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SHE SAID: FEMINIST BOOKSHOP AND CAFE ON KOTTBUSSER DAMM ELEVATING QUEER AND FEMALE VOICES

SHE SAID: FEMINIST BOOKSHOP AND CAFE ON KOTTBUSSER DAMM ELEVATING QUEER AND FEMALE VOICES

Every so often there’s a business idea so good you wonder why it hasn’t happened sooner. She Said is one of those: a bookshop for female and queer authors located in the heart of Berlin (and, of course, online). If this sounds like something you’d enjoy, we recommend setting aside quite some time to look through the selection. It is truly a treasure trove, from highly political polemics to colorful children’s books (see online for the shop’s current top picks). The space, designed by architects Mara Kanthak and Katharina Volgger is curved and bright, clean and comfortable, with enough room to browse with ease. The ceramic shelves custom made by Charlotte Dualé feature sculpted letters with the word “She” and are home to books by local and international authors alike.

Besides browsing, you can also visit the in-store cafe, which brews coffee from Vote and teas from Companion, all made fresh to-go by barista Lewis Soulier. Meanwhile baker and chef Fiamma Aleotti creates fresh baked goods on-site each day, with her legendary cinnamon bun the most popular among a selection of cookies and other sweet and savoury goodies. The value of elevating different voices and creating an inclusive space feels honest to each detail. Owner Emilia von Senger is quick to share that it was a huge team of people that made the idea happen: nine female and queer staff including artists and authors, activists and documentary filmmakers who all bring their talent and expertise to the job. You can read more about their work online or – better still – just stop by and say hello.

Text: Scarlett Peeters / Photos: Savannah van der Niet

She Said, Kottbusser Damm 79, 10967 Berlin-Neukölln; map
Mon–Fri 10h–19h, Sat 10h–18h
The shop remains open with measures in place to ensure safe shopping.

@shesaidbooks

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SOFI: MITTE BAKERY MAKING ARTISAN SOURDOUGH BREADS AND SWEET TREATS FROM ANCIENT GRAINS

SOFI: MITTE BAKERY MAKING ARTISAN SOURDOUGH BREADS AND SWEET TREATS FROM ANCIENT GRAINS

The recipe at Sofi is simple: bringing together good things. Since opening at the end of 2020, the Sophienstraße bakery has assembled a team of keen bakers who take ancient grain varieties and combine them with a progressive approach to bread making. Part of a Berlin project called Slow whose aim is to reimagine hospitality, Danish Chef Frederik Bille Brahe (from Copenhagen’s Atelier September and Apollo Bar), bakery manager Sören Zuppke and baker Marisa Williams (Tartine in San Francisco) have arrived at a low-intervention baking method that reintroduces grains like “Waldstaude” rye and emmer wheat – varieties whose histories date back to 17,000 BC. The resulting menu includes a house sourdough, Danish rye loaves, tasty focaccia and double–baked croissants with almonds and blackberries. You can pick up these treats along with a Populus Nordic-style filter coffee from the Mitte shop, whose Danish-inspired interior blends the contemporary with the historic in the same way the baking does. For now the space is takeaway-only, but someday soon Berlin’s bread lovers will be able to enjoy Sofi’s memorable bakes on the spot. We can’t wait! (Text: Scarlett Peeters / Photos: Sophie Döring)

Sofi, Sophienstr.21, 10178 Berlin–Mitte; map
Wed–Fri 7h30–18h30, Sat & Sun 8h30–17h30 (Open daily from 18.01.2021)

@sofithebakery

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ERCHY’S: HOUSEPLANT SHOP MEETS DELI AND CAFE FOR COFFEE CULTURE WITH TURKISH FLAIR

