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.

Peddler's Creamery Churn baby churn featured

Bikes are taking over. They’ve already allied themselves with third wave coffee and now they’re cosying up to ice-cream as well. The evidence? Peddler’s Creamery: The downtown, frozen scoop joint that bicycle churns all of its homemade batches.

Chances are, in fact, there’ll be someone churning away when you visit, sitting astride the two-wheeled contraption that’s hooked up to a multi-colored booth in the corner — inside of which all the pedal-powered magic happens. And they’re happy for customers to have a go too.

Once you’ve burned some calories you can set about replacing them. Flavors range from traditional (chocolate, strawberry and minty chip) to experimental (strawberry-basil, fig-ginger and kumquat), and fall into three categories: Dairy, non-dairy and sorbet. Can’t make it in to grab a scoop? Then be sure to keep your eyes peeled while on the move, because Peddler’s often bring their product to the streets too—on two wheels of course.

Koszyki Back from the brink with a bang featured

**Closed April 2014

Until recently, the future seemed bleak for Koszyki, one of Warsaw’s most popular markets. A big time property developer had bought up the real estate two years ago, the market had ceased to function and demolition work had levelled all but two of the trading halls. In 2013, though, the wrecking balls were stayed, thanks to a group of restaurant connoisseurs, who managed to rent the remaining spaces and reinvigorate the market.

Now the eco-geared, powerhouse of a bazaar is better than ever. The two bustling halls play home to myriad stalls selling artisan cheeses, rustic sausages, cured meats, organic vegetables, wine, olives and regional specialty products—both from Poland and beyond. There’s a craft beer and spirit stocked bar, too, that transforms into a buzzing spot come the weekend, when the city’s ‘it’ crowd make their way to market.

Monikers Forward to the new school featured

Marking a welcome change for this American diner-obsessed pocket of East London, Monikers boasts British school hall charm and a UK-focused menu made for sharing. With the help of a few culinary new kids on the block, Hoxton square is beginning to lure back the East End foodies, shedding its reputation for burgers, city boys and weekend tourists.

The old primary school hall site of this restaurant sets the tone: specials are scrawled across huge blackboards, gym benches are used for seating and you can hang coats on little locker room hooks. Not to mention the full-size top deck of a school bus wedged in to form a mezzanine.

Fun, definitely – but if you’re expecting a nostalgic taste of sloppy canteen classics then you’re gonna be disappointed. The menu reads more like a modern British bistro, offering up treats like crunchy buttermilk-fried chicken and a rich soft-boiled duck egg with young asparagus soldiers. Unsurprisingly, the revamped offerings extend to the quaffables too. So instead of those ‘behind the bike shed’ faves like Hooch and White Lightning, you’ll have to make do with a stellar lineup of wines and cocktails.

Fortunen Nordic nonchalance featured

It’s not easy to make the transition from daylight nosher to late-night swiller, but Fortunen makes a sterling job of it. Their (poorly kept) secret? Craft local brews on tap, mean cocktails flowing from the mixers and a consistent lineup of DJs who fall firmly into the ‘up and coming’ category (read: unknown but damn good). The main draw of this establishment, though, is still its food.

The term gastropub is often abused to justify ridiculous prices for small dishes, so we won’t do Fortunen the injustice of calling it that. It’s rather a casual modern eatery with a mix-and-match approach to dining. They recommend two to four dishes per person, so it’s best to go with an unfussy friend and get really stuck into the menu. The grilled hanger steak is not to be missed, though it’s pretty hard to put a foot wrong.

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