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1900 Café Bistro: Better Than Grandma’s

If you are not from Berlin, be it a country other than Germany, or a city other than Berlin, perhaps you feel homesick sometimes. Perhaps the dull cold of the season makes you crave something warm. Perhaps you have an appetite, but can think of nothing that you could cook that would color that gray inside of you. There is a solution for this feeling; the 1900 Café Bistro will make you feel at home, warm your spirit and color your day.

I first went to the Café when I was visiting Berlin in anticipation of moving here. The day had been long and I had spent many hours discussing logistics of the upcoming move. I was invited for a late lunch to the Café and this is how I was introduced to what is now my favorite café in Berlin.

When you enter the 1900 Café Bistro, located in Berlin Charlottenburg at Knesebeckstraße 76, you immediately feel the weight of the present lifted. The décor is antique, rustic. Huge bowls of fresh flowers are on the tables, candles twinkle brightly, and the sound of Nick Cave gently caresses your ears. As in any German restaurant, you choose your own table (hopefully there is one available!), settle into the welcoming atmosphere and start to relax. Of course you must order one of the juices, many of them fresh, so you can examine the menu in a revitalized state. The menu is small, guaranteeing that the food is of the highest quality. Do you know that feeling, when you are new in a country and you are so hungry, but when you see or taste the food your appetite dissipates? This had been happening to me, but when I took a sip of my tangy rhubarb juice, I knew I was in for something special. I ordered the spinach quiche with a side salad and when the quiche arrived I could barely suppress my desire to sing after tasting the first bite of that succulent creation.

Since that time I have, of course, been there frequently. The staff is always friendly and I had the wonderful opportunity to meet one of the owners, Katja, the time that I brought my parents there. Katja is beautiful, with aquamarine eyes and a smile that radiates love. I had the good fortune to be able to ask her a few questions about the café.

Katja Cath and Kattin Schmeckot started the 1900 Café Bistro five years ago. They decorated it with antiques that they found at random, with the goal of making it feel like “grandma’s home.” It is possible to buy some of the furniture or the art, if you really fall in love with it, which you may do. The recipes are all their own and they take particular pride in their fresh baked goods which are served in generous portions. The staff is skilled at frothing up the perfect cappuccino and can answer any questions you have about the menu. I have sampled most of the dishes with satisfaction every time and of note, along with the quiche, are the Pepper filled with beef and the Königsberger Klopse. The breakfast is also divine, and if you haven’t realized that the Germans love brunch, this is the place to discover it. The desserts are heavenly, and when you are finally done with your leisurely meal, you will want to stay just a little longer as a result of that pleasantly full and warm feeling that will be radiating from your stomach. They also offer catering, and trust me, no catered even will be the same after serving one of their mouth-watering fruit crumbles.

It is possible that Tilda, Katja’s sweet Labrador mix dog, will give you a smile as she rests by the coffee bar and you may find yourself gazing meditatively at the candle on your table, flickering by the giant tulip arrangement. The staff is friendly and seems to be genuinely happy to be there. One server, Lana Missah, said that she had actually come back to work there after leaving for an extended travel stint because she feels so at home with the team. All I can think is if it will become awkward if I come by every day, at least until the homesickness wears off…
This youtube video sums up the café well:

By Sasha Prince
Sasha is a classical singer and animal lover and has been in Berlin since 2014. She is from the US and the place she lived the longest is Austin, Texas.

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