Stepping into Gipfeltreffen feels like stepping into a stranger’s house, and immediately wanting to become his friend. The place is warm and cosy, with old furniture, sofas in different shapes and colors, wooden tables and many little artsy artefacts laying around or hanging on the walls. Someone at Gipfeltreffen has a great eye for detail.

 We tested the cheese breakfast, a sandwich and the Canadian pancakes. The pancakes where the fluffy (and best) kind and made everybody smile, the sandwich girl was content with her modest choice and we all chipped in to help clean out the Käse Frühstück plate.

The bottom line: nothing too special, but an overall delightful experience

The plate test: all cleaned out. We wouldn’t have refused another round of the fluffy Pfannkuchen

Soundtrack: chill-out, soft jazz, Bob Marly, Yael Naim

Sitting arrangement: outside tables are added during the summer. Always full, natürlich

Crowed: local, friendly, many families

Kids: yes, and lots of them

Pets: yes, and lots of them

Service: slow-ish and nice. But who’s in a hurry, anyway?

Prices: 3.50€ for the sandwich, 6.50€ cheese breakfast, 6.60€ for the pancakes

Gipfeltreffen

http://gipfeltreffen-kreuzberg.de/

Gorlitzerstr. 68, Berlin

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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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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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