It had been 6 years since I last visited Berlin and in that time, Neukölln (which is pronounced Noy-kuln and not New-coln as I spent the week saying) has exploded into a really vibrant area. This is all thanks to the closing of Tempelhof airport in 2008. No longer situated under a flight path and now home to a MASSIVE community park where the runways once were, Neukölln is now similar to the Dalston of Berlin (although larger and a little nicer). Across the wide expanse of this neighbourhood are a number of great cafes, restaurants and bars. Neukölln definitely has the best brunch in Berlin and here is my hit list of the 5 places to get your morning started – plus the two places I missed this time but will definitely check out next time. Here’s hoping it doesn’t take me another 6 years!
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The California Breakfast Slam (or Cabslam for short) is hands down the best brunch you’ll find in Neukölln in my opinion. The vibe is very low-key, the staff greet you in English and the menu is consists of American diner classics (such as pancakes, biscuits & gravy, and Huevos Rancheros) as the name suggests. Situated just near the canal, it’s a great spot for afternoon drinks too. Their menu is available on their website in English. It’s open 7 days from 10am-midnight and, like many places in Berlin, it is cash only.
If the only way you want to start your day is with a solid caffeine hit, then The Coffee Ape is your best friend. The cute little barista truck is parked inside the gorgeous flower and gardening shop Blumen Weyer on Sonnenalle and serves coffees straight out the side window on Jansastraße. You can get your coffee to go or, when the weather’s nice, sit on one of the little stools available. Really good coffee in a really lovely spot.
(Update 2017: Melbourne Canteen has now closed, unfortunately)
Melbourne Canteen is a very reliable brunch/afternoon drinks option for this area. Surprisingly, considering its name, it’s not the most stylish spot, but it is spacious with a solid menu and outdoor seating. They serve a large selection of classic brunch options (including corn fritters, ricotta pancakes and sourdough with Vegemite) by day, and tapas, pizza and cocktails by night. Open 7 days from 10am-late, you can check out their menu online.
This gorgeously styled cafe must be one of the most Instagramable spots in Neukölln. The food is excellent, space is limited and the vibe is very relaxed (ie. the service is slow), so be prepared to queue with a coffee outside. It took me three attempts before I finally got a chance to sample their delicious brunch, but it was definitely worth the wait. Their website doesn’t feature a menu online, but the food is a selection of fresh healthy brunch options and salads for lunch. They don’t take reservations and only take cash. Closed Mondays, they are open from 10am-7pm every other day.
Situated just a little up the canal before Cabslam, Zimt und Mehl (which translates to Cinamon & Flour) is the perfect spot for brunch on a sunny day. A small bakery with a huge outdoor seating area looking out over the water, they serve great brunch/lunch options, including a vegetarian breakfast and omelettes for gluten-free diners. Their website is in German, but you can still check out their menu online. Open 7 days from 6am-8pm.
Gorgeous-looking cafe on Friedelstraße, close to the border of Neukölln and Kreuzberg. Their website doesn’t feature a menu, but they are apparently very vegetarian-friendly and serve up a large selection of cakes. Open 7 days, you can visit them anytime between 9am-8pm.
Ungeheuer apparently means monster and that is one word you can use to describe the size of their beautifully presented breakfast platters. Situated on Emser Straße in South Neukölln, this cute, quiet backstreet brunch/lunch spot doesn’t have a menu online and only takes cash. They’re open 7 days from 10am-midnight.