There’s something reassuringly nostalgic about walking through a shop to get to a cafe. Like when your mum used to march you through House of Fraser just to get a tepid machine-dripped cappuccino from Cafe Zest. But House of Fraser this certainly is not – this is a very different kind of Haus…
Hallesches Haus in Berlin is one of Kreuzberg’s coolest cafes serving delicious coffees and a great little brunch menu to boot. The adjoining shop in question is one of those interiors/homeware/bric-a-brac places usually reserved for browsing (within which one often overhears things like ‘this is cute’ responded with ‘and where would we put it?’). Nevertheless, the shop is actually, well, cute (you see which side of the conversation I usually take), and has some lovely little artefacts ideal for sprucing up your bohemian south Berlin flat.
But we’re mainly here for the food, and Hallesches Haus does not disappoint. The cafe itself is a large, bright space that does its best to bring the outside in. Macrame hanging baskets filled with lush green flora dangle coquettishly from an expansive skylight at the far side of the room, below which sits an eclectic mix of long wooden sharing tables for groups and small round ones for couples, with mismatch seating. If you actually want to be outside, they can accommodate that too, with a sizeable, shady outdoor seating area, ideal for al fresco dining on warmer days without having to squint.
Service is from the counter only, and we would expect nothing more on this busy Saturday morning. I suppose the great part about it is that it doesn’t feel busy, not like it would it London. You might have someone ahead of you in the queue, but you certainly won’t be made to wait in line outside in the cold for the simple pleasure of a seat.
The staff are all jovial Anglophones (as I’m quickly learning is commonplace here in Berlin) and all seem eager to please. The breakfast burrito served with three different dips is the ideal choice to keep you going until lunch, and French toast served with pistachio pieces and lashings of mascarpone is a dream. We eye up a tempting array of cakes, cookies and pastries, promising ourselves not to return for a mid-afternoon coffee however delicious they may look.
Hallesches Haus is your one-stop shop for all things cafe-cool in Berlin. Make sure it’s on your list and don’t miss out.
Tempelhofer Ufer 1