Good from the bad in Berlin

posted on: Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Kauf Dich Gluckich: a cute cafe in the Mitte area of Berlin

Teigwaren: another really nice looking cafe in Mitte

More great interiors at Bonanza Coffee in Mitte

In Brisbane I need only glance at a cafe and I can tell if I will like it. It's a combination of details: the crowd, the furniture, the menu, what the staff are doing. It's the vibe... I'm judgmental, but I am also pretty accurate. Unfortunately, it appears that my radar does not work the world over.

In Brisbane, a well designed interior and a large crowd are very often a signal of good food: I'm thinking about Cafe Bouquiniste, SisCo, Brewbaker and Sourced Grocer.

In Istanbul though, a packed venue likely means it's a tourist trap, not good food. I learned this the hard way. To confuse matters, I have always found that crowds and queues in London have been well justified: Ottolenghi, The Vegie Table and Climpson & Sons always have a queue.

If you judged by the exterior, you would never eat out in Florence. A number of great places look quite shabby, but this is definitely not the case. Ironically, for a city with so much architectural beauty, when it comes to food, looks do not equal quality.

I'm currently in Berlin and I've been thrown again. Every single cafe in the Mitte area has been hit by the hipster design stick. They all look amazing. Does this translate into excellent food? My food radar has absolutely no idea yet.

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