LOCAL ON THE HEALTH SCENE IN BERLIN
An insider’s take on the chicest workout spots and healthy eateries in Germany’s capitol
In our Local on the Health Scene series, we’re asking fit correspondents around the world to let us in on their city’s hottest workouts, chicest health-focused eateries, fitness trends, and more.
First up was a local on the health scene in Paris. Now, we’re heading to Berlin. Carlin Greenstein is a private chef and culinary consultant involved in dinner collaborations such as a recent video art evening at Entretempo Kitchen Gallery in Prenzlauer Berg. She is running her first marathon in Berlin in September and also does yoga, barre, and HIIT. She lives in Mitte, smack dab in the middle of the city, known for art galleries, boutiques, and neighborhood cafes.
Berlin has plenty of local and seasonally-focused restaurants with healthy options for vegetarians and omnivores alike. When I arrived in Berlin (via New York City two years ago), I was impressed by how vegetarian and vegan-friendly it was. I never expected so many alternatives to the ubiquitous wurst! (That said, there is a lot plant-based ‘junk food’ like donuts, fries, and burgers so it’s always worth further investigation.)
The farmer’s markets here are off-the-hook. The two best in the east and west respectively are at Kollwitzplatz (with a smaller Thursday market called Ökomarkt that is all organic) and Winterfeldtmarkt. There are also tiny ones on any given day in every single neighborhood.
If you’re here in late spring you must try bärlauch (wild garlic) and spargel (white asparagus) in as many forms as possible. But, there’s a diversity of options yearround from the traditional German potato soup and maultaschen (a stuffed pasta similar to ravioli) to food trucks serving Argentine beef sandwiches, tacos, and bahn mi. There are also tiny shops which specialize in coconut milk-based ice cream in the summer and bone broth in the winter as well as cafes touting varieties of sweet and savory warm porridges, bakeries making dense, grainy breads with rye, amaranth, and einhorn flour, and food from all over the Middle East.
LOCATE ALL RESTAURANTS
The Store Kitchen
On the ground floor of The Soho House in Mitte, this spot offers fresh, vibrant lunches and weekend brunch with an emphasis on seasonality.LEARN MORE
This neighborhood spot in Mitte has a seasonally- and regionally-inspired menu items such as curried beetroot with fennel, radish, and pumpernickel or lamb with asparagus, kohlrabi, rosehip, and sorrel served in a lovely whitewashed room.LEARN MORE
For the most peaceful, delicious Japanese meal in Mitte, partake in this restaurant’s nightly 12-person Omakase.LEARN MORE
This cozy café in Neukolln offers vegetable-centric food and the most delicious beet lemonade.LEARN MORE
Grab vegetarian bowls and homemade flatbreads with international influence in Kreuzberg.LEARN MORE
This restaurant in Kruezberg does Turkish meze right with bright, fresh salads and plenty of vegetarian dishes alongside the option to grill sustainably-sourced proteins tableside.LEARN MORE
LA Cold Press
The best cold-pressed juices and nut milks come from this tiny takeaway shop in the Quartier 206 building in Mitte. They also offer juice delivery Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.LEARN MORE
I have always loved exploring new cities armed with just a pair of running shoes and for this, Berlin is at the top of my list. (Rome was pretty good, too!) Living here has inspired me to explore the far reaches of the city on my runs. You can be in the city center one minute and following paths through large green parks or alongside the rivers and canals that flow though the city moments later.
Many Berliners incorporate exercise into their commute, riding to work in the rain, sleet and snow. Many of them also smoke cigarettes, drink beer, and enjoy the legendary club scene. But they are a hardy bunch even though everyone here loves to complain about the weather.
You don’t see a lot of athleisure here like you do in New York City or LA. Fashion here is cool yet functionality trumps all else. Be prepared to see suits and high heels riding bikes after a hard workout, as people shower at the gym and then resume their days and evenings. Clothing worn ‘for sport’ is often used for just that.
LOCATE ALL FITNESS CENTERES
BeCycle strikes the perfect balance between spin and barre classes. Located in a former bank in Mitte, the showers are in the vault. After class, stop at in-house My Goodness for healthy post-workout fuel such as plant protein smoothies or choose one of the two vegetarian lunch offerings that change on a daily basis.LEARN MORE
Hardy is the personal trainer to call if you want a challenging workout based on precise, hardcore functional training. He works out with clients all over the city, both privately and in gyms. He also offers outdoor boot camp-style classes year-round in the Grunewald and Tiergarten.LEARN MORE
Holistic Pilates by Shirah Perry
Shirah works from studios in Mitte and Friedrichshain, offering classes on the mat and on the reformer. She also will travel to you, doing group and one-on-ones in home and office settings.LEARN MORE
My triathlete husband swears by the workouts and trainers here. They offer yoga too.LEARN MORE
This lovely studio in Neukolln has sliding scale fees and a wood-burning oven to keep you toasty during winter.LEARN MORE
Adidas RUNBASE Berlin
This is the place for runners who also want solid cross training with plenty of HIIT, core workouts, Breakletics (breakdancing meets functional training), and yoga (where socializing is highly encouraged). Don’t forget to check out LAB KITCHEN for post-workout eats such as protein porridge, seasonal salads, or the daily lunch plate.LEARN MORE