Your Edinburgh, London, Munich, and Berlin Tips

May 30, 2014 | By | COMMENTS

Wild news: Craig’s movie is screening at the Edinburgh Film Festival in three weeks, then he goes to the Nantucket film festival, and back to Europe for the Munich film festival. The best part? Edinburgh is flying me out too, so I can join him in Munich as long as I make my way back to Edinburgh to fly back. So here’s the plan: four days in Edinburgh, then when Craig goes to Nantucket, I’ll make my way to London where I’ll lay low for a week until it’s time to go to Munich. After that, we’ll tack on three days in Berlin because how can you go to Munich and not go to Berlin? (Also: I want to see a certain someone’s Berlin kitchen.) Now I need your advice. Where should we eat in Edinburgh? Where should I stay in London? Where should I eat there? (I feel like I have to go to the River Cafe; I’d also like to try St. John and a Heston Blumenthal spot, but that may be unrealistic $$-wise.) Where do we eat in Munich? And where do we stay in Berlin? Oh and where do we eat there too? Also, if there are any books you can recommend about any of these places (fiction or non-fiction) I’d love to load up for the flight. Thanks for all of your help and I’ll be sure to share the whole adventure with you here on the blog, as I always do. I’m pretty nice that way.

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Categories: Travel

  • Chandni Patel

    I love Bubble Dogs for its grower champagne selection and gourmet hot dogs. http://www.bubbledogs.co.uk/ – near Goodge Street station. Enjoy!

  • Wendy

    If you have a whole week in London, recommend renting a flat as it can be cheaper than hotels. Also, there are some fabulous “take away” places that if you have a small dining area can be nice for a change. Ottolenghi and Lidgates (old time butcher shop with many savory pies to go in Holland Park if you’re near there) come to mind. The train between London and Edinburgh is pretty easy and interesting and if you see a good upgrade rate for first class, it will include free wifi and food brought around on little trolleys and tea service. Enjoy the Indian and Pakistani food in London and Edinburgh!

  • Lila

    In Munich, you have to go to Haxnbauer and order the pork knuckle and potato salad, and if you need two awesome meals, go to Zum Augustiner beer hall on Marienplatz and order whatever the special is. Two very traditional Bavarian places with great food :)

  • http://juliachewsthefat.wordpress.com/ julia chews the fat

    Berlin –

    For modern German fare, check out Lokal in Mitte: http://lokal-berlin.blogspot.ca/

    For a casual bite, I fully endorse BBI (Berlin Burger International) in the neighbourhood of Neukölln: http://www.berlinburgerinternational.com/. You can pick up a beer at the convenience store across the street and bring it to dinner. Good times.

    Also, don’t forget to check out Klunkerkranich, an amazing rooftop terrace overlooking Berlin, where you can catch a show, have a drink and mingle amongst the locals: http://unlike.net/berlin/after-dark/klunkerkranich

    Happy travels!

  • Jenny

    Ok, so Edinburgh. Where are you staying? It’s pretty small so unless they put you in the middle of nowhere you can walk most places.

    If you have ££££ to spend then look up The Kitchin, Martin Wishart and Castle Terrace. Can be tricky to get a table at times but the set lunches are good value. If I had to pick one Castle Terrace is probably the most interesting. MW is very trad in comparison.
    Midprice check out Aizle, Timberyard and Gardener’s Cottage. All specialise in local seasonal ingredients but menus are limited (or non-existent in Aizle) so be prepared to try new things (I know you will, but I always end up going with someone who is fussy and they put a downer on it, so pick open-minded companions!) Ondine is good for seafood. Scran & Scallie (run by the same guy as The Kitchin) and The Honours (one of Martin Wishart’s) are good options for upmarket pub/bistro type stuff.
    If you want very casual then try The Dogs, Chez Jules, Earthy and Spoon. I’ve heard good things about Ting Thai Caravan but haven’t been. For really cheap fast food then Wannaburger and Illegal Jacks are decent and both walking distance from the Filmhouse.

    Coffee/cakes – Loudons, Peters Yard, Artisan Roast, Brewlab, Machina Espresso and Wellington. Urban Angel and Leo’s Beanery for extreme cake needs (both also good for brunch).

    Cocktails – Bramble, Panda & Sons, Lucky Liquor, Bon Vivant, Last Word Saloon and Devil’s Advocate.

    Food shopping – Valvona & Crolla (Elm Row) and Lupe Pintos in Tollcross (although its speciality is USA stuff so might be less interesting for you). There’s a farmer’s market on Castle Terrace on Saturday morning and another in Stockbridge on Sunday morning. Both do raw produce as well as more souvenir worthy stuff like confectionery/preserves – also stalls selling hog rolls, paella etc so nice stop for take away lunch. There’s also a small street food/produce market on the corner of York Place on Saturdays.

    Edinburgh’s food scene has really picked up in the last few years so there is lots happening! There’s loads of places I’ve probably missed. The List is generally a good place to start looking for reviews although they don’t really do negative, so a review that isn’t gushing is actually code for awful.

  • Anonymous

    London – Nopi for dinner and Ottolenghi for takeout lunch in

    As for Berlin, I’ve heard great things about Mustafa’s Gemüse Kebap for doner kebab.

  • Maggie

    In Berlin, Meierei for apple strudel. See here: http://www.yourlittleblackbook.me/meierei-berlin-prenzlauerberg/

  • Sarah

    Oh! Oh! London! Please, please go down to Brixton and go to one of the covered markets – Brixton village or Market Row. They’re full of independent restaurants – you really can’t go wrong, but I love Elephant, Kao Sarn for Thai, and Brixton Cornercopia for British yumminess. It’s a bit more commercial than when it first started, but still great. Honest burgers are also great, and Cannon & Cannon have amazing British charcuterie and cheese. Enjoy!!

