Restaurant Heimlich Treu, A Berlin Hidden Gem

Restaurant Heimlich Treu, a Berlin hidden gem, is definitely worth seeking out. The restaurant’s name, which translates to something like “remain faithful to us but don’t tell anybody” is definitely a delicious secret. With basically no advertising, learning about the restaurant is strictly by word of mouth from those in the know.

With no sign out front on a nondescript street in Berlin-Mitte, unless someone gives you explicit directions, you would never dream that a trendy restaurant lies a short walk ahead. Luckily, we were told by the concierge at the Adlon Kempinski hotel that you have to walk through two courtyards to get to the hidden restaurant. If it wasn’t for the small brass letters spelling Heimlich Treu beside the open door, you might think you were walking into someone’s home.

The restaurant is a large, open room with white washed brick walls accented with  warm earth tones, exposed beams, dark wood floors and modern lighting. Leather sofas, metal chairs, wooden tables and bold art all combine to give it a cozy, casual atmosphere. At the back of the restaurant, there is also a lovely garden in a third courtyard for drinks and dining in nice weather.

The front of the restaurant features the bar where bartenders prepare cocktails that are inventive twists on classics. And what delicious cocktails they are. Arnd Heissen, head bartender at the Ritz Carlton and one of the top mixologists in Germany, created some of the restaurant’s cocktails. He believes that about sixty percent of what you taste comes from what you smell and he’s known for his unusual syrups, infusions and blends he uses when creating a drink.

The Tempting Mule Cocktail

After being greeted by the welcoming staff, we were shown to our table and given menus. While looking over the dinner menu, I ordered “The Tempting Mule”, a cocktail made with sandalwood infused syrup, Cointreau, lime and Grey Goose vodka. It was very good and reminded me of the sweet spicy aromas of Christmas back in New England. My husband had the “Fern Tree” cocktail made with mint, cedar infused syrup, lemon and Bombay Sapphire East, equally good.

The menu, written in German on one side and English on the other, features tapas size appetizers and main courses that are all meant for sharing. The dishes are modern twists on German food as well as some of the newest food trends. The menu only lists the main ingredients (popular in many restaurants now) but that was not a problem as our waiter explained how each of the items we were interested in was prepared.

We ordered four appetizers…scallops, octopus, pork belly and beets. We also ordered the Ibérico pork main as well as sides of rice fries and spicy cold cucumbers. We enjoyed a tasting of four lemon deserts to finish our meal. Each dish was very good but if I had to pick a favorite it would be the octopus (pulpo), perfectly cooked with an emulsion of chorizo and black garlic. It appears that others agree as it is the one dish that stays on the menu, the other dishes regularly change.

Mike Krause, the very personable owner of Heimlich Treu, joined us at our table after dinner. We talked about his restaurant, his creative cuisine and about Berlin in general. He told us about growing up in East Berlin before the wall came down and how different it is today. During our five weeks of travel in Europe, I would say that spending time with Mike and dining in his restaurant was one of the most enjoyable evenings of our trip.


When thinking back on our experience at Heimlich Treu, it was a very pleasurable experience. With handcrafted cocktails and very tasty dishes that any foodie would  enjoy, what more could one ask for. If an American foodie like myself found out about the Heimlich Treu, I don’t think the restaurant will remain a secret too long. Yes, I’ll “remain faithful” to the restaurant and return if I am in Berlin again. I’m having a little problem with “not telling anyone” so it will just be our little delicious  secret.

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79 thoughts on “Restaurant Heimlich Treu, A Berlin Hidden Gem

    1. Hi Kay, the Heimlich Treu is one of those restaurants you hope you will encounter when traveling and it certain impressed this foodie. 🙂 We wouldn’t have found it without the help of the concierge at the Adlon who not only called and made our reservation but also shared exactly how to find it once the taxi dropped us off.

  1. I will be in Berlin in a few weeks and will definitely check out Heimlich Treu. Hidden restaurants seem to be the trend in Berlin ‘s Mitte. I was in one last year that my niece’s friend had recommended. Thanks you Karen for another great tip.

    1. Hi Gerlinde, I hope you will enjoy Heimlich Treu as much as we did. It was lots of fun sharing all the tapas style dishes. Oh and be sure to try one of their cocktails…the Tempting Mule was great.

    1. Hi Mad Dog, I figured you would like the sound of the dishes we had at the restaurant…they were all good. The restaurant really was a great find and we had so much fun.

  2. What an incredibly treat – both the food and conversation. As when we were in Italy recently, it is moments like this that make a visit so special.

    1. It is so true David, things that happen like this when traveling are so special. The drinks, the food, the time spent with Mike at our table made for a truly memorable evening.

  3. We found a Michelin star restaurant today not far from us in a well hidden chateau. It has taken us 12 years to find it!!!! Amazing how these places do exist! Take care, cheers Diane

    1. That is so funny Diane, all these years and you just learned about a great restaurant nearby and a Michelin starred one at that. You found your own hidden restaurant. 🙂

  4. Most of it sounds lovely! Octopus? I”m still not sure about it — my daughter’s mother-in-law is a big fan of it and even prepares octopus dishes at home but I’m just not brave enough to try it yet!

