Ataya Caffe is a unique Italian-African cafè, focused on vegan comfort food. Here you can taste Ravioli, italian soup and bruschetta, homemade hummus and the african bowl with Joloff rice, Mafè, Yassa and typical Senegalese vegetables.
Ataya Caffe’s Italo-African cuisine couldn’t taste any better!
Right in the heart of Prenzlauer Berg you can find a very original café born from the love and passion for good food of Elisabetta and Bachir.
Fresh made stuffed ravioli, minestrone soup and bruschetta, homemade hummus, the so-called “African bowl”, a cup filled with Joloff rice, mafè, yassa, and vegetables straight from Senegal: these are only some of the specialties of Ataya Caffe, the first (and probably only) Italo-African vegan restaurant in whole Germany.
Ataya Caffe is a place that goes far beyond the concept of a regular bar or restaurant (indeed you can both have breakfast and lunch there and, on Saturday, also dinner) and has a very peculiar approach to its customers, just like the owners themselves state: “We aim at making them feel at ease and taken care of. Even if they decide not to eat anything and spend here the whole morning, paying only for a cappuccino.” These are the words that Elisabetta and Bachir told us when we sat together with them to try and understand how the idea of a restaurant that mixes high-quality Italian cuisine (Elisabetta worked for quite a long time as a chef in a very well-known Sardinian restaurant) together with the African one. Both the food and the interior design of the place will give you a deep feeling of peace and serenity that are rare to find in similar places. Bachir’s motto indeed is “Cuisine, just like music and love, has no boundaries whatsoever but it has the power to bring people together.”
Ataya Caffe’s Menu
Together with the five above-mentioned specialties of the house, the lunch menu varies from backed ziti and lasagna layered with “pane carasau” (a traditional flatbread from Sardinia), to a great choice of soups, cous cous and pasta. You can also enjoy the vegan version of many of the recepies on the menu, even though some dishes are only available the vegetarian way because ravioli stuffed with Sardinan ricotta couldn’t possibly made be without their distinctive ingredient.
For those willing to have breakfast at Ataya Caffe, the choice is also very broad. Here, you may enjoy delicious smoothies, as well as hot chocoloates “all’italiana”, croissants, cappuccinos, yougurts with cereals and everything else you would expect from a café that pays close attention to vegan organic food and to the quality of its ingredients.
Elisabetta & Bachir
She is a chef, naturopath and reflexotherapist (“It’s still health we’re talking about”) from Sardinia, he is a Senegalese musician who grew up in France. They first met each other in Cagliari, while he was there on a tour. After a couple of years of carful thinking and planning, they finally moved to Berlin with their two beautiful children, precisely in order to open the Ataya Caffe. “We have always been captivated by the multiculturalism of the German capital. And I mean, how could it have been any different with our extraordinary relationship? After having long thought about it, we decided not to simply open an Italian or an African restaurant. We chose instead to create a whole new concept of restaurant, combining our two cultures and experimenting new things, while always keeping on mind the quality of the ingredients as well as being able to offer a great variety of vegan dishes.” Was is hard to have the Berliners understand that? “Great things can only be realized when one is faithful to themselves. We first opened in Summer 2016 and, little by little, we are starting to have our own audience, so to speak.” Local press has often written about how tasteful their lunch offer is, as well as how delicious their monthly brunch is. In 2016, Mit Vergnügen placed them second in the list of the best restaurants of Berlin for having a vegan breakfast, whereas Exberliner quoted the Ataya Caffe because of its welcoming and colourful atmosphere. The restaurant is indeed ideal for those looking for a peaceful spot in a frantic city like Berlin. “We also try to organize trips to Senegal, to help people get to know its couture, food, musical instruments, as well as the welcoming and sympathetic attitude of its people.”
Where does the name Ataya come from?
Ataya has a peculiar meaning – it’s the name given to the tea ceremony in Senegal. Bachir explains us, in flawless Italian “It can take place any time during the day and basically anywhere. At home or in the streets, people gather up for a ritual that can require up to 3 hours. The kettle has to be kept warm on a burner while the Chinese green tea infuses until it gets a very strong and bitter flavor. The ceremony is divided into three phases, in which the tea is poured into tiny glasses called “kas”. After that, the tea is poured from a glass to glass in order to obtain a thick foam. The higher the foam, the better the tea. Slowly, fresh mint leaves and sugar are added to it. Each phase has its own meaning. In fact, Ataya is a meeting, a reason to spend time together, a ritual in which kids take part too, patiently waiting for the third and mildest round. We thought that Ataya was the best word to represent us.” Not only the name, the Ataya Caffe also proposes the above-mentioned tea together with a rich buffet brunch, on the second Sunday of each month. An Afro-Italian vegan brunch, which definitely is a great way to try all of the delicacies of a very unique restaurant in Berlin.
Zelterstraße 6, 10439 Berlin Prenzlauer Berg
Opening times: Tuesday to Friday 10 AM – 7 PM, Saturday 10 AM – 10:30 PM – Sunday 11 AM – 7 PM, closed on Monday