  • Sarah

    Oh! Oh! London! Please, please go down to Brixton and go to one of the covered markets – Brixton village or Market Row. They’re full of independent restaurants – you really can’t go wrong, but I love Elephant, Kao Sarn for Thai, and Brixton Cornercopia for British yumminess. It’s a bit more commercial than when it first started, but still great. Honest burgers are also great, and Cannon & Cannon have amazing British charcuterie and cheese. Enjoy!!

  • Sarah

    Oh! Oh! London! Please, please go down to Brixton and go to one of the covered markets – Brixton village or Market Row. They’re full of independent restaurants – you really can’t go wrong, but I love Elephant, Kao Sarn for Thai, and Brixton Cornercopia for British yumminess. It’s a bit more commercial than when it first started, but still great. Honest burgers are also great, and Cannon & Cannon have amazing British charcuterie and cheese. Enjoy!!

  • Sarah

    Oh! Oh! London! Please, please go down to Brixton and go to one of the covered markets – Brixton village or Market Row. They’re full of independent restaurants – you really can’t go wrong, but I love Elephant, Kao Sarn for Thai, and Brixton Cornercopia for British yumminess. It’s a bit more commercial than when it first started, but still great. Honest burgers are also great, and Cannon & Cannon have amazing British charcuterie and cheese. Enjoy!!

  • janice

    London: Ottolenghi. I have all the books but have never eaten there.

  • http://zombieapocalypsetruth.com/ Elder Swindell
  • http://zombieapocalypsetruth.com/ Elder Swindell
  • Laura Spiekerman

    KaDeWe (big department store) to walk around and eat on the floor with tons of food (lots of great seafood, sit at a counter and people watch).

    Mogg & Melzer is a fabulous restaurant with Jewish deli specialties including pastrami. We had great salads too! It’s in the same building as a fancier more chic restaurant but we didn’t go.

    Lastly we heard great things about Weinerei, a wine bar where you pay what you want. We never made it but tons of people recommended it. http://www.theguardian.com/travel/2009/feb/11/berlin-honesty-bars-restaurants

    The DDR Museum (and many other museums) are fantastic.

  • Katie Trotter

    Don’t miss Borough market in London. Such a lovely way to spend a morning wandering around hundreds of stalls trying out some really interesting foods. A maze of foodie heaven….

  • sweetfrancaise

    Oh, London!! I’ll be there in July to visit family, I’ve been many times! Here’s some highlights:

    Kensington Palace has amazing exhibits, much more avant-garde than your usual museum trip & the Orangerie has a very nice tea. Seconding the suggestions of Borough & Brixton Markets (though, if you can only go to one, do Borough). La Fromagerie on Marylebone High Street has amazing fresh food & cheeses, plus a fabulous shop, and is in a great location with lots of great little stores. Brasserie Zedel is a very tasty, cool, affordable restaurant modeled after 19th century French brasseries. Seven Dials has some great shopping, and if you want an incredible walking tour of the city, look up London Walks. Every single tour I’ve taken with them has been lively and fascinating, not your typical tourist attraction.

    As for Berlin, I’ve only been there once, briefly, but I ate at Gugelhof, which serves Alsatian food and is absolutely divine. They make a stew called Bäeckeoffe, served in a covered dish that has bread dough baked around the lid. Hackescher Markt is a cool place to look around as well.I got several recommendations to go to Henne, but never made it there—they only serve chicken, beer, and potato salad and it’s supposed to be amazing!

    I’ve spent some time in Edinburgh, but mostly just wandered Prince Street. Holyrood is a great castle, if you fancy it. And, as the current city is built on the old city, there are rather spooky/cheesy tours of what’s left underneath.

    This may be more than you were looking for! I hope you have a grand time.

  • Yank in Scotland

    Jenny has done a pretty good job on the Edinburgh front, but I’d highly recommend 21212 for a really nice dinner (you choose between two dishes for the first, third and fifth courses, and the second and fourth are prescribed). Get the wine menu. It’s on one of Edinburgh’s most expensive street. Also really good and local is the relaxed olive branch on Broughton Street, which is a lovely street for a wander and has a couple of local design shops good for gifts.

    She’s also missed pubs! I’m particularly fond of the Cumberland which is our local (so if you’re coming, let us know, as I might have to go a bit fanboy – you’re the source of a lot of our meals), and it’s off the tourist track, so you’ll get a taste of local life.

    It’s such a lovely city and so good for walking and taking in the sights. Have a great time!

  • tunie

    Ooo, would be hard to miss riding a train on the London/Edinburgh leg as it would be so fun to pretend you were on your way to/from Hogwarts ; D

  • cy

    Just left Berlin. Try NOTO a tiny menu but incredible. In Mitte not far from museum isle. For a bite Rogacki in Charlottenburg. A deli, smoked fish, meats and standup places to eat.
    In London breakfast at any Pret a manger, Monmouth coffee, and a great place Clarke’s for lunch or dinner. Borough market has a stand that only sells Comte.

  • Anonymous

    Don’t forget to have coffee and maybe breakfast or lunch at the Elephant House in Edinburgh – it’s where the Harry Potter stories were written and has a great view of the Castle.

