Berlin - Coffee, Shopping, Bakeries and more...
Six months is definitely not enough time to properly get to know a city like Berlin. You’d needs years for that, but six months is enough time to at least gather a collection of favourite cafes, restaurants, bakeries, ice cream parlours, etc., which I would love to pass on to you.
When I came to Berlin for the first time in 23 years (basically since my birth in this city), I wrote the following in my journal:
“Berlin, my birthplace, and only 23 years later do I return. My expectations big, my eyes wide, my senses alert…I could not wait! I had picked the right time to go – a long weekend, packed with sunshine and good company. Impossible to go wrong.
Arriving at 22:00 with the sun still in the sky, large boulevards take us into the heart of the city. The city is open, welcoming and I am immediately drawn to the abundance of green spaces, which are helping the city breathe. The buzzing life in a multitude of restaurants invite us for a lovely first evening meal and I am instantly in love.
My impressions after my little weekend in this fantastic city: Berlin is no Paris of the world – it lacks the intricate beauty and charm. Berlin is no New York or London of the world – it lacks the money, business and fast lifestyle approach. Berlin is no Amsterdam or Copenhagen of the world – it lacks the sweetness. But Berlin is interesting and filled with rich and dense history, which can be felt on all streets and corners of the city. It is multicultural, curious, beautiful, artsy, bold and full of creativity and hidden treasures.”
Some of my general recommendations:
1. Try and aim to visit Berlin in the spring or summer. Sunshine and good weather makes a big difference in this city. Cafes and people sprawl out onto the sidewalks, the lakes get populated with happy crowds and the beer gardens invite you to partake in daily festivities.
2. Rent bicycles. It is such a great way to get around, see the city up close and get in a bit of sunshine and exercise. Keen for more exercise? Go for a run in the Tiergarten. It is the Central Park of Berlin. Make sure to stop and smell the roses in this park (grab a picnic and take your time to stroll around – it is beautiful!).
3. The city has an endless amount of amazing museums. Explore the Jewish Museum, not only for the rich history, but also amazing architecture of the building. Die Museumsinsel boasts magnificent buildings and a long list of art and history genres to choose from.
All of these streets are lines with shops, boutiques, cafes and restaurants. Whereas the first five recommendations are more boutique-y, small and special, the last recommendation (the Kudamm) is a big, long street full of all the brand names that your heart desires.
Akazienstr & Goltzstr, Schoeneberg
Kastanienallee, Prenzlauer Berg
Alte Schoenhauserstr, Mitte
Hackescher Markt, Mitte
All of these places roast their own coffee and have absolutely amazing coffee.
Akazienstr 22, Schoeneberg
Auguststr 58, Mitte
Bonanza Coffee Heroes
Oderbergerstr 35, Prenzlauer Berg
Immanuelkirchstraße 32, 10405, Prenzlauer Berg
A cosy and comfy interior will make you want to take your time sipping your latte.
Zeit fuer Brot
Alte Schoenhauserstr 4, Mitte
Obsessed with all of their bread, rosinenknoten and cinnamon rolls. I would find many excuses to make my way over to this place.
Belzigerstr 21, Schoeneberg
Seriously yummy baked goods. Made fresh every day. Cannot recommend this place more. A massive bonus is that it is right around the corner from Double Eye, which makes some of the best coffee in Berlin!
Sophienstr 31, Mitte
This place is not fancy in any way but it is one of the few original, typical German bakeries in Berlin that still bakes everything on their own and makes such damn good treats. Go early as this place sells out quickly. You’ll have one of your best ‘Berliners’ (Pfannkuchen) here. And their Quarkplunders or Streuselschnecken – to die for!
Gabriel-Max Straße 4, Friedrichshain
Run by friendly Australian, you know you’ll find amazing coffee and killer breakfasts.
Muenzstr 8, Mitte
Beautiful coffee, yummy lunches and treats. You cannot go wrong.
Pannierstraße 64, Neukölln
Hard to get a table on weekends but worth the wait. The coffee is great and the food is amazing.
Seelingstr 30, Charlottenberg
Fantastic bread, especially their original wholegrains.
Auguststr 58, Mitte
A small space with excellent coffee and deliciously filled bread rolls, croissants, etc.
Münzstraße 21, Mitte
Need your fix of a vegemite toast? This place may be one of the only spots on Berlin that serves it up. The Australian and Canadian baristas certainly know how to make a good cup of coffee as well.
La Bigoudene (French creperie)
Zionskirchstr 28, Prenzlauer Berg
Imbiss (Indo-Mexi-Cali mix)
Kastanienallee 49, Prenzlauer Berg
Kastanienallee 33, Prenzlauer Berg
The Bowl (Vegetarian)
Warschauerstr 33, Friedrichshain
Never had the chance to try it but I’ve heard great things. Healthy, clean food, done well.
District Mot (Vietnamese)
Rosenthalerstr 62, Mitte
Locations in Mitte and Friedrichshain
Just all around, absolutely delicious. Have gone many times.
Hami Am (Vietnamese)
Hasenheide 10, Kreuzberg
Gotenstr 1, Schoeneberg
Some great German classics, especially the yummy Spaetzle.
Nosh (Eastern European)
Leberstr 21, Schoeneberg
The menu is eclectic and all of their food is really good.
Café Einstein (Austrian)
Kurfuerstenstr 58, Charlottenburg
Amazing wiener schnitzel and Apfelstrudel.
Ice Cream Parlours: (only open during the summer months in Berlin)
Stargarderstr 73, Prenzlauer Berg
Vanille & Marille
Hagelbergerstr 1, Kreuzberg & Belzigerstr 24, Schoeneberg
Badener Ring/Manfred-von-Richthofenstr, Tempelhof
Bluecherstr 37, Kreuzberg
Elssholzstr 10, Schoeneberg
Outdoor beer gardens-type places:
Café am Neuensee
Lichtensteinallee 2, Tiergarten
If you have a Sunday in the city, the Café am Neuensee is an absolute must! A place where locals go to relax and take in the beautiful atmosphere with family and friends. Go with an appetite as they serve gorgeous large pizzas in addition to our beloved bratwursts, brezel, bier and all other German goodies.
Kastanienallee 7-9, Prenzlauer Berg
Traditional German outdoor beer drinking venue. It is grungy, artsy, hip and cool.
Fischerhuette am Schlachtensee
By far one of the best outdoor Beergardens in Berlin, set right next to a beautiful lake. Take your swimmers if the weather is good to you and make sure you have nothing on your agenda for that afternoon as you won’t want to leave! We’ve biked there from the centre of Berlin (takes about an hour along the Ku-Damm and through Dahlem) but you can also take the S-Bahn (S1 towards Wannsee - get out at Mexikoplatz and walk 10 minutes to reach the Schlachtensee).