For the Techno Trendy
There’s a particularity to the tastes of Berlin music lovers, especially the techno types, that can make giving them gifts a tough task. Thankfully, with its massive collection of independent records and in-depth books on musical subcultures, Echo Bücher makes your job much easier. The book on prodigy producer Brian Eno is dependable for blowing the minds of electronica fans.
Where: Grüntaler Straße 9, 13359 Berlin
When: Mon.-Sat., 3-7 p.m.
More info: 030 48628448; echobuecher.com
For the Coffee Crazed
For that espresso-inspired maniac whose nose knows more aromas than a full-time barista, a fresh blend from The Barn, one of Berlin’s best specialty coffee roasters, will do. Whether you're after beans, equipment or even a delivery subscription for fresh bags of premium picks, The Barn is the epitome of specialized. Its enthusiastic fanbase is sometimes described as a "global cult," so you know this place offers only top-quality caffeinated wonders.
Where: Auguststraße 58, 10119 Berlin
When: Mon.-Fri., 7:30 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sat. & Sun., 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
More info: thebarn.de
For the Out-of-Towner
Few symbols of the city are as endearing as the Ampelmann. Those hat-wearing crossing icons of the former GDR may be nearly invisible to locals at this point, but that doesn’t mean visitors aren’t still in love with them. From water bottles and figurines to tote bags and adorable chocolates, this underrated shop has a huge variety of items for folks who aren’t so familiar with the city, but know they’d like to own a little piece of it.
Where: Unter den Linden 35, 10117 Berlin
When: Mon.-Sat., 9:30 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sun., 1-6 p.m.
More info: 030 20625269; Facebook
For the Ladies
Almost all of us know a lovely Berlin lass who has a few freshly opened Zalando boxes in the corner of her room. Whatever her style (or whatever you might want to grab for yourself), local retail startup Zalando has expanded beyond online delivery by opening a trendy brick-and-mortar outlet store. Whether it's that jaw-dropping pair she probably wouldn't splurge on for herself or an outlet gift card that lets her go nuts, you can be sure that Zalando will have the goods.
Where: Köpenicker Straße 20, 10997 Berlin
When: Mon.-Sat., 10 a.m.-8 p.m.
More info: 0800 3300996; zalando-outlet.de
For the Wild Types
For the most party-ready of your friends, nothing says "Merry Christmas!" quite like a jar of some sinus-clearingly strong drinkage. Made in Berlin using traditional moonshine methods learned in the United States, O’Donnell Moonshine, bottled in mason jars, brings out anyone’s inner bootlegger. Cocktail lovers should enjoy the original, bitter rose and roasted apple varieties. The truly gutsy can experience the full burn with the Appalachia-level high proof, if you dare.
Where: Utrechter Straße 22, 13347 Berlin
When: Mon.-Fri., 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
More info: 01515 7595805; Facebook
For the Vintage Obsessed
There’s gimmicky vintage and then there’s effortless vintage. You always want to give people the second one. Find it at a secondhand shop with a hilariously classic Berlin backstory that delivers hard on the cool factor. The thoughtful charm of Paul’s Boutique (named for the iconic Beastie Boys album) is a solid bet for fans of resurrected looks from the past. Have a gander at the selection of sportswear, especially Adidas. 'Cause you never rock Fila.
Where: Oderberger Straße 47, 10435 Berlin
When: Mon.-Sat., noon-8 p.m.
More info: 030 44033737; Facebook
For the Unapologetically Posh Dude
In a town as alternative as this one, sometimes the most standout-ish and rebellious thing one can do is simply look sharp. If you’re going to go the posh route, really go for it. In the world of menswear, that means British brand Ben Sherman. Sporting classic styles with modern cuts, its Berlin location is where to find crisp parkas and peacoats that will have ladies swooning and hipsters trying to ironically detach from the situation. Well, they might do that anyway.
Where: Rosenthaler Straße 31, 10178 Berlin
When: Mon.-Sat., 11 a.m.-8 p.m.
More info: 030 23257656