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  • SLO

    Just back from London – LOVED Dishroom (http://www.dishoom.com). Hip vibe in Shoreditch and quiet in Covent Garden

    Also check out Pollen Street Social (http://www.pollenstreetsocial.com)

    Have a great trip and congrats to Craig!

  • Sarah C

    There are so many amazing things happening with food in London at the moment. East London (Shoreditch and Hackney in particular) have so many amazing places, so if you want to hit a lot of great places easily, that would be the place to stay.

    Overall tip: if you want to go to a more fancy/pricey place, check out their lunch deals during the week. A lot of places will do great value set menus. My absolute favourite in all the world is The Ledbury in Notting Hill (http://www.theledbury.com). I don’t use the word transcendent lightly, but the food and service here are just that.

    If you don’t get to St John itself, there are other restaurants run by St John alums/affiliates which are really terrific – namely The Clove Club, Lyle’s, and Rochelle Canteen, all in Shoreditch. The latter is only open for lunch during the week.

    For cheap and cheerful, you cannot beat Tayyabs in Whitechapel. Fantastic Punjabi food, and you can eat very well for £10. On the opposite end, Trishna in Marylebone and Gymkhana in Mayfair make delicious high-end Indian food and do great deals at lunch.

    Koya and Koya Bar in Soho are a lovely cross between British seasonal ingredients and Japanese method and sensibility.

    And last but not least, Moro does delicious food that is a hybrid of Spanish and Middle Eastern influences.

    Too many great things! I could go on and on…

  • Jenny

    Haha, yeh, I’m not really a pub person! Although I do enjoy a burger at the Cambridge now and then.
    I knew I missed some, 21212 is great as is the Olive Branch

  • cybercita

    Seconding the suggestion for dinner on the Marienplatz, one of my favorite places on earth. And whatever you do, don’t miss the Hirschgarten! http://www.hirschgarten.com/beer-garden-munich-the-biggest-beer-garden-in-muenchen-and-bavaria-koeniglicher-hirschgarten-munich.html

  • http://www.thisnewview.com andrea

    London: La Fromagerie for amazing cheese and general awesomeness, Maltby St. Market, Corner Room, Barrafina, Bucca di Lupo, La Patisserie des Reves, Morro/Morito, and The Spaniards Inn for a fantastic Sunday roast. I’ve heard rumors that River Cafe has gone way downhill, fyi. St. John is hit or miss, but you can also get their amazing doughnuts at Maltby St Market if you don’t want to swing for the whole shebang.

    In Berlin, be sure to stop by Rogacki for a truly unique experience. Super local, and super old school. Also, the best kebab is at Hasir, hands down.

  • mary

    In Munich:
    -ice cream at Der verrückter Eismacher (it means the mad ice cream maker) – they have a mad hatter/alice in wonderland theme, with flavors like white wine and sweet mustard in addition to more normal flavors. (Amalienstraße 77, near the Universität ubahn)
    -Wiener Schnitzel at Steinheil 16 (that’s the address and name) – it’s not a traditional beer hall, just a small local bar with the best/biggest schnitzel for its price in the city. I’ve never gotten dessert there but I think I saw someone getting the Kaiserschmarrn and it looked amazing (near the Theresienstraße ubahn)
    -Weißwurstfrühstück – you can get this at pretty much any traditional beer hall (Zum Franziskaner is nice). Weißwurst, fresh pretzels, and beer is the Bavarian breakfast of champions. Just don’t eat the casings or all of the Germans will judge you.
    -Käsespätzle – any traditional place will probably have amazing Käsespätzle. Like mac n cheese but with spaetzle instead of macaroni, and fried shallots on top
    -the BEST cakes in Munich are at the Konditorei near the Universität ubahn. So. Damn. Good. (Amalienstraße 59)
    Otherwise, just take every opportunity you get to eat Butterbreze (pretzels cut in half, slathered with butter, and sandwiched together again) and drink beers in all of the beautiful parks and beer gardens. Oh and check out Viktualienmarkt, it’s the giant outdoor market right near Marienplatz. If you need to burn all that off somehow, you can climb the church tower of the Alter Peter (also at Marienplatz) and get a great view of the city from there :)

  • Mark Walley

    Everyone is saying ottolenghi which is good and right, but can I recommend Honey and Co, which is a cute little restaurant run by two former Ottolenghi chefs. It’s homey and cute and for the quality does an amazing value lunch or dinner. Get the mixed mezze starter.

    And while you’re in London you have to go for proper curry. Brick Lane is the classic experience (a street full of Indian restaurants where they all try an haggle you for the best deal) but the food isn’t great. Trishna’s in Marylebone is incredible, if a little pricey (we got a good online tasting menu deal when we went). If you want a proper English curry restaurant feel but great food, try Ragam’s on Cleveland Street (W1). Looks terrible, phenomenal food, very great.

    Also, find a good pub and go sit in it with a beer one evening. There are plenty, so just google your area.

  • Mark Walley

    +1 for tayyabs

  • Meghanssj

    I just got back from England. I spent my time at a friend’s house in Oxford. I would highly recommend taking a bus from London to Oxford for the day, it is about an hour drive, inexpensive by bus and you can return at all hours of the day and night. By the time you will get there, the students will be on summer break, but it is always buzzing with academia. There is nothing comparable to roaming the winding cobble streets, ducking into one green, manicured college quad after another, or touring a few colleges. Lewis Carroll wrote Alice and Wonderland while rambling around the Christchurch meadow with the Dean’s young daughter, and Harry Potter’s Hogwarts cafeteria was inspired by, and filmed in the college’s working cafeteria. Oxford is nothing like an American college town. Frankly, the best food I had in Oxford was either chips at a pub (with a pint of cider or ale), or a meal at my friend’s house. Go see the City of Dreaming Spires! And, if you get hungry for something sweet, we’re hoarding the last package of chocolate crepes from Sainsburys. Yum.

