Whether it’s overcoming the Monday blues with a classic eggs benedict, indulging in outrageously fluffy pancakes or kicking off the weekend with a traditional German breakfast, Berliners have embraced brunch culture, and the Friedrichshain neighbourhood now offers a wealth of dining options. Berliner Lisa N’Paisan spoke to Morgan Love, owner of Friedrichshain’s Silo Coffee, about her favourite brunch spots in the area.
Best known as the clubbing centre of Berlin, it is Friedrichshain’s eclectic mix of people and vibrant food scene that has made Silo Coffee owner Morgan Love fall in love with – and open up a café in – the area. “Friedrichshain has kept hold of its alternative identity over time – which means you can have a really well-made flat white and then go to a punk bar all in the space of about 30 metres [100 feet].” Here, Love shares his favourite Friedrichshain brunch options.
Head to Avocado Club for dishes based around the vitamin- and nutrient-rich superfood avocado. Step inside to find an urban jungle of green plants draped from the ceilings, exposed light bulbs, rose-coloured accents and possibly the most Instagrammed pink toilet in Berlin. For brunch, consider ordering the avocado pancakes caramelised with coconut, raspberry sauce and crème fraiche. And why not pair it with their avocado coffee, which is essentially an avocado smoothie with a double espresso shot. Avocado Club is also committed to only using sustainable avocados, and has paired up with supplier Nature’s Pride to ensure fair working conditions.
There are many classics to enjoy on the Happy Baristas menu, but the best dish to order is their fluffy vegan pancakes with poached pear, mint, apples and coconut-pear cream drizzled on top. Love commends their creativity. “They create interesting brunch dishes with healthy ingredients,” he says. Owners Marian Plajdicko and Roland Lodr collectively share a wealth of experience in specialty coffee, so it’s no surprise that their multi-roaster café is among the finest in Berlin. And the café’s interior is just as tasteful as the menu, with rustic wooden furniture, exposed red brick walls, and a communal working space. It’s a walk-in-only kind of place, so plan accordingly.
For a breakfast-on-the-go in Friedrichshain, Fine Bagels is an excellent choice. After much success at their first concept store, Shakespeare & Sons in Prenzlauerberg, the owners decided to open a second concept store with even more bagels and more books. The bagels here are the perfect balance of crunchy exterior and soft, doughy interior, and there is a wide selection of options to suit your taste buds, including sesame, poppy seed, cinnamon and raisin, rosemary sea salt, pumpkin seed and more. Start your day right by reading a book, eating a bagel and sipping on coffee in this 1960s-style minimalist store.
While a trip to the beautiful rainforests and high mountains of Latin America isn’t always possible, Berliners can at least experience the region’s cuisine by dining on empanadas (with both veggie and meat options available) at La Despensa. Owner Rodrigo Franco and his wife Anna Mieth, welcome customers with Latin beats playing from the speakers and a weekend brunch menu that consists of eggs benedict and huevos rancheros (a mix plate of eggs, black beans, tortillas and salsa). They also host pop-up events such as their weekly Chilean Friday dinners. But come early, and with an appetite, as they tend to fill up quickly.
This delightful restaurant from Morgan Love serves one of Friedrichshain’s best brunches, with a menu that has both classic and more daring breakfast options. Other than avocado on toast and oven-baked pancakes, Love recommends her most popular dish. “Right now we are doing an incredible poached organic eggs on toast with oyster mushrooms, truffle, pecorino, lemon and herbs. It’s been a bit of a staff favourite for some time now.” Swing by for third-wave coffee options such as their iced flash brew, a chilled vibe and a hearty Aussie breakfast.
LÜCK’S is the kind of plant-based restaurant every neighbourhood needs – it’s healthy, welcoming and reasonably priced. The family-owned spot is a collaboration between brothers David and Christian Lücks, who have created a faux-meat-free, plant-based menu of organic and seasonal ingredients. However, it is their Sunday brunch buffet (10am–4pm) that steals the spotlight. For just €16 (£13.50) per person, enjoy sweet and savoury spreads, homemade bread, an array of colourful salads, desserts and four hot dishes. To avoid disappointment, making a reservation is highly recommended.
Starting at 8am every day, Milja & Schäfa dishes up classic breakfast plates with a Mediterranean twist, along with fresh juices and coffee to wash it all down. And, with its distinct wooden interior, the café has become something of a fixture near Ostkreuz station. Opt for the breakfast made for champions: sausage, cheeses, green olives, dried tomatoes, bread and green leaves. And for plant-based diners, the vegan vital breakfast is a hit: cashew creme, hummus, guacamole, an assortment of seasonal fruits, chia seed pudding, maple syrup and bread.
The charming Neumanns Café, which looks like it was plucked out of a minimalist-retro interior magazine, offers homestyle German breakfasts and sourdough loaves baked in-house with love. At brunch, the bauernfrühstück (a traditional German potato omelette) is a must-try, served with gherkins and a leafy salad. Their signature dish, however, is the Strammer Max – sourdough bread topped with ham, which delicately hugs a runny egg. Emphasis is also placed on their coffee, which they order from the renowned Berlin roastery, Andraschko.
Sydney-born owner of Tucker Brunch Bar, Simone Morley, serves eye-catching “Aussie brekkies” during the day and contemporary drinks at night. ‘Tucker’, or ‘bush tucker’, is an Australian term for food native to the Australian outback. This bar is one of Love’s – a fellow Aussie – favourite brunch spots in Friedrichshain. “They’re the new kid on the block serving nice dishes, and drinks with loads of personality.” Tucker Brunch Bar’s food menu boasts classics such as ‘smashed avo’ and ‘eggs benny’, which you can have served in three ways: bacon with cayenne hollandaise; salmon and beetroot with horseradish hollandaise, or mushrooms with herbs hollandaise. If you’re feeling bold, try all three for just €13 (£11).