*2017 UPDATE* In a bid to make sure this year’s summer tastes a little bit different to last year’s, I’ve been eating my way around the best of Berlin’s ice cream parlours to bring you this new, longer, improved, and (most importantly) tastier ice cream list. Scroll down to see who’s made this year’s cut.
Ice cream is a big thing in Berlin. Every summer the demand for icy delight 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.
People hence get very serious when it comes to the question of where to find the best ice cream in Berlin. Any attempt to identify the best ice cream shops is surrounded by plenty of controversy. Rest assured though, that my consumption of the various churned and frozen creations on offer in this city has been every bit as tedious and ridiculous as my other eatings, and that this list is regularly re-visited and updated.
Most of the ice cream in Berlin is traditional Italian gelato, but “American style” ice cream (I highly recommend reading up on the differences) – with its higher fat and sugar content – is also starting to play a bigger role. The year of 2017 is also the year that the first, serious soft-serve places opened.
Today there are an abundance of ice cream shops that produce their ice cream in-house and whilst most of them are pretty average, the last years have spawned a couple of exceptional producers, all of whom made my culinary investigations in this field very worthwhile.
“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.”
So now we’re all enjoying the crap out of our beloved, sun-soaked Berlin, I’m happy to present sixteen exceptional shops in Berlin that produce their own ice cream and who, to me, represent the very best ice cream you’ll find in Berlin right now. It’s a gift from me to all you fellow ice-cream worshippers (with a cherry on top) to help you make the most out of every Berlin summer.
16. Die Eisfabrik
New in the Mitte ice cream market is Die Eisfabrik. 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€
14. 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)
13. 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: 1,20€
12. Paul Möhring
The much hyped newbie on the block promises “Tradition” and “Wahnsinn” with its funky and high-end soft serve creations such as “The Salty Dude” which features vanilla ice cream dipped in caramel sauce, hazelnut brittle and sea salt. The ingredients used are top notch but do, however, not fully cover up the fact that the actual soft serve has a problem – it’s too cold and the air content is not high enough. In my playbook soft serve is a lot smoother and warmer. Love the brilliant trays though that allow you to re-dip your cone…
Price per scoop (with toppings): 4€
Oranienburger Str. 84
11. 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€
10. 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. Note: Woop Woop’s scoops do cost a little more than elsewhere but that’s understandable given the market cost of liquid nitrogen.
Price per scoop: 3,80€
Rosenthaler Str. 3
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.
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€