Restaurants by the water in Berlin are more common than you might think. Sure, Berlin ain’t Venice, but the Spree and the Havel meander happily through our city, and the Landwehrkanal has long been popular as a sunny gastro destination. In addition, the harbours and bays of Berlin’s many beautiful lakes are docking points for plenty of interesting restaurant concepts. Here are 12 restaurants by the water in Berlin to check out this summer…
At Freischwimmer, Kreuzberg nights are long
Recline in a deck chair, quench your thirst with a cocktail, or dip your toes into the cool canal. The waterside restaurant on the 100-metre-long jetty-terrace on the Landwehrkanal offers a number of opportunities to recover from the big city summer. If you opt for a cosy breakfast, lunch or dinner here, you’ll find a diverse menu: in the morning, for example, there’s French toast with thyme cream and maple syrup; in the evening, vegetarian tarte flambée with gorgonzola and artichoke, or classic Berlin Königsberg meatballs.
- Freischwimmer At Schlesisches Tor 2, Kreuzberg, Mon-Fri from 12pm, Sat-Sun from 10am, www.freischwimmer-berlin.com
A pleasant waterfront pub with kitchen: The Ankerklause
A port tavern without a port. This is the triumph of imagination over reality and the perfect start to a Kreuzberg or Neukölln night. The Ankerklause serves honest and simple food — think burgers, club sandwiches or antipasti dishes. Daily fresh cakes are also part of the food selection. Non-smokers will be pleased: The Ankerklause is actually a pub with a smoking area. However, due to corona restrictions, smoking is currently only permitted in the spacious outdoor area.
- Ankerklause Kottbusser Damm 104, Kreuzberg, Mon-Sun 10am-10pm, www.ankerklause.de
Good food with a view of the lake: Restaurant au Lac
‘By the lake’ is how the French name of the restaurant translates. A little higher above the water is the terrace with a view of Lietzenseepark and the radio tower. German-Italian cuisine with an international touch is served, such as sturgeon fillet with fennel, orange & couscous or carpaccio of white ox with fried king prawns. If the weather is fine, the open-air bar also opens. A reservation is currently recommended but not necessary.
- Restaurant au Lac Lietzenseeufer 11, Charlottenburg, daily 12pm-8pm, www.hotel-seehof-berlin.de
Fresh Spree air & hipster vibes: Katerschmaus at Holzmarkt 25
Thanks to the corona crisis, Holzmarkt 25 remained closed for many weeks. Happily, the creative village by the Spree invites us again to relax, while away time and, of course, eat. The cosy restaurant Katerschmaus on the riverbank is furnished with urban, modern panache, and the service always friendly. The food concept is diverse, serving what tastes best to everyone internationally. Portions are fair, the quality of the food fresh and delicious. The splashing of the Spree can best be enjoyed by sharing a good bottle of white wine on ice.
- Katerschmaus Holzmarktstraße 25, Friedrichshain, Tue-Sat 1pm-11pm, www.katerschmaus.de/
At Rübezahl am Müggelsee you can feel the Berlin summer
Restaurant Rübezahl is a traditional, spacious eatery with a beer garden right on the wooded shores of Müggelsee, which now thrives mainly due to its location. All year round, the Seegrill offers delicious specialities such as the Rübezahl Burger with homemade minced beef or the veggie variant with homemade antipasti. Another highlight is the Schlemmerling, a kind of tarte flambée, which is served regionally.
- Rübezahl am Müggelsee Müggelheimer Damm 143, Köpenick | Bistro Mon-Sun 11.30am-9pm, beer garden Wed-Sun 10am-7pm, www.ruebezahl-berlin.de
The classic: Café am Neuen See is the place to be when the sun shines in Berlin
The classic that you just can’t get past. As soon as the sun shines, two- and four-legged friends flock to the beer garden café at Tiergarten am Neuen See. The self-service area has long since been converted into a separate pavilion with several cash registers and drinks dispensers. Here you can buy pretzels, pizza, sausages, pasta dishes, meat loaf, Radler and wheat beer, just like in a canteen. The long beer garden tables with hundreds of seats are lined up to the lakeside.
