Guide: Third Wave Coffee in Berlin

Photo: Mary Scherpe
Photo: Mary Scherpe

Here’s an updated version of this guide!

After a highly caffeinated week, we’ve finished our guide to the best coffee in Berlin. The coffee culture here has been somewhat lacking, but a slew of third wave coffee bars have opened up in the past few years, with an army of New Zealander and Australian baristas. The focus of this guide is on the coffee itself, and not necessarily the cafe (although most of the cafes we’ve listed are also some of the best places to hang out as well). All the coffee served at the following cafes is of the highest quality, with the owners paying very special attention to the beans, the milk, the equipment, even the water quality and temperature. And surprisingly, the prices are nearly the same as your run-of-the-mill cafe (and definitely cheaper than Starbucks), although I’m not sure how, considering the 10,000 euro and up espresso machines that most of them use. But the best part of these cafes is how helpful and unpretentious all of the baristas are in explaining how coffee should taste and the various ways it can be prepared. So, on to the guide:

BONANZA COFFEE HEROES
Opened all the way back in 2007, Bonanza is one of the stalwarts of coffee culture in Berlin. Queues are common, especially on Sundays when the flea market is on at Mauerpark, but it’s worth the wait (and normally not that long anyway). Space is limited because they have to make room for the coffee roasters, but what other cafe can you name that roasts their own coffee on the premises?

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Oderberger Straße 35, 10435 Berlin Prenzlauer Berg – visit website
Mon–Fri 8.30h–19h, , Sat–Sun 10h–19h

stilinberlin five elephants

FIVE ELEPHANT
Five Elephant, that’s who. On top of having their own roasters, their beans are also direct trade, meaning they deal on a one-to-one basis with the growers. Five Elephant also scores points for its seclusion, at the far end of Reichenberger Straße, which means that most of the customers are from the neighbourhood and it’s never too packed.

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Reichenberger Straße 101, 10999 Berlin Kreuzberg – visit website
Mon–Fri 8:30–19 , Sat–Sun 10–19

DOUBLE EYE
Double Eye is owned by the winner of the 2005 European World Cup Barista Champion, Arno Schmeil, and is known for its espresso. It’s also arguably the oldest cafe in Berlin serving such high-grade coffee, having opened in 2001, so they’re excused from not having a proper website or Facebook page. There is no seating, but that’s how espresso was meant to be drank anyway.

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Akazienstraße 22, 10823 Berlin Schöneberg – visit website
Mon–Fri 9.30h–18.30h, , Sat 10h–15.30h ,

CAFE CK
Speaking of world champions, this past weekend Cafe CK owner Cory Andreen took home a trophy for Germany as he was named the World Cup Tasting Champion (yes, that’s a thing). Cory owns two cafes in Berlin, alongside his business partner Kerstin. Cafe CK, in Prenzlauer Berg, offers a selection of brewed coffees as well as sandwiches and snacks. CK Pour Voo, the newer of the two cafes, is located inside Voo Store, and is decorated with furniture by our favourite Dane Sigurd Larsen. Most Wednesdays Cory hosts public coffee cuppings as well at CK Pour Voo. Look out for the upcoming dates on their Facebook page.

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Marienburgerstraße 49, 10405 Berlin Prenzlauer Berg – visit website
Mon–Fri 08h–19h, , Sat–Sun 9h–19h

GODSHOT
Godshot is owned by Kai-Uwe, who taught himself the art of coffee-making, having first bought a machine for his home use, and then opening Godshot in Prenzlauer Berg. Godshot also hosts periodic seminars on latte art, and can also be found every Saturday at the Arnswalder Platz flea market.

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Immanuelkirchstraße 32, 10405 Berlin Prenzlauer Berg – visit website
Mon–Fri 8h–18h, Sat 9h–18h, Sun 10h–18h

stilinberlin companion coffee-2

COMPANION COFFEE
Two of the most talented barristas who helped Ralf Rüller starting The Barn went on to found their own business. The fashionable concept store Voo on Oranienstraße offered them a place to start at and that’s where Shawn and Chris are now serving delicious coffee and selling tea and treats in a relaxed atmosphere – see more in our review.

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Oranienstrasse 24, 10999 Berlin Kreuzberg – visit website
Mon–Sat 11–19h

THE BARN
We’ve already talked quite a bit about The Barn and The Barn Roastery, so we won’t go in to too much detail, but rest assured that it will be one of the best coffees you’ve had in Berlin.

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Auguststraße 58, 10119 Berlin Mitte – visit website
Mon–Fri: 8am–6pm , Sat & Sun: 10am–6pm


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Schönhauser Allee 8, 10119 Berlin Mitte – visit website
Mon 11:00–16:00 , Tue–Thu 8.30–17:00 , Fri 08:30–18:00 , Sat–Sun 10:00–18:00

CHAPTER ONE
Chapter One is the youngest cafe in the list, having just celebrated their 6 month anniversary. Under Czech and German ownership, the cafe’s specialty is slow coffee, offering a Siphon Brew Bar, as well as a new espresso every day.

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Mittenwalder Straße 30, 10961 Berlin Kreuzberg – visit website
Tue–Sat 09h–18h, Sun 11h–18h

stilinberlin no fire

NO FIRE, NO GLORY
Lastly, No Fire No Glory is probably the most laid back of all the cafes in this list, and is also located in the Kaffeeviertel in Prenzlauer Berg. Their focus is on an equal balance of good coffee and atmosphere.

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Rykestraße 45, 10405 Berlin Prenzlauer Berg – visit website
Mon–Sun 10h–20h

Comments

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  1. Michael on

    Reply

    Meat & Beat (Sonnenallee 67) is relatively new and definitely has one of the best burgers in town. It has several veggie options as well. Check it out!

    1. Mary Scherpe on

      Thanks for the tip! Heard about it already, but have you tried the veggie versions? As said, a great meat-place does rarely mean great veggie burgers

  2. Alexandra on

    Reply

    Obviously it’s hard to make a good veggie burger. I think it is becaue most ‘burger chefs’ are meat eaters and don’t know that it’s not enough to have a non-meat patty between salad leaves and bread. Sadly none of the burger tested blew you away-… Me neither: I’m on your side regarding bbi, schiller, burger de ville… nice try, boring in the end; I will try the versions you mentioned to be interesting. I haven’t given up hope, yet – the veggie burger of my dreams must be out there somewhere

    1. Mary Scherpe on

      I really like District Mot and Sun Day Burgers, try those first!

  3. Ursula on

    Reply

    Woah! Thanks a lot for this great guide! I ate my first vegan burger at “Fräulein Burger” and really liked it – to be honest it has been the first burger of my life. ;) And I will definately try some of your suggestions next time.

    1. Way on

      as the Berlin pioneers in slow-food burgers they’re obviously missing in this list: Their vegan & homemade & organic beetroot burger is the most delicious I’ve ever eaten

    2. Mary Scherpe on

      will put it on my to-do list!

  4. Marlene on

    Reply

    Best veggieburger in town: Yellow Sunshine (Wienerstrasse 19, 10999 Berlin)

    1. Mary Scherpe on

      I used to go there years ago, but it’s always been a bit too “fast food-ish” for my taste.. have they evolved? as in, is it more refined by now?

  5. Luis-Manuel Garcia on

    Reply

    The recently-opened MJ’s Foodshop on Sonnenallee has become my new favorite. They don’t even have a ‘meaty’ burger on the menu (they’re around the corner from BBI and less than 1km away from probably 10 other burger joints), but their veggie burger is really special. It doesn’t try to replicate the texture and taste of meat, but instead offers a crispy-soft patty (beans and rice, I think) that is intensely flavorful, topped with avocado and a side of American-style coleslaw and ‘hausgemacht’ pickled peppers. And the bun (like all of the bread at MJ’s) is baked in-house. You can add cheese, an egg, and even bacon on top of the sandwich (for those who want more protein). As a carnivore myself, the veggie burger will all three of the add-ons is the perfect hangover cure.

  6. No on

    Reply

    Interesting reviews, but why are the usual suspects – all veggie places like the above mentioned Yellow Sunshine and Yoyos Deli (?) (near Boxhagener Platz) missing? Because it’s fast food? Then I have news, burgers are considered fast food.
    I love the patty they use e.g. on the sumatra burger (I have to admit anything w/ saté sauce is a winner for me).

