Nowhere in Berlin is not further, than a stone's throw from some bar. There is a little Kneipe on almost every corner of the street, starting from the beer-murder room, and ending with exclusive venues for nightlife. Most venues are open longer, than in the rest of Germany; you can drink here around the clock without any major problems, for the law only requires, that bars close for one hour a day for cleaning.
The compactness and cosmopolitan nature of the city means, that the variety of restaurants is greater here, than in any other German city; national cuisine gives way here even to Greek dishes, Turkish, Balkan, Indian and Italian, and in many places you can dine for less than 15 DM. Almost all the better bars serve meals as well, often inexpensive, although in exclusive places an interesting item on the menu may turn out to be asparagus's plate 25 DM. Cheap take-away snacks can be purchased from the Imbiss kiosk - several brands for a Wurst or a hamburger.
Forty years of cheaper food in East Berlin have passed with the advent of the monetary union. This part of the city visibly falls short of the simply stunning culinary diversity of West Berlin. That does not mean, of course, that we are threatened with starvation here. You can always get crowded at Alexanderplatz, where vendors along the streets offer typical gastronomy of this type.
Below we list a few places located or in the center of East Berlin, be in Prenzlauer Berg. In these two districts that have long been home to small premises, it will be easiest for us to find something decent.
Typical, unpretentious bars are called Kneipe and can be found on street corners all over the city, and recognized by the heavy atmosphere and exclusively male clientele. The Kneipen is the cheapest to drink (a small beer costs approx 3 DM), and fun can be fun, if the regulars decide to befriend the guests. Women without bodyguards should remember, that this type of friendship can have unwelcome undertones: local women, as a rule, do not attend such places, opting for more exclusive bars and cafes. Below are mainly these types of premises. Berlin has much more expensive bars - often referred to as Szene (Scene) - where the pose is the most important (or its studied lack); there are also many themed venues, where you can just have fun with a mug. Although the more fashionable bars are more expensive, it's usually not overly so; because the bars are in studs, you can easily choose the one that suits you best. Most bars are open from early lunchtime, do 1.00 or 2.00 in the night, sometimes longer, do 3.00 or 4.00 in the morning.
Special Berlin beers include the Berliner Weisse, watery grain beer fermented from the top, to which usually a fruit syrup, or Schuss, is added for flavor. After asking for the myth, the grungy gets a bit frosty, which makes a green drink that tastes like liquid silage; mit rot is a drink for children with a raspberry flavor, perfect for breakfast.
Bars and cafes
Although you can enter any bar, that will catch your eye, there are some basic bar groupings in Berlin, all with enough venues for one evening, each slightly different in character. Lovers of a pleasant life gather around Savignyplatz, and the area around Nollendorfplatz and Winterfeldtplatz is the territory of all-night drunks and forty-year-olds. Political activists drink in Kreuzberg, punks and the Turkish community - this mixture makes this district so attractive. Better to avoid Ku'Damm and the stripping venues around the Europa Center, unless you like brawler soldiers or flooded businessmen.