here is as tight as the aforementioned animal’s arse and doesn’t miss a step. Variety is provided by the daily specials which dance to a veggie-Tuesday, fish-Friday, roast-Sunday kind of rhythm – and there’s a traditional Venetian spritz happy hour every day from 6-8pm.

In the not so Siberian months, there’s also a wonky pavement overlooking a red-brick church on which to imbibe the aperitif or one of their exclusive northern Italian wines. All in all, for this sort of money, it doesn’t get much tastier, or cosier, in this city.

Anna Durkes Genius gelato

When the summer sun beats down, Berliners make a beeline for three things: Lakes, beer gardens and ice-cream parlours. The more discerning Eis lovers among them head to Anna Durkes. Anna and Giorgio — the husband and wife team behind this picturesque, pastel-colored spot — are masters of treating the overheating hordes to super-authentic Italian gelato, all made with love, by hand, and on-site.

The flavors run the gamut from creamy to fruity — so you can experiment with differing combinations to temper a rich cacao, caramelia or creme al limone with a scoop of fresh fragola, passion fruit or melone. Whatever your scoop, just be ready for a full-frontal assault on the taste buds. Basically, this precocious Italian upstart has usurped the much-hallowed crown of finest gelato in Berlin – bar none.

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