Berliners, rejoice! Beloved UK-eatery Pret A Manger has finally landed in the German capital, five months ago to be exact, but that’s about the time it took us to trek all the way to Hauptbahnhof to give it a try. Located on the corner of the station’s Washingtonplatz exit, the store greets Pret aficionados with the familiar symphony of red leather settles and white brick walls, while large sheet glass windows have customers stare out on to the nondescript concrete jungle of the station’s shops, offices and escalators or the square itself. If it weren’t for the Reichstag’s dome poking out in the distance, this could really be any Pret, in any train station, in any city, in any of nine countries Pret has now conquered. Shelves are stacked with the full range of well-loved cold and hot combos, from the Avocado & Crayfish salad (€6.90) to the popular chicken pesto flatbread (€4.50), and it tastes pretty much like home, down to the last Five Berry Yoghurt Pot (€2.20), and English-style teas and cappuccinos (€3.20 for a perfectly foamy ‘dry cappuccino’). Berlin might have nailed the cinnamon swirl, but the joys of a well-made sandwich or a tasty ready-made salad are yet to catch on in the land of mayo-drenched Brötchen and Kartoffelsalat: whether it’s Ham & Gruyere Baguette (€3.80) or Pret’s signature Ham & Cheese Croissant (€2.90, kept in the coveted “Pret Hots” section), truth must be acknowledged: the Brits do it better! Our only peeve: the location. Snacks are one instance where we want the Brits to march in, expand and take over. God save Pret a manger!
Hauptbahnhof Exit Washingtonplatz, Tiergarten, Mon-Sun 7-21