For the first nine months that I lived in Berlin, I was a resident of Neukölln, one of the city’s poster children/scapegoats for gentrification. But it seems that in the two years since I’ve been living in Kreuzberg, Neukölln has continued to change even more rapidly. This could be because it is, in fact, doing that, or simply because I don’t live there anymore, so every time I do go, it seems as though there is something new hiding around every corner.
In particular, one thing I noticed is that there are more coffee shops and co-working cafes throughout, though I don’t consider this to be a bad thing. The abundance of vegan offerings is something I see as a positive, as the city expands its offerings to accommodate the different lifestyles of its residents. One such new spot is Pêle Mêle; surprisingly, it wasn’t my own exploring but rather an article on Slow Travel Berlin that made me aware of the district’s newest vegan offerings.
The cafe is pretty standard for the Neukölln scene: clean, light, wooden furnishings, sweet but minimal touches in decor. The menu is varied, with sandwiches, soups, quiche, salads, and a whole selection of breakfasts. Additionally, there was a pastry case, though it was noticeably lacking in selection at the time I was there–I did, however, spot a tasty-looking tiramisu. But I didn’t want something too sweet anyway, so I opted for the sandwich. At €3.50, it was definitely affordable and filling. The bread was a bit dry for my taste, but the fillings were delicious, and the pear chutney was also a superb touch, complimenting the taste of the tofu, arugula, tomatoes, avocado, and bell peppers nicely. To be honest, however, just about everything on the menu sounds good.
Alongside my food, I also enjoyed a coffee and use of the free WiFi. For those looking to work longer than an hour or so, there is a co-working space in another room in the back and desks are available for rent for a day, week, or month at a time. Also worth noting: Pêle Mêle has a vegan brunch on Sundays for €10, something which I definitely hope to check out.
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