With an endless array of goodies from the tastefully artisan to the unapologetically hipster, the best of Prenzlauer Berg isn't behind the doors of some secret club or fretfully guarded by international foodies. No, it's hiding in plain sight. Just beyond the bustle of Eberswalder Straße hides the quaint and calming Kollwitzkiez, a corner of the neighborhood where things are a little more intimate and a lot more inviting.

Bun Bao

Fancy fusions

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In an ultra-futuristic space with art hanging from the ceiling, Bun Bao brings next-level taste to burgers of the carnivorous and veggie varieties. Spacious and colorful, it’s a good spot for groups. Walk-ins are welcome, but reservations are wise.

Where: Kollwitzstraße 84, 10435 Berlin
When: Mon.-Thurs. & Sun., noon-10 p.m.; Fri. & Sat., noon-11 p.m.
More info: +49 (0)30 23495641bao-burger.de

Impala Coffee

Morning majesty

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Since 2003, Impala Coffee has been serving fine brews and welcoming passersby with its sleek interior, polite staff and breakfast snackage. A fantastic spot for smoothies and toasted bagels (get yours with salmon), Impala offers a divine way to start the day.

Where: Schönhauser Allee 173, 10119 Berlin
When: Mon.-Fri., 7 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sat. & Sun., 8 a.m.-8 p.m.
More info: +49 (0)30 40505485; impala-coffee.com


Relaxed charm

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Classy without veering into opulence, Nachtigall (Nightingale) holds onto the soul of old Prenzlauer Berg while maintaining a sentiment all its own. German, and even sometimes the Berlin dialect, still takes precedence over English. A warmly lit spot for a nightcap, a date or a rousing evening of storytelling among friends, Nachtigall sings a song all its own.
Where: Knaackstraße 43, 10435 Berlin
When: Mon.-Weds., 6 p.m.-2 a.m.; Thurs.-Sat., 6 p.m.-4 a.m.
More info: +49 (0)173 3210708; Facebook


A place to raise your glass

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Khushi has succulent, spicier-than-average (for Germany) Indian food and some of the nicest servers in all of Prenzlauer Berg. A splendid cocktail selection is another one of this place's many endearing qualities. But perhaps best of all: Happy hour starts at 6 p.m. — and doesn’t stop.

Where: Kollwitzstraße 37, 10405 Berlin
When: Mon.-Thurs. & Sun., noon-midnight; Fri. & Sat., noon-1 a.m.
More info: +49 (0)30 48493790; khushi-berlin.de


Pool & Cigars at Kulturbrauerei

For hotshots

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Nestled within the extensive universe of the Kulturbrauerei, Pool & Cigars is an outpost of elegance in the center of a complex better known for its kitschy clubs. Puff on Cuba's finest export and revel in a grand game of billiards across from an old-school bar. Be sure to call and reserve a table.
Where: Schönhauser Alle 36, 10435 Berlin
When: Mon.-Fri., 5 p.m.-late; Sat. & Sun., 1 p.m.-late
More info: +49 (0)30 40500436; poolandcigars.de

8mm Bar

Being like the cool kids

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The story of Prenzlauer Berg in the last decade and a half is largely one about gentrification, both good and bad. 8mm Bar is certainly a symbol of the former variety. While some see new money and new residents as a call to homogenize, 8mm stays creative and quirky, hosting surreal parties in its satisfyingly grungy setting.
Where: Schönhauser Allee 177b, 10119 Berlin
When: Mon.-Thurs., 7 p.m.-4 a.m.; Fri.-Sun., 7 p.m.-5 a.m.
More info: +49 (0)30 40500624; 8mmbar.de

By Jesse Van Mouwerik

Berlin-based illustrator and columnist Jesse Van Mouwerik is an avid fan of art, whisky sours and being alive. When the aliens land, he will draw them a picture.