If your travels place you in Berlin for Christmas, book your reservations at the following destinations, that are known for their holiday offerings.
If your travels place you in Berlin for Christmas, you don’t have to resign yourself to your hotel’s uninspiring room service menu for your holiday dinner plans. Likewise, if you happen to call Berlin home, you don’t have to take on the task of preparing a big dinner for the whole family in order to enjoy a celebratory meal—unless you really want to that is. While many restaurants in Berlin do close for Christmas Eve, you’ll still be able to book a memorable meal on Christmas Day at spots across the city, and the following destinations are known for their holiday offerings. Just make sure to book your reservation well in advance so you’re guaranteed a spot!
Located close to the picture-perfect square that is Gendarmenmarkt, Borchardt has been around since 1853, and stands as an institution in the Berlin dining scene. Inside, you’ll find tightly grouped booths and tables situated around four big marble pillars, and patterned tiled floor. It’s the kind of place that attracts local celebrities and has its regulars who return for the scene and go-to dishes like the large schnitzel. If you’re looking for a lively dining experience for Christmas, then Borchardt is the spot for you, since it’s known to get loud, busy, and crowded during peak dining times and the holidays. Past Christmas menus have included chestnut soup, goose, and yes, their signature schnitzel.
For a Christmas dining option away from the city center, consider Restaurant Scheune in Grunewald. The decor is homey and warm inside with wooden chairs and tables and large windows, and here, you can partake in their famous roast goose, which is a German holiday tradition. It’s either a quarter goose for an individual serving, or you’ll get the whole goose if it’s four of you eating it. Restaurant Scheune even offers their goose to go (available by pick-up or delivery by courier) so you can enjoy a restaurant-quality meal from the comfort of your home. All you’ll have to do is heat in the oven for 35 minutes. Try and save room for the restaurant’s Kaiserschmarrn, which comes served as a family portion with raisins, applesauce, plum compote, and vanilla ice cream.
Grimm’s Tischlein deck’ Dich
Even if you’re not staying at the three-star Grimm’s Hotel near Potsdamer Platz, you may still want to venture inside to eat at their restaurant, Tischlein deck’ Dich. Featuring a simple, contemporary interior design, Tischlein deck’ Dich offers a few different multi-course Christmas menu options, and a sample would be carrot-ginger soup to start, crispy goose leg with gravy as the main, and a waffle with cherries and ice cream for dessert. Interested in enjoying the holiday meal elsewhere? The restaurant provides a Christmas takeaway package that includes a goose that’ll feed four to five people, multiple side dishes, and a bottle of mulled wine. If that sounds like what you want, you’ll need to pre-order it at least five days in advance. Tischlein deck’ Dich is happy to host company Christmas parties and buffets too.
Dreh-Restaurant Sphere im Berliner Fernsehturm
When it comes to dining in Berlin with a view, the top choice—literally—is Dreh-Restaurant Sphere in the TV Tower. Not only is the restaurant located up in the tallest structure in the city (and actually the whole country for that matter), but it also slowly revolves so you’ll get a 360-degree view of your surroundings without ever having to stand up from the table. Rather than a single set menu, you’ll have a few different options on Christmas day to choose from, but whatever you pick, you’ll get to say you dined in one of Berlin’s most popular tourist attractions. Keep your fingers crossed for clear skies during your visit, and make a table reservation next to the window so you’re guaranteed to get the best views possible.
Head out east from Berlin’s city center to the district of Köpenick to reach Ratskeller Köpenick. This restaurant is found at the bottom of a beautiful, red-bricked town hall building, which dates back to the early 20th century. Really, all of the immediate surroundings are picturesque since Ratskeller Köpenick is in the middle of the old town, right at the intersection of the Spree and Dahme rivers. Vaulted ceilings, candles, and red-and-black decor make for a cozy, intimate atmosphere, and you can be sure the place will be outfitted in Christmas decor and serving up hearty, traditional German dishes. If you’re lucky, you’ll get to hear some jazz music performed live too since the place is known for hosting jazz performances.
What’s a Typical German Christmas Dinner?
What’s considered a typical Christmas dinner in Germany varies depending on what region you’re looking at—and a family’s personal traditions, of course. That being said, one of the most popular dishes you’ll see served in the country for the holiday is roasted goose, or sometimes duck. A common way to prepare the Christmas goose is to stuff it with onions and apples although you’ll easily come across other recipes. Accompanying the main dish, you’re likely to find side dishes like braised red cabbage and dumplings, the latter of which are often made with potatoes but could also be made with flour or bread.
In other German households, you may see a Christmas dinner centered on sausages with potato salad, beef rouladen, or some kind of fish like carp or trout. Many Germans also celebrate Christmas with fondue or raclette.
So what about the sweet stuff? There are plenty of classic sugary creations that pop up at Christmas markets like Lebkuchen (a spiced cookie that resembles gingerbread) and stollen (a bread filled with dried fruit and nuts, and coated with sugar). But for the traditional Christmas meal at home, there’s no single go-to dessert to round out the feast. Maybe it’s tiramisu, maybe it’s some type of cake, or it could be something else entirely.
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