Eating brunch in Hamburg is fun if you know where to go. Check out our favorite spots for pancakes, smoothie bowls and eggs in Germany’s second biggest city. And the best part? None are in hotels and most serve great coffee.
We get that you could eat breakfast at your Hamburg hotel and that it might even be included with your room. We also get that you could start your day by eating a Franzbrötchen, Hamburg’s buttery take on France’s equally buttery Croissant.
However, in our opinion, the better option is to join Hamburg’s cool kids of all ages and eat a memorable brunch at a local cafe.
And, if you go to the right cafe and order wisely, eating brunch in Hamburg will fill your belly and stoke your creativity. Plus, it will give you the fuel to explore the city’s best sites.
Eating Brunch in Hamburg
While it’s easy to find traditional German food in Deutschland, finding a good brunch spot is not so easy in all German cities.
Hamburg is also a city where locals know to arrive early or make advance brunch reservations, especially on weekends. Those who do neither risk waiting in long queues and may miss out on starting the day with a good meal.
Our Favorite Hamburg Brunch Spots
After we discovered that Hamburg has great restaurants and coffee shops, it wasn’t a stretch to expand our culinary exploration to include brunch. Once we did, we quickly found a number of fun spots contending for the title of best brunch in Hamburg.
Some of these worthy brunch spots specialize in the mid-day meal while others also focus on roasting single origin coffee bans. These are our favorites:
Mit Herz und Zucker
Nora Ramm put her heart into opening Mit Herz und Zucker in 2016 and sprinkled sugar on top for good measure. Mit Herz und Zucker literally translates to With Heart and Sugar. Her oncoming efforts have spread to a second location that’s just as popular as the original.
Mit Herz und Zucker champions sustainability by sourcing its milk and grains from local farms and its coffee beans from Playground, one of Hamburg’s best coffee roasters. This sourcing is more than just trendy. The quality of these ingredients directly impacts the quality of the food that comes out of the kitchen.
Mit Herz und Zucker serves a tight brunch seven days each week and doesn’t take reservations.
In addition to croissants and cakes, its breakfast menu includes dishes like blueberry Bircher muesli, chia bowls and avocado toast. However, we didn’t order any of those dishes. Instead, we ordered pancakes and scrambled eggs plus coffee to wash it all down.
It was a good move. Our open-faced scrambled egg sandwich, adorned with red pesto, chives, seeds and a side of smoked salmon, was a messy plate of yum.
However, the pancake stack was the winner of our meal thanks to elements like homemade strawberry jam, vanilla quark, meringue crunch, almond slivers, fresh fruit, maple syrup and a sprinkling of sugar.
While the sugar was impossible to miss on our pancakes, we couldn’t physically see the dish’s heartfelt love. But we could taste it and that’s what really matters.
Arrive early if you plan to order a freshly baked croissant. The cafe bakes a limited number each day. When the croissants are gone, they’re really gone.
Mit Herz und Zucker has two Hamburg locations. We ate brunch at the original cafe located at Lübecker Straße 29, 22087 Hamburg, Germany.
Marshall Street Coffee
Some of Hamburg’s best brunch spots are located in residential neighborhoods. Marshall Street Coffee is not. Instead, it’s located in Hamburg’s central Altstadt (i.e. old town) district near Nord Coast Coffee Roasters (see below) and just around the corner from two of our favorite Hamburg restaurants – o-ren ishi and Mami Si.
Now that we’ve clarified where Marshall Street Coffee is located, let’s clarify that it’s not located on Marshall Street. That street is actually in Sydney where the cafe’s owner, Tristan Garrett, grew up.
After moving to Hamburg, Garrett honed his coffee skills at cafes like Public Coffee Roasters and the now closed Tōrnqvist before opening Marshall Street Coffee in February of 2020. After we tasted his flat whites crafted with naturally roasted Ethiopian beans, it was obvious that his coffee skills were world class. As we quickly learned, the same goes for his brunch skills.
