The CHAINS Guide to St. Pauli and Reeperbahn

Here are the hole-in-the-wall snack joints and chill spots you need to hit in Hamburg's finest neighbourhoods.

Photo by Nikolaj Rohde Simonsen

So, if you’re not from Germany, you’re probably all like, ‘oh, Berlin! Berlin is the beeeeest! Berlin! So liberal! So techno! So RAW! Berliiiiiiiiin!’ Yeah, that’s legit and all, but maybe you should do something else with your weekend other than get rejected from Berghain for the 12th time. That something else is Hamburg: Germany’s second-biggest city, #1 port and also a cultural phenomenon of its own. Hamburg feels like the less pretentious, more confident and overall classier cousin to Berlin. And with centuries of architecture that managed to remain intact over WWII, it’s easy on the eyes and also easy on the wallet. Pretty massive city, though, so a guide would probably help you, which is why we’re here.

Local trap hostesses with the mostestest DJ CRI$PY C and Xuli have been so kind as to send us their fave spots in the neighbourhoods of St. Pauli and Reeperbahn. Quick recap: St. Pauli has an undeniable bohemian core and is littered with things like no-waste food cafes, seedy bars, decent flea markets and bizarre businesses that inexplicably stay open (like, a wig store. ok.) Reeperbahn has a reputation of being an apocalyptic hornet’s nest of tourists and sex clubs, which in all honesty it does feel like; however, know where to look and you can escape the hordes of teenage boys shelling out their allowances to go see banana shows at strip clubs. And thanks to DJ CRI$PY C and Xuli’s handy little guide, you’ll know exactly which spots to scout out for some lethal ramen, midnight kebab, punk drinking games, experimental music dance nights and more. Enjoy.

Momo Ramen

Ramen? Amen! (Sorry, had to cave to that pun urge.) Like, if you aren’t one to cave into the lures of this tantalizing concoction of sodium-filled broth, delectable pork bits that melt in your mouth, eggs that jiggle oh so perfectly and seemingly never-ending curls of noodles, you have way more self-control than we do. But if you aren’t opposed to the occasional bowl of the most nourishing feast 8 euro can buy, we present to you Momo Ramen: a quaint joint that serves up immaculately balanced bowls of your ramen classics as well as some German snacky things. You can hear your appetite yelling at you already, can’t you?

The Clochard

Delightfully dank and exuding a healthy dose of punk spirit, The Clochard is a rickety ol’ pub that’s open 24 hours a day. They’ve also allegedly got the cheapest drinks on Reeperbahn, so that’s that if you’re feelin’ a bit sleazy and blew too much money on fancy cocktails the night before, this is a no-brainer.

Photo via flickr

Uebel & Gefährlich

A bunker in St. Pauli, this mammoth and almost intimidating structure holds legendary status in Hamburg as the place where everyone in town gets their first sick gig. It’s also the best club around in terms of diverse programming, encompassing everything from experimental jazz to acid techno. Also, the title translates to Evil & Dangerous. ‘Nuff said.

Kaffe Stark

If you need to escape from the craziness going on outside, this is the place to do it. A cozy little place with some v. nice people working the bar, they do breakfast, lunch and beverages that trickle over into the evening for drinks.

Golden Pudel

#favouriteplace #elbe #night #hamburg #pudelclub #goldenpudel #parkfiction

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A quaint little house at the harbour, Golden Pudel boasts experimental music programming every day of the week. Take note, though: it’s made up of the tiniest little room you’ve ever seen, so if you’re going in the winter, go early. (In the summer, parties easily spill over to an outside chill zone.) Sound system is decent, vibes are chill. Go there.

Chains Club

Photo by Nikolaj Rohde Simonsen

Right, so it’s time for a bit of shameless self-promotion here: DJ CRI$PY C and Xuli’s shiny new project Chains Club is THE place to go in Hamburg if you’re a trap aficionado or simply need proof that contrary to popular belief, white girls can twerk. Like, no skirting around the idea of dancing and standing around trying to look cool in this joint: as soon as you walk into the club’s cavernous, dimly lit room, you’re sure to see people completely losing their shit on the dance floor. You may find yourself singing along to Future until the wee hours of the morning. GOOD.

Petras Zum Gemütlichen Keller

So from the outside, this little joint may look like any of your staple seedy bars in Hamburg, but don’t underestimate it. Petras Zum Gemütlichen Keller has a few things going for it, namely Petra herself: the proprietor is a bit of a legend in that area of Hamburg for her lovely vibe and the endless amount of stories she throws on the table to make your jaw drop. She also put an aquarium in the bar (why? not sure but cool!) and the drinks are cheap. VIBES.

Pauli Point

It’s a kiosk where you can buy ALL the things, and right next door you’ve got Pauli Döner which is pretty much the most satisfying thing you can feast on, like, ever. What’s not to like?

Antep Gülbaba Kebab House

Despite having to deal with some fierce competition around in the form of oodles of other kebab shops, these guys have a secret weapon. Antep Gülbaba serves the best lentil soup you will ever eat. We swear!