It was freezing in Berlin when I was there last week. My friend and I had already reluctantly cancelled the run we had planned and when we started a big walk through the neighbourhood even that proved to be a challenge. She had to buy extra gloves there and I almost had icicles on my nose!
So when the Marhenineke Markthalle came into view as we rounded a corner we dived straight in. A bustling (and warm!) covered market, with not only great produce and cafes, but also many basics like a butchers, bakers, key cutters etc. It felt like a little village in the heart of Berlin. We sat down for a steaming beetroot risotto and a hot cup of tea.
But that was not where we had planned to go, we were really heading to Kreuzberg’s Markthalle Neun, which several friends had recommended a short subway ride away (just too cold to even walk!) .
Neun was absolutely bustling with life. Cute communal tables were dotted around many exciting food stalls and cafes, where you could see you food being prepared and the staff were friendly and chatty. There were flower stalls, a microbrewery, beautiful kitchenware, crafts, you name it, it felt like a real community hub for all things local.
A quick look at their website shows lots of events and tastings going on too and an emphasis on knowing the suppliers and the food representing the many different cultures of the city.
I have to say we really loved the atmosphere and wondered where we might find somewhere like that in our home town here in the UK.