In a super location across from Abaton Kino in the university quarter of Hamburg, this Turkish restaurant is a favorite of students and movie enthusiasts. I have enjoyed lunches and dinners here for close to ten years and throughout that time quality and service have varied, but during the FilmFest Hamburg, both were exceptional. A big bonus is the non-smoking section in the front of the restaurant, actually away from all the smokers. My spinach and feta wrapped in phyllo dough served with a green salad was hot, fresh and mouthwateringly delicious. Not only that, but when I flashed my press pass and said I was in a hurry, I had the best fast food ever. Many appetizers are enough for a good value meal, but as with most places, prices have gone up so it is not the bargain it used to be, particularly when it comes to drinks. The atmosphere depends on the customers as the place itself is unremarkable and at garden level (meaning limited daylight) but outside tables on a sunny day can be quite the treat. Open seven days a week for 18 hours a day starting at 9:00 until the wee hours with breakfast and a special lunch menu.
Cafè Mathilde Literaturcafe
A popular venue near Grindel Cinema is Café Mathilde. It reminds me of a typical New York Greenwich Village café, where you can read the daily papers over your Latté. Café owner Thomas Nast also sells used books and sponsors readings. The menu features sandwiches, homemade soup of the day, fantastic cakes, as well as breakfast. There are many kinds of tea. Herr Nast said, “The Filmfest brings in lots of customers, but they are always in a rush.” Waitress Florence Amari said, “Here I am serving you, while my mother is working at the festival. She is moderating the Algerian film Rome Rather Than you at 3001 cinema. My grandfather is from Algeria, so there you have it; we’re all connected in some way.” Open 10:00-24:00. See also www.mathilde-hh.de.
One of the problems with Hamburg’s Filmfest is that it is difficult to grab some food between films. Caterers are missing such an opportunity to feed the captive audience of dedicated moviegoers who want something wholesome and nourishing to eat between films. They deserve better than the nacho chips, coca-cola and beer which is the current offer.
Scubar is a recent discovery for our Filmfest members and is only a few minutes walk from the Grindel Kino. Its one of Hamburg’s best kept secrets because despite having tasty meals at reasonable prices it never seems to be full. The food is served quickly, which is important when you are between films, and attractively presented. The waiters are friendly and helpful and speak some English. The menu has something for everyone with most dishes priced at under 10 Euros. Scubar is open seventeen hours a day starting at 9:00 until the last midnight film is over, seven days a week.