Berlin is a chocoholic’s paradise.
In a city where even the lowliest of kiosks offers sweets that would appease the average Joe, the competition is fierce for the finest chocolates, cakes and desserts.
Only the very brave, or the very fullish dare undertake the quest for the finest mind and waist expanding t(h)reats.
Here are my current favorites in the city.
Located near the famous Gendarmenmarkt in the historical center of Berlin, this is the quintessential chocolate wonderland, complete with a chocolate volcano and a chocolate Reichstag model.
While the selection at hand is huge, it is also a paradigm of simplicity.
In the end, a praline’s quality is mostly influenced by the quality of the ingredients and this is where F&R truly shines.
There is no need for extravagant and far-fetched combinations when a few ingredients of the most excellent quality are all it takes to impress.
This is especially true of the liqueur pralines and truffles which are infused with champagne, bordeaux and arak and make you wonder what the other alcohol flavored chocolates you tried before were all about.
On the second floor of the shop is a cafe/restaurant serving wonderful desserts and even meat dishes containing cocoa beans or served with a chocolate sauce.
The savvy or curious consumer is well advised to visit the factory shop where he can see and smell the chocolate being made through a glass pane.
Best of all, there is also a factory outlet shop selling chocolates with small optical imperfections for less than half the normal price, making it the sweetest deal in the city.
Wolframstraße 95 – 96
While not on the same scale as the Kadewe, the food floor offers a large selection of mostly French and Belgian sweets that are not available anywhere else in the city.
The small but stellar patisserie and the fact that this is currently the only shop in Berlin where you can buy speculoos paste make it a great place to splurge and indulge your sweet tooth.
10117 Berlin Mitte
If there was a competition for the best designed pastries in Berlin, this small shop in Prenzlauer Berg would certainly “take the cake”.
Every little berry or chocolate flake is placed with utmost care, creating the pastry equivalents of Faberge eggs.
Considering the amount of skill and the quality of the ingredients used the prices are more than reasonable, it’s almost a shame to eat these little masterpieces.
One of the only lessons I’ve learned in life is “don’t order desserts in Asian restaurants”, they are either too sweet or not sweet at all and generally uninspiring.
Rules have exceptions however as Nazuna clearly shows.
This sweet little place in prenzlauer Berg, run by a sweet little Japanese woman, has some of the most original desserts in the city.
Try the cheesecake with black beans or the seasonal fresh fruit creations, all crafted with the attention to detail that made Japan so famous for quality.
There are also bento boxes for the more traditional hunger and some desserts travel well so you can surprise someone back home.
Danziger Str. 65
Most Turkish food you encounter in Berlin can be summed up in one word and that word is DISAPPOINTMENT.
Turkish döner is a poor man’s schawarma, künefe tastes like knafeh that’s been left out to fend for itself in the dessert and Turkish hummus is closer to mayonnaise than to the real thing.
Most Lokum or Turkish delight that you find in the city sadly suffers from the same fate: too sweet and soft and lacking in refinement;If the white witch had offered Edmund this stuff he’d tell her to sod off.
Enter Cemilzade, a shop in the center of Berlin which imports some of the finest lokum you can get anywhere in the world directly from Istanbul.
Since 1883 the company has been making sweets such as lokum and pistachio marzipan that are anything but ordinary.
The selection isn’t huge, but it’s all exquisitely done and presented in a tasteful white motive.
During winter it’s a real treat to step inside and enjoy some life-affirming hot chocolate or tea while seating on comfy oriental cushions.
As Mel brooks famously said “it’s good to be the king”, but it might be better being a Sultan.
A small slice of heaven in big bad Kreuzberg.
This small subterranean cafe has fantastic cakes and desserts, the chocolate and cheese cakes are some of the best in the city and the lemon tartlets are second only to Lenôtre in lemony goodness.
When the weather is nice you can sit in the little garden and enjoy the sun’s rays or take a walk along the river and congratulate yourself on making it through another tough winter.
The traveling show of the pastry scene, Tartes de Tom is unique in many ways.
The flour, eggs and sugar are all organic and they try to use as many organic and local products as possible in their cakes.
No flavor and aroma enhancing additives are used and preservatives and food coloring are a definite no-no.
In addition to the classics such as shortbread and caramel there are monthly changing mini cakes with baffling combinations .
Pears and pomelo with pistachio marzipan filling, rhubarb and cranberry with yogurt filling and lime and coconut with raspberry-mascarpone filling are always surprising and sometimes a revelation.
Tartes de Tom can currently only be found in some Berlin markets, whether that’s a good or a bad thing depends on your sweet tooth vs. weight gain policy.
“If life gives you lemons, make lemonade” so the saying goes.
In fact, Gentle Reader, you’d be a fool to make lemonade when you can make a lemon tart such as this.
This slice of heaven is my favorite thing in the most decadent corner of the most decadent floor of the most decadent place in Berlin, the Lenôtre bakery and pastry shop on the sixth floor of the sprawling Kadewe department store.
The fact that they have trucks carrying flour and other ingredients make their way from France to Berlin in order to insure that the cakes taste exactly as they did in the original recipes should tell you something about the standards of this place.
Everything on offer from the almond croissants to the graffiti cake is superb, but the lemon tart with it’s impeccable combination of cream, lemon and meringue is simply divine.
If you are visiting Berlin you must try it, if you live here it will try you.
I’m always on the lookout for new places and dishes to try so let me know and hopefully i can update this list.
Feedback is always welcome.