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Forget Michelin stars, pretentious tasting menus and 15-course meals that last 5 hours. The modern world of finer dining and haute cuisine is increasingly dominated by restaurants who offer a more casual experience, whilst still cooking at the highest level. These restaurants have a few things in common: They are almost always operated by cooks who formerly worked within fine dining restaurants, they offer a la carte dining (means you aren’t tied to a fixed menu), they (often) serve dishes that are easy to share with your table mates and there is usually an ambitious wine list that goes with the food. The origins of these kinds of restaurants can partially be traced to the “bistrofication” in Paris during the 2000s, where fine dining chefs took over simple, French bistros and used their experience to take the food to a new level. There is no great name for this kind of restaurant, but the two alternatives that we established over the last years have been “Modern Bistro” and “Casual Fine Dining”, which is the term we ended up using on Berlin Food Stories and the BFS Food Club. 

This curated list unlocks the world of Berlin's casual fine dining scene, where exceptional food meets relaxed vibes. From Neukölln's trendy hotspots to Wedding's hidden gems, and all the way to Charlottenburg's charming bistros, we've got you covered. Here, you won't find rankings – each restaurant is a celebration of culinary artistry in a comfortable setting, all according to the motto “Ditch the formality, embrace the flavor!” Explore innovative cooking at one spot, or savor perfectly executed, classical dishes at another. Whether you're seeking an intimate dinner or a lively night out with friends, this list will guide you to your ideal casual fine dining experience. So, skip the white tablecloths and embrace a new kind of dining adventure in Berlin. Go forth, explore, and discover the hidden gems where exceptional food meets a relaxed atmosphere!

  • Frieda

    Frieda, or Café Frieda, located in Berlin's Prenzlauer Berg district, right off Helmholtzplatz, is the casual sister restaurant of fun fine dining restaurant Mrs. Robinson's. Frieda is a modern casual fine dining restaurant and bar that offers a unique culinary experience for all types of diners. From their nose-to-tail philosophy to their extraordinary wine list, Frieda’s team, headed up by owner couple Ben Zviel and Samina Raza, are extremely conscious about their sourcing of food and wine and the result is a diing experience that seeks its counterpart in Berlin. Grab a table inside or on the busy curb or enjoy front-row seats by the open kitchen. The restaurant is perfect for visitors who want to try something new and exciting as the menu changes on a weekly basis, with dishes that fuse east and west and a hi-fi system that pays homage to Tokyo's audiophile listening bars. Frieda is a must-visit for anyone who wants to indulge in casual fine dining in a relaxed atmosphere while exploring one of Berlin's culinary gems.

    One of the best places for big pieces of meat and fish - don't leave without trying the soft serve.

  • Otto

    Otto is the cool neighborhood restaurant under the guidance of Berlin-born chef prodigy Vadim Otto Ursus that showed how the new generation of German chefs are able the create restaurant concepts that compete with the cool exoat-projects. Otto is a classical, modern farm-to-table concept with a strong focus on fermentation and smartly cooked, local ingredients. The location is a tiny venue and the drinks are focused on natural wines. During Corona they developed a formidable pantry selling a lot of items for your home cooking.

    Go for the specials - you won't be disappointed. The skilled team will present what is absolutely most in season - while supplies last!

  • Ora

    ORA, located in the heart of Kreuzberg, is a must-visit for anyone seeking a unique dining experience in the casual fine dining niche. Housed in a former 19th century pharmacy, the restaurant boasts one of the most stunning restaurant interiors in Berlin and lends a meal at ORA a unique setting. The kitchen at ORA, headed by Irishman Sam Kindillion, leans Italian but draws inspiration from all over the world, with a very strong focus on locally sourced ingredients from the Michelberger farm. You will also be well adviced to dive deep into their very strong wine offering.

    Try to score a seat inside in the back of the lower part of the restaurant for a stunning view of the venue during your meal

  • Mina Ristorante

    Located right on the canal near the East Side Gallery, the summers here will be absolutely epic. The concept is modern Italian with a Lebanese/Levantine touch, this means you start the meal with some excellent hummus and then make your way to an impossibly thin and crisp pizza, the point being not to get full and have enough room for the highlights, the pasta dishes and the mains. All the ingredients are of the best quality, service is impeccable and the atmosphere is really nice, more like a restaurant you would expect in London instead of Berlin. Their wine game is also very strong and includes some very interesting and rare bottles. If you haven't guessed by now, the catch is that it is pretty expensive for a “casual” place. So have a look at their online menu before you go.

    During the weekdays from 12:00 to 16:00 there's a 15% off on the food and desserts.

