Eating and drinking

You can spend as much or as little as you like on food in Berlin; it's one item, at least, that won't break the bank. The city's compressed, cosmopolitan nature means that it has restaurants offering a whole gamut of cuisines from around the globe. Indeed, ethnic eateries - many of which serve full meals for under DM15/a?¬7.50. - are at least as ubiquitous as traditional German GaststA¤tten. And nowhere is more than a stone's throw from a bar , at least in the western part of the city. Just about every street corner has a small Kneipe, ranging from lugubrious beer-swilling holes to slick, upscale hangouts for Berlin's night people. Most stay open later than elsewhere in Germany: it's quite feasible to drink around the clock here, the result of a law that requires bars to close only for an hour a day for cleaning. It's worth bearing in mind that many are excellent (and inexpensive) choices for food, especially breakfast, which may be served till afternoon - or later.

The city's most distinctive drink is Berliner Weisse , a top-fermented, very pale-coloured wheat beer with a low alcohol content (usually around 2.5 percent). It has an acidic taste when drunk neat, but it's normally pepped up with a shot of fruity syrup, or Schuss , and served in a large bowl-shaped glass as a summer refresher. Ask for it mit grA?n and you get a dash of woodruff, creating a greeny brew with a strong herby taste; mit rot is a raspberry-flavoured kiddy drink that works wonders at breakfast time. The city's two large breweries, Kindl and Scultheiss, both make Berliner Weisse , in addition to their own version of Pils . A broader portfolio of beers is available from an ex-GDR brewery, Berliner BA?rgerbrA¤u, whose products include a dark Bock and an even darker Schwarzbier .

Other useful information for tourists (each section contains more specific sub-sections):