We went to Chipps on a lovely Berlin summer’s day (yes, we do occasionally get some of those). The skies were blue and the air crisp, so we decided to walk. The road took us through the majestic splendor of the Mitte district, across the Museum Island and Unter den Linden (once a glorious boulevard, and nowadays, a not-less-glorious building site of the city’s new U-Bahn line). By the time we got to Chipps we felt like proper tourists, so we did what tourists do: grab a spot in the sun.

Chipps has a nice clean design, with lots of mirrors and a marvelous central bar. But on a lovely Berlin summer’s day, who bothers to even look in? All the outside benches were already full: lots of tourists, families with kids, couples with no kids, of all ages and languages.

The place offers breakfasts ranging from 6 to 9 Euros. We tried a blueberry waffle with whipped cream, eggs florentine and the lumber jack breakfast (French toast, scrambled eggs, bacon and maple syrup. Heavenly combination). The dishes were all beautifully plated, and tasty as well. The only thing that might prevent us from dropping by again is the fact we really have no interesting business in this part of town.

The bottom line: very touristic, but being a tourist in Berlin for a day is great! And yummy!

The plate test: all were left clean

Soundtrack: classical music inside. Multi-Culti chatter outside

Kids: yes

Pets: yes, outside

Service: nice and efficient

Price: 6-9 for breakfasts, without the drinks

Crowd: tourists, and locals who have visitors 

Chipps

http://www.chipps.eu/

Jägerstraße 35, Berlin

 

 

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What would you do if you owned a bar that stood empty during the morning, while you recover from last night’s hangover? In the case of Lagari, the answer is: rent it out to people who are serving what some might claim is the hottest American Brunch in town. So hot, that you can now get it on weekdays as well (10:00-16:00).

 The California Breakfast Slam is the local answer for American expats with a craving for brunch that tastes like home. And by “home” we mean “California-Style” – with a delicate and blessed Mexican influence. Amongst the brunches you can find fluffy pancakes, black beans and eggs on a tortilla, eggs Benedict (or Florentine, if you’re a veggie) and more.

The location itself is mundane and irrelevant. On a nice sunny day everyone is sitting outside, on the traffic island. It seems like ages ago now, but when we visited there it was a hot day. Too hot for Berlin, and believe it or not – there were not enough parasols to shade all the tables. You couldn’t fit a Brötchen between the brunch-eners: youngsters, expats and locals. But nothing was gonna stand in our way of enjoying the enormous portions. We fell head-over-heals for the pancakes, bitched about the heat for a while, and sat there for quite a while before we were able to stand up. It was filling.

The city is crawling with expats (as we know from being ones ourselves), so reservations for groups of more than 4 people are highly recommended during the weekends.

 The bottom line: For hungry California lovers, who are not shy of some black beans.

 The plate test: couldn’t finish. We were out numbered.

 Price: 8-10, not including drinks.

 Soundtrack: of the street. Pleasant multi-lingual chatter.

 Kids: why not? Sitting in the street.

 Pets: why not? Sitting in the street.

 Crowd: locals and visitors who know why they’re coming

California Breakfast Slam (at Lagari)

 Pflügerstrasse 19, Neukolln-Kreuzberg

 Email for reservations: cabslam@gmail.com

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There are a lot of good reasons to go to Südblock (or “The Camel and Moose” as one of us calls it due to the sign hanging above it), in all hours of the day. We’re definitely planning to check them all out, but this time it was for brunch. Sunday morning, slightly raining, and the inside space was crowded, lively and joyful. Same-sex families, families of three generations plus leather jackets and dogs, large groups of friends, couples – an interesting collection of characters, with a quality soundtrack in the background, mixed with children chatter and dog barks. Happy.

The Südblock brunch is possibly, and probably, the biggest and longest in town. It’s so rich and diverse that no plate will be big enough. And our stomaches are definitely too small. There’s sweet and salty, meats and cheeses, warm and cold salads, quiches and pastries and quite a few options for vegans. We had (and loved) the cauliflower salad, antipasti, potato pancakes, hummus, beats, Spetzle and the cream puffs for dessert. We would have loved to binge on those small and perfect cream puffs endlessly, if we weren’t already so full and powerless to get up. So we stayed there for quite a while, to recover. And it was really nice. ‘Cause it’s really nice to sit in Südblock.

The bottom line: Exciting brunch flavor-wise, and nice brunch taste-wise

The plate-test: Cleaned it, and went back for seconds

Soundtrack: Wonderful, rock ballads, American country

Price: 7-10 EURO is the recommended price range. You pay as you see fit

Crowd: Happy and gay

Service: Friendly and informal

Kids: Yep

Pets: Yep

Yesterday’s cloths: Yep

Südblock

http://www.suedblock.org/wp/

Admiralstraße 1-2, Berlin

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Given how badly we wanted to visit Bilderbuch Cafe, we were practically setting ourselves up for disappointment. Two of us heard that their brunch is one of the best in the city, and the third joined the enthusiasm. Only we live in Mitte, and Cafe Bilderbuch is in Schöneberg, so we decided to have a reservation before leaving the house. No room. Once. Twice. Even on the third try. On our fourth attempt we managed to book for two weeks in advance. We love brunch, but this seemed to much, and we were ready for the letdown. There was none.

