It’s all too easy to walk right past % Arabica: There’s no advertising, no sign, not even a logo to draw attention to the beautiful new café that is tucked away in a Kreuzberg courtyard. A lack of customers is not something this place needs to worry about, however, as the company — originally from Japan — has built up an international reputation for serving an excellent cup of coffee. Founded in 2013 by Kenneth Shoji, % Arabica follows the third wave coffee movement, prioritising quality, taste and fair production conditions. This concept also applies to their small yet fine selection of food. Toasted banana bread with rhubarb compote or crispy granola with homemade yoghurt go great with an Americano, an espresso or a matcha latte. The next time you’re strolling down Reichenberger Straße and pass by number 36, take a peek into the courtyard — your curiosity will be rewarded. (Text: Lisa Staub / Photos: Pamina Aichhorn)
Andrés Bezem hails from Argentina, a country famous for its fantastic steaks. Yet according to Andrés, a little-known fact about his home country is that the Italian cuisine there is superb, too. His homemade gelato, at least, is so good it makes you melt. Andrés only uses the highest quality ingredients, which is what they all say, but in this case, Chipi Chipi Bombón doesn’t always have every flavors in stock: a good sign indeed. Today, for example, pistachio and coffee are out. Not to worry — you can choose from the vegan sorbets, for example, such as lemon or pineapple-parsley. Fortunately for me, they do still have baked sweet potato and zabaglione, made from the Sicilian fortified wine Marsala. Some varieties can be enhanced with pieces of Swiss chocolate to add some bite. For those who can’t make up their mind, a sampler cup with six miniature scoops is on the menu. And if that’s not service enough, they even deliver your order of ice cream straight to your door upon request. (Text: Eva Biringer / Photos: Pamina Aichhorn)
Mon-Thu 14-23h, Sat-Sun 14-24h
There simply aren’t enough hours in the day to explore all the cafés and bars that Berlin has to offer. It’s all too easy to lose track of the options. So when you need to make a decision, it’s advisable to have a true third place alternative up your sleeve — a so-called “plan C”, somewhere you can depend on. One such spot is the legendary Hackbarth’s, which has been around since the fall of the Wall. Here, I can find a quiet corner to sit and read my newspaper in peace in the mornings over a cup of coffee. Or hold a meeting further in the back with a slice of cake (topped with whipped cream, old school-style) or enjoy a pint of beer at the massive brass counter until the early hours — and all that, seven days a week. No need to look up the opening hours beforehand. The whole thing feels honest, reliable and rooted in tradition, partly due to the timeless and minimalist yet homey furnishings. When the world seems to be turning too fast, Hackbarth’s is here to help you unwind. (Text: Markus Roll / Photos: Pamina Aichhorn)
Markus Roll worked as a pastor for twelve years. He’s a fan of Fuckup Nights, an event series which sees startup founders share their failures, and co-hosts ABC, an event featuring music, talks, and networking. The next round takes place on 6.9.2018.
Tiny, lovely and top notch — that’s Wim Kaffee. Following the principle of “less is more”, this café offers a short and sweet selection of drinks and pastries: the coffee classics, plus croissants, homemade banana bread and apple tart (highly recommended). Wim’s pared back interior — all wood and dark metal — has a warm atmosphere, which is echoed by its lovely team. The charismatic owner, Patricia, opened Wim Kaffee in its current form in 2014, following a baby break and a subsequent renovation. She and her team are passionate about coffee culture — yet unpretentious, and encourage guests to take their brew just the way they like it. Wim’s beans are currently sourced from JB Kaffee in Dachau, though Patricia plans to roast her own in the near future. (Text: Lisa Strube / Photos: Maidje Meergans)
Mon-Fri 8-17h, Sat-Sun 9-17h
Sometimes less is more – and Central Hotel and Café is a shining example of this truism. Tucked down a quieter street in Copenhagen’s lively Vesterbro neighborhood, this shoemaker’s workshop-turned-hotel has channeled all its energy into one beautifully-appointed room. The pocket-sized boutique has the feel of a sophisticated ship’s cabin, with built-in furnishings handcrafted by the owner himself, dark wooden beams and leafy green wallpaper. The amenities are also top shelf: a luxurious Eden bed, an in-room iPhone preloaded with handy local information and a stocked minibar. Whether you’re a guest or not: At the snug street-level café, cross your fingers for one of the four seats and enjoy coffee by Denmark’s The Coffee Collective alongside toasties, croissants and nostalgia-inducing milkshakes and banana splits. If you’re feeling adventurous, hop on a bike courtesy of the hotel and head to Mirabelle: an independent bakery and eatery owned by Noma-alumnus Christian Puglisi. Take a seat in the bold black-and-white tiled space and try their juicy rye and 68% chocolate croissants, all of which are naturally-fermented and organic. (Text: Victoria Pease / Photos: Jon Norstrøm, Mirabelle)