Shakespeare & Sons Friedrichshain

· Monday June 23, 2014

Berliners are spoilt for choice when it comes to English-language bookstores. From institutions like Kreuzberg's Another Country and Saint George's in Prenzlauer Berg, to newcomers such as Curious Fox on Neukölln's Flughafenstrasse, the city is dotted with bibliophile sanctuaries. Last month Prague's Shakespeare & Sons added to the city-wide array, opening a second Berlin outpost in Friedrichshain.

While their Prenzlauer Berg den beguiles with afternoons lost snuggled up in a leather armchair, Shakespeare & Sons' new Friedrichshain shop is one long, light and open space. Stocking around 15,000 books with plans to grow, you can linger with a Bonanza Heroes coffee over a book, or surf the wi-fi at the wooden tables while taking in the Warschauer Straße vista: trams, tourists and crust punks with their mutts. And, just as in Prenzlauer Berg, you can come to enjoy the store's unique combo of books and bagels thanks to the in-house bakery, Fine Bagels.

While Roman Kratochvila runs the bookstore (named in honour of Paris' iconic Shakespeare and Co. bookstore, where Roman worked before opening his first shop in Prague 12 years ago), his wife Laurel takes care of the cakes, biccies and New York-style bagels. With 16 types including za’atar, poppy egg, Czech rye, and plum, the delicious bagels are baked and boiled daily in-house by Laurel, then toasted and schmeared with special cream cheeses, avo or smoked salmon.