Zur letzten Instanz
- Nearest Public Transport:
Mon-Sat 12:00 - 1:00
- Price Range:
- Good for Groups:
- Good for Children:
- Takes Reservations:
- Waiter Service:
- Outdoor Seating:
- Full Bar
- Noise Level:
Recommended Reviews for Zur letzten Instanz
9 reviews in English
Review from Emily A.
This place was a bit hard to find, but we wanted to stop here to get a traditional German meal as our first meal during our trip to Germany.
I really enjoyed our meal here, but the service was not great. First off, we were not greeted when we walked in. We simply went to the back and took a seat. When the waitress FINALLY came to our table, she was pretty friendly and worked with us the best she could in English and with our tiny, tiny bit of German. They also had English menus, which was great! I was okay with the service not being great, as we were on vacation and were not in any rush. I think it's also a cultural difference to not always rush through meals :)
My husband and I had planned to share a soup and an entree, but this did not quite work out as we were hoping. The soup was AMAZING!! I think it was a potato soup with mushrooms. So good!! We wanted to share the pork knuckle for the entree and we thought we had communicated that clearly by pointing to the menu and saying only one with hand gestures. This did not work. We both got a massively large pork knuckle with red cabbage and potato dumplings. It was absolutely delicious, but WAY, WAY, WAY too much to each as an individual, especially since it was just lunch for us. It was definitely enough to share between two people.
The pork was really tender, and the cabbage was really well cooked. I am normally not a fan of the stuff but it was so good that i certainly had my fill. Oh yeah, and who could forget the beer...yum!!
I would definitely go here again for traditional German food and a couple beers if I made it back to Berlin. BUT I would go with a very empty stomach or try to learn a little more restaurant-ordering German!!
Review from David K.
- 7 friends
New York, USA
In January I read a fascinating novel, entitled, "The Dive". It's about a man who fakes his death to start a new life. Early in the book this restaurant is featured and I had been curious to see if it was everything I imagined it would be. As I'm currently In Berlin for Berlinale 2012, I had to give it a try.
It was just as the author described: historic Berlin cuisine, plentiful portions, attentive staff, traditional German ambiance, fair prices (circa 20 Euros for a main course and drinks), etc. It is the oldest restaurant in all of Berlin, dating to 1621.
I actually used the novel as a guidebook, tracing the steps taken by the main character and ended up exactly where I wanted to be. In keeping with the novel, I decided to walk. It was 20 minutes from my hotel in February...that was no treat, but it turned out to be well worth the excursion. It is located in a rather dull part of Berlin (because it was part of East Germany for many years), situated on a quiet side street in a residential area, not far from the very center of Berlin in the Nikolaiviertel.
I heartily recommend Zur Letzten Instanz for anyone after that bit of traditional German atmosphere and food!
Review from Paul H.
Awful, awful, awful. Took the advice of Lonely Planet, and wish we hadn't. Awful... cannot say it enough. Rude staff, who couldn't give a toss about the people in the place. Huge, but unpleasant servings of meaty, meat-lovers food. Awful. Avoid. The only think going for it, is that it's the oldest operating restaurant in Berlin (or so Lonely Planet told us). But that's not enough for me to recommend it.
Big portions - but that would only be good if the food was …
Review from Chris F.
Allegedly the oldest pub in Berlin and it definately delivers on the old style charm you might expect. Allegedly Napoleon used to hang out here, back in the day.
The hearty food and drink were superb and the serving staff were very friendly too.
Can get very busy so if you are planning a late evening visit you should book in advance.
Review from Megan C.
As someone else had noted, there aren't really a ton of German restaurants in Berlin. I was really baffled by this as well as relieved that I had done my Yelp research prior to us going here. Also, as others have said, being the oldest restaurant in Berlin, I was afraid it was going to be a tourist trap and was pleasantly surprised to find this was not the case. This place really is kind of in nowhere-ville but super easy to get to off the tube and worth the trip. It was definitely what we were looking for in terms of old world German feel and the menu is authentic German food. Service was a bit sketchy, very friendly, but a bit off in terms of having to flag someone down, and being told they were out of the veal shank my fiancée wanted and then seeing one go out to a table sat after us...
Anyway, the food and feel of the place made up for it. We ordered a nice dry Riesling that I was happily surprised with as I was afraid it would be too sweet for me, along with a curry wurst to start. After being served a water logged, semi-slimy, white brat in cold water earlier that day we were very happy with this tasty wurst, it was a very large portion for a starter and served with chips. I went with the German meatball which was unlike any other meatball I've ever had, more like a very large sausage, but was flavorful and served with a very tasty potato salad and vegetables. My fiancée definitely had the winning dish of roast boar with all the trimmings and kindly gave me half of that for half of my meatball. The boar was very tasty and moist and the sauce served alongside was a nice compliment to the meat. For dessert we shared the warm poppy cake with fresh cream which ended the meal perfectly. All in all a good meal but definitely go for the atmosphere. Oh, and make a reservation for sure, it was packed on a Tuesday night and they seemed to have run out of quite a few items.
Review from Helmut B.
Great traditional German restaurant billed as the oldest operating establishment in Berlin. I was apprehensive that it would be a bit touristy; but I was pleasantly surprised. It is a very homey and comfortable space but it is not that large - we had our Concierge get us a reservation. Nice traditional menu with seasonal options. The prices (considering one is in a capital city) were very reasonable. Nice selection of beers on tap and, of course, some great German wines. Service was polite and efficient. Guten Appetit.
Review from WildBill C.
Review from Kristal C.
- 14 friends
Zur is a well-frequented place, given its mention on most tourism outlets as the oldest pub/restaurant in Berlin and supposed dining spot for Napoleon and Gorbachev (get a reservation for sure if you want dinner). This makes it a strong tourist trap candidate...but surprisingly, this wasn't the case at all. Inside, the restaurant is cozy and charming and perfect for dinner with friends.
They start you off with bread and pork fat butter. Even If this doesn't sound appetizing to you, I would strongly suggest trying a little. Friends and I decided to do what makes sense to us--order three entrees and share them all, heh. The signature dish (and probably my vote for must do) is the pickled pork knuckle. The portion is enormous. If you prefer not to eat the skin, simply peel it away; the meat inside is moist and so delicious. I miss it.
Friends and I also got the beef cheeks, which was super tender and complemented with baked pear. Amazing. We also ordered the blood sausage, which was not bad, but I'd probably pass on it next time.
Service was leisurely and warm. The best part? Our entire meal (2 beers, an excellent bottle of wine*, a bottle of mineral water, 3 full entrees, 1 dessert, and 3 coffees) was only a touch over 100€--ridiculous for such a great meal for 3 people.
*The bottle we chose was a Neiss 2005 Cab Sauv/Merlot. Light and crisp and nice pairing with our meal.
Review from Qype User (bb…)
- 43 friends
- Qype User bb…
Napoleon ate here and allegedly tried have his way with the waitresses so I guess he must have enjoyed himself. We did too (though not with the waiting staff) and we found the place really has a nice low-key historic ambience, which is surprising as it was almost wholly destroyed and then rebuilt after WW2. Service was efficient, friendly and not that slow considering the size and layout of the restaurant which has quite a few separate dining rooms.
The food was also quite good, mainly traditional German fare like haxe and the Berliner eisbein or duck and blutwurst and even a modern currywurst. Both of the wursts were rather insipid so do stick with the proper meats or the calf liver, which was really delicious and beautifully pink (but don't forget to tell the kitchen that you want the liver pink if you don't want it well done).
This is a great place to bring newcomers to Germany or Berlin. I am sure they would appreciate the food and atmosphere as much as you!