In a city that has seen such tumultuous upheaval, it is always enjoyable to find an authentic taste of the old Berlin. In Charlottenburg there is just such a place: a charming, old fashioned bar & restaurant called Dicke Wirtin, that’s been serving pork knuckles, pilsner & schnapps since the days of the Weimar. ‘Despite modern influences’, the owners say, ‘Dicke Wirtin has retained its Berlin charm. Every turbulence was met here with calmness and a well tapped beer.’
‘Dicke Wirtin’ is German for a ‘plump inn keeper’, or more colloquially, ‘the fat hostess’, and is named after the original owner, Anna Stanscheck. By all accounts, the landlady was, “an impressive woman, well-known for her big heart, her big stews, and her affection towards the poor students of the nearby University of Fine Arts.”
That same genial, welcomeness is still much on show today: we stepped into the cosy bar on the north eastern corner of Savingyplatz, and immediately felt at home. Small crowded tables of regulars are nestled side by side with antique gramophones, gas lamps, candlestick telephones and wall decor that looks like it hasn’t changed much since there was still a Kaiser.
Up at the snug bar there are jars of free pickled eggs, and above your head, shelves of squat glass bottles, each with a rubber tube coming out a spigot that wouldn’t look out of place in a chemistry lab.
These are the in-house brandies, one of Dicke Wirtin’s calling cards. Served in delicate schnapps glasses, they come in such flavourful varieties as sour cherry, blackthorn, Williams pear, apricot and ginger.
We first dropped in Dicke Wirtin after a long days travel from Bavaria. The bar is one of those that has a knack for making you feel you’re already a regular from the moment you step in. A true taste of old Berlin, you half expect to bump into Bernie Gunther shaking down some spinners and snappers, before joining the other bulls for a Landwehr Toppler Pils.
What You’re Having :
To eat, pork knuckle, washed down with the local Berliner Kindl beer, and a schnapps. We tried several and they were all first rate, our favourite was the sour cherry.
CarmerStraße 9, 10623, Berlin. Open from 11am, closing hours seem relaxed.