  • Brasserie Colette

    If you're looking for Berlin celebrity chef Tim Raue's take on classical French food, look no further than Brasserie Colette across the street from the KaDeWe. This charming restaurant in Wilmersdorf is a celebration of joie de vivre, with a focus on fine food, hospitality and enjoyment. With a menu conceptualized by Tim Raue himself, Brasserie Colette offers a modern interpretation of classic French brasserie dishes. From boeuf bourguignon to steak frites and their signature, Prawn Marocain, each dish is expertly crafted and, in true Tim Raue fashion, packs an abundance of flavor. A great place for lunch when shopping on Kudamm and a superb way to try a light version of the food at the Tim Raue's flagship restaurant.

    The "La Selection de Tim Raue" menu is a Geheimtip for any one looking to try an affordable and very tasty version of the Tim Raue food

  • November Brasserie

    November Brasserie is a distinguished dining destination in Berlin focusing on elegant and creative sushi, sashimi, and nigiri preparations. Discover a fusion of Japanese tradition and contemporary elegance as you step into an enchanting ambiance. Indulge in an exceptional dining experience as you savor meticulously crafted sushi creations, showcasing the freshest and highest quality ingredients, expertly prepared by skilled artisans. With its refined atmosphere, impeccable service, and an unwavering commitment to culinary excellence, November Brasserie is a haven for sushi enthusiasts and discerning diners seeking an playful gastronomic adventure in the heart of Berlin.

    A Katsu sandwich for dessert is fair play.

  • Jaja

    Indulge in the ideal world of wine and small plates at JaJa, a hip wine bar off Sonnenallee that offers a refined atmosphere and an extensive selection of exceptional wines. Immerse yourself in the inviting ambiance as you explore a curated collection of wines from around the world, expertly chosen - sure to delight wine enthusiasts. With its knowledgeable staff and impeccable service, JaJa provides an elevated wine-tasting experience, making it a must-visit destination for hungry connoisseurs and those looking to expand their vinous horizons.

    Don't miss out on their wonderful selection of natural wines.

  • Estelle

    Indulge in the culinary delights of Estelle, a charming restaurant in Berlin. Immerse yourself in the elegant ambiance as you savor a delectable selection of dishes, meticulously crafted with creativity and finesse. From innovative appetizers to mouthwatering main courses and decadent desserts, Estelle showcases a fusion of flavors and a dedication to culinary excellence. With its warm hospitality and a focus on delivering a memorable dining experience, Estelle is the perfect destination for food enthusiasts seeking a delightful and sophisticated culinary journey in Berlin.

    If you love food and have kids, this is the place! There's a playground right next door! Their weekday lunch and weekend brunch are the highlights.

  • ITA Bistro

    ITA Bistro is an incrediby hip spot located right on Helmholtzplatz in Prenzlauer Berg that's slinging creative pan-Latin American dishes to an incredibly hip crowd of well-heeled expats and echte Berlinners alike. Slide through for a perfectly cold draft beer and a selection of their smaller plates (that's where they really shine). Also, not to be missed is their house wine - grab a bottle to split over a causa and some other Insta-friendly fare.

    The tlayuda really is that good - give it a strong whack with the back of your spoon and dig in!

  • Barra

    Barra, located in the trendy Neukölln district, offers an urban and minimalist dining experience with a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. This cozy and welcoming restaurant, run by Head Chef Daniel Remers and his partner Kerry Westhead, specializes in modernm produce focused cuisine served in the form of small sharing plates, highlighting high-quality ingredients sourced from the region. Their lovely wine list, focused on natural wines with a lot of choices from Easten Europe, perfectly complements the dishes, and the portion sizes and value for money are best of its calss. Whether you're looking for a casual evening with friends or a romantic date night, Barra is a great choice for those seeking a trendy dining experience in Berlin. Reservations are a must!

    Make sure to get a plate of the daily pasta and don't miss the cardamon dessert

  • Sathutu

    Sathutu's opening created waves in the Berlin food scene in 2021. It managed to put a German (Berlin, even?) spin on some of Sri Lanka's most iconic flavors. Boneless chicken pieces fried to perfection and topped with curry leaves has become the restaurants flagship dish, but the vegetarian dishes are a way to feel the versatility of Sathutu. The friendly service helps to elevate the experience, and the uber minimalist decor, even more so. This is the restaurant Prenzlauer Berg didn't know it needed.

    Colombo Chicken is a favorite, but the coconut roti with black dhal and burn butter is what dreams are made of.

  • Restaurant REMI

    Remi, located near Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz, offers a modern European cuisine with a focus on regional ingredients. The restaurant's minimalist interior and open kitchen set the stage for a dining experience that showcases the chef's creativity and passion. The menu changes regularly, but always features beautifully crafted dishes with unique flavor combinations that highlight local and seasonal ingredients. With a carefully curated wine list and knowledgeable staff, Remi is the perfect destination for a romantic night out or a celebratory dinner with friends.