Cafe Bilderbuch is worth the trouble. Reserving in advance turned out to be totally useless, as the place is big and roomy, with lots of free space. Our suspicions faded at the door. Bilderbuch is a pleasant place to step into. So pleasant, there is a danger you’ll stop at the first space. Don’t. A bigger one awaits further in, next to a wonderful green patio. The place a designed to look and feel like the living room we would want to have: full of books, with unique and cosy furniture, a piano on a wooden stage and huge windows.

Seeing they serve a brunch for three was too good to be true. For 26 EURO we got a huge platter filled with every vegetarian good you can imagine: butter, cheeses, spreads, pineapple, kiwi, watermelon, grapes, tomatoes, cucumbers, olives and a basket of breads on the side.

The plate test: it was still half full when we left. Not because it wasn’t delicious, but because there is SO much food.

 Crowd: families, three generations, lots of kids. The children’s meal comes with a Kinder egg, but you’ll only get it if your less than 1.40m tall.

 Soundtrack: classical, low key, comes and goes.

 Pets: not that we’ve seen, but suitable.

 Bottom line: a great place to bring your folks, and impress them with Berlin’s class.

 Cafe Bilderbuch

 www.cafe-bilderbuch.de

 Akazienstraße 28, Berlin

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Everything is white at Schneeweiss. The walls, the leather sofas, the tables, the waitresses blouses, the table cloths and the dishes. It’s comprised of two spacious sitting areas inside, plus outside tables on the street corner for the occasional sunny day. Quite music playing in the background. Everything exudes white, peaceful sterility.

It’s all about the presentation, so they say, and Schneeweiss is the perfect example. Everything is styled to perfection, everything looks like a million dollars: On the bar there’s a machine that dispenses several kinds of jam into small ice cones; Salads and antipasti come in personal glass jars; The meat section is diverse and tempting, even for veggies such as ourselves.

Lucky for us, and you, the food is very much up to standard with the design. The buffet has everything: meats, cheese, breads, spinach roll, potato gratin, egg salad, chicken salad and much more. “The best brunch yet”, said one of us. “The most beautiful place”, added another. The most expensive brunch yet, showed the check in the end. 13.5 Euros, without drinks.

Price: 13.5 for the brunch. 5 Euros for a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice. 5!

Music: quiet. In the background

Kids: none that we saw

Aesthetic experience: you bet

The plate test: we left them sparkling white

Schneeweiss

http://www.schneeweiss-berlin.de/

Simplonstraße 16, Berlin

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Today it’s hard to recall, but there’s a good chance Kopps is where we had our first brunch together. Then we had another (elsewhere). And another. And you get the gist – here we are. Kopps is a vegan restaurant. The kind that helps convince you that vegan food isn’t necessarily a sad imitation of what carnivores eat, but could be original, esthetic and very yummy.

On weekends they serve a Brunch Buffet at Kopps: Cornflakes with soja milk, fruits and vegetables, watermelon and fruit salad, tomato salad, beans, cold pasta salad, the best egg-salad-substitute we’ve came across, couscous, hummus, wonderful fried potatoes, spreads, chocolate cake and chubby little pancakes for dessert. And the list goes on. And it’s all vegan, so your tummy will be full while your conscience is clear. Unfortunately, in our last visit the food was a bit too oily. Especially the beloved potatoes.

Vegan is great. Oil? not so much.

Price: 11 Euro

Location: splendid. On the corner of Linienstraße and Ackerstraße

Space: pleasant, big buffet, minimalist table, tasteful design and low sitting area for larger groups. On nice days it’s worth sitting outside with an overview of the street corner and Koppenplatz. It’s beautiful.

Service: efficient and to the point

The Plate Test: a few oil puddles were left as décor

Crowd: grown-up and respectable-looking. Like they came especially to have brunch at Kopps

Kids: for the sophisticated and well-behaved. None were spotted while we were there

Dogs: outside is fine. Never seen one inside

Soundtrack: no music

The Bottom Line: we’ll be back. We’ll hope there’s less oil, and be back.

Kopp’s Bar & Restaurant

http://www.kopps-berlin.de

Linienstraße 94, Berlin

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Ho America!

Everything in Nalu diner screams America: Two big spaces with white walls, covered in pictures and posters of american icons, such as Steely Dan; Booths with red leather-like upholstery; Tables with pictures of all the U.S. Presidents; And in the background, american ‘70 and ‘80 music, such as Steely Dan. A soundtrack that gets you dreaming about the big road-trip you’re gonna take, scorching the wide open highways of America in a convertible.

Our breakfast also screamed America. No brunch on the menu per se, but a few breakfast deals that would qualify. Two of us went for the veggie and the third one took the direct approach – straight for the pancakes. The veggie breakfast had a choice of eggs, 2 pancakes and hash browns. After all, it’s not like America to worry hungry stomaches with anything green or fresh. The eggs were standard, the pancakes fatty and round and the hash browns slightly crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. The black coffee, re-filled by the waiter just like you’d expect, was surprisingly good compared to its American counterpart. More than anything, there was much of everything.

Just do yourselves a favor and don’t use the junk wannabe-maple sauce on the table. Ask the waiter for REAL maple sauce. They have it, but charge extra for it.

The plate test: neither was empty. Torn pancakes and egg leftovers

Music: wonderful (Steely Dan was joined by Van Morrison, Rod Stewart, Billy Joel and the Boss)

Crowd: young and unified. The presence of only one child was noted

Price: reasonable. Mostly around 8-9 Euro

Breakfasts: array of combos which include eggs, pancakes, hash browns and bacon

The bottom line: Okish +, for Americana lovers

NALU DINER

http://nalu-diner.com

Dunckerstraße 80a, Berlin

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