  • Meghanssj

    P.s. In London, pick up lunch at Harrod’s food hall. They have everything, and it is HARRODS so its fun to get your little bag. Also, its very close to the wonderful Victoria and Albert museum, which should not be missed.

  • Choming Girl

    I can’t believe on this news because http://goo.gl/XI0lwP

  • june

    Yes – German butter. The bomb.

  • june

    …and prep for eating in London with Steve Coogan in The Trip, if you haven’t already seen it. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1740047/?ref_=nv_sr_2

  • Karen@Mignardise

    I was just in London and Edinburgh in April. Edinburgh is gorgeous and so much fun. The best meal we had there was at The Outsider. The food is very fresh and creative, there’s a fantastic view of the castle and the wine list has hilarious descriptions.
    In London, NOPI is a MUST! It’s an Ottolenghi place and it was the best meal of our vacation. We had the tasting menu so we got to try a little of everything. I wish we had gone back a second time. (Make sure you visit the restroom too!)
    You can see some photos from the trip on Instagram @kwatterson (I follow you.)
    I was reading the Hilary Mantel books, “Wolf Hall” and “Bring Up the Bodies”, which are historical fiction about Henry VIII, but told from the point of view of Thomas Cromwell. Perfect to read while in London, and if you go to the Tower of London (which you should) you’ll be able to get a great feel for the era. Someone else mentioned Kensington Palace and tea at the Orangery. I second that! The gardens there are so beautiful.
    I’m so glad to offer some suggestions to you for a change!

  • Ttrockwood

    Definately go to chowhound.com and check out the international boards for locals recommendations! I have used the site for several trips and discovered some really wonderful meals that way.

  • Ttrockwood

    Great idea!
    Websites like homeaway.com and airbnb.com have some great apts for rent…

  • Mike

    If you can find availability, staying in the flat in the St. Pancras station clock tower is quite the experience. You can book through AirBnB: https://www.airbnb.co.uk/rooms/501171 or contact the owner directly if there doesn’t appear to be any availability. It’s centrally located and the Tower Room is well suited to hosting events for a dozen or more people, which we’ve just done a few nights ago.

  • clbtx

    If you’re in Berlin on a Thursday, you should try Street Food Thursday: https://www.facebook.com/StreetFoodThursday Really great event with food and drink from all over the world.

  • IanB

    Berlin meets Brooklyn at Markthalle Neun in KBurg!

  • http://eatrepeat.blogspot.com/ Aubrey Dunnuck

    In London we had a great time exploring Borough Market, it can get super crowded but has lots of great food stalls and photo ops. And there’s great coffee at Monmouth Coffee right across the street. Afternoon tea is a must! We did the Brown Hotel, which is a splurge but oh so elegant and delicious. We also took a day trip to Oxford and ate delicious sausage at a nice place called The Big Bang.

  • http://eatrepeat.blogspot.com/ Aubrey Dunnuck

    In London we had a great time exploring Borough Market, it can get super crowded but has lots of great food stalls and photo ops. And there’s great coffee at Monmouth Coffee right across the street. Afternoon tea is a must! We did the Brown Hotel, which is a splurge but oh so elegant and delicious. We also took a day trip to Oxford and ate delicious sausage at a nice place called The Big Bang.

  • http://eatrepeat.blogspot.com/ Aubrey Dunnuck

    And how could I forget Ottolenghi! We picked up some amazing salads and desserts (I still dream about the buttery plum cake) at the Kensington location before having a picnic at nearby Kensington Gardens. I also highly recommend the Courtauld Gallery! It’s a beautiful space with a fantastically curated collection of important Impressionist and Post-Impressionist pieces.

  • Rivka@notderbypie

    Just piling on here, but I put together a map of all the places we ate/visited during our trip to Berlin (many discovered via Luisa and others). At the bottom of my write-up: http://www.notderbypie.com/getaways-berlin/. We stayed in Mitte, which I would definitely recommend.

    In London, we stayed in Marylebone. Again, loved. Adorable neighborhood, incredible cheese cave/good coffee shop on the high street called La Fromagerie that anchored our days. Agree on St. John. Also wouldn’t skip Ottolenghi and/or Nopi (preferably both – they’re different). Also, don’t miss Borough Market. Everything there is delightful; the raclette stand and the Aussie coffee stand in the outdoor section are particularly good.

  • Fikir

    Hello Adam. Your European travels sound super exciting! Here are some tips that will hopefully help you out.

    London – Definitely go to Ottolenghi (you can pick up a takeaway from one of the various shops), and Wahaca (there are also several restaurants, and they can get busy but it is totally worth it). I would also go to Brick Lane for curry at one of the many curry houses there, and the best bagels (and an amazing cheesecake!) I have eaten outside of New York, at Bagel Bake!

    Edinburgh – Under The Stairs is a cool little place that is cosy and has a great selection, with some delicious sharing platters. For a nice meal, Castle Terrace (now with a michelin star) has a set lunch menu which is fantastic value considering how great the meal and the experience are.

    Berlin – Santa Maria does the most amazing Mexican food (lots of interesting veggie stuff), and White Trash burgers are great. Also, non-food related; go on the red t-shirt walking tour that goes from the Starbucks by Brandenburg Gate. It was a great way to get a lay of the land, see lots of the major sights and learn a lot about the city that would otherwise involve pouring over a guidebook for hours.

