I walked down Mittenwalder Str, wondering if this street really led to the market hall? It all seemed too residential; a fat cat in a window here an old woman smoking a cigarette there…and then I walked into the bright square, glaring sunshine bouncing up off the cobblestones, a cacophony of squealing children, water falling from a great height and general buzz of people soaking up the early summer.
How come no one ever talks about this place? It’s cute as a button! All urban planned with trees offering shade, fountains and a playground for the children.
I had come to finally see the Marheineke Market Hall but I was surprised to also find a Bioland and Alnatura flanking the square. As well as Austria, the restaurant featured in Middlesex and about which Eugenides said “Anybody who wouldn’t like it is somebody I wouldn’t like.” (Before you go ahead assuming that I am so clever, I’m not but my friend Luisa, over at Berlin on a Platter, is: thanks Luisa!)
There is more food around of course, including Soluna Brot & Öl on Gneisenaustrasse. Barcomi’s Kreuzberg outpost on Bergmannstraβe. All of Bergmannstraβe is worth a wander actually, all the way to Mehringdamm on which you can find Curry 36 and Mustafa’s Gemüse Kebap (which people here go bonkers for and I find ok). Of course you have to remember to leave some room for ice cream from Vanille & Marille on Hagelberger str.
Oh and to the person that once wrote to me asking where they good find a spätzle grater? Look no further, I found about 10 different types at In a la Munde, a store selling all things related to making pasta. I am taking a course there in two weeks time so I will tell you all about it then.
Getting back to the market hall. It’s a picture to look at on the outside, so much so that I made plans to permanently live under its green awnings. Inside, it’s a different story entirely. The white floors are already scruffy with wear, the stands looked dwarfed in the big space and mama is it hot in there! Overheating aside, there are a good selection of outlets. Notably Olgas Feinkost for Greek foodstuffs, Geflügel-Oase for all things feathered, Le Bretagne for French goods, El Naranco for Spanish (including chorizo by the piece) as well as a good butchers, fish mongers and cheese shops. Vegetable wise, a bit of a let down, nothing really exceptional or notable but that seems to be a Berlin wide issue.
I had lunch at Le Bretagne, a buckwheat pancake with Emmental cheese, ham and a fried egg.
Layla didn’t want to leave the playground, I got captivated by a game of pétanque. All in all, a day well spent. I look forward to taking my husband there and seeing what the rest of the food is like.
Sadly it’s closed on Sundays, that’s a pity. I bet you if they stayed open, they would be rammed!
Mon-Fri: 8:00 – 20:00
Sat: 8:00 – 18:00