Germans love their coffee and cake culture and so should you.
German life is not complete without a piece of good cake, accompanied by a cup of coffee. The endearing tradition of sitting down for Kaffee & Kuchen in the afternoon simply needs to be explored by every visitor. No matter where you go, be it big city or small town, you’ll find an abundance of cafés.
They come in different styles to suit all kinds of tastes. The proper old-fashioned ones where you’re bound to end up sitting amidst a collection of female pensioners having their Kaffeeklatsch (get-together for a gossip over coffee and cake). These ones often have the best cakes, by the way. Or the more contemporary version for younger crowd who are still not too cool to appreciate some lovely sweets. Fact is, Germans need their cafés. It’s part of their life and a social fixture just like the pubs in Britain. By the way, every café is also a good lunch or dinner option if you’re not after a proper restaurant experience. They all feature a selection of either snacks or more elaborate dishes.
Here are a few café suggestions in the east:
Barcomi’s Deli, Berlin
Great cakes and gateaus in lovely location in the Sophie-Gips-Höfe (courtyards) in Berlin Mitte near Hackesche Höfe. Bagels also come recommended. Coffee roaster on site. The Sophie-Gips-Höfe feature an interesting variety of architectural styles ranging from a red brick factory, some Biedermeier houses plus contemporary architecture.
Barcomi’s Deli, Sophienstrasse 21, Berlin, 10178 Berlin, www.barcomis.de
Cafe Grundmann, Leipzig
Stylish Leipzig cafe with Vienna coffeehouse atmosphere. The in-house bakery produces delicious cakes, cookies and Stollen. Watch out for the eccentric waiter.
Cafe Grundmann, August-Bebel-Strasse 2, 04275 Leipzig, www.cafe-grundmann.de
Kaffeehaus Riquet, Leipzig
Rather touristy traditional Leipzig cafe. However, the enormous choice of cakes, gateaus and coffees is impressive.
Kaffeehaus Riquet, Schuhmachergäßchen 1, 04109 Leipzig, www.riquethaus.de
Zum Arabischen Coffe Baum, Leipzig
“Coffee temple” and second oldest café in Europe (consequently, to be found in many a Leipzig travel guide as a recommendation). On several floors visitors can indulge in a wide choice of cakes and special Leipzig sweets plus lots of different types of coffee. Plus coffee museum on site.
Zum Arabischen Coffee Baum, Kleine Fleischergasse 4, 04109 Leipzig, www.coffe-baum.de
Far less opulent than the traditional coffee house types above, the Telegraph has a slightly intellectual appeal and more minimalist style. Perfect to while away an afternoon with a newspaper. Apart from daily prepared cakes, the café’s menu also features dishes such as bouillabaisse that comes highly recommended. Or try the hot pear juice with fresh ginger.
Telegraph, Dittrichring 18 – 20, 04109 Leipzig, www.cafe-telegraph.de