We all know the stories. The too-warm Sterni's on Admiralsbrücke. The Venmo requests sent mere minutes after a coffee. The dates that you thought were just with one person but ended up being with... more than that. The inexplicable smells. The mattress directly on the floor (i.e. the literal personification of the 'Florians' Berlinausländermemes stunts on). Of course, the burdgeoning DJ careers and the "jobs" they sometimes deign to visit. We've all been there. And will probably go again. But, this time, just this time, for Valentine's Day (and hopefully beyond), let this list provide as a salve to the general low quality Dreck you've been lucky enough to swipe upon and has undoubtedly darkened your doorstep. Let this year be different.
Let's assume for a minute that you've found someone who's made it past these hurdles and you genuinely, potentially, may even care for this person (or just wanna jump their bones). They're probably pretty cute - so are you. And you want to impress them by choosing a place that is perfectly suited to their needs and y'all's love languages. Yeah, I said it. These places are specifically selected to fit your particular flavor of sexy and give you and your dining companion the best chance of getting lucky tonight.
Also, if there's any confusion - this should be understood as 'getting lucky tonight', again. What else is the point of going all out on Valentine's Day? As lauded sex and relationships columnist Dan Savage so eloquently put in an interview with GQ in 2016 regarding your Valentine's Day (or any special dinner plans) in so many words, the best plan is always to "fuck first". THEN, go out.
P.S. If you're keen on an even deeper dive into the Berlin dating scene, our very own Dilan Balku (@dilaneatsfood) is serving up hot takes on her personal stories - just don't forget your jar of pickles to bring as tribute.
David Chang says it best, if you're looking to hook up, sushi is the way to go. Light, not too filling, delicious, and you get to eat with your hands as seductively as you can.... or something like that.
Go for the Chef's Omakase selection and definitely order a portion of the Karaage Chicken
As the Bloodhound Gang taught us in the early 'aughts with their timeless classic, 'The Bad Touch';
"Sweat, baby, sweat,
Baby, sex is a Texas drought,
Me and you do the kind of stuff that only Prince would sing about."
Get your sweat on early at Larb Koi where the heat is so intense you'll be dripping halfway through your starters (the papaya salad, specifically). Just make sure to wash your hands really, really well. Nobody's trying to go to the Emergency Room tonight.
The whole fish and octopus curry are awesome. Always order one sticky rice per person.
This recommendation is for the slightly less adventurous of our crew, but in search of something no less delicious. Dark woods, comfy seating, low lighting (everybody looks a bit better by candlelight) - what's not to like?
Try to score a seat inside in the back of the lower part of the restaurant for a stunning view of the venue during your meal
In our minds, Kink is the place for a rendesvouz -- or even some liaisons dangereuses. It's dark. It's sexy. The cocktails are great. And you can meet up with your special someone in relative privacy... if that happens to be a concern of yours.
Gorgeous outside area for the warm days, and cool interior with mezmerizing neon art piece.
Scoring one of the most difficult reservations in the city is a surefire way to impress a date early on in your relationship - why not pick a place that also has knockout food and elegant service to boot? This is our go-to in P-Berg, just don't be late in making your rez!
Go for the specials - you won't be disappointed. The skilled team will present what is absolutely most in season - while supplies last!
So you couldn't get a reservation at Otto, and you waited till the last second, and it's raining AND you're standing there on Oderbergerstrasse in really fancy shoes (that you can't wait for someone to take off of you) - fear not, Bar Normal is right behind you with their killer new Mexican-inspired menu. Night saved!
Make sure to order the fantastic take on the Tres Leches Dessert
Besides the bakery on the corner down the street from your place (and their croissants that have no business being that good), this is the clear choice for the morning after rom-com brunch where you both can extol your overtures on / about each other and eat fantastic chicken and waffles and French Toast. Cue the music. Drink the coffee. Then hit the sack. Sunday sorted.
Don't miss on the French Toast and Chicken and Waffles, the cocktails are nice too.
We all know French is the language of love, so booking a table at Tim Raue's French brasserie with the opportunity to eat both French classics as well as casual versions of Tim Raue's greatest hits will make you look mighty good in the eyes of your dinner date.
The "La Selection de Tim Raue" menu is a Geheimtip for any one looking to try an affordable and very tasty version of the Tim Raue food
This is our selection for the prime double-date situation. Bring at least four people (at a minimum, it is Berlin, after all) so you can order lots of different things to try with lots of conversation topics, delivered right to your table. Give your date's leg a squeeze and a glance over your tea cup to let them know what to expect later on.
It's the only (and best) place where we've ever had deep fried corn kernels. Bring your friends.
Hot, sticky, drippy and spicy is the name of the game at Kokio. Bibs are encouraged and the chicken is finger lickin' good - the heat is for real (you sort-of have to suck on your fingers, it's the only way to get off all the sauce - the Handi-Wipes don't cut it). It takes a special person to appreciate a bacchanalian night of fried chicken as romance, but hey, you do you - you'll know when the time is right. Get your hearts pumpin' to the KFC vibe.
Push yourself to go hotter. There's always a bigger shark and a hotter wing.
Featuring not only a top notch wine list and one of the finest Pasta Vongole you'll find North of Venice, MINE also serves a Burrata Ravioli that will make any dinner date you take here remember your restaurant choice forever.
Get the burrata filled tortellini with truffles, the pasta Vongole and the braised lamb; also check out their superb wine list!