Berlin Winter Survival: Cafes and bars with fireplaces


Berlin's Cafe Zapata
Warming up at Berlin's Cafe Zapata. Photo: Szymon Stoma

By C H Kwak in Berlin—

Brrrr. Berliners spend six months every year complaining about the cold—and understandably so. It gets pretty icy in Berlin from October to March.

I totally dig the computer screensavers that show burning logs on loop, but they’re not going to warm me up. Luckily, there are some bars and cafés around Berlin that still have real, functioning fireplaces. Here’s a short list of places worthy of exploring:

1. Freischwimmer
Vor dem Schlesischen Tor 2a, Kreuzberg
030 61 07 43 09
Web site

Bar and café extraordinaire. The sofa next to the fireplace affords a great view of the river.

2. Café am Kamin
Falckensteinstr. 18, Kreuzberg
030 69817660

Get ready to snuggle with strangers because this place is tiny—all the cozier.

3. Bariton Bar
Weserstrasse 23, Friedrichshain
030 700 86 761
Web site

Finally, an open fire in Friedrichshain that’s not set on a car!

4. June
Sredzkistrasse 65, Prenzlauer Berg
030 231 876 84
Web site

A bar with an extensive cocktail menu—perfect for warming up before the last stretch home.

5. Kirk Bar
Skalitzer Strasse 75, Kreuzberg
030 695 35 299
Web site

Bar, lounge and celebrated (and pricey) restaurant on the canal, in the heart of Kreuzberg.

6. Le Gavroche
Oderberger Strasse 22, Prenzlauer Berg
030 44 04 47 02
Web site

The French menu is a tad expensive, but you can stop by for a coffee in the afternoon.

7. Café Zapata
Oranienburger Strasse 54, Mitte
030 2816109
Web site

Fine, fine. Technically there’s no fireplace, per se. There are faux medieval torches that shoot up flames at random intervals, though. Awesome in its awfulness, this packed club/bar is where every pub tours stop for a round and easyJet bachelor parties culminate in mortifying acts.

When you’ve had enough of the flames and body heat, step out to the courtyard, where you’ll see more sparks fly from the torches of the artists making metal sculptures. Located inside the famed (and very touristy) artist squat, Tacheles.

More advice: If you’re also in the mood for hotel hunting, be sure to warm up to our reviews of hotels in Berlin. Our editors have inspected, photographed and reviewed affordable places to sleep in central Berlin and recommend the very best. Read more in our Berlin guide.

About the author

C.H. Kwak is a translator in Berlin.

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