Berlin, Europe, Expat Living, Germany

A Little Budapest in Berlin At Szimpla Kaffeehaus.

January 13, 2012
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One of the greatest perks of living in Berlin is the lazy afternoons and evenings you can pass at cafes sipping delicious coffee, eating brunch with friends or even doing some work. Living in Prenzlauer Berg, I don’t have to venture very far from my flat to find perfect spots like Spreegold and Kaffee Raum along Hufelandstr.

As nice as these cafes are, I’m determined to follow through on one of my new resolutions – which is to leave my district more and get to know Berlin. I’ve barely been to the west side! So with this in mind, I’m resolved to embark on a Cafe Kultur tour of the city with plans to skip the more well known main stays like The Barn and St Oberholz.

I started last weekend by spending the day at Szimpla Kaffeehaus in Friedrichshain. If you’ve been to Budapest, it’s likely you’ve heard this name before as it’s an extension of the popular ruin bar Szimpla Kert. Notorious for their cheap drinks, funky and eclectic decor (think old cars serving as tables and benches made out of bathtubs), film screenings and other cultural event, I was completed delighted to find out they had set-up shop in Berlin.

The Szimpla concept works just as well in their coffee shop as it does in their ruin bar. It’s cozy, relaxed, isn’t too expensive and a place you could hang out for hours on end …

Szimpla in Berlin.

They serve brunch, offer free wifi and most importunely have really good coffee. Best of all they stock a decent selection of Hungarian wines and desserts!

Szimpla in Berlin.

Szimpla in Berlin.
The place is far bigger than it looks from the outside, having 3 different areas including a smoking section which is completely closed to the rest of the cafe.

Celebrate and give thanks, non-smokers as you won’t be inundated with tobacco fumes and premature lung cancer!

Szimpla in Berlin.

Szimpla in Berlin.

Szimpla in Berlin.

Szimpla in Berlin.
There’s touches of Hungarian influence throughout like this little bottle of Unicum (a digestive liqueur) and books by  Hungarian authors adorning the wall.

Szimpla in Berlin.

Szimpla in Berlin.

Szimpla in Berlin.
Szimpla also plays host to concerts 2-3 times a month. I saw ads for an Indie band and R & B group who’d be playing this month.

Szimpla in Berlin.

Szimpla in Berlin.
For those looking for a little more fun, there’s even a foosball table. If I hadn’t been alone, I would have played! It’s one of my little known (and least valuable) skills …

While more subdued than it’s counterpart, this is yet another really cool place to hang out in Berlin. And if you’re like me and in love with Budapest, this is a perfect way to get your fix. Find Szimpla at Gärtnerstr. 15 10245 Berlin, Germany.

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18 Comments

  • Reply Andrea January 15, 2012 at 11:19 am

    What a wonderful idea for a tour! And I know you’re excited about having a local Szimpla 😉

    • Reply Cheryl Howard January 15, 2012 at 8:02 pm

      @Andrea – I will be a coffee connoisseur by the time I’m finished. Yess! I’m headed back to Budapest in April too. 🙂

  • Reply Mauro January 16, 2012 at 10:51 am

    That’s a very good idea indeed… going out from one’s district is rather adventurous too in Berlin! Of course, not because it’s dangerous: just because everyone sticks to one’s side of the city…

    • Reply Cheryl Howard January 16, 2012 at 11:44 am

      @Mauro – so true! It’s so easy not to venture very far from your district but I really do want to see more of Berlin than just Prenzlauer Berg or the other Eastern districts.

  • Reply Christy @ Technosyncratic January 16, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    How can you say that foosball is your least valuable skill?!? Maybe I’m just too competitive, lol. This place looks really cute, and I definitely think we’ll check it out next time we’re in Berlin.

  • Reply Eurotrip Tips January 17, 2012 at 12:26 am

    Beautiful photos! It looks very inviting.

  • Reply Alexa -- 52Perfectdays.com January 17, 2012 at 3:11 pm

    Love the photos.

    • Reply Cheryl Howard January 18, 2012 at 10:47 am

      @Christy – Let’s have a match when you come back to Berlin this summer!

      @Eurotrip Tips & @Alexa – Thanks so much.

  • Reply Tristan January 17, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    This place looks sooo great. I love that typewriter. The lighting, the ambience, the decor, everything.

  • Reply Zablon Mukuba January 18, 2012 at 5:30 am

    Great pictures

    • Reply Cheryl Howard January 18, 2012 at 10:48 am

      @Tristan – It’s very cool! You should check it out when you come to Berlin.

      @Zablon – thanks.

  • Reply Stephanie - The Travel Chica January 19, 2012 at 12:14 am

    That’s a great idea to explore new areas of your city. This cafe is a great find!

    • Reply Cheryl Howard January 19, 2012 at 11:49 am

      @Stephanie – Thanks, I really dig Szimpla. Especially since it has influence from one of my favorite destinations of Budapest. =)

  • Reply Jade - OurOyster.com January 21, 2012 at 7:45 am

    I love exploring new cafes and restaurants… its too easy to get stuck in a rut and just visit the same place

    • Reply Cheryl Howard January 22, 2012 at 1:50 am

      @Jade – You’re right! I’ve been going to the same three cafes for months now and I really want (need) to get out and see more of Berlin.

  • Reply D.J. - The World of Deej March 6, 2012 at 12:33 am

    Great looking cafe…I like to check out these places when I travel, but when I’m home not so much. Maybe I should pay a visit to these places I pass by on a daily basis…

    • Reply Cheryl Howard March 6, 2012 at 2:07 am

      @D.J – Always a good idea to hit up something in your own area. Especially when it’s a cafe that offers up something from another country. Made me briefly feel as if I was back in Budapest! Hope you find such a place. 🙂

  • Reply A Weekend Guide to Budapest - Volume 1. | cherylhoward.com July 21, 2012 at 8:20 pm

    […] Tip – Grab a seat in a Trabant and smoke some sheesha! I may or may not have done this. There’s also a Szimpla in Berlin. […]

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