Breakfast. It used to be that one meal during the day that I really didn’t have to think about. Porridge on weekdays, and a croissant and a boiled egg on the weekend if I was feeling fancy. But then I moved to Berlin and within a few weeks, breakfast turned into one of the most important meals of the day.
Not necessarily because I was constantly recovering from big nights out, but because I discovered how amazing breakfast can be. Pancakes, avocado, home-cooked oats, the best cheeses and coffee that blows your mind – I never wanted to eat porridge again. I once read that while New York is the city that never sleeps, Berlin is the city where it’s always someone’s morning – and therefore always time for breakfast. Here’s my breakfast guide for any mood!
“This will be a healthy day”
Remember what I said about porridge, my quite boring everyday breakfast? Forget that and go to Haferkater. They will cook it fresh for you all day and add seasonal ingredients like fruit or nuts. Not only does it look fantastic, but you can also be sure that this amount of oats and vitamins will get you up and going in no time. Or you’ll just sit back and have another coffee, because that’s the kind of place Haferkater is, too.
Boxhagener Str. 76-78, Friedrichshain
Hauptbahnhof (to-go only)
This is one of my all-time favourites, because their menu is huge and somehow everything I’ve tried so far has been more than delicious – the kind of “Can I please lick my plate”-delicious. It’s up to you to decide how healthy your breakfast will be: avocado with egg and spinach, shakshuka with kale salad or a paleo porridge? Just a small warning up front: chances are you’ll change your mind as soon as you look at the menu, because the not-so-healthy options are quite seductive too.
Spreegold. Image courtesy of Daphne Damiaans
Budapester Straße 50, Charlottenburg
Rosa-Luxemburg-Straße 2, Mitte
Hufelandstraße 20, Prenzlauer Berg
Stargader Straße 82, Prenzlauer Berg
“I actually don’t have money for breakfast”
Berlin is a cheap city compared to many of its European brothers and sisters, but we all know that feeling of having a little bit of month left at the end of your money. That doesn’t mean you have to go back to boiling your own oats, though. There’s a Turkish bakery in virtually every street and with a little luck it serves a great ‘menemen’ (an egg dish with extras like tomatoes or peppers). One of my favourite places is Alibi in the Oranienstraße, because it looks quite fancy, is super-affordable and has excellent coffee.
Oranienstraße 169, Kreuzberg
The first time I visited Schwarze Pumpe I couldn’t believe it: an actual buffet, including egg dishes, several types of bread, different cheeses and much more – for only 7 euro? The café itself is also one to love, industrial and rough in a cosy way. The buffet is served on Sundays, but there’s a very affordable breakfast menu any other day of the week.
Choriner Straße 76, Prenzlauer Berg
“I want to impress my date/friend/mother”
House of Small Wonder
Just entering this place is an impressive experience (and it’s all you’ll get unless you make a reservation ): there’s a spiral staircase surrounded by plants that leads you to the actual restaurant, where creative dishes are served in an intimate, slightly exotic setting. Their menu contains both brunch classics and lunch surprises: from croque madame and homemade granola to ‘Okinawan taco rice’ and ‘kakuni sandwich’.
House of Small Wonder. Image courtesy of Daphne Damiaans
Johannisstraße 20, Mitte
Two things come together here: the great interior and vibes of the Circus Hotel and the endlessly applauded dishes of Silo. This means long wooden tables, comfortable yet very stylish chairs, lamps that you want to take home with you and quirky little details that make you want to visit a design store straight away. Their poetic dishes range from ‘brioche French toast with blueberry mascarpone and raspberry coulis’ to ‘poached eggs with avocado smash, slow roasted tomatoes and salsa verde’.
Commonground. Image courtesy of Daphne Damiaans
Rosenthaler Straße 1, Mitte
“The last thing I want for breakfast is hipsters”
tous les jours
Let’s face it: breakfast has to be comfortable too. Some of the places listed above have a tendency to be overrun with exceptionally good-looking people in clothes so hip that they will at the least make you raise an eyebrow. Maybe all you want is a smile in the morning, some scrambled eggs, a croissant and time to read the paper. In that case, I can definitely recommend tous le jours, a bistro that’s above all cosy and friendly.
Hufelandstraße 16, Prenzlauer Berg
More friendliness waits for you at Sauers Café, situated on one of the most beautiful corners of Mitte, with a view of the Volksbühne. The dishes here can compete with many of those mentioned above, but the place feels like the living room of a tasteful friend and the staff here doesn’t do grumpy days. You can’t go wrong with their pancakes, avocado on toast or shakshuka, and it tastes even better if you’re lucky enough to sit outside on their terrace.
Rosa-Luxemburg-Straße 31, Mitte