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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We were a bit excited going to Al Hamra. From the intelligence we had – a recommendation from a good friend and some googling – we knew it’s an Arabic/Middle-Eastern restaurant, or what the Berliners sometimes refer to by mistake as “Oriental”. Doesn’t matter how you call it, for us it’s home. Since temperatures were still below freezing, the city was covered in snow, and our legs felt like popsicles, we were relieved to arrive at Al Hamra, and be cuddled in warmth and scents from a warmer life.

We pealed off and settled at our reserved table (recommended). Not an easy task, since the place was packed, and even if the two-leveled space were empty, the furniture is packed. The tables are so close you can actually fell human warmth. Like the U-Bahn in rush-hour, but in a good way.

On Sundays there’s a brunch buffet: a colorful selection of delicacies is weighing down two large tables, wrapped in a long queue. During the full length of our stay, about 3 hours (yes, it was that good), there were constantly people standing in line. “Memories from the good old DDR times”, we heard someone joking. We don’t have any memories from the Stasi era, so we didn’t let the long line spoil our mood. Not even the shortage of plates, forks, spoons, and where the hell is the waitress around here? Granted, it took some time to get everything together, but once we managed to fill our plates and try the goods – we had no more complaints.

In addition to the regular Berliner brunch goods, that is cheese, ham and sausages, the Al Hamra buffet had some original (and yummy!) surprises up it’s table cloth: Hummus, eggplant salad, boiled red beats, pickles, mushroom salad, pita bread, other baked carbs and some sweets. One of us really liked the Hummus, the other the eggplant salad, and the third noted the the evening menu has Couscous so we have to come back. We didn’t have too much room left for desert, but that’s ok, since they are definitely not the forte of Al Hamra.

Price: 7.5. All you can eat. One of the cheapest deals in town

Space: crowded. You should reserve in advance and even then – it’ll be packed

Service: problematic ratio between guests and service personal. They were nice and wanted to be helpful, but didn’t really manage to juggle everything

Breakfast: not just the brunch, but also breakfasts by nationalities

Lighting: quite dark but contributes to the cosy atmosphere

Music: no

Pets: Yes, but only if they’re up to knee-high and well behaved

Kids: yes. Well, it’s Prenzlauer Berg after all

Summery: we’ll be back!

Al hamra

http://www.alhamra.de/

Raumerstr 16, Berlin

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We’ve heard about the Anna Blume brunch about a second and a half after moving to Berlin (the place is open since January 2005, and managed to gather quite the following), and knew it’s supposed to be something special. We saved it for a special occasion, which finally presented itself: an opening post to our new blog, that will be solely devoted to the marvelous experience of Sunday Breakfast and Brunch in Berlin.

The upside of scheduling a Sunday brunch at Anna Blume is that it’s close enough so the three of us could walk there. The downside is that we knew it was going to be packed. ‘Cause as we mentioned, the Anna Blume brunch is somewhat of an establishment in Prenzlauerberg, and brunch lovers like us fill the area just as much as baby strollers do.

We decided on a strategic meeting point (church of Zion, to remind us where we came from) and started walking. It was cold. So upon arriving to the beautiful corner of Kollwitz and Sredzki, we rushed to squeeze in. The place was full of 4-generation families (grand partent, parents, kids and their iPhones and iPads). Luckily we got a table within minutes, in a dark and cosy nook way in the back.

It was pleasant at Anna Blume. The service was quick, very friendly and efficient (somewhat of a marvel in Berlin), the brunch was tasty and satisfying. As an added bonus we got three glasses of Sekt (bubbly wine) which the waitress gave us by mistake. We drank ‘till the last drop, while watching the crowd change – from hubbies and wives to hipsters with horrible color matching skills. At no point though, was there an empty chair in sight.

The brunch (they call it “Breakfast for 2/4” but don’t be fooled) comes in a pyramid-like structure. Fruits on the top, cheese, scrambled eggs, spreads and veggies on the other two floors. We took the veggie version, but there is also salami in the regular one. On the side – a basket with 3 different types of breads. The food is not original or special, but definitely does the trick. The quantity – a brunch for two for 14 Euro – is enough to feed a hungry couple or a lady-trio. The cakes on display will make you wanna save room for desert. We left happy. An amicable start to yet another frozen Berlin Sunday. Now it’s time for a Schlafstunde.

Music and noise – no music. Acoustics are fine, no need to shout

Crowded – very. Always

Light and dark – pale Berliner light comes in to the main hall from the huge windows. The cozy nook is darker

Design – tacky from the ‘80. Lots of red and burgundy

Service – excellent

Breakfast – big selection. With or without eggs and salamis

The brunch – a classic of form and substance

Food – fruit, vegetables, cheese, bread, salami. Rich and diverse

Pets – during the summer they can tan outside, but inside might be too crowded for anything bigger than a jack russel.

What else? There’s an in-house flower shop and great pastries and cakes

Cafe Anna Blume

http://www.cafe-anna-blume.de/

Kollwitzstr. 83, Berlin

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