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Bread and oil: Who makes Berlin’s best focaccia?

Smothered with tomatoes or served with rosemary and sea salt, focaccia is often a simple affair. Here are the cafes, bakeries and restaurants in Berlin that do it best:

Sofi bakery’s focaccia with olives. Photo: Marianne Rennella

Berlin’s ongoing love affair for Neapolitan pizza has been well-covered, but, increasingly, it’s a different Italian speciality that is catching our attention. On the whole, focaccia is a simple affair, depending on few ingredients. Here are our choices for Berlin’s best focaccia.

Sofi bakery

There’s a lot to like about Sofi, the beautiful little bakery tucked away in the inner courtyard of Sophienhöfen in Mitte. It’s a picturesque little spot where the smell of freshly baked bread enlivens its bullet-scarred walls – and the focaccia is truly exceptional. Order the version with olives or the one with caramalised onions and pecorino. Made with a generous amount of olive oil and backed into a dark, crispy crust, these delicious slices can easily serve as a small lunch. 

  • Sofi Bakery Sophienstraße 21, in the 2nd courtyard, Mitte

Estelle Dining

Photo: Marianne Rennella

It feels like we can’t recommend Estelle enough. We’ve recommended this chic Prenzlauer Berg restaurant for Thanksgiving dinner, for US cooking, even as one of the most underrated places in the city… and now we’re picking them out again because they’ve simply nailed their focaccia. It’s highly risen, perfectly oily dough is great either at lunchtime or as a starter at dinner. You won’t regret it. 

Backaro

Photo: Marianne Rennella

This little Italian bakery warms up their focaccia again before serving it, allowing the dough to get crispy and releasing the aroma of green and black olives. Simplicity is key, and the version with rosemary and sea salt is as simple as it gets. 

  • Backaro Proskauer Straße 23, Friedrichshain

Luisa Kocht

Photo: Marianne Rennella

This is a true Italian salumeria, stocking delicious produce like pasta, pickled vegetables, oils, cheese, wine and sweets. But that’s not all, they also make pizza dough and serve up a great focaccia, with top-quality oil and coarse salt. Also worth a try is their round flatbread topped with tomatoes. 

Taktil

Photo: Taktil Berlin

This minimalist wood-oven bakery in Neukölln serves a great focaccia. Made from sourdough, it is light with a perfectly crisp crust. The bread is topped with oven-roasted peppers which gain from the wood-fired aroma of the oven to gain its distinctive flavour.  

  • Taktil Nogatstraße 28, Neukölln

Frea Bakery

Photo: Marianne Rennella

Vegan spot Frea opened its own bakery in April 2022. Like the restaurant itself, the bakery operates a zero-waste policy. So, how do their focaccia stand up? Very well indeed. Juicy dough combines with a firm crust in this delicious slice studded with olives and tomatoes. 

Sironi

Photo: Sironi

Berlin’s best known focaccia is surely those served up by Sironi – and with good reason. These ligurian focaccia – a style originating in the Italian city of Genoa – are thin, light, fluffy, crunchy and extremely moreish. There is a wide range of options: you can have them topped with tomatoes, olives, potatoes or just rosemary and salt. Recent years have seen Sironi expand their reach too. They still maintain their presence in Markthalle IX, but you can also grab a slice in Schöneberg and Prenzlauer Berg.

  • Sironi Eisenbahnstraße 42-43, Kreuzberg
  • Sironi Goltzstraße 36, Schöneberg
  • Sironi Gleimstraße 38, Prenzlauer Berg

The Sanctuary

Genovese focaccia is also available at the vegan, Italian bakery The Sanctuary, which has become instantly popular since its opening in late summer 2022 on Torstrasse. Due to the way they treat the dough, it gains a distinctive thin crust but remains juicy and soft on the inside. But there are other versions, too: the round, southern Italian focaccia is gorgeous, as is the thicker juicier Baresine version from Apulia which is spread with a fruity tomato sauce. Read more about The Sanctuary here.

Gorilla Bäkerei 

Photo: Savannah van der Niet

The Gorilla bakery on Hermannstrasse in Neukölln is not only famous for its great focaccia but also their pizza and sourdough bread. In their new location in Schöneberg, you can even enjoy these square treats while sitting outside. Their pizza slices are thinner and crispier, while the focaccia has more volume, olive oil and a firmer, chewy bite. 

  • Gorilla Schöneberg EUREF-Campus 1, Schöneberg
  • Gorilla Neukölln Hermannstraße 211