    1. Mary Scherpe on

      I’ve never been a fan of Yellow Sunshine, but must admit my last visit was years ago – but there are loads of other places I wanna visit before that one.

  7. Bernie on

    Reply

    Rosenburger also had some great vegetarian options when I was living there last year! You should try their tofu burger.

  8. Lydia on

    Reply

    Thanks a lot, especially for giving vegetarian burgers some attention – this might also help, to get them improved! Have you tried the asia burger of les 3 veuves (http://www.les3veuves.de)? It’s my favorite.

  9. Fickle Sense on

    Reply

    We like the vegan burgers at the Moerchen Park (Holzmarktstr. 25. Friedrichshain) and are looking forward to trying a veggie burger at a new little place in Friedrichshain Rembrant Burger http://rembrandt-burger.com/ . It is crazy to think that 5 years ago, there were hardly any quality burgers to try! Loving that there are a heap of options now.

  10. Max on

    Reply

    As far as the usual suspects go, the Vego hasn’t been mentioned. Great Burgers. Although I prefer to eat burgers at vegetarian or even vegan restaurants, I tasted a few other good ones: Ring Burger at Neue Bahnhofstraße in Friedrichshain (The “Grünburger” is vegan and costs 5,50€ but they also have vegetarian burgers for less than 4€. At Marienburger in Prenzlauerberg you get a fine “Grünkernburger”. The “Wagenburger” at “Vöner” is very well known, although not my taste. I recently hat an incredibly tasty sandwitch in Neukölln with avocado, grilled onions, potatoes, sweet potatoes and apples (yes, you heard right!). Unfortunately I don’t know where to find it anymore, but it was unbelievably good and big. If someone knows what I am talking about, please help me out!

  11. tammy on

    Reply

    Lupus on Pannierstrasse does a fab veggie burger, sans the obligatory “curry sause” that seems to permeate burger / culinary culture in this strange and wonderful city.
    and Hamburger Heaven does a decent take too…but you have to ask for no curry sauce….yeah.
    :)

  12. Ingrid on

    Reply

    Let it Be has great veggie burgers!

  13. Anne on

    Reply

    Thanks Mary for this – I agree with pretty much everything you say and had almost given up on veggie burgers but after a couple of G&Ts I recently popped into Heat & Beat and found their vegetarian option extremely lecker… Not sure if it was because I was super hungry or because my tastebuds were not in fine form as a result of the gin… Therefore, I’d love to hear your verdict…

  14. Katrine on

    Reply

    I had a great vegetarian burger at Roots in Kreuzberg. A “fried chicken” type of thing that really managed to almost feel like chicken (in a good way!), and to have that delicious fried crunchiness that I sometimes miss after giving up the meat.

  15. Jules on

    Reply

    Hi there,

    Thanks for this review; I’ll most certainly try some of the better rated ones! ;)

    However, a special favourite of mine is missing in your list: Glück to go, located in Friesenstr. in Kreuzberg just at the end of Bergmannstr., next to the Marheineke market, offers delicious vegan burgers, home made fries, and surprisingly tasteful recipes! Check it out, I think you won’t be disappointed…

    Cheers
    Jules

  16. Jess on

    Reply

    You should definetly try the “Caulifornia” Burger at Laauma in Friedrichshain!!!

  17. Rosa on

    Reply

    Try the green-spelt veggie burger at Pêle-Mêle whenever you are in Neukölln!
    You can also have it with homemade potato wedges as a side.
    All vegan and aorganic!

  18. Sophia on

    Reply

    I think Let It Be should be on the list, not because I know these people, but because they have a menu with 4 regular vegan burgers and always weekly specials, and actually I am NOT into burgers at all – but I love love love them very mucho!!! Best vegan burgers!

  19. Morgan Roderick on

    Reply

    Minor correction for the entry about The Bird, they use English Muffins, not Brioche buns. (I am sure that people would also complain if it was the opposite).

  20. Dave on

    Reply

    Have you tried the “Nicht Burger” and Haloumi Burger from KUSS KUSS in Neukölln yet? I am no vegitarean but I love them!

  21. Henriette on

    Reply

    I just went to Hans im Glück for the first time last night. I was impressed by their great veggie burger selection and found the “Feuerring” super delicious!! They have 10 veggie choices :)

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