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Coffee culture has long been an established part of life in the Berlin neighbourhood of Friedrichshain. From cafés that double up as bookshops to Aussie-inspired coffee joints, Friedrichshain has no shortage of spots to get your daily dose of caffeine.
Formerly part of Soviet-controlled East Berlin, Friedrichshain became the epicentre of Berlin’s creative scene following the fall of the Berlin Wall. Almost 30 years on, the neighbourhood’s alternative cultural venues – including the world-famous techno club Berghain and the RAW complex – are joined by world-class restaurants, quirky cafés and chic bars.
Located right next to Ostkreuz S-Bahn station, Milja & Schäfa is an achingly stylish coffee house and one of Berlin’s best-kept secrets. One of Friedrichshain’s prime brunch spots, Milja & Schäfa’s wood-panelled space is decorated with dark oak tables, leafy plants and modern art, while the Mediterranean-inspired menu combines fresh, locally sourced produce with speciality coffees. Enjoy ricotta pancakes with maple syrup and fresh fruit or sweet potato rosti, accompanied by a cup of freshly roasted coffee. Milja & Schäfa is the perfect pitstop after a visit to the nearby Graffiti Wall of Fame, which serves as a canvas for Germany’s most prominent street artists.
Have you really hung out in Friedrichshain without drinking coffee at Silo? Silo is one of the neighbourhood’s best known and most well-respected coffee and brunch joints. It’s packed at the weekend, so get there early if you want to eat, but the place is truly famous for its coffee. The founders are from Melbourne and have brought the expertise of their home city to the streets of Berlin. In contrast to a traditional bäckerei (bakery), here you can order a decaf soy flat-white with a hint of eucalyptus oil and no one will bat an eyelid.
A trip to Deutschland isn’t complete without a visit to a local bäckerei. Germans are very proud of their bread and have a long history of baking. Fröhliche Bäckerei, a short walk from Frankfurter Allee S-Bahn, is one of Friedrichshain’s most popular bakery destinations due to the low prices, friendly staff and freshly baked goods. It’s hard to decide which baked bit of deliciousness to choose, but we recommend a crispy croissant and fresh salted pretzel.
Berlin may not be best known for its wholesomeness, but that’s not to say it doesn’t exist. Goodies Deli is here to make you feel better after a big night out with their fresh, vegan-only produce and healthy, superfood snacks. The founders opened up the first Goodies Deli after they struggled to find quick, healthy vegan options in Berlin. You’ll find Goodies in four locations across Berlin (including Steglitz, Schöneberg and Zehlendorf), but the Friedrichshain branch is the cosiest, with comfortable sofas and plants in abundance.