Marshall Street Coffee’s brunch menu is full-on with options tat include avocado toast with eggs, brioche french toast, chia bowls and smoothies. However, since our Marshall Street Coffee brunch wasn’t our only mid-day meal of the day, we opted to share three buttermilk pancakes served with a rainbow of seasonal fruit, homemade apple/raspberry/nectarine jam and a side of maple syrup.
That plate of pancakes was wonderful with a melange of fresh fruit that included berries, grapes, honeydew, kiwi, nectarine and the occasional fig. Not only did the fruit taste great but it also negated the pancakes’ calories. Well, not really. But we’re okay with that.
Although you may get lucky if you wander into Marshall Street Coffee on a whim, you’ll have guaranteed success if you make an advance reservation at the popular brunch spot.
Marshall Street Coffee is located at Schopenstehl 30, 20095 Hamburg, Germany.
Balz und Balz
Balz und Balz is a modern yet cozy Hamburg cafe that combines great food with great coffee. Though the concept seems simple, executing both feats simultaneously can be a challenge. At Balz und Balz, siblings Christoph and Kathrin Balz nail it.
Located in non-touristic Hoheluft district, Balz und Balz has a friendly neighborhood vibe. Of equal importance, the cafe’s food, sourced from local producers and bakers, is excellent.
But don’t think that Balz und Balz is just about locally sourced food. This cafe is equally focused on its specialty coffee program. And, as a bonus, drinking a flat white is a great way to kill time while waiting for a table. But back to the food…
After seeing us wolf down a generous smorgasbord of cured meats, cheese, pickles and yogurt (see photo above), co-owner Kathrin Balz insisted that we also try the cafe’s signature cinnamon buns. Who were we to disagree with a like-minded soul whose love for coffee and food rivals our own?
Don’t skip Balz und Balz’s cinnamon buns. They’re sprinkled with powdered sugar and taste divine.
Balz und Balz is located at Lehmweg 6, 20251 Hamburg, Germany.
Nord Coast Coffee Roasters
Open since 2015, the original Nord Coast Coffee Roasters cafe occupies a two-story space near Hamburg’s Speicherstadt warehouse district. Although it seems like an odd spot for a cafe, the location doesn’t keep people away. Instead, crowds arrive each morning with two goals – drinking specialty coffee and eating brunch.
Discover more great things to drink in Germany during your visit.
To be honest, we didn’t love the flat whites during our most recent visit. However, our food was great. Skipping healthy-sounding bowls designed for vegans, we went for the good stuff, namely waffles and scrambled eggs.
Our waffles were topped with lime mascarpone cream and fresh fruit while the creamy scrambled eggs had ingredients like porcini butter, sesame seeds, curcuma chili cream and grated parmesan cheese. Both dishes were great but the waffles were just a little bit better.
Ironically, we didn’t eat anything melted at Café Melt, a Hamburg brunch spot located near the Landsbrucken docks. Perhaps that’s a good thing considering that our desserts included Spaghetti Eis, Germany’s odd ice cream dish that resembles spaghetti, plus a slice of Bienenstich Kuchen (i.e. bee sting cake).
Discover the best German desserts including both Spaghetti Eis and Bienenstich Kuchen
Keeping it light, we shared a Frühstühstückplatte (i.e. breakfast plate) with cheese, sausage, salmon, jam and bread. While the dish didn’t knock our socks off, it gave us a pleasant protein burst that set us up for dessert. And who doesn’t like dessert?
Skip the coffee at Café Melt if you’re a specialty coffee drinker. You’ll be happier drinking a flat white or pour over at one of Hamburg’s great artisan coffee shops.
Café Melt is located at Johannisbollwerk 19, 20459 Hamburg, Germany.
About the Authors
Daryl & Mindi Hirsch
Saveur Magazine’s BEST TRAVEL BLOG award winners Daryl and Mindi Hirsch share their culinary travel experiences and recipes on the 2foodtrippers website and YouTube. The married Food and Travel content creators live in Lisbon, Portugal.