If you are a 30 something in Berlin there is a good chance that on either Saturday or Sunday you will be meeting friends for brunch and if your really social perhaps both. P.Berg where we live seems to be the brunch capital of the world and it’s all due to Berlin’s relaxed attitude to cafe culture that makes it such a pleasant experience.
The basics of brunching are as follows. You need to make some decisions, off the menu or brunch buffet? Are you prepared to queue for a table or are you the super organised sort who will reserve in advance? Are you in a rush or is this an all day affair? Once you have the important decisions made then you can pick your place and let the feast commence.
Even when you have secured your table you must be prepared to wait, waiting on tables here in the German capital is a relaxed affair and you can sometimes wait up to 45 minutes to even be given a menu unless you are prepared to flag someone down. The upside of this is that you can relax the staff will not actually pay you any heed at all until you ask for something and it is perfectly acceptable to sit there for hours (bring a paper, book or magazine). When you are ready to leave getting the bill is an art unto itself and can take a further 20 minutes.
The whole affair is wonderful though with the standard of food at most places being very high and it is great way to catch up with people and your discuss your respective weeks.
Here are some of my favourite places
Butter – Pappelallee 73
A little out of the way from the other hotspots but nice breakfast brunch here with a good selection of sweet and savoury, quite easy to get a table if you turn up early enough and people will queue for tables here. There are no reservations on buffet days.
Zum Dritten Mann – Kollwitzstrasse 87
This a lovely Austrian place very close to where I live. The food is very good and I highly recommend the Linz breakfast for it’s super tasty pancakes. Never struggle to get a table here and the upside is that you can sit enjoying you breakfast with space around you watching the sheep queue for Anna Blume over the road. They also take reservations but no Buffet.
Barcomi’s Deli – Sophienstrasse 21 (Sophie-Gips-Höfe, 2. Hof)
Hands down the best bagels I have ever had! This famous little deli is a real gem with a great selection of bagels and cakes to suit all tastes and the coffee is excellent also. All ordering if off menu so no buffet but it doesn’t matter because the service is speedy. They take reservations and I would recommend booking because this place gets busy.
Cafe Übersee – Paul-Lincke-Ufer 44
In trendy Kreuzberg this one is a little out the way for me but well worth it. It’s amazing the sit beside the canal and watch the world go by under the shade of the willow trees. The breakfast here is also good with a varied menu, generous portions and it’s lot cheaper than it’s P.Berg counterparts. loads of tables but they do take reservations too it’s all off menu but that is fine because you won’t want to move from your idyllic spot by the water.