The Secret Beer Garden: Zur Laube

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I love traditional Berlin pub names. They always begin with zu, like you’re taking a mental leap to somewhere: zum Nussbaum (to the nut tree), zur Glühlampe (to the lightbulb), zur fetten Ecke (to the … fat corner).
 
Their names make it sound like you’re being transported to a very special place, just by stepping over the threshold into a smokey, candle-lit grotto.
 
Getting to the hidden beer garden, Zur Laube, is not like that. You literally have to go down the garden path to get there. It isn’t even on a proper street.

 

At the end of the 200 bus line, far beyond the Ring (about 10 minutes), a wide road flanked by pastel Plattenbauen stretches along the edge of Prenzlauer Berg, honoring the long-dead Italian, Michelangelo. Just on the bend, half-hidden, a dusty path lined with poplars runs through the adorable Kleingärten. The “street”, endearingly, is called Hauptweg (“main path”).

Neat ranks of pansies and garden gnomes welcome you into the world of kitsch and quiet. When you first pass by the dainty flowerbeds and honest vegetable patches, there is a sense of privacy that hits you with a pang of guilt.

You will first feel like a dirty trespasser, but after a little strolling, your imagination will elope with the irresistible charm of a bunch of people expressing their simple desire for a place to escape. It takes you miles away from the city, which is only 500 meters behind you.

Half expected an angry granny to skewer me as I took this shot.

After about 15 minutes, you come to the end of the trail. Turn a corner, and there it is: a garden within a garden, Zur Laube, “the pergola”.

And there it is, with a path leading up to Volkspark Prenzlauer Berg on the left.

Lumberjacks would feel right at home at this hidden pub. The beer garden is snuggled in amongst the trees, and the pub is floor-to-ceiling wooden panels. The vibe has a distinctive family cabin quality.

The beer garden is thoughtfully placed at the foot of Volkspark Prenzlauer Berg, so that hikers and joggers can tumble down the hill straight to the bar and grab a “Bocki” sausage and a bread roll.

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The view from the top of the hill in the unsung oasis of the near-deep-east, Volkspark Prenzlauer Berg.

In a word, it’s adorable. Its cheerful sky blue walls, candy-striped signposts, and log cabin interior transport you to a little world far away.

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Zur Laube
Hohenschönhauser Str. 80
10407 Berlin-Prenzlauer Berg
Found in Kleingartenanlage Am Volkspark e.V.
Opening times:
Wed-Sun: 10 am – 10 pm
Mon-Tue: Closed

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