Update Summer 2018: Unfortunately Nalu is no longer with us, but here’s to the diner that once was…
Nalu Diner is a classic U.S. American Diner tucked away in Prenzlauer Berg. Search no more for sausage patties, pancakes, hash browns, steak sandwiches, chili cheese fries, free coffee refills and all other good things in life. You have arrived at your destination.
Nalu Diner opened some time in 2012 and boy was I happy when I heard about it. An American diner in Berlin right off Helmholtzplatz? Too good to be true. I love myself a proper American breakfast and spent many years looking for a place that serves a good U.S. breakfast in Berlin.
Stepping into this place is stepping into a piece of U.S. food culture and I really appreciate that experience.
Nalu means “surf” in Hawaiian and the people behind the place also own the infamous ping pong bar Dr. Pong. I like that combo. Located right off Helmholtzplatz in Pberg you’ll find Nalu Diner on a quiet part of the Dunckerstraße. First thing that struck me about this diner was the surprisingly large and very bright venue, there is plenty of space and the whole venue is decorated and illuminated in a very welcoming way. Bright, clean and warm are the words that come to mind when I step into the world of Nalu. Because that’s really what it is, stepping into this place is stepping into a piece of U.S. food culture and I really appreciate that experience.
When you take a seat and get your menu you’ll get to experience on of the fantastic perks at Nalu Diner: free coffee and water refills! Oh lord, the small things in life. Why the HELL does it have to be so hard for restaurants in Berlin to serve free tap water? Why does it have to be so eternally awkward to ask for a glass of Leitungswasser? Shame on everybody for forcefully dehydrating me, not cool.
The king of the breakfast table: The Double Trouble Egg McBluffin breakfast sandwich.
Back to the topic: At Nalu you will be well supplied with water and coffee from the start which leaves you plenty of time to choose from the extensive menu. First you’ll see the all day breakfast menu with utterly delicious dishes like pancakes (plate sized frisbees), the crunchy, home-made hash browns, eggs any style you want, omelettes and last but not least, the king of the breakfast table: The Double Trouble Egg McBluffin breakfast sandwich. Not only does this bad boy qualify for the award “Best Name for a Berlin Food Dish” (should definitely arrange that btw), it’s also one of the best breakfast sandwiches I’ve tasted. English breakfast muffin, fried egg, homemade sausage (->wow), bacon and cheddar cheese. Enough said. And this is only the breakfast part of the menu which is a fraction of the whole menu at Nalu Diner. A whole section of American subs for example, with everything from a classic steak or pastrami sandwich, or a set of burgers, but you should go for the breakfast at Nalu Diner and chose another restaurant for your burger cravings. Or why not just a simple rib eye steak with perfect fries? And while you’re at it, why not make those fries a steaming plate of chili cheese fries, covered in chili con carne and melted cheese? Love!
You can eat yourself ridiculous for under 10€
You might notice an unusual amount of enthusiasm from my side, and you’re spot on. I really love Nalu Diner and this to an extent that I won’t even be mad when I have to wait 45 minutes for my food (happened to me recently). Because in that case you will be informed by the staff upon entering the restaurant that it might take up to 60 minutes for the food. That’s what I call solid expectation management. But let’s get one thing straight, the greatest thing about Nalu Diner is not necessarily the food, it’s more the experience. The quality of the food is not great, it’s very simple, honest and sloppy though and that’s why I love it. And that should also be the reason for your visit.
Nalu Diner is for sure one of my favourite breakfast spots in town and also generally a fantastic hangout. And another fantastic thing about Nalu Diner are the very moderate prices, value for money is extraordinary and you can eat yourself ridiculous for under 10€. The more I visit Nalu, the more I realize how I missed a place like this.