Neukoelln is one of the districts in Berlin that are heavily built-up and densely populated. It’s not only popular among people wanting to live there, but also coffee wise…
You’ll find many of the specialty cafes of Berlin here. Actually so many, I had to split my walking guide to specialty coffee in Neukoelln into two parts.
The first part right here covers the places Isla Coffee, Home Cafe, Gordon café & records, Leuchtstoff Kaffeebar as well as co-working space, events venue and café Prachtwerk.
I’d definitely recommend starting this walking tour to specialty coffee in Neukoelln with Isla Coffee, if you’re doing the tour on a Saturday or Sunday. Their brunch menu is full of flavors, seasonal and fresh local food. Isla Coffee’s approach is kinda unique in Berlin. But first things first.
Isla Coffee is close to the subway station Boddinstrasse. Literally just pop out the station and you’re there. Don’t miss it between all the Spätis (the Berlin name for shops that are usually open 24 hours), bakeries and take away shops, though.
Entering Isla Coffee is like an adventure, it’s different every time you’re heading there. Even for the baristas it’s a new experience doing their shift almost every week.
I’ve been there a couple of times already during the past 8 months and noticed so many new small and bigger details; it’s actually super fun to go there more than once.
Isla Coffee serves espresso (and espresso based drinks) roasted by Kaffee 9 roastery. Isla Coffee Co-owner Philipp is part of Kaffee 9 and roasting the coffee at their roastery. The filter coffees come from either Berlin roasteries or other roasteries out of Europe.
Fancy a tea? The tea offering comes from Berlin based tea & coffee shop Companion Coffee. I had their Green tea, which is very delicate.
The food, though…
Well, I have to go into more detail here and explain the story behind Isla Coffee’s approach:
Co-owner Peter has a degree in environmental governance and infuses this background into the café so much so that they sorta created a sustainable chain of not wasting the products or ingredients they use.
What does than mean? Well, the left over steamed milk from your cappuccino or latte for example is stored and fermented to make their ricotta cheese they use for their pancakes as well as the croissant-bread-pudding I had, when visiting the place (on a Saturday btw.). Oh, the croissant bread obviously comes from their left over croissants that otherwise would be dumped. Cool stuff, right?
Depending on the ingredients and products they get – most of what would’ve been thrown away – for their brunch menu, the offer is different each weekend.
If you’re visiting Isla Coffee on a Saturday, go check out the farmers market ‘Schillermarkt’ at Herrfurthplatz that nestles around the church on Saturdays from 10 am to 4pm.
It’s definitely worth the visit, because you not only get the usual fruits and veggies as well as baked goods from local farmers and producers, but also cheese, Japanese Gyoza and even handmade lollipops.
Gordon café & records
Second stop on the tour to specialty coffee in Neukoelln is Gordon café & records. If you love vinyl, thumbing through records, drinking coffee (from The Barn!) and eating Israeli cuisine this is THE place to go!
The shop/café is located in the Schillerkiez in Neukoelln, just a couple minutes by foot from the farmers market. If you’re open to try a typical Middle Eastern beverage, order their version of a Salep or Sahlab called ‘White Gordon’, it’s the ‘signature drink’ of the cafe.
Usually it’s a milk based winter beverage served warm. For thickening they use flour made of the tubers of the orchid genus. Amazing, right? It’s then topped with all sorts of spices such as cinnamon, grated coconut and ground pistachios. At Gordon you can add an espresso, then it’s like a creamy version of a Mocha, as I was told.
If you’re more up for a tea at that time during the tour, try one of the choices they’re offering from ManuTeeFaktur out of Berlin.
Hungry again? Then definitely try some of their homemade pita breads, hummus plates or Shakshuka dishes. They too have sweets treats like the Israeli twist on a croissant called Rugelach.
If you’re lucky, you can see Doron, co-owner, on the turntables checking out some new music. Definitely have a sneak into their backroom, where they even have more records.
Walking along Herrmannstrasse towards the South and taking a left on Jonasstrasse, you’re going to approach ‘Home Cafe’ on the left hand side.
It’s run by a woman, Sarah, from New Zealand totally in love with creating savory and sweet treats for her customers. The homemade carrot cake is to die for! Super moist and filled with so many spices. Yummy!
If you have more time in Neukoelln, try their brunch, as well. Home serves coffee from Fjord Coffee of Berlin.
The café is not just called ‘Home’, you almost feel at home here, when entering the place. From the outside it looks just like a normal house of Berlin residents.
And, as we all know, ‘There’s no place like home’! ;-)
Getting out on the street again and following Jonasstrasse you’ll come across a park that almost seems to be hiding from its audience: Körnerpark. It’s sitting in the middle of some blocks of streets and houses.
When I first walked along Jonasstrasse I was super surprised to find such a beauty there. Literally a ‘hidden gem’!
You find water fountains there; a lot of lawns to sit and chill on, wonderful flowers and a perfectly invested garden as well as a gallery (Körnerpark gallery) and a café (Zitronen Café). Definitely take a rest while doing your tour here.
Walking outside of the park through Schierkerstrasse, take a left onto Ilsestrasse and walk all the way to Siegfriedstrasse until you see the bridge ‘Hertabrücke’.
Take a right here and walk along Siegfriedstrasse until you reach your final stop on the tour to specialty coffee in Neukoelln, Leuchtsoff Kaffeebar on the right hand side. Check your watches before heading there, though. Leuchtstoff is only open until 6pm weekdays and weekends.
Leuchtstoff Kaffeebar is located in Neukoelln’s Koernerkiez close to the subway station Hermannstrasse. It’s a café – and working space (wifi is free) – with a colorful mix of furniture, sofas and armchairs and a lot of wooden details.
The menu is a bit chaotic, but if you want to end your already caffeinated day on my tour to specialty coffee in Neukoelln with a special treat, go for their bulletproof coffee. Before I went to Leuchtstoff I’ve never tried a bulletproof coffee before. It’s definitely an experience!
Don’t know what a bulletproof coffee is? It’s a black coffee blended with coconut oil and butter. So, it’s not just a lot of caffeine, but also a lot of fat that – with the help of the caffeine – directly goes into your blood stream. ;-)
Up for an event or concert after the tour?
Take the 20 min walk to Prachtwerk at Ganghoferstrasse. Check out their events calendar before, but they usually have something going on every night for an affordable price.
If you head there during the day and need to do some (laptop)work, it’s a great place for sitting there for a while doing some work and sipping on a tea or coffee from Berlin roaster Five Elephant.
Wanna know about all the other great coffee places in Neukoelln? Head over to Part 2 of my ‘Walking Guide to specialty coffee in Neukoelln’!
More up for bustling district Kreuzberg now? Here’s my ‘Walking guide to specialty coffee in Kreuzberg (Part 1)’!