St. Oberholz Café is best known for its role as an informal hub for Berlin’s start-up community. Local companies like Soundcloud started their business over a St. Oberholz coffee several years ago, and the place is still popular with young, caffeine-fueled customers banging out pitches on their glowing Macs. In the midst of all this, it’s easy to miss that the building itself is particularly handsome, with uniquely shaped windows, a gorgeous spiral staircase winding up to the first floor, and a patterned stained-glass window that fills the hallway with natural light. All of these features hark back to the building’s original 19th-century incarnation, when it was run by the philanthropic Aschinger family, who served cheap meals to the neighborhood poor.
Even less obvious to the average customer is how the building's elegance extends beyond the first floor and into the two apartments above the café. An impressive 125 square meters apiece, they each have three bedrooms along with a lounge area, dining room, kitchen, and bathroom, not to mention impressively high ceilings, original stucco, and modern artworks by local artists. The apartments can accommodate four to six people and are available to rent on a daily basis. And, of course, the café below is perfect for guests wishing to immerse themselves in the city’s entrepreneurial side.
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St. Oberholz is right on Rosenthaler Platz, and therefore directly connected to Mitte’s fashion, culture, and nightlife scenes. It's impossible to move without bumping into some great indie place or another. Hip sushi spot Dudu is right across the street; Berlin’s "art mile"—Auguststrasse—is around the corner (KW gallery has cutting-edge contemporary art); and adjacent Torstrasse has a slew of cool restaurants, such as Noto (the ribs are justly famous) and Francophile spot Bandol sur Mer.
Need to Know
Rooms: Two apartments; from $280. Check-in: 3 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options: The St. Oberholz Café downstairs serves mostly standard snack fare like wraps, soups, quiches, and sandwiches. There are plenty of other food options near the hotel.
Who's it for: Entrepreneurs, techies, and small groups who want to enjoy the independence of staying in an apartment rather than a hotel. Pea soup: Guests can continue the Aschinger legend by eating the famous pea soup—the same dish that was served up to the hungry, back in the day. Network: For anyone interested in getting a foot in the start-up scene, the café hosts regular events, including networking and meet-ups. There is also a co-working space on the 2nd floor.