    Bring a larger group or your family to order basically the entire menu so you can try everything - it's all solid.

  • Mastan

    Francophiles rejoice! Mastan is not one to be forgotten. The interior is giving "fine French restaurant", very white tablecloths with a lot of beautiful wood around, executed with attention to detail, as is the service. The menu is a la carte with a focus on classical, French meat dishes and a lot of offal. They are serving some amazing terrines, tartare, black pudding and guinea fowl. You don’t really see this kind of French cooking in Berlin,  using such good produce and keeping it real in a classy but still not-too-fancy setting. Definetely worth a visit.

    Do not jump straight to the mains, the appetizers are the stars of the show.

  • Funky Fisch

    Discover the culinary marvel that is Funky Fisch, a contemporary seafood restaurant nestled in Charlottenburg, Berlin. As a brainchild of renowned chef and restaurateur The Duc Ngo, Funky Fisch offers a fresh and vibrant dining experience -- it's a party every night. The moment you step inside, a display of fresh fish greets you at the expansive counter, while cozy wooden tables create intimate dining spaces, some overlooking the bustling kitchen. With an enticing menu, choosing becomes a delightful challenge, but do make sure you get a few starters before you pick a fish from the open display, which then is prepared to your exact liking. Each dish at Funky Fisch embodies utter culinary style, in a city known for it's lack of seafood.

    Make sure you get the popcorn shrimp!


    SACREBLEU! is a bistro and winebar that helps fill a void in the Berlin dining scene - see and be seen. Memorable plates and wines served in a stylish, yet casual environment make for a great evening. There's a real focus on the food here, so expect well-executed seasonal sharing plates like king trumpet mushrooms served with a parsley root puree and a kombu emulsion or line-caught Hamachi served with radish. It's worth spending a few hours picking through the menu and sampling a few of their stellar by-the-glass wine selection, to see what SACREBLEU! is all about.

    Don't miss the oeuf mayonnaise or the cheesecake. Also, be sure to wear your snazziest duds and your chunkiest shoes - this is deep in the heart of the cool kid 'szene.

  • La Côte

    Indulge in a culinary escape to casual fine dining at La Côte, a charming big city restaurant tucked into Schillerkiez. Step into an elegant and inviting atmosphere where the food and drink service will transport you to big European city life. With its impeccable service, refined ambiance, and a menu that would tickle the interest of any experiencrd diner, La Côte promises a dining experience that captures the essence of great hospitality and leaves a lasting impression on discerning palates.

    Sit at the bar if you're rolling solo for an enjoyable evening. Best octopus in town? We think so!

  • Pars Restaurant

    Pars Restaurant in Berlin is a contemporary fine-dining restaurant that offers set 6-course menus with a focus on Mediterranean cuisine. The chefs draw inspiration from various regions and cuisines, resulting in a unique blend of flavors and dishes. The restaurant's interior is modern and stylish, providing a comfortable and intimate dining experience. Overall, Pars Restaurant is a must-visit for anyone looking for a high-end culinary experience in Berlin.

    Great place for contemporary, produce focused cooking in the West.

  • Michelberger Restaurant

    Michelberger Restaurant is a contemporary hotel restaurant located in the trendy district of Friedrichshain, just off East Side Gallery. The menu offers a modern European cuisine with a strong focus on seasonal and locally sourced ingredients from their own farm in Brandenburg and the kitchen is fanous for its extensive offering of vegetarian and vegan dishes. Head Chef Andreas Rieger is known for his highly creative cooking and should prepare yourself for food that challenges you. According to the Michelberger Hotel principles, you will not find any commercial f&b brands in the restaurant. There is an incredibly charming outdoor terrace in the backyard, which frequently features live music (the hotel is a popular refuge for Indie artists).

    The restaurant also offers one of the Berlin's best hotel breakfasts

  • Anleger zum Eierhäuschen

    Nestled in Plänterwald, amongst lots of construction which promises great things for the area, lies this renovated Beer Garden. Foodwise, especially for a biergarten, they're playing at a much higher level than your average, but still enjoyable, Berliner beer watering hole. The menu is traditional; potato salad, Bratwurst, Fischbrötchen, seasonal green salads, and crunchy potatoes -- all elevated with great care for quality and presentation. There's also beer on tap, wine by the glass, a selection of soft drinks, and coffee and ice cream. A small but great playground is just around the corner, perfect for a family day out. Once this place is fully open, it will be an absolute highlight in town.

    The green salad's dressing is amazing! and you can order extra sausages without bread.

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