Eat your heart out, Rome. Though not as famous as their Italian counterparts, Berlin’s Eis-makers set the bar high with natural, artisanal and surprisingly affordable scoops. From trendy to tried-and-true, we’ve whittled down the list to the best of the best to lick this summer.
Best for boozehounds and vegans: Mos Eisley
This quirky Neukölln newcomer is one of the only places where you might have to show ID for a scoop. In addition to classic Kugeln (€1), the shop sells potent 18+ flavours like Bailey’s and Cognac (€1.50). Vegans can rejoice as well – alongside the usual sorbets are soy ice creams (€1.20) like Erdnuss Crunch. Starting in June, Mos Eisley will sell Zwei Dicke Bären’s raved-about ice cream sandwiches (€4), which feature the shop’s Eis between homemade cookies.
Herrfurthplatz 6, Neukölln, U-Bhf Boddinstr., Mon-Sat 13-close
Best for indecisive gourmands: Hokey Pokey
Ice cream Sorbet? Why choose when you could have both swirled together like a psychedelic rainbow? This three-year old Prenzlauer Berg shop’s combo flavours, like White Chocolate ice cream with Passionfruit sorbet, (€1.60) are on the pricey side, but the ingredients are as premium as it gets.
Stargarder Str. 73, Prenzlauer Berg, S+U-Bhf Schönhauser Allee, Mon-Sun 12-22
Best for funky flavours: Fräulein Frost
If Willy Wonka got bored with chocolate, he might have opened Fräulein Frost. With a constantly rotating menu of far-out choices (€1.10) like Carrot-Orange, Gorgonzola- Pear and GuZiMi (cucumber, lemon and mint), not to mention frozen yoghurt (€2.20-3.20) and fresh waffles (€2.50-5.30), creative Neuköllners will be pleased.
Friedelstr. 39, Neukölln, U-Bhf Hermannplatz, Mon-Sun 12-close
Best for a scoop and a smile: Cuore di Vetro
Music-loving Italian couple Angelika Kaswalder and Guido Dorigo (photo) opened their tiny café in Mitte last June. In addition to holding small-scale concerts, they’re whipping up some of the city’s best gelato (€1.20) in their glass-walled open kitchen. The slightly salty Sicilian pistachio may be the best in the city, and Still Smiling, with mascarpone and caramelised figs, lives up to its name. The place is an obvious labour of love and the results are irresistible.
Max-Beer-Str. 33, Mitte, U-Bhf Weinmeisterstr., Tue-Fri 9-20, Sat- Sun 10-20
Best for old-school gelato: Anna Durkes
Run by a Sardinian couple, this pastel-coloured hole-in-the-wall feels like something from a bygone era. This is textbook Italian-style gelato (€1.20) devoid of faddish extras. Hipsters may want to head elsewhere, but if you’re craving dense, luscious chocolate an Italian nonna would love, this will hit the sweet spot.
Graefestr. 80, Kreuzberg, U-Bhf Schönleinstr., Mon-Sun 13-20
Best for nostalgists: Eiscafé Rialto
The far reaches of Moabit aren’t exactly where most people would think to look for one of the city’s best scoops. Yet this anachronistic neighbourhood favourite has been lovingly churning out 18 timeless flavours (€0.90) for years. Owner Osama Baba and his beloved 45-year-old Carpigiani ice cream machine are a Moabit gem not to be missed this summer.
Gotzkowskystr. 10, Moabit, U-Bhf Turmstr., Mon-Sun 11-22
Best for bio purists: Rosa Canina
If you can’t catch them at Markthalle IX, it’s worth heading to Prenzlauer Berg for this all-organic ice cream (€1.20-1.50). There isn’t a single flavour we don’t like, but the real strong point here is the exceptional sorbet. We dare anyone to turn down a scoop of their blush-pink, pleasantly tart Rhubarb.
Pasteurstr. 32, Prenzlauer Berg, Tram Arnswalder Platz, Fri 14-20; also Hufelandstr. 7, Sat 11-20
Best for Kreative Kugeln: Vanille & Marille
Often lauded as the choice for connoisseurs, Vanille & Marille faces stiffer competition now than when it opened six years ago. Still, it’s hard to find fault with flavours (€1.20) like Indian Mango, Peanut with Homemade Brownies or Walnut-Fig at their five outposts, and the apricots and Madagascar beans in their namesake Marille and Vanille have stood the test of time. Catch them freshly made at the Kreuzberg location.
Hagelberger Str. 1, Kreuzberg, U-Bhf Mehringdamm, Mon-Sun 11-23; also Leydenallee 92/Ecke Schützenstr., Steglitz; Friedrich-Wilhelm-Str. 22, Neukölln; Benkertstr. 17, Potsdam; Belziger Str. 24, Schöneberg
Best for keeping it simple: Eismanufaktur
A Berlin classic since 2005, all five of these shops sell good, honest Eis (€1.10) in flavours like Candied Walnut, Caramel-Sea Salt or Rosemary-Honey. One of the first hawkers of gourmet ice cream in the city, Eismanufaktur has maintained its loyal following over the years. It no longer stands out as much as it did when it opened, but it’s still worth a visit.
Graefestr. 7, Kreuzberg, Simon-Dach-Str. 9, Friedrichshain, Auguststr. 63, Mitte, Weserstr. 6/ Karl-Marx-Platz 17, Neukölln, Mon-Sun 12-22