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Schwartzes Café in Berlin

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If Prague is Old Europe’s handsome masterpiece, Berlin is its rebirth. It’s a hive of art, fashion, and music, all sprouting from the city’s wild, ugly history. And no, I didn’t take that from a guidebook. It’s the truth.

Berlin is just a four-hour train ride from Prague, but it feels like another world. There’s no sense of where the wall used to split the city in half (unless you’re near the now-tourist-trap that is Checkpoint Charlie), nor can I even imagine it. It’s just one sprawling, buzzing European capitol.

Photo credit: Becca Clara Love
Photo credit: Becca Clara Love

There’s an understated, sexy energy in Berlin. It’s my kind of city: Every local I met is in their 20s, amazingly cool, and totally comfortable with still being a student. They will continue partying until way past the sunrise at 4 am (which triggered some vampire-esque cringes from me). The roads are crowded with hipsters on bicycles. The fashion and art scene is exploding (I got a peek inside the Fashion Week tent!). And you can grab great food or beer from fun, creative pubs and cafes around the clock.

Oh, and did I mention the public transportation system is A+? I mean, phenomenal. DC Metro, take note. You can get anywhere from anywhere in Berlin via public transportation, whether it’s an S-Bahn, U-Bahn, bus, or tram. They’re quick and efficient, run 24 hours, and they clearly communicate when the next train is coming. Crazy!

Photo credit: Becca Clara Love
Photo credit: Becca Clara Love

We stayed on the former west side of Berlin, in the Charlottenburg neighborhood. The Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtniskirche church, a bombed-out relic from World War II, was just steps from our hostel’s front door. Charlottenburg is a subdued, ritzy neighborhood, full of shops and BMWs. But we got a tip to check out a hidden brunch gem that was just off a side street, and we were told it was more boho than bling.

Schwarzes Café, indeed, had plenty of character. Since 1978, it’s been serving food and drinks 24 hours a day to musicians and clubbers. No doubt, their busiest time is at 5 or 6 am when we’re all trying to soak up the booze. There’s seating out front to people-watch, two floors inside, a fabu bar and – here’s the best part – the most idyllic, pretty little back garden I’ve ever seen.

Photo credit: Becca Clara Love
Photo credit: Becca Clara Love

The breakfast comes as plates of assorted fruits, breads, and eggs in different styles, all laid out like puzzle pieces on a plate. I had the Späte Liebe, which was a croissant, fresh fruit, and scrambled eggs. But the different combinations of breakfast items are endless. The Casablanca? Two croissants, cheese, marmalade, and fruit salad. Love on the Run? One bread roll, two slices of bread, a soft boiled egg, ham and cheese. Bizarre, but pretty nonetheless.

Photo credit: Becca Clara Love
Photo credit: Becca Clara Love
Photo credit: Becca Clara Love
Photo credit: Becca Clara Love

If you’re in Berlin, see the sights, bop around on the S-Bahn, mingle with the locals, hit up some great pubs and clubs, and then soak it all up at Schwartzes Café, a place just as chill as Berlin itself.

Schwartzes Café
Kantstraße 148
10623 Berlin, Deutschland
030 3138038

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  1. Ahh Eunice! Twas so great to meet you all as well. I must friend you all on Facebook so we can keep in touch. We had such a crazy fun night that night with Shannon. You all should have come out! Thanks for sending your photos, I love them!

    Talk to you soon.
    B

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