    1. Hi Kelli, It does take being brave to try octopus for the first time but when it is cooked correctly it is good. Now your picky eater…I know for sure he wouldn’t try it. 😀

  5. This sounds like a wonderful place! I promise to keep it a secret. 😀 And I do agree that aroma plays a huge part in enjoying what we eat and drink. Really interesting post — thanks.

    1. I knew I could count on you John for keeping the secret. 🙂 Yes I think Arnd Heissen and others’ idea about aroma being such an important part of of taste is correct. You would have loved the cocktails we had.

    1. Hi Jenny, The cocktails were delightful…much better than what you usually get at your favorite restaurant. We had a wonderful time in Berlin and yes, I do think you would love visiting it again.

  6. If I do ever get to Berlin again I will ask you for directions Karen! Looks like the whole experience and not just the food was enjoyable! 🙂

    1. You are right Cathy, the whole experience was memorable. We enjoyed the drinks, the food and especially visiting with Mike for an hour or so after dinner.

  7. That’s quite refreshing: a restaurant/business that doesn’t want to advertise. I like the idea of promoting by word of mouth only; it shows confidence in themselves. It certainly sounds good and I am glad you enjoyed your experience so much.

  8. This is strange!!! I wonder why a restaurant would prefer to be hidden like this! Strange policy indeed :). The food looks fabulous and the restaurant itself looks tempting to try. I will sure contact you to get the exact address when we plan to visit there.

    1. Hi Amira, It seems that there are quite a few restaurants hidden in atmospheric inner courtyards in Berlin. You are right about the food, it was as good as it looks. I’ll be very happy to pass on the address if you visit Berlin.

  9. That is fascinating Karen! I love that the owner sat with you and chatted. I would love to hear how things are different now. I can’t believe they do so well with no advertising. The food must be fantastic. What a wonderful evening for sure.

    1. Hi Tricia, My husband and I enjoyed having Mike join us at our table after dinner…we had a great conversation with him. Good drinks, good food and making a new friend, as they say “priceless”.

  10. If I admit my maiden name was ‘Treufeldt’ I know you will understand I am smiling ear-to-ear at the moment! Why would they advertise if ‘word-of-mouth- is the best ad 🙂 ? Interesting place of modern fusion food . . . . the cocktails I’ll leave , , , have never been interested! The menu seems palate-tickling and more than a little directed to the Iberian Peninsula as you have intimated . . . an interesting place to recommend to those on the way to Berlin . . .

    1. Eha, I read your comment and I had to respond. Treufeldt means the faithful, trusty field . Feld means field, someone added a t to the Feld. Field can also mean domain or area, I am sorry Karen , I had to butt in.

      1. Gerlinde – ‘Deutsch war eigentlich meine Muttersprache obwohl ich es ganz verlernt habe’ – so I know 🙂 ! Thank you tho’ !! The ‘dt’ ending is very common in German names. I have dozens of Baltic German/Estonian friends using such! Our family was actually given the name by a Baltic German nobleman for ‘services rendered’ 🙂 ! Thus somewhat appropriate and perchance a little bit interesting !!!

    2. I agree with you Eha about word of mouth being the best advertising a restaurant could possibly have. We found each dish very interesting. I must say that I found the conversation with you and Gerlinde about your name very interesting. 🙂

    1. Hi Abbe, We were very happy with our discovery…the drinks and food were terrific. Mike was kind enough to call for a taxi and gave him directions not only to the restaurant but also back to the hotel. 🙂

    1. You are welcome Tandy, I’m glad you liked learning about the restaurant. The cocktails were definitely different and very good. Those with the food made for a pleasant evening.

  11. I am totally fascinated by this post Karen, how fantastic to discover such a secret gem, taste so many delicacies and actually speak with the owner himself and hear his stories from when his city was divided…you are on a great culinary adventure!

    1. Thank you Jenna, I’m happy to know that you enjoyed the post. Yes, this was one of the most pleasant evenings on our trip. Good drinks, food, and spending part of the evening with Mike and hearing of what it was like living in the divided city and about his passion for his restaurant.

  12. Hi Liz, The restaurant truly was what we all wish for when traveling. I think we were the only non German speaking couple in the restaurant. The nice thing was, that didn’t matter. 🙂

  13. What an elegant meal Karen!! I’m so glad you found it!! It sounded a little Spanish version of German food– with octopus and chorizo! (we used to live in Spain)– thanks for all the photos!! xox

  14. It’s lovely to find little understated foodie places and that restaurant sounds right up my street. We love sharing food so that you get to try lots of little dishes, or maybe I’m just greedy!

  15. What a great hidden gem – would love to re-visit Berlin. It has been way too long since I have been there!

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