    I would highly recommend using AirBnB in all three cities, especially for London, as getting a well located place can be pricey.

  • Klara

    Munich:
    Two tips for the traditional cuisine.
    Viktualienmarkt – http://www.viktualienmarkt-muenchen.de/ for beer and food in beergardens, food curiosities and sightseeing AND the gallery of Bavarians in Lederhosen and hats with brushes (I know, but it is as bizzare as it sounds).
    Hofbräuhaus http://www.hofbraeuhaus.de/en/index_en.html – again the gallery of people wearing traditional costumes – Tracht – it makes me laugh just thinking about it (but beware, Bavarians are very serious about it) and point of historical interest: here, Hitler founded his NSDAP and it is a place you really need to see. Strongly recommend Hofbräu Original to drink and Surhaxe, a whole pickled knuckle of pork to eat (be sure to be at least a little hungry before).
    As for food, Bavaria may be really difficult for non-natives. Bavarian cuisine today has quite a limited repertoire of heavy, meat-based dishes and it is not uncommon to find “small schnitzel” in the section of vegetarian dishes. Also, city centres are full of “traditional-cuisine” restaurants aiming at turists with all the drawbacks of it.

    For additional info, I suggest
    http://www.restaurant-kritik.de/searches?utf8=%E2%9C%93&keywords=&location_keywords=Munich&lo_lat=48.0616018000&lo_lng=11.3607960000&hi_lat=48.2482197000&hi_lng=11.7228755000&location_types=locality%2Cpolitical
    only in German.

    Art:
    I would definitelly spend some time in Alte und Neue Pinakothek – Art Galleries http://www.pinakothek.de/en/home

  • http://www.bloggingsupport.com/ Paul

    Munich : –

    Manam http://www.manamthaifood.com/de/about has the appeal of authentic Thai food, the queue out the door every night will show you that it is indeed tasty. Try their papaya salad along with a tasty curry.

    German : Ayingers am Platzl http://www.platzl.de/gastronomie/wirtshaus-ayingers/wirtshaus-ayingers.html , don’t eat at the Hofbrauhaus, rather go in and enjoy a beer maybe, and they go opposite to Ayingers to get the best veal schnitzel in Munich, which is served along with roasted potatoes. They also server beer from a wooden barrel from 5 each day.

  • Ellie

    Woohoo! This made me so happy to hear you are headed to Berlin! I am a lifelong New Yorker (well, until 2 years ago when I moved here, to Berlin). You’ve gotten some good suggestions in the comments and of course Luisa will show you the right way. BUT here are my tips anyway:

    Street Food Thursday in Markthalle Neun – great Berlin atmosphere, tons of different food options
    Lokal – in Mitte, really great seasonal food
    Kantine is owned by Lokal and not far away. They are open only for lunch and serve as a sort of cafeteria for architect David Chipperfield’s Berlin office. Great food, great prices, great atmosphere.
    Thai Park – if you’re around on a weekend it’s a really fun thing to do.
    Zeit für Brot – I think they have the most incredible cinnamon buns ever, just don’t get an end piece.
    Meierei – nice breakfast, great strudel as someone else mentioned
    Monseur Vuong – Tons of Vietnamese in Berlin, and I am partial to them. It’s trendy but the food is always really fresh and good and the staff is nice.
    Clarchens Ballhaus – sit in the garden and eat a schnitzel, if you haven’t had enough in Munich.
    Eat tons of ice cream everywhere, including the super weird but somehow delicious fake-italian german speciality: spaghetti eis. But there’s great ice cream at Rosa Canina, Eis Manufaktur, Hokey Pokey and it is always around €1 for a scoop.
    KaDeWe food floor: shop around all the different breads, pastries, meat, etc. I wouldn’t say eating there is imperative but bring yourself home something sweet for later!

    And if you’re dying for a burger, I would go to Burgermeister. I’ve tried almost every burger in Berlin, nothing beats it.

    Bring home lots of spicy german mustard in a tube, and eat your weight in Karl’s strawberries (the huts are all around town and you can’t miss them as they’re shaped like a giant strawberry)

    I would avoid any food types you can do well with in LA, aka Mexican, Italian, American. Those types of food here have good spots but relative to what you can get in LA they won’t compare.

    Stay in Mitte near Hackescher Markt/Rosenthaler Platz. Easy to get everywhere in the city and tons of options around you. Hotel Amano is nice but $, good location. Tons of Air BnB’s everywhere. Oh, and rent a bike!!

  • Lucy

    For Edinburgh, if you’d like a £££ try the likes of “The Kitchin” or “Martin Wishart” which are michelin starred restaurants. You could also go for the chefs more economical sister restaurants (Kitchin’s “Scran and Scallie” – a posh pub or Wishart’s “The Honours” – brasserie feel). Ondine, a seafood restaurant, is tasty.

    Other places to try are “Ship on the Shore” (a seafood restaurant and champagne bar that has quite a relaxed decor); “Timberyard”, newly opened “Aizle” or “Gardener’s Cottage” (these all have the same kind of local, seasonal vibe) or “Mother India’s Cafe” (Indian food, served tapas style), “Kim’s Mini Meals” (small Korean restaurant) or “Passorn” (Thai restaurant near Cameo Cinema).

    For a quick, cheaper bite before a film showing, you could go to “Burger” (sells… burgers) or “Kampung Ali” (Malaysian) both are on a street called Fountainbridge.