- Café am Neuen See Lichtensteinallee 2, Tiergarten, daily 9am-10pm, www.cafeamneuensee.de
Fischerhütte am Schlachtensee: Dignified dining on the lake shore
The Fischerhütte is an historic inn dating from 1723, right on Schlachtensee. For the idyllic ambience of its sun-soaked terrace or beer garden, guests come from all parts of town. The kitchen offers classics like Wiener Schnitzel or Bratwurst. And, as befits a fishing lodge, there are also plenty of fish options on the menu. The greatest asset of the Fischerhütte is the beer garden on the lakeside. Oh, and Sunday brunch is highly recommended.
- Fischerhütte am Schlachtensee Fischerhüttenstraße 136, Zehlendorf | Restaurant daily from 10am, beer garden daily from 9am, brunch Sun 10am-2pm, www.fischerhuette-berlin.de
Hafenküche: a nice beer garden with lunch
Hafenküche has been extensively rebuilt and recently reopened after corona lockdown. In the beautiful beer garden at Rummelsbucht, the hours of sunshine fly by. If you get hungry, there’s a daily changing lunch offer ––for example fusilli with aubergine and feta, or fried fish with potato-cucumber salad and spicy tartar sauce. There’s also the possibility to rent barbecue areas on the waterfront from Hafenküche.
- Hafenküche Zur Alten Flussbadeanstalt 5, Lichtenberg, Mon-Fri 10am-10pm, Sat+Sun and public holidays 11.30am-10pm | Lunch daily 12pm-2.30pm, www.hafenkueche.de | Online booking for a grillplatz: www.grillenamwasser.de
Candlelight and Mediterranean flair at Patio
Fine dining and soul food on the Spree — Patio is the most delightful restaurant ship. Small, beautifully-set tables, candlelight, a view through the large windows in the ship’s belly to light dancing on the water’s surface. In addition, fresh new-international cuisine with Mediterranean flair and a wine list compiled with expertise and passion.
- Patio Kirchstraße 13 Ecke, Helgoländer Ufer, Tiergarten, Mon-Sat 5.30pm-10pm, Sun 12pm-10pm, www.patio-berlin.de
Fresh fish and fantastic lake views at Fisherman’s
“50 metres further and you’ll be in the water” is how owner Sören Engelmann describes the location of his restaurant. Directly on Tegeler See, his guests will dine on sea creatures of one kind or another. The grilled tuna steak with spicy wok vegetables, new potatoes and wasabi foam, and the shrimps in herb oil are only a small excerpt from the German and Mediterranean-influenced evening menu. In summer, the best place to eat is on the large terrace.
- Fisherman’s – DAS Fischrestaurant Eisenhammerweg 20, Reinickendorf, Tue-Sun 12pm-10pm, www.fishermans-berlin.de
Superb location and home-smoked fish at the Van Loon
For many years, the Dutch freighter has been anchored at Urbanhafen and served German cuisine from its galley. When the morning sun glitters over the canal, the home-smoked fish variations taste especially good. A Kreuzberg classic that scores with its location.
- Van Loon Carl-Herz-Ufer 5, Kreuzberg, Mon-Sun 10am-10pm, www.vanloon.de
For fish lovers: Restaurant ship Capt’n Schillow
Capt’n Schillow has been anchored on the Landwehrkanal right next to Charlottenburger Tor since 1996. Whether it’s a salmon appetiser on the upper deck or a lapskaus (thick Norwegian stew) with herring in the dining room, the restaurant ship of ex-sailor Norbert Knüppel is a hot tip among the inner-city excursion restaurants with its simple but fresh fish dishes.
- Restaurantschiff Capt’n Schillow Str. des 17. Juni 113, Charlottenburg, Mon-Fri 12pm-10pm, Sat+Sun 11am-10pm, www.capt-schillow.de
Keen to explore more of Berlin’s loveliest waterside places? Here are 12 idyllic waterfront spots hidden in the city. Or if you’re itching to go further afield, here are the 12 best beaches in Brandenburg.