ERCHY’S: HOUSEPLANT SHOP MEETS DELI AND CAFE FOR COFFEE CULTURE WITH TURKISH FLAIR

Selling our two favorite things, coffee and plants, Erchy’s is the creation of Turkish-German Marie Ercemen, who drew inspiration from her grandparents to create this welcoming space in Mitte. The cafe’s interior is reminiscent of Turkish homes, with Kilims extending across blue and white patterned tiles and floor-to-ceiling windows for natural light. The plant species are chosen simply by what Marie likes, and her taste is impeccable: from tropical greenery such as peacock plants and monstera to hearty cacti, the plants are mostly medium sized and require little maintenance. The to-go menu includes grilled sandwiches (red miso-chilli paste or caramelized onions with mustard) and coffee from Concierge, with a dine-in menu of Shakshuka, avocado on toast and housemade granola coming up. While you’re there don’t forget to check out the selection of Berlin-made deli goodies from our friends at Up & Coming Berlin. If you’re lucky, you might also meet Maya, the dog seen kicking back with a cup of coffee in the Erchy’s logo. (Text: Scarlett Peeters / Photos: Savannah van der Niet)

Erchy’s, Choriner Str.84, 10119 Berlin–Mitte; map
Mon & Wed–Fri 7h30–14h, Sat & Sun 9h30–16h
@erchy.s

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GRAGGER: THE CAFE AND BAKERY FOR NATURAL SOURDOUGH BREAD ON POTSDAMER STRASSE

GRAGGER: THE CAFE AND BAKERY FOR NATURAL SOURDOUGH BREAD ON POTSDAMER STRASSE

One of the best antidotes to gloomy weather is freshly baked bread, the smell of which you detect as soon as you set foot in Gragger, the bakery and cafe in the Potsdamer Straße that bakes exclusively sourdough bread from organic ingredients. With his shop, which opened in May 2020, master baker Helmut Gragger wanted to bring bread back to its origins as “the most original food in our culture”. Helmut learnt the trade in his Austrian hometown in the mid-1980s followed by a stint in France. But it’s not just this knowhow that is baked into Gragger: the shop is also a nice place to be, with a cheerful team and a modern design from Michael Sans of Nobelhart & Schmutzig fame. In addition to various loaves and rolls, the range of baked goodies includes pastries and sweet treats such as Buchteln, Franzbrötchen and chocolate rolls as well as open sandwiches with egg, cheese, sausage or vegan toppings. All of this can be enjoyed with a nice cappuccino – we guarantee it will lift your morning mood. (Text: Olga Potschernina / Photos: Bui Luu Quynh Nguyen)

Gragger, Potsdamer Str.107, 10785 Berlin–Tiergarten; map
Mon–Fri 7–19h, Sat 8–16h
@graggerbrot

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JULES GEISBERG: SPECIALITY COFFEE AND CAKE SERVED IN A HISTORIC POST OFFICE — RECOMMENDED BY LUCIE EON

JULES GEISBERG: SPECIALITY COFFEE AND CAKE SERVED IN A HISTORIC POST OFFICE — RECOMMENDED BY LUCIE EON

After the success of their cafe at Gleisdreieck, Jules opened a new spot – Jules Geisberg – near Schöneberg’s Viktoria-Luise-Platz in September 2020 and what a beautiful space it is to sit in! The building is the former neighborhood post office, above which hangs a life-size statue who seems to wonder where all the postmen have gone. The interior design is minimalist with elegant marble details – a perfect complement to the warmth and friendliness of the team. Funny story: the cafe’s barista crew were actually friends before they started to work there together. They were attracted by a gastro business that cares about its people and the ethics behind the products they offer, including the coffee which comes from the likes of North Star and Vote. If you’re strolling around the area, do yourself a favor and take a moment to savor a piece of their fluffy banana bread, cheesecake – or both – along with one of their gorgeous drip coffees in my fave seat: the cozy corner bench. (Text: Lucie Eon / Photos: Bui Luu Quynh Nguyen)

Lucie Eon is a coffee nerd and ex-barista studying horticulture and focusing on her photography project.

Jules Geisberg, Geisbergstr.9, 10777, Berlin–Schöneberg; map
Mon–Fri 7h30–18h, Sat–Sun 10–18h
 @jules_cafe_berlin

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