    If you want to go to a pretty famous pub in Edinburgh, go to “Canny Mans”. They sell tasty open sandwiches and seafood, and try a Bloody Mary! It’s been owned by the same family for ages and it’s pretty quirky with rules such as no cameras, no backpackers, no phones. It’s just the way they run things. They don’t accept credit cards, bank cards.

    Hope this helps. Have a lovely time in Edinburgh – it’s a beautiful city.

  • jac

    Lose yourself in Ian McEwen’s Berlin Novel: The Innocent. Like The Lives of Others (which I’m sure you know) it is based in real Berlin history that will impart a sense of alternate reality/awareness to your time there. The story is terrific. McEwen’s writing is the best. The characters are subtle.

  • Julia

    I second Karen’s recommendation of Hilary Mantel’s novels about Cromwell and Henry the 8th. I also highly recommend Kate Atkinson’s Jackson Brodie books. Great vacation reads, as they are well plotted detective novels, but are also just very good novels. They take place around the UK, especially Edinburgh, London, and Cambridge if I remember correctly.

  • Sam stewart

    In Berlin Monsieur Vuong is a must for a casual delicious lunch. See review with pictures on http://www.samstewartetc.com/monsieur-vuong/

  • Sam stewart

    If you want London tips, my blog has tons of them as I live in london and travel around Europe on the weekend as much as I can eating my way around Europe
    http://www.samstewartetc.com/

  • Ann

    I was just in London and the best thing I did was the London Walks: The Street Art walk in Spitalfields. Amazing artwork -even more so, because of it’s “temporary” nature. And you end the tour near Spitalfields market – a great place to stop and shop and eat afterwards.

  • Ana @ maninas.wordpress.com

    Sounds like a fantastic trip! :D I love Edinburgh, for the friendly people and brilliant atmosphere. Munich was great fun, everyone I know who’s been to Berlin loves it. London is, well, London! :)

    London:
    - Ottolenghi – everyone says ‘Go!’, and they’re right!
    - Broadway Market
    - Borough Market

    If you do go to Oxford:
    - Punting! nothing beats being on the river in Oxford. Perhaps go from the Cherwell Boathouse, and have lunch (good restaurant) or a picnic basket from there.
    - Bodleian Library tours
    - Christ Church is a must for Harry Potter fans
    - New College has lovely gardens, good choir, remnants of Oxford city walls, plus some Harry Potter connections
    - the Vaults cafe’ in the University church does lovely homemade jam and scones (freshly baked from 3 pm. You can sit in their twee garden and admire the Radcliffe camera and the nearby college buildings.
    - great coffee at Zappi’s cafe, Combibos, the Quarterhorse, Truck Store.
    - Jamie (Oliver’s) Italian is not bad for a spot of nice pasta
    - Oli’s Thai has fanatastic food, but is off the beaten track and requires far indvance booking
    - check out the historic pubs and have a pint of fine ale or some cooling Pimms.

  • Natasja

    Dito on The Dogs and Scran &Scallie

  • Natasja

    Haven’t been able to get there on Thursday yet, but the food market in Markthalle Neun is great on Friday and Saturday too

  • Natasja

    I just finished ‘London’ by Edward Rutherfurd and loved it, it’s a novel about the history of …duh…London.

    My favourite restaurant in Edinburg is ‘The Dogs’ and I haven’t been to ‘The Scran & Scallie’ yet, but will definitely go there next time.
    http://thedogsonline.co.uk/
    http://scranandscallie.com/

    Berlin
    ‘Rogacki’ is always our first lunch stop. It’s a huge deli, where you eat standing at the bar. Make sure to go to the centre bars, not the buffet line and you can either order from the menu or ask them to fix you something from the shop.
    http://www.rogacki.de/

    ‘KaDeWe’ department store, for lunch and shopping in the biggest Gourmet department I’ve ever seen.

    Café am Neunen See. Beautifully located next to a small lake in the Tiergarten Park. Great for outdoor brunches (very busy on Sunday morning) or an afternoon beer with pretzels in the garden. http://www.cafeamneuensee.de/

    Hackesche Höfe to stroll around, while there go to the Café Cinema next to the Kino, a dark, funky place with great cappucino’s.

    Markthalle Neun. The food market on Friday and Saturday is great and I hear Street Food Thursdays are even better!
    http://www.markthalleneun.de/

    There’s tons more, but these are my current favourites :)

    Have fun!!

  • natasja

    We went to one of the Weinerei bars recently and charming as it looked, you do have to pay a minimum amount per glass and there are prices on the food menu too. Maybe they’re just an indication, but it’s rather confusing actually.

  • natasja

    We went to one of the Weinerei bars recently and charming as it looked, you do have to pay a minimum amount per glass and there are prices on the food menu too. Maybe they’re just an indication, but it’s rather confusing actually.

  • natasja

    We went to one of the Weinerei bars recently and charming as it looked, you do have to pay a minimum amount per glass and there are prices on the food menu too. Maybe they’re just an indication, but it’s rather confusing actually.

  • natasja

    We went to one of the Weinerei bars recently and charming as it looked, you do have to pay a minimum amount per glass and there are prices on the food menu too. Maybe they’re just an indication, but it’s rather confusing actually.

  • natasja

    We went to one of the Weinerei bars recently and charming as it looked, you do have to pay a minimum amount per glass and there are prices on the food menu too. Maybe they’re just an indication, but it’s rather confusing actually.

