The Spirit of Bacardí Graphic novel uncovers revolutionary Cuban origins featured
‘Tis the cold brew season Check out Mikado’s how-to video featured

No matter who you are, everybody has the odd vice or two. In fact, they often come in pairs—just like coffee and chocolate. While it’s these small everyday indulgences that get us through from nine to five and from Monday to Friday, the days of late summer present a particular problem to the cocoa and caffeine-loving people of the world. How can you truly enjoy that steaming cup of joe…

Suma Beach Good vibrations featured

The lovechild of Wake Up Call and Suma Han, it came as no big surprise when Suma Beach turned out to be the no-holds-barred party beast that it is. On the opening night in summer 2013, over 1000 of Istanbul’s most insatiable hedonists raved till last man standing – which is pretty damn late in the day… after next. Having set a high benchmark, they didn’t disappoint with weekend after weekend of blissed-out revelry. The lineups—featuring the likes of Dixon, Henrik Schwarz and Jennifer Cardini—are house music of the highest order, pitch perfect for those multiple sunrise-sunset moments.

In decoration and spirit, it’s clearly inspired by the late Bar 25 in Berlin. That translates into a festival-like atmosphere in which to discover the various wooded corners, swinging hammocks and curious party folk. By night, lasers and light installations provide an overdose of eye candy, and by day, the sun draws you out to the refreshing embrace of the Black Sea. (Said embrace is gonna cost you a few extra bucks by the way). It’s about 45 minutes drive from Istanbul so check their Facebook listings before charging out there. Better yet, make use of their free shuttles back and forth from Taksim or more regularly from the metro stop Hacıosman. Suma Beach reopens for the 2014 season on June 7th…

Bald Neu How soon is now? featured

This one’s a great little neighbourhood hangout for those who like their coffee third-wave, and like to enjoy it somewhere hip. Right across the road from Charlie, Bald Neu has a palpable sense of edginess — thanks mostly to the battered furniture, peeling paint and those lights hanging down on cables that all trendy places seem to have now. Adding to the vibe is the low-lying, bric-a-brac seating, which gives you a bottom-up kind of perspective on proceedings.

Still, we digress. The coffee is great, especially the cappuccinos: These guys have an exceptional knack for creamy, bubbly froth (if such a thing exists). All of them come in mugs with those tiny handles too, so there’s the added bonus of automatically looking sophisticated when you take a sip. Süß accompaniments come in various forms of cake, such as a Schokokuchen that rates with the best of ‘em, not forgetting the poppy-seed cherry pie either.

If you’re carrying around a serious hunger, Bald Neu also serves up a regularly rotating menu of hot meals that on any given day might include a hearty chili con carne, traditional south German Spätzle with leek and mushroom, or a sweet potato and carrot cream soup. They serve toasted sandwiches (a rarity in Germany), and they even come with the crusts cut off — like your mum used to do. It’s a bit of a double-edged sword though, as it leaves them looking a little small. Still, you can always eat another immediately afterwards to compensate. They’re definitely good enough to warrant it.

Stattbad Wedding Into the deep end featured

We’ve always had a soft spot for Wedding. Whether you’re into playing postal code ‘hot or not’ is one thing, but you can’t deny that something is certainly stirring around 13347 these days. And that’s thanks in no small part to the rough-and-ready charms of Stattbad.

The swimming pool closed to the Speedo-clad brigade back in 2001, but what the city lost in aerobic fitness it more than made up for in mental stimulation when it reopened as an offbeat artistic space. What began as pretty make-shift operation is turning into something of a cultural juggernaut. There are regular exhibitions and concerts as well as a street-level bar, urban garden, and weekly vegetarian restaurant.

As good as these things are, it’s the club nights that will have you baying for more. The gimmick of quite literally “diving into the deep end” to dance the night away is worth a few chuckles at first. However, it’s the solid booking and labyrinthine space that provide the laughs everlasting—a fine return on your gamble of heading into nosebleed territory north of the city. Oh and if you can blag or blow your way to an invite, the Boiler Room also takes place in the basement here.

Pointless fact for the linguistically-challenged: It used to be called Stadtbad (public pool) but since the water’s been drained, it’s now referred to as the homophone, Stattbad (instead of a pool…). Pretty clever huh?

The Sunken Chip Mer-veilleux featured

On the one hand, with the London-Paris love affair blossoming more than ever, it’s a wonder that the French capital hasn’t adopted a few more British traditions. That being said, of all the potential cultural imports, food must’ve ranked somewhere near the bottom of the list. Not to be put off by prejudices of the Gallic tongue, two plucky young Brits decided to introduce a culinary classic of the Victorian seaside to the modern-day shores of the Canal Saint-Martin.

And what would you know, it’s only proved a rip-roaring success. Parisian foodies, and even some mortals without a blog, have been battering (pun intended) down the door since summer 2013. No wonder either. The fish (hake, haddock or catch of the day) is melt-in-your-mouth fresh having been delivered directly from the net of a Breton fisherman. The radioactive-looking mushy peas make for a perfectly green companion to the hand-cut chunky chips, and to wash it down, there’s a raft of British fizzy pop faves. For the unacquainted French out there, the Dandelion & Burdock is an absolute must-try—though best not to ask what’s actually in it.

In winter, as the seating is both limited and communal, you better not have an aversion to playing footsie with the hip starlets of the 10th arrondissement. But then come summer, the world is your oyster (last pun, promise) so you can take out the food, as is traditional, and eat your salty nosh by the canal.

Output Dark side of the club featured

More than a few wizened techno heads have commented on Output’s passing resemblance to a certain Berghain, and basically, the compliments don’t come much higher than that. Just like the Berlin prototype, there are no cameras, no VIP and no bullshit. And thanks to their Funktion One soundsystem, the beats are both crystal clear and ferocious at the same time.

Prices are a tad steep for this part of Brooklyn but the clubbing experience – from the lineups to the lighting – is world class. Buying tickets in advance neutralizes the worst sting, but whatever you end up paying, you won’t begrudge them once you’ve seen the vast warehouse space and killer views from the rooftop smoking area. In a nutshell: Hands down the best post-industrial rave this side of the Atlantic.

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