May 11, 2018
La Banca is Italian for “The Bank”, a name which is no coincidence as the hotel in which this bar resides – the Hotel de Rome – was the first headquarters of the Dresdener Bank. While money only changes hands these days as payment for drinks, La Banca still retains the air of an esteemed establishment, partly due to the hotel’s reputation as a home-away-from-home for celebrities in Berlin. La Banca’s interior design is as creative as its drinks concoctions – sleek leather armchairs sit alongside bright neon signage and a metal spirits rack. As you would guess, cocktails are anything but traditional, featuring unusual ingredients and sporting names that demonstrate the bar’s Italian and German influences. Two standouts are the Chiave di Sicurezza – ten-year-old whisky, cherry liqueur, Italian vermouth, orange, five spice, lemon and cherry soda – and A Stranger Came to Berlin – Berlin-made liqueur, gin, lime, apple and green tea. The wine list at La Banca is nothing short of exceptional – and filled with Italian grape varieties – and the staff are adept at choosing you the perfect pour from their generous wine cabinet. Bar snacks are far from the usual boring fare, with homemade potato chips and plump olives served alongside your drink, and will surely leave you wanting more from the bar’s adjacent restaurant.