Photo by Erica Löfman
Berlin is an ice cream lover’s paradise. Countless parlours pop up out of nowhere with the first rays of spring sun, offering an amazing choice of often homemade, sometimes organic, frozen delights for mere pocket change. Eis is to Berlin’s summer what gloom and doom is to its winter: a must-have.
Enthusiasts claim it is worth the up-to-20-minute wait for a scoop of ice cream at Kleine Eiszeit, a Prenzlauer Berg institution since GDR times. Kollwitzkiez bobo families flock to the leafy outdoor tables of Annamaria for homemade Italian-style ice cream, while their Helmholtzplatz counterparts squat on the Raumerstraße sidewalk to lick away at their Eislabor flavours.
Across town, Berlin Homemade Icecream, where everything from the chocolate chunks to the cookies in... “Cookies”are made in-house, is a Schöneberg gem. The smiley servers and attractive location in the Wrangelkiez, make Aldemir a favourite despite average ice cream; canal-side Isabel is another Kreuzberg neighbourhood popular spot.
Eat in, eat out: the cafés
Kauf Dich Glücklich serves up delicious waffles and cheap scoops of standard flavours among bright, retro furniture and jars of plastic snakes, toy soldiers and other novelty items. Also in Prenzlauer Berg, Art Nouveau-style Anna Blume, adjacent to the eponymous flower shop, offers a limited but high-quality selection of homemade fruit sorbet and ice cream among a much larger selection of cake à la mode. Tanne B on Lausitzer Platz has flavours like “Sand Thorn” and “Sesame-honey”, freshly made waffles and a spacious 30-seat, pastel-striped, gallery-esque dining room successfully mixes hipsters, vegan Eis and bad art, but before you get too excited – their waffle cones are not vegan.
For DIY-ers: make your own ice cream sandwich at cute, family-friendly Kunst+Eis Cafe, right across the street from the popular Teutoburger playground: here, homemade chunky cookies, super-creamy peanut-butter ice cream and the half-submerged mini dining room will take you back to childhood summer jaunts. Caffè E Gelato in the air-conditioned Potsdamer Platz mall serves up over 40 Italian-style flavours, including sugar and lactose-free options. It is the perfect place to cool off with a Kugel or two post film-going, shopping or sight-seeing.
Special treats, exotic flavours
Viktoriapark-side storefront Vanille & Marille offers fabulous homemade flavours like Lemon-Cinnamon and dried apricot (with pine-nuts and white pepper), while Schöneberg’s Inka Eis offers fantastic home-made ice cream and sorbet made from South American fruit and other exotic ingredients: Guanabana (sweet and sour), Lucuma (nutty, dry and sweet) and Lemongrass.
Adjacent to Friedrichshain’s monolithic Communist block, the jungle-motif Eisfabrik has a wide variety of truly delicious soft, smooth flavours, from the sweet and candy-like Grün Apfel to Banana, Tropical Fruit and Malaga (made from the liquor, not the essence). Their scoops are as cheap as they are generous.
Yoli brings flavour to the flavourless area around the Naturkundemuseum (and from July 1, also to fashion hip Münzstraße) with a very unique treat: tangy, non-fat-but-creamy frozen yoghurt you can top with a choice of four velvety sauces (try the ‘chocolate coffee’, or our favourite, the pistachio delight!). There are also over 20 whimsical toppings to choose from, including American favourites like Oreos or marshmallows; black or white chocolate flakes; and a healthy helping of fresh berries, mango or papaya. Mix it all up in a smoothie!