Backdoor Bars of Berlin
By QT/ Team
Like any metropolitan city, Berlin has a great selection of secret bars or speakeasys as some might say. After vigorously looking into the topic of speakeasys in Berlin, we selected 6 cool locations that are worth checking out if you’re in town and have a little night cap craving in a more unique environment to the usual bustling bars overcrowded with tourists.
You can access all six venues by ringing a door bell, and being let in by the bar staff, most of which aren’t too hard to find. But don’t shy off from the exterior or closed look from the outside, once welcomed inside, it is like stepping back in time into atmospheric saloons. The bars explored were, Becketts Kopf, Buck & Breck, Bar Tausend, Drayton, Bar Zentral, and Green Door.
Becketts Kopf (Pappelallee 64)
With an extensive menu of unique cocktails, Becketts Kopf plays with different flavours and interesting mixes working with herbal ingredients as well. Don’t be shy to speak with the bar tender, especially if you are unsure of what you are feeling like, they are very attentive and helpful when helping you choose your drink. By the preparation of the drinks to serving them, you can definitely feel the passion that goes into the entire process, which is very refreshing. The venue it itself has a very intimate and vintage ambiance, with the lavish green marble countertops, dimmed mood lighting, to the classic dark wooden furniture. The music choice also adds to the atmosphere, overall a great experience.
Buck & Breck (Brunnenstraße 177)
Do not be afraid of the blinking ‘closed’ LED lighting by the address, simply ring the door bell and wait. Once you walk through the doors, you will enter into a modern and unusual setting, in a sense of a very random selection of décor, not following any particular theme but just being a bit odd (imagine golden pineapples, a chainsaw, giant stuff toy squid). The extremely large bar counter makes for a spacious and spread out feeling in the small intimate space. Overall a very ‘chill’ venue. Their drink menu holds a quite large selection, ranging from chocolatey, sour, and fruity mixes, definitely a fun variation of beverages.
Bar Tausend (Schiffbauerdamm 11)
You really need to know where the door is to consider finding the entrance, as we actually would have walked past it if it weren’t for the taxi driver pointing the right direction. Directly under a bridge, you will find a metal door in the wall, no signage or street numbers, just the metal door that doesn’t look very inviting if you didn’t know what was behind it. Then the usual doorbell ringing and awaiting someone to open it, be sure to know the name of the bar as the door man might ask you think upon arrival. Once you do enter, you will feel as though you stepped into a large vault, with a modern nostalgic feel to it. The later you stay, the more the place turns into a dancing venue becoming very lively. The cocktails were also well curated, and be sure to ask for their special house shot. If you are in bigger groups this venue can be more likely to host you, seeing as its more spacious than the usual speakeasy.
Cookies & Cream, formerly Drayton (Behrenstraße 55)
Apparently, there are two entrances to finding this place, we opted for the ‘local’ back entrance, which first led us going down an alley by the Westin Hotel. It felt more like walking to a loading dock for the hotel, and eventually you will see a giant chandelier that hung from the high parking lot ceiling. Once again you will spot a metal door with a door bell and two chairs placed in front of it. Upon arrival we were told the bar was closing already, but the staff was kind enough to have us for one drink regardless. With vintage interior and a large open space, the atmosphere was very friendly, as was the staff. The drink choice was a bit more limited here, and more extensive in the wine and champagne selections.
Bar Zentral (Lotte-Lenya-Bogen 551)
With a less speakeasy feeling and definitely no pretentiousness to it, Bar Zentral has all the classics you like, and makes them very good as well. A unique drink here also contains a Japanese tea in the mix, that makes for a more bitter type of cocktail, but definitely worth a try if your palette likes the more bitter sides. There is a lot of seating at the bar, with modern interior, a louder and livelier atmosphere, but all very friendly and accommodating.
Green Door (Winterfieldstraße 50)
Green Door, as the name says, also has a green door, which is pretty much all you need to know when finding this venue. Once you enter you will immediately feel very welcomed, as the interior and décor are all very homey and peculiar at the same time, making for a cosy environment. Drinks are offer a good selection and are delectable, alongside polite, professional and attentive staff to help with your choice struggles. Definitely a venue to visit for a more comfortable and cosy setting, for a calmer night.