My love affair with Israeli food began with a late breakfast after a red-eye flight on my first trip to Tel Aviv. The only café open in the empty Shabbat streets had one customer and two options: hummus and hummus with ful (a hearty paste of dried fava beans). I blindly chose the latter and was rewarded with a steaming bowl of hummus crowned with fragrant olive oil and ful — a light and perfect meal. Café Mugrabi brings such eye-opening (and palate expanding) Tel Aviv moments to Berlin, with thoughtful takes on a variety of Israeli staples: from hummus with spicy green skhug (an herby sauce) to sabich sandwiches stuffed with eggplant, smoky shakshuka to light fattoush salads and creamy labneh cheese with pita. More staid options — poached and scrambled eggs or granola with fruit — are invigorated with tahini, za’atar herbs or labneh, each dish anchored by Bonanza coffee and fresh juices. When I can’t decide, I order hamshuka, a delicious hummus-shakshuka hybrid. Get extra sourdough bread or pita to mop up the leftovers, but save room for malabi, a refreshing milk pudding with rosewater. Whether at an outside table soaking up sun or unwinding in the tiled interior, Café Mugrabi is a perfect springboard to greet your day. (Text: Mason Dean / Photos: Jerome Warburton c/o Café Mugrabi)
When not researching biology at the Max Planck Institute in Potsdam, Mason Dean happily researches new options for breakfast. He has lived in Kreuzberg for seven years.