I generally don’t have a problem with “hipster cafés”. But sometimes when I am just looking for a cozy place to read some papers for university, some places in the Mitte area just don’t feel right: Their stylish furniture, although certainly pretty, tends to be uncomfortable and the looks of their clientèle leaves me questioning whether I should have been going for a fancy vintage dress instead of my loose fitting pants and washed-out tank top.
The Cafetteria Buchhandlung is a refreshing exception. This place is so cozy, that you could easily feel like you were in the living room of a friend’s shared flat. Indeed, you’ll find many students and creative minds sitting on the mixed and matched chairs or one of the slouchy couches.
“But where are the books?” you may ask, as “Buchhandlung” means “book shop” in German. Selling and renting out books was indeed the original purpose of this place, during GDR times. In the 1990s it was used for alternative concerts and events by the East Berlin left, until Cafetteria Buchhandlung opened its doors.
It hasn’t lost its alternative vibe since. The owners promote local artist by exhibiting their works and are always keen to host cultural and political events. Even if no books are being sold here anymore, Cafetteria Buchhandlung is the perfect place to hang out and read. And as they serve anything from snacks and coffee to beer & long drinks, you could easily spend the whole day here with a good book.