  • natasja

    We went to one of the Weinerei bars recently and charming as it looked, you do have to pay a minimum amount per glass and there are prices on the food menu too. Maybe they’re just an indication, but it’s rather confusing actually.

  • Isabel

    Born and bred Londoner and avid fan here (in a non-creepy way) with a London eating essay, I apologies for its length!

    River Café is a classic and set in a beautiful location, and Dinner with Heston is really truly unreal, I would recommend both. Another high end place and thought of as one of the best (I haven’t been able to afford it yet) is Marcus at The Berkeley (head chef is Marcus Wareing, one of the greats). These are all special occasion places so in terms of money all three might be stretching it!

    The hot spot at the moment is Chiltern Firehouse, which has amazing food but is also packed with celebs so it’s tough to get a table, and if you are coming from LA you have probably had enough of that.

    Riding House Café has great all day food, especially the brunch. Another great brunch place is Jackson Rye.

    For great Indian food you can’t beat Gymkhana, more high end, using seasonal British ingredients, the restaurant itself is British Indian, marble tables etc. A bit on the pricey side, but the guinea fowl is insane!

    I would say try Balthazar but you lived in New York so you know all about it, Barnyard is quite new and really good (it looks like David Lebovitz just took a trip there). As someone else has mentioned Polpo and the sister restaurants which all serve small plates are all brilliant (Polpo – Italian, Mishkins- Jewish, Sputino – Americana). The best Italian in London is Boca Di Lupo, I had one of the greatest meals of my life there (ask to sit up at the counter and watch the chefs work their magic) and their gelateria opposite the restaurant is obscenely good.

    Cross to East London and you come to the “hipster” area (sort of like a very very London Silverlake/Echo park) which is full of amazing restaurants one of which is The Quality Chop House which serves perfect British food, bring an empty stomach! Their confit potatoes will blow your mind (this I swear!) as will most other things on the menu. While east pop to Borough market (by London Bridge) where you can sample a ridiculous amount of food from raclette to oysters. Don’t forget Monmouth coffee while you’re there (also one in Covent garden) for by far the best coffee in London.

    The amazing jewellery store style patisserie; La Patisserie Des Reves from Paris has just open on Marylebone High Street, try the Paris Brest! While there try La Fromagerie for amazing cheeses and charcuterie.

    If you want to get out of central London, hop on the Tube to Richmond and take a walk along the beautiful river to Petersham Nurseries, a plant nursery with a Michelin starred café restaurant. Maybe opt for the tearoom area as it is a hell of a lot cheaper than the café and still exceptional, with a lot of the ingredients coming from their own garden, try the sparkling elderflower with fresh mint. Classic English country garden affair. While in Richmond try William Curley a leading patissier and chocolatier.

    Talking of chocolate; Paul A Young (Soho, Islington) is the best British chocolatier as far as I am concerned (is expensive though, I have got carried away there before).

    Head to the British institution of Fortnam and Masons for tea and a shop, their food makes amazing gifts to take home as well. Harrods is fun to have a look at but priced for tourists.

    For reading Grace Dent is a brilliant and funny restaurant critic/journalist, every place she has recommended I have been obsessed by. The link below is her top list from last year for restaurants. Definitely have a look at her for some good London suggestions:

    http://www.standard.co.uk/goingout/restaurants/grace-dents-best-london-restaurants-of-2013-9007037.html?action=gallery

    Hope that isn’t too extensive, I have even more suggestions
    (I haven’t even started with things to do, let me know if you want more!) but I think I’ll stop there. Phew!

  • georg

    having lived here in munich half of my life, my list is:
    butterbreze and coffee for breakfast (skip weisswurst for breakfast, just makes you feel sick for the rest of the day)
    hofbrauhaus, believe it or not, is a very authentic place with decent food. they have a very nice patio too.
    better yet for authenticity is weisses brauhaus, very close by, just off the viktualienmarkt.
    and if you want it fancy and modern, try tramin. hard to describe, but it’ll be a trip and a half
    if money doesn’t matter, go to tantris. an architectural time travel back to the seventies, and michelin-star food. they have a budget-lunch on saturday.

    enjoy it, an have a large beer under chestnut-trees in a beer-garden like the one on wiener platz.

  • Cecil Vitzthum

    Hi Adam, I have been following your blog from Berlin for ages with lots of fun. Glad to finally contribute something useful. You must not leave Berlin without having been to Tim Raue. Anything else will not impress you coming from the NY/LA background. My wife and I would be delighted, to have you twofor a pre-dinner Drink in lovely Charlottenburg quarter, just let me know. All the best and safe travels !

  • Shelley

    I remember so well two restaurants from our trip to Edinburgh about 10 years ago and just checked online to see if they’re still up and running and yes, they are:
    Rick’s, a casual but sophisticated restaurant on Fredrick St in downtown Edinburgh. We lived it so much we went back twice to eat and once just for drinks. You just feel comfortable here and you’re surrounded by locals.
    And a special place, Rhubarb, a restaurant out of town a bit at Prestonfield House.

  • Shelley

    I remember so well two restaurants from our trip to Edinburgh about 10 years ago and just checked online to see if they’re still up and running and yes, they are:
    Rick’s, a casual but sophisticated restaurant on Fredrick St in downtown Edinburgh. We lived it so much we went back twice to eat and once just for drinks. You just feel comfortable here and you’re surrounded by locals.
    And a special place, Rhubarb, a restaurant out of town a bit at Prestonfield House.

