Germany Holidays: Time for coffee and cake

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 north:

Café Niederegger, Lübeck

Niederegger is the German home of marzipan in the hanseatic town of Lübeck where the sweet almond paste has been produced since 1806, exported world-wide now. The café is a bit of a shock to the system – so much cake, such big pieces. Signature cake is the Niederegger-Nusstorte (nut cake). And the integrated shop sells any kind of marzipan variety you can think of and beyond. Passion fruit marzipan anyone?

Café Niederegger, Breite Straße 89, 23552 Lübeck, www.niederegger.de

Café Paris, Hamburg

As the name promises, a little bit of Paris in Hamburg, right in the town centre. Former slaughterhouse from 1882 converted in 2000 into a stylish place including Art Nouveau ceiling. Always crowded, slightly posh clientele.

Café Paris, Rathausstraße 4, 20095 Hamburg, www.cafeparis.net

Café Koppel, Hamburg

Very friendly location with an alternative touch, organic products, 100% vegetarian and delicious cakes. Try something called Traum der fliegenden Krokodile (dream of the flying crocodiles) and you’ll find yourself confronted with some home-made chocolate cake, vanilla ice-cream and cream. Located in a nice backyard, quirky mixture of furniture. Part of the Koppel 66 complex (house for art and culture).

Café Koppel, Lange Reihe 75/Koppel 66, 20099 Hamburg, www.cafe-koppel.de

Café Canale, Hamburg

A special tip for all the canoeists out there, this café is situated on the Mühlenkamp canal in Hamburg’s Winterhude district and upon ringing a bell you’ll get your coffee to go right into your boat. In order to enjoy cakes such as rhubarb-strawberry with butter crumbles, take a proper seat in this friendly and unpretentious café in an otherwise very upper-class area of Hamburg.

Café Canale, Poelchaukamp 7, 22301 Hamburg, www.cafecanale.de

Lühmann’s  Teestube,  Hamburg

The cake portions are massive here, famous for their different kinds of cheese cake (German style, of course!). If you come too late in the afternoon, they might all be eaten away already. Since the couple who run it originally started out with an import and export business focusing on British product, they also serve cream tea with home-made scones or different sorts of pies. B&B also possible.

Lühmann’s  Teestube, Blankeneser Landstraße 29, 22587 Hamburg, www.luehmanns-teestube.de

Getting There: International airports at Hamburg and Lübeck. International rail connections to Hamburg are via Cologne from Brussels (Thalys), which connect with the Eurostar from London. See our Travel page for airlines, rail and tour operators.

Staying There: our recommended hotels are here for Niedersachsen, here for Hamburg, and here for Schleswig-Holstein.

Looking for more? See other destinations in Northern Germany

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