Brunch your way around Berlin
Hipster in absolutely the best way. In fact, better than that: Roamers sets out to provide you with fresh, rustic food and gives you just that, but with flavours that would make a chef cry. Scrambled eggs on toast just got an upgrade: chunks of crusty brown bread, fluffy eggs mixed in with chives and herbs, tomatoes, and many more delicious touches. For those who need their dark morning elixir, this is one of the best places to get coffee in Berlin.
Two and Two
© Rosalee Edwards
This little charming café is just down the road from Roamers, which is actually a blessing as Roamers is often crammed full of happy brunchers. If you start to get envious of them or curious for something a bit different, hit up this French and Japanese-style café. On the counter, there are croissants casually laid out next to onigiri. The drinks suit all weathers and tastes, from matcha ice lollies to homemade French hot chocolate (yes, with real chocolate served with its own jug of hot milk). It's the perfect place to either continue your lazy morning chilling on a leather couch or to sit up at a table, take advantage of the WiFi and the good coffee and be productive (talking of which, this blog was born here). By the way, when you order coffee, you'll be asked how you like it: nutty and chocolate or more fruity? The mere fact they ask that question should prepare you for the great taste of either kind.
Zeit für Brot
Wake up and smell the freshly baked bread. Not everyone has time to make bread, but these guys do - and as you can see through the kitchen window, they do it well. If you're overwhelmed by what to get, glance over the row of warm Schnecken, a typical German pastry which Zeit für Brot have managed to interpret in a million ways. Apple and cinnamon is more traditional, but then there's also raspberry and white chocolate... For those who were not cursed with an insatiable sweet tooth, there is mouth-watering foccacia. If you're feeling a brunch at home, grab a friend and share a farmer's loaf that will be bigger than both of your heads. The loaves come in all shades from crispy white to the darkest and seediest brown, and so scrummy that you barely need to add butter.
For a typical German or continental brunch feast, Bilderbuch is your spot. Your cosy, candle-lit spot with a large living room in the back that reminds you of your grandma's place. OK, maybe even better than grandma's. The menu is a part newsletter, with some ads for local acoustic nights and endearing traditional sayings. Your choices are various combinations of bread, pastries, cheese, meats, fruit, müsli, or all of them on one plate. The name Bilderbuch means 'picture book' (could this place get any cuter?!), and appropriately one wall of the back room is entirely covered by a bookshelf. The idea is you take one, read it, and either put it back or replace it with a new book.
La Femme is the beating heart of Berlin's Turkish community. At first, the menu is a little overwhelming if you don't speak Turkish or German, but the waiters are always happy to explain things despite being rushed off their feet. Or here's a little suggestion: ici köfte, balls of deep-fried ground meat, for the carnivores and the classic falafel for the vegetarians. Make sure you don't leave without squeezing in some baklava for dessert - sticky flaky pastries with pistachio.
Two words that you might never have put together: waffle burger. You read that right, and these creations come with Serrano ham, tomato and mozzarella or salmon and are guaranteed to make your morning. Obviously, there are drool-worthy sweet options, too. Ostfee is a cosy but roomy place on Oderberger Strasse, which also offers a host of other amazing cafes and eateries. Most of the cafe's flat surfaces are covered with some sort of design item, be it a lamp with photos of Berlin to street art-style prints, or maybe just a plastic action figure.
House of Small Wonder
© Rosalee Edwards
Probably Berlin's best secret, House of Small Wonder takes you on a brunch adventure that will change you (for the better, we promise). To get to it, you need to find the discreet sign next to the office block of the same address, go inside and climb the wooden spiral stairs. Once up in the restaurant which is better described as a tree-house, you are faced with a short but mouth-watering menu. The theme is Asian-American fusion, so think filling but which amazing seasoning and meaningful oriental flourishes. Even a dish which doesn't look like more than eggs, rice and mincemeat will leave your taste buds begging for more. Plus if you end up staying into the afternoon, why not have one of their exotic cocktails? You are on holiday, you know.
Weder Gestern Noch Morgen
The atmosphere here is the kind that you wish you could always have in your own flat; gentle lamp-lighting, pastel-coloured wooden furniture and of course amazing home-made food. Mostly the style is continental, but often with a Turkish flair, such as a spicy salami mixed in with the scrambled eggs or authentic Turkish tea served in a glass. This place is a personal favourite for me and my crowd, as the noise levels are low and the immediate area is also teeming with lots of other sources of caffeine for the rest of the afternoon. Weder Gestern Noch Morgen is ideal for Sundays as it is right around the corner from Boxhagener Platz's weekly flea-market.
After all of these tummy-torturing suggestions, it has to be said that there is one problem with brunch: it only happens once a day. So choose your non-eating activities carefully to maximise your chances of sampling Berlin's best brunches.