Ice cream is a big thing in Berlin and there are not many cities that offer a greater and wider selection of quality ice cream and gelato shops. Every summer the demand for the icy delights explodes and all the omnipresent cones bobbing in front of Berliners’ mouths can be summed up with Berlin’s very own mathematical equation (one which is a true as Pythagoras theorem here): BERLIN + SUN = ICE CREAM.
For the 2018 update there have been some significant changes, among other things, two of Berlin’s finest Gelato institutions closed their doors (Anna Durkes and Giorgio Lombardi) but were luckily replaced by two other, exceptional gelato producers.
“Ice cream is a big thing in Berlin and there are not many cities that offer a greater and wider selection of quality ice cream and gelato shops”
People get very serious when it comes to the question of where to find the best ice cream in Berlin. My consumption of Berlin’s various churned and frozen creations is every bit as tedious and ridiculous as my other eating excursions, but to get a full picture of the city of ice cream is virtually impossible. Ranking “American style” ice cream against Gelato (I highly recommend reading up on the differences, they really are two different things) is as complicated as it is controversial, but I think it’s possible to compare the craft and care of ingredients. Rest assured though, all the shops on this list are exceptional.
“A gift from me to all you fellow ice-cream worshippers (with a cherry on top) to make the most out of every Berlin summer.”
Now that we’re all enjoying the crap out of our beloved, sun-soaked Berlin, I’m happy to present 16 exceptional shops in Berlin who, to me, represent the very best ice cream you’ll find in Berlin right now. So my fellow ice-cream worshippers, without further ado, behold the very best way to make the most out of the Berlin summer.
SPECIAL MENTION #1: Paul Möhring
This “gourmet soft serve shop” opened its doors in 2017 promising “Tradition” and “Wahnsinn” with its funky and high-end soft serve creations such as “The Salty Dude”, featuring vanilla ice cream dipped in caramel sauce, hazelnut brittle and sea salt. The ingredients used are top notch and the crew keeps on developing new flavour combinations (rumours say caramelized bacon is featured on a new creation). Check out their soft serve brioche pockets.
Price per scoop (for specials): 3,50 – 4,10€
Oranienburger Str. 84
SPECIAL MENTION #2. Woop Woop
Not all ice creams are created equal. A fact cemented by Woop Woop’s icy treats which are whipped in front of your eyes in less than 30 seconds. The secret? Liquid nitrogen which shock-cools the component ingredients into the most intensely rich hit of ice cream you’re likely to experience. The resulting taste is so extreme in fact, it’s sometimes more like ganache in texture and density. After having tweaked the recipe over the winter, most of the flavours are sensational today. Expect Vanilla, Salted Caramel & Popcorn in the summer and booze-infused delights during the long winter months, the latter only made possible through the shock-freezing process – Woop Woop is the coolest ice cream show in Berlin.
Price per scoop: 3,80€
Rosenthaler Str. 3
14. Süßfein Berlin
New in the Mitte ice cream market is Süßfein Berlin. A super cute shop on Brunnenstr. which opened in May. Although their Pistachio flavour (which comes with marzipan and nougat) left me with questions, elsewhere their walnut ice cream is pretty tasty, and they also have a tangy Lemon Tart flavour. The classics here all cost 1,40€ but you’ll need to pay 0.20 more for the ‘premium’ flavours, which is mostly worth it.
Price per scoop: 1,40€ (+0,20 for ‘prime’ flavours)
Eisbox is a tiny ice cream place hidden on a quiet street of Moabit with a reputation for making high quality and organic ice cream in a lot of funky flavours. The Chocolate – usually made with goats milk and salt – sits next to creations such as Tonka Bean and Lime Rosemary. Or why not try Saffron ice cream, made with so much saffron that they sell it separately by the gram? While some flavours occasionally go to far, in the end the Eisbox ice cream is very solid and definitely worth a detour.
Price per scoop: 1,50-2,50€
12. Die Eismacher
Die Eismacher is a classic Berlin ice cream institution in southern Kreuzberg famous for its bright purple Ube flavoured ice cream that’s made with the purple yam and coconut cream. Other interesting flavours are Pandan Nut and Mint-Pineapple but none of them really reach the quality of the Ube. This place is a good destination for some solid scoops of ice cream.
Price per scoop: 1€ (cheapest)
11. Vanille & Marille
Using only 100% natural ingredients, Vanille Marille is friendly neighbourhood ice cream parlour with five different outlets all over Berlin. Ice creams of the month are always worth checking out and in the past they’ve included exotic varieties such as Havanna Poppyseed and Caribbean Guava. Flavours are a little on the subtle side at times, though their Wild Blueberry is the perfect tartness and silky as hell with a lacquered finish like no other. Their Indian Mango looks like a pot of pure golden sunshine as well.
Price per scoop: 1,40€ – 1,60€
10. Rosa Canina
If Raspberry & Basil and Pineapple & Sage don’t scream summer at you, then you might be lost cause. And they’re just two of the delicious and highly interesting flavour combos the Rosa Canina guys have on offer. They’ve got three shops in Berlin, perhaps my favourite thing about their Markthalle joint is the chug of vodka they add to their divine Moscow Mule flavour if you ask nicely. Another favourite is the black sesame flavour. Although Rosa Canina loose a few points when it comes to texture, flavour creations from these guys are always interesting and well thought through.
Price per scoop: 1,40€
Sometimes all you want is a solid scoop of homemade ice cream – free of extravagance. Nunzio dessert cafe in Steglitz is your go-to in these exact times for classic flavours such as Strawberry, Pistachio and Chocolate executed in insanely satisfyingly ways. The more inventive flavours such as Green Tea and Lemon can be a little hit and miss – but these guys are definitely worth the experimentation if you’re in the area. Also good to note: Nunzio also supplies Prenzlauer Berg’s cute Cookies & Cream shop with ice cream. Here you can pick one of the shop’s many home-baked cookie flavours and order a made-to-measure ice cream sandwich. The cookies are a little hard baked, making the eating process a little tricky. But hey, it’s a fun battle.
Price per scoop: 1,40€
08. Oak and Ice
Definitely one of the ruling champions of dairy-free ice cream in Berlin; the fruit content in Oak & Ice sorbets is so high even non-vegans would be hard pressed to fault them on their flavour. There are also an abundance of sugar-free ice creams (the dark chocolate flavour is sensational) and gluten-free options (hello, ice cream sandwiches!) on their vast menu as well as Polish flavours (owners are Polish), but don’t worry if you’re a purist; Oak & Ice’s more traditional scoops also make the grade. Look out for flavours including Smoked Cheese; Carrot; Rhubarb, Beetroot & Apple; and – especially refreshing on hot days – Pure Mint. A disclaimer: This is the only shop on the list that doesn’t make their own ice cream, they buy it from a manufacturer in Poland.
Price per scoop: 1,50€
Schönhauser Allee 52
07. Fräulein Frost
True to their reputation of as one of the most creative ice cream producers with the largest amount of flavours, on my last visit to Fräulein Frosts shop in Kreuzkölln shop I ordered the outrageous combination Gu-Zi-Mi (cucumber, lemon and mint) together with their Carrot – Orange flavour upon a recommendation and was very pleasantly surprised by how well it all all worked together. Let’s talk about that Gu-Zi-Mi: the mint is zingy, the cucumber cooling and god knows what the lemon does to your taste buds, but they sure go ballistic. For ice cream that packs a punch this is your place, with very modest prices as well.
Price per scoop: 1,20€