Wednesday, August 11, 2010

My Three Favorites: Cafes in Berlin

So those of you out there who read my blog have probably figured out that I write posts here fairly (ok, somewhat) regularly but what you most likely don't know is that half the posts I think about never get posted. Sometimes I'll be strolling down Bergmannstrasse or on the M140 bus on the way to the zoo and I'll think "Hey, xyz would make an interesting blog entry." Sometimes it's about something that has moved me or that I found amusing. Often it's about something that annoyed the hell out of me. Still, either way many of the posts die somewhere between Fürbringerstrasse and my apartment. I don't know if I just have a short attention span or if they simply weren't meant to be....

But I'm glad to be writing this post tonight. I would like it to be the first in a series of "My Three Favorites", but time will tell if this is going to happen. So, here goes: My three favorite cafes in Berlin.

1. Monsieur Ibrahim Kaffeebar, Körte Strasse 8, U-7 Südstern

What's there not to like about Monsieur Ibrahim? Besides having great ambiance (dark, classic style and richly green walls) the cafe also has a friendly staff, plays great jazz and has fantastic coffee. The owner is also extremely hot, that is if you go for the dark, brooding type. The cafe is on one of my absolute favorite streets in the city, Körte Strasse. Körte Strasse has beautiful Alt-Bau (victorian) buildings and is chic and urban but also laid back and not slick. There is also a great, (though somewhat overpriced) vintage shop just up the road. Oh yeah, and Körte Strasse caters more to a 30s /40s crowd which means no yipsters and 20 something hipsters driving me crazy with their unsettled, pie-in-the-sky-everything-is-possible energy (if you are reading this and happen to be in your 20s, then sorry babe! When you're 36, you'll see what I mean. ;) )

2. Cafe Savo, Goltzstrasse 3, U-7 Eisenacherstrasse

Though Goltzstrasse was the hubbub of hipster life in 80s Berlin, it has been largely forgotten by the newer crowds, though perhaps this is a good thing. The street is home to Cafe Savo, a cafe I have been going to ever since I've lived in Berlin. The place is truly an intellectual pick-up joint, always filled with a handful of 30 or 40 something single men in designer horn-rimmed glasses and black turtlenecks. Pull out a copy of Proust and a couple of them will surely inch in, hoping you might ask them for their phone number. The ambiance at Savo is somewhat cool as is the staff, but the food is not bad and they play good music (jazz mainly). What is it that has kept me going there all these years? Perhaps the magazine and newspaper selection (at least 15 newspapers, from the Süddeutsche to Die Zeit to the International Herald Tribune, and 30 magazines, mainly about fashion, art and design.) And the windows. Got to love the windows. Oh yeah, and I can always get a lot of writing done there for some reason (I write mainly in cafes, but it tends to flow better in some than in others.) Viva le Cafe Savo!

3. Brezel Bar, Friesenstrasse 2, U-7 Gneisenaustrasse

Ok, so I have to admit I've never even sat inside Brezel Bar, but come winter I know I will. Brezel (as in German for pretzel) Bar has great soft pretzels made by an Israeli owner, as I learned while getting the link for this post. The pretzels are chewy on the inside and hard on the outside just as a pretzel should be and come in several different varieties. I think they are fantastic, but then you will probably have to ask someone from Munich if they really are because Bavaria, and not Berlin, is truly Brezel land (getting a tip on pretzels from a Berliner is like getting a tip on bagels from a Californian....) I often buy their pretzels to go for me and the babies on the way to the playground. The staff is young and somewhat surly, but I love the atmosphere and (so far) the music seems good. I have the feeling I could write well there. I'll let you know come November. :)


petoskystone said...

i hope the '3faves' post becomes a habit!

Karen/Small Earth Vintage said...

Okay, it sounds like Monsieur Ibrahim is the place for me! *she says, wistfully pondering her wishful-thinking trip to Berlin*

I hope you'll keep 'em coming in this series!

Schaufensterbabe said...

Thanks ladies! Karen, you totally should come to Berlin. You guys could also bring Lucy because it's a great town for dogs. :)


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