Berlin: Dr Pong
Address: Eberswalder Straße 21, Prenzlauer Berg 10437
Nearest Station(s): U-Eberswalder Strasse
Opening Hours: Monday – Saturday 8pm – late; Sunday 6pm – late
Cost: Free entry; bat hire €5 deposit
If the hippest kid in high school threw a party in his garage while his parents were away, it would look very much like Dr Pong. Thick with cigarette smoke and packed with scowling young trendsetters in skinny jeans, this grotto-like bar takes its name from its infamous ping pong table, which is the centrepiece of the front room. Customers confident with their hand-eye coordination can hire a bat and join in the never-ending communal game, which operates on a rotational basis. Miss a hit and you’re instantly out, at which point it’s time to hit the bar to chug down some dirt-cheap beer or house wine from €2.20 and €3 respectively. It’s lucky the drinks are inexpensive, because you will need to consume several of them before you can bring yourself to use the restrooms. Coated in layers of graffiti and grime, with doors hanging off their hinges, they are not for the faint of heart. Lo-fi remixes of 70’s and 80’s disco tunes are spun until the wee hours of the morning, best enjoyed from the comfort of plastic classroom chairs that look like they’ve fallen off the back of a truck. The venue is inconspicuous, with its exterior unsigned and windows boarded up with cardboard, but Dr Pong is definitely worth tracking down for the odd night of pinging, ponging and partying.