I just got back from three extraordinary days in Berlin. I explored the city on a bicycle, went to a famous tourism fair, saw some long time friends and made many new ones. I also had some of the best brunches in my life, a rather tasty Korean dinner and found a fabulous food market.
Two places in particular really hit the spot in terms of unforgettable breakfasts. Marx restaurant and restaurant Bastard, both in Kreuzberg, my neighbourhood for these days and where to be honest I had most of the meals reviewed below…
It’s hard to give the best brunch crown to one or the other restaurant, but because at Bastard I simply ordered more amazing food (I confess I broke many of the healthy eating rules I normally stick to!) it will have to be the winner.
So I got there on my last morning, ready for my flight at lunchtime and with a very empty belly. I seldom eat pork, but the fried eggs with sweet potato and chorizo were really enticing me. And so I ordered them. They came on a slice of toast soaked in the oily paprika scent of the chorizo, the sweet potato perfectly helping the bread to soak up the eggs’ runny yolk. It was heavenly!
While I was choosing my breakfast, my eye also caught sight of another item on the menu, brioche with goat cheese and honey. After seeing it served at the table next to mine, I capitulated and ordered it too. Although I was quite full from my first round of eggs, I was sure I wasn’t gonna have any food until my dinner in London. So I got it. And my world it was amazing: the salty spreadable goat cheese matching perfectly with the aromatic honey, running over the cheese and soaking my hands while I was biting in ecstasy.
The restaurant itself is very nice and the staff extra kind. The menu is also in English so you don’t have to worry. During the weekends it gets quite packed but as I went relatively early on a Saturday, I was able to get a seat.
An even more charming setting is offered by Marx’s: the restaurant stands in a square by Görlitzer Park in an old house next to a pretty one with a bow window. Inside is lovely, with high ceilings, a wooden bar, lots wall paintings and a Marx portrait at the end of the room.
Being on a Thursday morning the place only had 5 other people apart from me. They have a menu in English and I ordered scrambled eggs with herbs and smoked salmon with horseradish sauce and fruit. It was just perfect. I never tried to scramble eggs and add tons of aromatic herbs and it really worked to offset the salmon’s oiliness. I savoured each bite of bread with a bit of butter, then horseradish sauce, then a tiny slice of salmon and finally a piece of the scrambled eggs on top. It was awesome!
My other brunch was slightly more disappointing as the place was not as charming (only made worse by a group of young Englishmen on a stag party ordering wine at 10am), but it was still tasty, scrambled eggs with tomato, pepper and red onion with sliced French baguette and butter. The restaurant is called Morgenland, and for the name I expected better choice of brunch dishes…
Almost opposite Morgenland is Kimchi Princess where my friends and I had a massive dinner of kimchi pancake and bulgogi beef with five different sides and rice. The garlic marinade really came across in the beef and the kimchi was lovely, if perhaps too heavy on the spring onion. It was extremely satisfying and so big we just had to bring the rest home and have it as a snack the next day after a few cold hours spent exploring the city (I saw some amazing street art and cycling through the Brandenburg Gate was unforgettable, as it was climbing all the 292 steps to the top of the Siegessaule to take in the view despite my wobbly legs).
My trip had also a few more culinary surprises: in a random deli I found ‘La Tur’ a really tasty Piedmontese cheese which is a nearly-connoisseur item even in Italy, and in a renowned food market, the Markthalle Neun, I bumped into an Italian bakery of such top quality I thought I ended up home via a hidden space time portal. Award winning bakers Sironi have set up shop in this market a few years ago and they bake their breads, focaccia and maritozzi on the premises. It was great to have a warm slice of focaccia with potatoes, especially when outside it was starting to rain and I still had to cycle back home. Here at the Markthalle I also had the best coffee of my stay, at a bar I don’t know the name of which you can find at the market’s entrance.
Last tip, for the best looking cakes and sandwiches and some lovely décor, head to Wahrhaft Narhaft: this cosy coffee shop in Friedrichshain, right outside the RAW complex and in the gay heartland of the capital, has simply gorgeous food and ambience.
All in all I loved my trip, and now I know that with so much more to see and taste, I will need to return soon. Arrivederci Berlino.
Reichenberger Straße 122, 10999 Berlin, Germany
+49 30 54821866
Spreewaldplatz 6, 10999 Berlin, Germany
+49 30 6114147
Morgenland Café Restaurant
Skalitzer Straße 35, 10999 Berlin, Germany
+49 30 6113291
Skalitzer Str. 36, 10999 Berlin, Germany
+49 163 4580203
Eisenbahnstraße 42-43, 10997 Berlin, Germany
+49 30 61073473
The food market takes place every Thusday from 5pm till 10pm but there is something there everyday, check their website http://markthalleneun.de
Revaler Straße 16, 10245 Berlin, Germany
+49 176 81844474