  • Shelley

    We also ate at The Outsider! Very good and fun! Great seafood

  • Luci Manning

    Just got back from a UK vacation yesterday! In Edinburgh you must check out Holyrood 9A for a burger when (if) you get tired of pub fare. The burgers are great. The hamburger meat was fantastic and nothing like I can remember having in the states. Also spring for the up-charge for the peri peri seasoning on the fries. http://www.theholyrood.co.uk/

  • Erica

    For Tayyabs, make sure to have a reservation!

  • Kathi

    So excited your coming to my city! Munich is lovely in the summer and it’s the perfect contrast to Berlin. Two cities in the same country couldn’t be more different. And of course I will try to watch Craig’s movie at the film festival!

    Concerning food some Bavarian classics that shouldn’t be skipped are Weißwurst for breakfast with Weißbier (on a sunny day especially nice on the Viktualienmarkt in the open air), Schweinebraten (pork roast) with dumplings (good ones can be found at any restaurant with Bavarian specialties), Leberkäse (THE Bavarian street food – can be found anywhere, I don’t have a special recommendation).

    A place I especially like for Bavarian food is called Fraunhofer. It’s located in the hip part of town (Glockenbachviertel) with many bars around. Go there for a hearty meal and have cocktails afterwards in a bar close by.

    Also you should go to a beer garden. There are so many that it is hard to recommend one. It really depends on where you’re staying. I like Aumeister which is in the Northern part of the park Englischer Garten. It’s not too big and not too small. Wherever you go – eat Obatzer (cheese spread) and Brezen.

    If you feel like you need a break from all the meat-centric Bavarian food, a place I like is “Attentat Griechischer Salat”. It’s a bit off from the city center and tourist-free. They have the most amazing salads with a greek touch.

    And if you are in search of company, I am somewhere close by ;-)

  • Anonymous

    Salt beef bagel at Brick Lane. And dinner at The Ledbury.

  • Jennie

    First the credentials ; ) – I’m originally from Southern California, but have been living in Munich for almost 12 years now. Two really good places for traditional Bavarian fare are the Weißes Bräuhaus (www.weisses-brauhaus.de) and Paulaner im Tal (www.paulaner-im-tal.de) (both good but touristy). Der Pschorr Wirtshaus (www.der-pschorr.de/english_about.html) right next to the Viktualienmarkt (an outside market that you have to check out!) is a bit more fancy but really, really excellent with a lot of seasonal, regional ingredients. If you’re looking for something more casual and less touristy, I would definitely recommend the Wirtshaus im Fraunhofer in the district called the Glockenbachviertel (it’s pretty close to the Isar river, so you could go for a stroll afterwards). They have substantial, traditional cuisine and a pretty old-school atmosphere with a nicely mixed crowd. Gärtnerplatz Alm (www.gaertnerplatzalm.de) is a new place where you can grill your own meat or eat amazing Flammbrot. They also have some good specialty cocktails. It’s right near Gärtnerplatz, a small square that I recommend you check out as well. There’s also a Vietnamese/Bavarian fusion place called Fei Scho (www.feischo.com) where they serve dim sum and roasted pork. I don’t know how much time you’ll have, but I could go on and on. I’ll be sure to check out Craig’s movie at the Filmfest, too. : ) Have a great time!

  • Jennie

    Oh, and try Oink in Edinburgh! http://www.oinkhogroast.co.uk

  • Anonymous

    I agree with Hofbrauhaus. Might be a cliche but it’s been around for forever for a reason. Was there the day that East and West Germany united. Very interesting reactions. Also, the science museum is beyond fabulous. Incredible antique cars etc. Not too huge, just wonderful

  • Anonymous

    I agree with Hofbrauhaus. Might be a cliche but it’s been around for forever for a reason. Was there the day that East and West Germany united. Very interesting reactions. Also, the science museum is beyond fabulous. Incredible antique cars etc. Not too huge, just wonderful

  • SusanK

    Second the Steinheil 16 recommendation. Schnitzels as big as your head and roasted potatoes with big pork lardons scattered throughout. Not to be missed.

  • SusanK

    I love all the biergartens in Munich, but my favorite has to be the one at the monastery at Andechs (http://www.andechs.de/nc/en.html). The monks decided to brew a beer that they would drink instead of eating as their way of sacrificing during lent: the maibock based on that recipe is outstanding. Take the S8 streetcar to the end of the line at Herrsching and then get out and walk up a couple easy miles to the monastery and biergarten atop the hill and drink your well-deserved beer. Get some giant pretzels and obatzda (delicious camembert-based cheesy dip with onions) to round it out. Stumble back down the hill to the train and head back into town when you’re done.

  • TC

    London:
    Kitchen Table (walk through Bubbledogs past the leather curtains)
    NOPI
    The Ledbury
    Medlar
    Launceston Place
    The Five Fields
    Dinner by Heston Blumenthal
    Helene Darroze (brunch)

    Edinburgh:
    Restaurant 21212 (they also have rooms)

  • Susan

    My sister in law and myself will be visiting London late September for a week. We both have never been there! We are staying in Gloucester Rd, Kensington. Would love some ideas on places to dine in or take away. We love a variety of cuisines..Indian..Italian..Asian..pub meals..a good fish and chips! easy lunches and always a nice place to stop and rest the feet with a good tea and coffee and a cake/ pastry. We would also like to splash out on a lavish afternoon tea such as at The Savoy. We want to go to a market or two..shopping..and will see the main tourist sites including Hampton Court and perhaps Kew Gardens. Appreciate some help !!

  • Dorothee

    Totally Rogacki. My husband is from Berlin and its a great favorite. Potato salad and fish ftw.