I would have loved to start this entry by praising the glorious Berlin summer, but this year, this would be a lie, as you all know. Still, ice cream and summer go together very well and why pass on luscious gelato, just because summer chose to be rainy and cold?
Ice cream underwent some serious revaluation in the past years in Berlin with small vendors offering crazy tastes and/or calling themselves ice cream patissiers popping up throughout the city. It is certainly not hard to find good quality ice cream in Berlin, still I was out to find the high quality glacé during the last weeks and assembled a fair number of those here.
As always, no claim on completeness, entries are sorted by alphabet and here’s a map.
Despite it’s not very Italian name, this is a parlor that is all about real Italian ice cream. Means you will get the classics like pistacchio, nocciola, Zuppa Inglese and so on made to perfection. All rather heavy, very creamy and bursting with flavor. Fun add-on: every portion comes with a free mini scoop of choice.
BERLIN HOMEMADE ICECREAM
This is certainly not this parlor’s real name, but it’s the one stated on their website, so I went for it. Tucked away in a side street just off Winterfeldtplatz in Schöneberg, the small space is all for no-bullshit-ice cream. So they serve a very fine selection of pure flavors with black sesame being my absolute favorite, that I have also not seen at any other vendor during my testing weeks.
BIOEISDILE – Update: this one is now closed –
In case you like your ice cream indubitably organic, this is your place. Every ingredient complies with Demeter’s policies which are far stricter than those the usual EU organic label implies. On top of that, the ice cream is pretty good with the classic flavors on offer. Also recommendable are the various sandwiches, soups and dishes, many of them vegetarian or vegan.
CAFFÉ E GELATO
Trust me, I wouldn’t send you to the more than dull mall of Potsdamer Platz if the ice cream wasn’t worth it. Because the interior is not worth it either, channeling that stereotypical Italian ice cream place look with some random Berlin references PLUS those over the top towers of ice cream lavishly decorated with fruits and nuts and whatnot. And a high price, one scoop is 1,50 for their “premium ice cream”. But this comes in exciting flavors like yoghurt with walnuts and figs, Sorrento lemons with basil, Mascarpone with acacia honey and almond brittle or licorice and mint with chocolate chips. Definitely worth the endurance of long lines, tourist hordes and dreadful architecture.
I don’t think there’s anyone who could instantly explain the froyo-wave that hit Berlin about two years ago. Small shops offering high priced frozen yoghurt and even more expensive toppings have popped up all over Berlin. (Although this was exceeded in oddity by the bubble-tea wave that started hitting Berlin in the beginning of this year.) Naturally, I’ve grown a little tired of this special kind of “ice cream”, but if I get myself one it’s usually at efa’s. Maybe it’s because of the long company history that is today in its third generation (of course not with frozen yoghurt, but their ice cream was, for example, the “official ice cream” of the 1972’s Munich Olympics); or their demand to use only organic products and make everything as sustainable and carbon neutral as possible, or just because they seem to be the only ones offering flavored frozen yoghurt like wild raspberry or elderflower.
To be honest, this has been my favorite ice cream parlor before starting to research for this guide and it still is. Innovative and handmade it offers the most interesting and tasty varieties like dark chocolate sorbet, a superior Matcha, the best pistacchio I’ve had in Berlin, my all-time favorite caramel with fleur de sel as well as something for the daring: white chocolate with parmesan cheese (they’ve had that for quite some time, so someone has to like it). Luckily they’ve got three small shops in Berlin, that are always busy with many ice cream lovers but it’s definitely worth the wait.
Many ice cream parlors in Berlin border on cuteness overload when it comes to interior and self-presentation and Fräulein Frost is no exception, making it a huge hit with children (though exceeded in almost intolerable sweetness of interior by Anna Durkes). And also their ice creams are a little too sweet, but they’ve got a flavor called GuZiMi, this ridiculous name dissolves into Gurke-Minze-Zitrone (cucumber-mint-lemon), which is basically a Moscow Mule without Vodka and thus absolutely delicious (of course, you could add the alcohol later by just pouring it over the scoop).
If you ask connoisseurs for a fine ice cream parlor they might suggest this one in Prenzlauer Berg (or Vanille&Marille, see below) that added (a rather unnecessary) “ice cream patissier” to its title. Nevertheless, the gelato is outstandingly delicious with fancy flavors like tonka bean, cinammon lemon and sugary treats like Rocky Road (caramelized pecan and para nuts, marshmallows and chocolate) and Hokey Pokey (vanilla with crunchy caramel) on offer. Opened until late at night this is also recommendable as dessert option, if you’re eating out in the area.
Stargarder Strasse 73
10437 Berlin Prenzlauer Berg
DAS HOTEL – THE BISTRO
This is this guide’s only entry of a business, that does not exclusively focus on ice cream or in this case, sorbet. Hotel Bar made its way onto this list with its complex sorbet flavors like the sweet but acerb strawberry rosemary (what an enjoyable rhyme this is), refreshing lemon mint and surprising vanilla lemon. A great spot to end the shopping at Maybachufer Markt.
Since eight years this ice cream parlor with the rather weird name is offering its handmade gelato at Lausitzer Platz. It is known for having a huge variety of vegan ice cream like soy chocolate, soy hazelnut and soy vanilla, as well as fancy flavors like rose or asparagus (seasonal).
VANILLE & MARILLE
This vendor has earned a high reputation over the past years for being the best in Berlin and the queue outside of every branch only proves it. The ice cream is made in Kreuzberg in the backyard of their main (but tiny) shop just off Mehringdamm and every travel there is worth it. Their namesake flavor, Marille (apricot) from Austria (Wachau) is stellar, purely fruity, soft and creamy. And then they’ve got sesame with honey, elderflower with mint, caramel beurre salé, walnut fig, prosecco with mint and so many more!