There’s something to be said for the 2 euro Kebab as well as the 30 euro German-Japanese-inspired-organic-fusion tasting menu. But you don’t have to be a starving artist in Wedding or a Bio-Mama in Prenzlauer Berg to feel at home within Berlin food culture. Just a touch of research and a few steps off the beaten track yield a plethora of mid-range gastronomic adventures that will satisfy, surprise, and maybe even teach you something. The “supper club” – an event that’s more community gathering than meal – is one of them. These semi-private, set-menu meals often showcase a particular theme, seasonal offering, ethnic cuisine, or community space. And they can run you as little as 15 euros.
I became acquainted with the above tofu sausage and other revamped kid’s birthday treats at my first Happa, Happa event a few weeks ago. In the heart of Kreuzberg at a community venue called Merkezi (Turkish for “market”), Chef Sophia puts on monthly themed 4-course dinners that attract a young, international, and vegetarian-friendly crowd. Surrounding me at the long, streamer-strewn table was a fellow German-American, a Turkish-German, an Irish expat, and a gentleman with a promising future in fermentation: somewhere in between courses he proudly revealed a bottle of homemade ginger liquor which was well-received by all.
Less than 10km northwest of Merkezi lies Michele’s Feinkost & Fremdsprachen in Wedding. While I haven’t yet had the chance to sample the food, I can confirm that the coffee is strong and the space lovely. What primarily sparked my interest at Michele’s was the food-language combination, or as they describe it on their website, “the union of cultures, culinary delights, and linguistics”. Michele’s offers language courses in both the traditional sense and in the form of a casual meet-up, friendly to all budgets. On occasion, like last night, they also put on the 15 euro, 4-course meal.
In a city as big, gray, and Central European as Berlin, it’s easy to feel anonymous and sometimes even lonely. What better way to meet new people than over an “adult” kid’s birthday or a meal accompanied by language practice and carafes of Italian wine? Nestled somewhere in between intimate dinner at home and bustling bistro, the supper club is the perfect way to step outside of your (physical and mental) Kiez and awaken both appetite and conviviality.
– By Sophia Burton
We realize weekends aren’t all about food. However left to our own devices, it’s probably what we’ll end up writing about. If you know of a cool event or shindig happening in Berlin and want to share it here, get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Happy eati-, err, weekend!
For an extensive list of Berlin supper clubs, read this Guardian article.