Berlin is one of my favourite city to travel like a local. A flight offer brought me there for a week, during which I alternated Stasi investigations and remote working. Probably Berlin is the best place to be a freelancer, and the number of start-ups is reflected in the number of cafés, which are ideal spaces where to do some work or meet partners to discuss on an idea. Sometimes it feels like walking into an office, to the point that – to avoid the one-person-one-laptop clientèle – some cafés started switching the wifi off. Which refreshing: having a coffee while reading a book, or talking with an actual human being.
My favourite cafés in Berlin
During my week-long stays in Kreuzberg I’ve managed to visit a great deal of coffee places in the area and beyond, driven by a worrying caffeine addition. But these guys take coffee culture so seriously that it’s impossible to resist their flat whites.
Probably the best flat white in Berlin, so much that I have to force myself to visit a different coffee shop. The interior is minimal and open to interaction with other guests, their New York cheesecake is so good that will make you weak at the knees.
They roast the coffee themselves and sell it to many other places around Berlin. I even found a lovely café in Paris using their beans.
Address: Graefestrasse 8
Opening times: mon – fri: 8:00 – 19:00 / sat – sun: 9:30 – 19:00
Lovely little bar not from the Kottbusser bridge, it’s one of the first to open on Sunday morning, if you ever need to go catch an early plane.
Grab a flat white and head to their back room: sofas and cushions and music will provide a safe haven from the frenetic real world.
Katies Blue Cat
Address: Friedelstrasse 31
Opening times: Mon – Fri 8:30 – 18:30 / Sat – Sun 10:00 – 19:00
One of my favourite places in Berlin, it’s got a certain something that makes it especially cosy to me. The fact that they are in a rather quiet road, sheltered by tall leafy trees surely help. They also nail both the coffee making and the bakery, which is the most I dare to ask. The beans they use are roasted by these guys…
Bonanza Coffee Heroes
Address: Oderberger Str. 35
Opening times: mon – fri 08:30 – 18:00 / sat – sun 10:00 – 18:00
We’re moving out of Kreuzberg with this coffee shop conveniently located if you are visiting Mauerpark or the wall on Bernauerstrasse. The way they brew the coffee is the closest I’ve ever seen to a science lab: precision scales, futuristic kettles, immersion thermometers. Maybe a bit pretentious and slightly more expensive than the average but the coffee is superb, surely the best in the area.
Address: Gabriel-Max-Strasse 4
Opening times: Mon-Thu: 08:30–17:00 / Fri 08:30–19:00 / Sat 09:30–19:00 / Sun 10:00–19:00
This beautiful northern-looking café in Friedrichshain is located around the corner from Boxhagener Platz, location of a popular market that might also be the reason dragging you in the area.
Address: Oranienstrasse 24
Opening times: mon – sat 10:00 – 19:00
This one is easy to miss. Tucked away in a courtyard along busy Oranienstrasse, this bar is located inside Voo store. I never quite mind the store too much and always head for the intense flat white made by these guys. It might be difficult to find a place to sit because that room over there is not another room with tables but a big mirror…
Nice little spot which, as the name might subtly suggest, has its own bakery on site. It might have been the specific occasion of my visit or that I still had the London pace on me but I found the service excruciatingly slow. I like relaxed, but that was a notch or two too much. However their flat white is excellent and so are their pastries, so I feel I can forgive them. I tried a muffin and a pain au raisin and I’d go back there everyday for each of them.
Address: Kottbusser Damm 104, 10967 Berlin
Phone: +49 30 6935649 | Website
The location needs no advertising: by the side of the canal, standing next to the Kottbüsser bridge, it’s a refurbished naval hut, with a covered balcony hanging over the water. Forget about the balcony on the weekend unless you come quite early, but the tables in front, covered with red polka dot cloths, are a good observation spot, especially on a sunny morning. The food choice is pretty wide here, the menu changes often and different options are offered through the day. The dishes I’ve seen on the tables around me were all big and mouthwatering; my breakfast, the Spiegelei (eggs and bratwurst), was a great choice: for €5.50 I was left full and satisfied for the rest of the day.