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.

Mundvoll Understated licks

When it comes to eating out, it’s easy to overcomplicate things, especially in a culinary lab like Berlin where it takes something pretty special to stand out from an already teeming crowd. But at some point, whilst drowning in a sea of foodie trends, it’s worth reevaluating how and where you really want to dine.

Mundvoll is the casual kid on the Kreuzberg block. Different in the sense that it has resisted being pigeonholed and special because it keeps things simple yet still has the punters coming back time after time.

The interior, mostly wooden, spacious and unencumbered, hits all the right notes—conveying warmth, not pretension—and the friendly service will have you appropriately settled and mellowed in no time. With a menu that changes daily, it’s about freshly crafted goodness across all tiers—from small soups, inventive salads and veal sandwiches to full-on haunches of goose and generous pasta dishes. So if you need a break from high-concept pop-ups and supper clubs, here you can go back to simple, quality basics.

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