A well-kept trade secret in Berlin, the Engelbecken restaurant is supposedly the restaurant of choice for off-duty critics. Overlooking a peaceful lake, no other local restaurant boasts such serene surroundings. Specializing in Bavarian cooking, with several Italian-influenced dishes thrown in, the menu is mainly meat-based and the white sausages are a cholesterol-dripping favourite. Thankfully, several lighter and vegetarian options are also available, with a surprisingly good choice of salads. The simple wooden tables are often full and the atmosphere surprisingly boisterous. Even during the week queues have been known to snake outside the restaurant, so reservations are recommended. Amenable staff, however, will always do their best to accommodate, offering waiting guests a tipple from the bar. Due to the large volume of customers, service can be slow and slightly fraught, but once the food arrives it’s easy to forgive. Laid-back and lively, Engelbecken sits somewhere between being a restaurant and a gastropub. Visit once and it will quickly become your local.