Are you in search of Hamburg’s best coffee and cake, and a photo for your Instagram feed or blog as well? If so, we can warmly recommend this list.
Hamburg’s café scene is flourishing. In St. Pauli and the lively Sternschanze district, of course – but off the city’s mainstream areas as well: in Eilbek and Hoheluft, new enclaves where you can partake of your pre-office energy shot or afternoon break are mushrooming. And many of the proprietors show more than a taste for good coffee or cake: they have a knack for interior décor as well. Particularly popular is simple, Scandinavian design with hygge. “Hyggelig“ is a Danish word meaning “cosy”, “secure”. The only better place to enjoy coffee is in bed. We visited five particularly inspiring cafés.
The Kropkå was created with devotion to the tiniest detail, every tile placed by the owner’s hand. The design is cleanly linear: black subway tiles behind the counter, big incandescent pendant lamps. Proprietor Katrin Koch bought a lot of pieces from the Hamburg stores LIV and WEIDE. There really isn’t a single corner here that wouldn’t make a good photo. If we had to commit to a single motif, it would be the hanging flower bowls in front of the original Hamburg tiled splash-back. Katrin discovered and restored it during the renovation.
Le Vélo Café
Le Vélo Café is actually a bike shop that has been offering coffee, soft drinks, and weekend breakfast with swing music for a while now. Le Vélo features French bistro tables in typical coffee-house style, the walls are – of course – decorated with vintage bicycles and black and white photos. Proprietor Senad Sarac made all the furnishings himself. He gets his coffee beans from his neighbours at the Black Delight roasting house. Our favourite photographic motif here: an artistically foamed cappuccino, on the wooden chairs and with the pretty tiled floor.
The Hej Papa in Hamburg Neustadt has the charm of a Scandinavian living-room/kitchen. The food here uses regional ingredients and the coffee comes from the Hamburg roasting-house Carroux Kaffeerösterei. Bright cushions are laid out on the broad window-sills, where you can settle down comfortably with a book. Bookshelves hold rows of cook-books, magazines and delicacies in jars, which customers can purchase to take hygge home. The most photogenic nook here: if you get one of the big wooden tables at the window, you can stage your coffee in the perfect light.
Café Brooks is a project by ten friends from Hamburg East. All its employees live scattered around the café. The friends designed the décor for the Brooks themselves and welded the artistic lamp design of copper pipes with their own hands. Particularly popular is the weekend brunch, where everything is home-made from the jam to the cakes to the bread. The tea comes from Hamburg company Samova. The best photographic motif: the artistically plastered, patina-ed wall, three leather bar stools in the foreground.
Das Klippkroog is a classic in Hamburg's disctrict Ottensen. The café serves one hundred percent regional cuisine. Here, everything is home-made and cooked fresh. The name Klippkroog comes from Low German and means “simple restaurant”. The décor is basic and Scandinavian, rough wooden tables, heavy wooden benches and factory lamps with red textile cables harmonise perfectly. The hygge is supplied by subdued light, stubby candles on the tables and an aroma of scrambled eggs from the open kitchen. The most photogenic place: the counter with large industrial lights overhead, where a gigantic bouquet of flowers flaunts its colours at all times.
All cafés at a glance