A Visit to Markethall IX, Berlin

Visitors lined up at a popular bakery in Markethall IX

My favorite cities all have their own must-see food markets – the places where locals and visitors alike go to check out the latest food trends and shop for artisan specialties.  Seattle has Pike Place Market, San Francisco has the Ferry Building, and Berlin has Markethall IX.

Located in the hip, and grunge-friendly Kreuzberg neighborhood, just a short walk from the Oberbaum bridge, Markethall IX resides in an airy historic market building dating to 1891.  In the years after World War II the space became underused and somewhat decrepit, and finally in 2009, the city put the building up for sale.  Luckily, a group of local investors got together and saved it at the last-minute from being sold to a large supermarket chain, instead creating a community meeting place to support local food producers, and to promote slow food.

In that spirit, Markethall Neun hosts regular events to educate consumers about where their food comes from, and to meet the makers. They also invite international speakers like Alice Waters, who paid a visit during Berlinale, where she was honored, along with Carlo Petrini for their work in founding the slow food movement. The atmosphere at Markethall Neun is casual, and lively. It’s a great “third place” where you can relax at one of the communal tables scattered throughout the marketplace, and enjoy a meal and a drink with friends, old and new.

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