Join us as we describe living and eating your way through Berlin, Germany…especially on weekends, when it seems that brunch is a wonderful excuse to gather with friends and eat cake.
Since my arrival in early March, Sundays in Berlin have been quintessential spring days. In some way or another, the winter chill that I am told infiltrated the city during preceding months departs. Not to say that April’s ambivalent weather has completely disappeared. Clouds and rain often descend during the weeks, but by Sunday, it’s as if the gray weather never passed through. Against the radiant, Heidi-esque backdrop of these Sundays, chairs and tables consume the sidewalks, crowded by Ray Ban-sporting Berliners drinking foamy coffees. Around eleven o’clock, restaurants open their doors to a rush of German patrons attempting to grab a table for Sunday brunch. Every Sunday since my stay in Berlin began, I have joined the masses in this weekend ritual.
Brunch possesses a unique place among the weekly order of meals. Realistically, it is a meal that is only possible twice a week, Saturday and Sunday. Furthermore, it tends to be a longer dining experience as it combines two meals and is usually followed by a period of lounging. Yet brunch is most assuredly not present in all cultures. Italy does not celebrate brunch. Even on Sundays, Italians sidestep breakfast with a minor cappuccino and cornetto (pastry). But this is not the case in the land of sausage and potatoes. Germans pay tribute to brunch each Sunday, something to which I too hold sacred.
One of the advantages of selection-rich Berlin is that the option to never eat at the same place twice is very real. I started with vegan my first weekend and most recently opted for a slice of cake last weekend. (Cake is an approved brunch food based on the German tradition of Sunday cake and coffee. At least this is what I’m telling myself.) Along these lines though, there exists no single definition of which foods are brunch-appropriate. Brunch interpretations range from buffets to single plates of baked goods to platters decorated with fruit, cheese and meats. My vegan plate, otherwise known as a Mess Bowl, at Sing Blackbird included a tofu scramble with sautéed peppers and onions, herb-roasted potatoes, mango guacamole and field salad. A few weekends later, I sat outside at a small café with a bagel and cooked cinnamon-apple topping. This brings me to last weekend. I wanted to go another route with brunch, to do something I hadn’t nor wouldn’t imagine doing before: cake. A slice of carrot cake and a bowl of fruit at Café Matilda. I sung praise to brunch with each bite of cake.
After a month of brunches in Berlin, I now wake up on Sundays with a new mindset. Gone are the days of mentally reviewing the list of necessary preparations for the week or worrying over looming schoolwork. As the spring sunlight trickles through my window, I ponder what long-awaited brunch is in store for the day.
If you find yourself in Berlin, I recommend partaking in Sunday brunch at some of these places…
And if you enjoyed today’s post on Berlin, then be sure to check out other posts from Gianna describing her European adventures, including: