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London, England, United Kingdom
December 26, 2012
Germany holiday 3,
Germany holiday 4,
Germany holiday 5
Mexico City, Mexico
December 14, 2004
From the outside, Arkadencafé (Arcades Café) seems to have all the appeal of a tourist trap. It is strategically located in the Hamburg Arkaden along the Alsterfleet waterway. When seated outdoors, you have a grand view of the magnificent Neo Renaissance Rathaus, as well as the boat traffic on this strategic canal. So why did we head here on purpose? First, it was the only place in the vicinity that seemed to be open at 9am. Second, the tables in the arcade with views seemed most inviting in the early June sunshine. Last, the café is mentioned in the Michelin Green Guide, and up to the present, I have never been disappointed by a Michelin guide recommendation.
At this time, clearly an early hour for Hamburg, business was not brisk outdoors.
After studying the menu for a while and enjoying the view, I went inside to inquire whether we should order outside or at the counter. The server apologized for not having seen us, took our order, and almost outpaced me with our hot chocolate on the way back to the table. I thought the round tables were rather large for a café, but the waitress insisted in rearranging the layout so we could have two tables. She of course knew the size of the two "Fitness Breakfasts" that we had just ordered.
At 5.80€, we were expecting a fair-sized breakfast, and we were not disappointed when a large portion of muesli, loaded with assorted freshly cut berries, and a large breadbasket with several kinds of rolls, buns, toasts, and German breads arrived. It was a decent spread, tasted great, and looked like good value for money. The waitress soon reappeared with large glasses of fresh orange juice and large yoghurts loaded with sliced peaches, nuts, and honey and assured us that the boiled eggs would be on the table soon. It was a pleasurable uphill battle to finish most of the food, but we made a valiant attempt, as everything tasted great, and with every mouthful, lunch was increasingly obvious only going to be a coffee.
At this stage, the two-month-old woke up, and I headed indoors, past a few tables, and down the stairs to where I expected the restrooms to be. I was surprised to find a very large café area in the basement filled with mostly older locals having a great time. The roof is fairly low, with the windows almost at water level, giving the locale very much the feeling of being on a ship. Our waitress was serving down here too, and upon spotting me, informed that there was no changing table, but she produced a few towels and suggested I changed him on the fridges in their storeroom.
If it were not for the Michelin guide, we probably would not have breakfasted here and would have missed out on a super breakfast and excellent service. A great place!