In the heart of bustling Berlin is a hidden ode to Japan – HIMITSU Speakeasy Bar. This secret bar is an elite and special escape from the cold Berlin winter and if you can find the secret entrance, you too can experience this exquisite speakeasy. It actually took us quite a few minutes walking around the Playce shopping mall at Potsdamer Platz to find HIMITSU. Inside the Manifesto Market – the elevated food court at the Playce – you may find a nondescript door under the stairs. If there is a red light lit above the door than you can enter, but only if you can find the hidden buzzer. After ringing the buzzer, wait for the host to open the door – letting you into the luxe space inspired by Japanese culture and traditions.
As the first patrons of the evening, we were able to spend some time getting to know Diego, the mastermind and mixologist behind HIMITSU. We were surprised to find that this speakeasy had been open for only 3 weeks at the time of our visit (December of 2023). Diego eventually wants to make the bar an invite-only experience and has crafted everything from the hidden entrance to the drinks to reflect the authenticity of Japanese culture. He wants to create a bar when you can enjoy carefully crafted cocktails steeped in tradition and ceremony.
Speaking of the cocktails, they were exquisitely crafted and delicious. Since the menu is constantly changing, it is the only part of the bar that was off limits to photos. We tried two cocktails, one from the menu and a brand new creation that Diego was workshopping. The Oolong x Shiso cocktail from the menu was a delicious and refreshing take on a summer cocktail with Oolong tea and vodka. When we found that he is constantly updating the menu, we asked for an off menu creation and the Japanese Garden was his response to this request. This cocktail is in the Negroni family with Campari, vermouth, and gin, but the added sake and lychee liqueur take the flavor to a whole new level. Overall the cocktail experience at HIMITSU Speakeasy was excellent and reflected the vision to create an authentic and ceremonial imbibing experience. You can immediately tell how much care and love Diego puts into each cocktail.
We are so glad we were able to find this spot and the extra effort we put into finding the secret entrance only made it that much more enjoyable and worthwhile. If you’re ever in Berlin and looking for a delicious cocktail in an elevated atmosphere, be sure to find HIMITSU, but bear in mind it may be an invite only establishment.