Berlin bars: Pay what you wish at the “Weinerei”

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Another blurry night at the Weinerei. Photo by angermann.
Another blurry night at the Weinerei. Photo by angermann.

For years we’d heard about a cool Berlin bar where you drank as much as you liked and paid whatever you thought was right at the end of the night. However, no one mentioned that the bar also offered vats of wholesome food and cushy couches!

Welcome to the Weinerei

Tourists to Berlin often refer to the busy bar on Weinbergspark in Mitte as “the free place,” although its official name is “Weinerei.”

The Weinerei, in fact, has been such a hit that it has opened two sister spots elsewhere in the city that function on the same honor system. The décor at all three bars is cozy, and the free WiFi access means that Mitte’s many students and writers often take root in the bars all evening.

According to Jürgen Stumpf, the Bavarian-born owner of Die Weinerei, “every night is essentially a wine tasting.”

How it works

Guests pay €1 as an entrance fee and receive a glass. They are then invited to sample the predominantly German-made chilled white wines and rich reds (plus an impressive array of rosé), as well as dine from a buffet of home-cooked, organic German fare.

All this means that Cheapos can drown their sorrows for a few cents and the so-inclined can chug endless glasses of rosé, throw €5 in a fishbowl, and then stagger home. The warm atmosphere, however, actually means most people pay more than they owe. Typically, diners part with €10-15 for an entree, salad, desert and a few glasses of fairly good wine.

“The food is good,” confirms one local expat customer, typical of the international character of regulars. “But its not much better than most other places around here. However, I always pay a bit more out of guilt or gratitude.”

Whether it’s because they are too sloshed to calculate the exact amount or just feel warm with goodwill towards their hosts, everyone seems to leave the Weinerei happy.

Die Weinerei
Veteranenstraße 14, 10119 Berlin
Mo-Fr 13:00 – 24:00, Sa 11:00 – 24:00
Tel / Fax 030 4406983

Forum
Fehrbelliner Strasse 57
030 600-53072.

Weinwirtschaft 28
Zionskirchstraße 28, 10119 Berlin
Mo-Fr 13:00 – 2:00, Sa 11:00 – 2:00
030 24729110

About the author

Thomas Meyers

About the author: Tom created and launched EuroCheapo from his Berlin apartment in 2001. He returned to New York in 2002, set up office, and has led the EuroCheapo team from the Big Apple ever since. He travels to Europe several times a year to update EuroCheapo's hotel reviews. Tom is also a co-host of the New York City history podcast, The Bowery Boys.

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2 thoughts on “Berlin bars: Pay what you wish at the “Weinerei””

  1. Pingback: Daily Radar: 06.11.09 « Travel

  2. Makes perfect sense to me. I like thinking that, when given the option, most people will pay it forward. Awesome tip.

    Reply

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