Breakfast in Berlin
When I return to Berlin after 16 years, with a visit to the zoo my only memory, the changes in the city are just unbelievable. A lot has happened – top-notch coffees, delightful breads and cakes, organic food stores and Michelin stars. Everything you need for a few delicious days in Berlin. What you do with the rest of the time is up to you, but when it’s about food, I have things to say. That’s why it’s time to hop on a plane and enjoy Berlin.
Start off your meal with a coffee – after a few years of experiments the owners (two Aussies) just started roasting it themselves. Filter coffee, silky-frothed cappuccino, espresso with perfect tiger stripes (that’s a term for well-made espresso, when the crema on top forms a pattern like tiger fur), juices freshly squeezed from organic fruit. And then – on to the food.
The classic Silo toast – two poached organic eggs, Sironi toast from one of the most famous bakeries in Berlin, avocado, bacon and Manchego cheese, or, in the vegetarian version, the very same famous toast, eggs, loads of avocado, hummus and beetroot purée. Oven-baked pancakes are another great choice, as is almond milk porridge with braised apples, chia seeds and superfood seed mix. And then come the cakes, looking deceptively simple, but so good you just can’t stop eating.
Address: Gabriel-Max-Straße 4, Berlin
When a Canadian comes to Berlin, he knows what Berliners are missing – a good and proper breakfast. Aunt Benny serves bagels with fillings and relishes to your heart’s content. Cheddar and olive dip with homemade zucchini and ginger chutney is just one of the many options. You’ll also find salads, quiches and sandwiches on the menu. If you’re craving something sweeter than that, dig into a scone with freshly whipped cream and raspberry jam or their divine carrot cake with a good measure of ginger.
Homemade lemon and mint or beetroot lemonades will please lovers of fizzy drinks. But you shouldn’t skip that coffee either – here it’s just as excellent as in many of the best coffee places in Berlin. Want more treats? How about a brownie, or maybe a cake? Or Bircher muesli, croissants and lots of other goodies. They’re all so super-delicious.
Address: Oderstraße 7, Berlin
Other good breakfast places: „Silo Coffee” (see above), ORA (see below), Roamers (see above).
ORA opens at 10:00, instead of 7:00 or 8:00, and fills up quickly – the locals know where to enjoy one of the best breakfasts in town, with everything made of organic produce, locally sourced to the max. Both breakfast and lunch menus are available here all day long, up until 16:00, and then from 18:30 the place is transformed into a perfect evening spot – a stylish and insanely creative cocktail bar.
ORA is located in a former pharmacy, with its original shelves, bottles and tubes still intact, as well as most of the ceiling and flooring, with more antique accessories added for character. Two friends, an architect and a photographer, have transformed it into a very special place, where everything is spot on – the location, the interior, the dishes and the cocktails. At 10:00 in the morning the place smells so tempting that it’s impossible not to treat yourself to a freshly baked brioche or a cinnamon bun, served with a good dollop of butter. Make sure you try the nut and seed granola they make here, served with yoghurt, pollen, canned apples and pears. Friends of bruschetta must try some of the homemade breads, served in so many ways – with kale, walnuts and poached egg, homemade pastrami, pickles, marmalade, butter and salt, cheese, egg or pickled gherkins. Trust me, the words you’re reading now don’t half reveal how gorgeous they all are. The lunch crowd loves the seasonal fresh and braised endive salad with homemade mustard, browned butter and nut crumble or the Jerusalem artichoke salad with salt-baked rutabaga and buttermilk. Cakes are simple, but so rich that you’ll want to try every one of them. In the evening, after the magical transformation, the menu is replaced by snack platters, composed of local organic sausages and meats (many of them made in-house), cheeses and all sorts of pickles, and coffee is replaced by cocktails that’ll steal your heart. Special recommendation: try the Truffle Sour, made of gin, truffles and a lot of other ingredients.
Address: Oranienplatz 14, Berlin
Flying with Air Baltic. www.airbaltic.com
Photo: Signe Meirane. Samsung Galaxy S6 edge