Sometimes, people complain about the lack of local diversity on this very page. I wouldn’t 100% agree (look how spread out the over 450 places on this map are), but it’s true, I am focussed on the areas I frequent daily, where I live and work. For one, because Berlin is actually humongous, stuff is far and commuting can take too much time to just go for a quick bite. And I’m often lazy, it takes planning and willpower to go check out a place in northern Reinickendorf. That doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy traveling the city and I ensure you, I’m much more mobile than your usual Berliner, who needs strong incentives to leave the Kiez (that’s why we don’t have friends who live in other districts). Because all the Bezirke have their own distinct flavour, especially those beyond the park (my own wording). Breakfast in Grunewald feels like you went on a weekend trip (with the M29 bus), and dining in Charlottenburg feels like dining in another city. That is because Charlottenburg actually was its own city, until 99 years ago! So I want to encourage you to roam the city, like I did when I went to Wilmersdorf for breakfast and then to two places in Mitte! Told you, I’m lazy.
This is a fantastic place with over 20 years of history and a prime spot for people watching and immersing yourself into the local Wilmersdorf culture. I came here to have breakfast with a friend, and had chosen to take a walk in Grunewald prior so I felt very much like I have my life in order. It’s a Kaffeehaus, open all the time and reigned by waiters in white shirts, black vests and starched, white aprons. The menu is a mix of Austrian and Italian classics, with weekly, seasonal specials from Gazpacho to chickpea soup with lemon grass. The scrambled egg you see on top is perfect, as is the minimal decoration with a tomato and one leaf of parsley. You can easily spend all day here, watch people stroll by and read a book or three.
This one was actually only my second choice that day, on which I wanted a full on, lavish breakfast dish to start my weekend. However, Okay Café was hopelessly crowded so we chose this coffee shop by the Kanal. Unfortunately, they don’t serve breakfast dishes here anymore but just a choice of sandwiches. Fortunately, their coffee and food is very delicious, so it’s easy to get over the fact they don’t scramble eggs. And witnessing the ups and downs of daily canal life is a free add-on.
Oh this place, so refined, so pretty, so dainty, in a way. This refers to the interior, where every piece seems to be especially chosen just for this spot, to the service, which is much friendlier than your usual Berlin experience, to the menu, where simple yet striking lunch plates accompany some boozy drinks waiting for your aperitivo mood. Pictured here is their salad, hearts with very finely grated cheese and linseed. It’s a really good salad, slightly upscale in price, but not expensive for what you get. Next to it is a deep red blood orange lemonade.
Görlitzer Straße 68
10997 Berlin Kreuzberg
I haven’t been here for forever, even though I used to love it for the exceptional architecture and interior, as well as the straightforward menu. But at one point the food turned lackluster, the place was too crowded and staff overwhelmed. I went back on one of the first hot days to have a salad in the sun and was very pleasantly surprised! Yes, the staff still sports a, let’s say, Berlin understanding of friendliness, but the architecture is obviously still stunning, and the food was what I remembered coming here for before! No fuzz, but no antiquated understanding of what a salad is either. It’s a satisfying and filling lunch, I would definitely come again.
10119 Berlin Mitte
This one’s a real goodie. It doesn’t look much different than the rest of the cool and hip places up and down Torstraße, but the food is definitely better than at most spots on this busy and ugly road. Pictured here is the tofu miso ramyun, which I enjoyed loads, and we also had the kimchi pancake and the veggie mandu, everything very recommendable. Coreen is the young, hip child of Hanok, the classic, beloved Korean restaurant out west (on the other end of Ku-Damm), which is always filled with huge Korean groups, in case you need more credit. Check it out, I liked it a lot!