the sun's out, and although it's still officially spring, the beer garden season has started. i know this for a fact, i just checked this afternoon. now, don't be puzzled, i know we're not in munich and a far cry from bavaria, where the beer garden rules, but berlin is not missing out. the prater beer garden on kastanienallee is the oldest of its kind and was founded in 1837. just imagine the amounts of beer that have been drunk here. or don't, actually.
what i love about this place is that it's shaded by ancient chestnut trees, which give it a very special atmosphere. the place offers 600 seats, but in summer, finding a seat can be difficult, so bring along a bit of patience (that goes as well for the queues at the bar and food stall, it's all self-service and cash-only) and enjoy the buzz of the place. apart from beer you'll get all kinds of cold drinks here, plus sausage (yes, of course), potato or pasta salad, olives and other small snacks at the food counter. oh, and cake and ice-cream, i think. there's a playground, in case you are coming with the family.
if you fancy a more substantial meal, the prater restaurant is open throughout the year. think home-made german/austrian cuisine - wiener schnitzel, königsberger klopse, senfeier, meatloaf. not exactly cheap, but rather delicious.
p.s.: don't let yourself be fooled by the pictures - in summer, it's usually really crowded here. you could of course beat the queue by coming in spring ...
p.p.s.: amy, this one's for you! it's not quite the same without you and max ...
find it on kastanienallee 7-9, 10435 berlin, phone 030-448 56 88 (bookings for restaurant only)
beer garden open april-sept, daily from 12.00h (weather permitting)
restaurant open all year round, mon-sat from 18.00-23.00h, sun from 12.00h
** please note that even the restaurant has a cash-only policy (oh, i know...) **