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Best of Berlin

The Ice Cream List

The coolest list of the year returns just in time for the last summer scoops. Sunny weather in Berlin means there’s one thing on everyone’s lips in Berlin: Ice cream. Not many cities in Europe offer as greater or wider selection of quality ice cream and gelato shops as you’ll find here, and every summer the demand for frosty delights explodes all across Berlin as people line up in front of their favourite shops.

For this 2019 update of where to find the best ice creams in Berlin, there have been some significant changes to the list format – meaning you now have a mobile-ready map of where to find all the best scoops (hit ‘View Map’ to enable this) in the city. There are also 3 new entries to the list, and as Berlin’s culinary scene grows this list now includes, gelato, ice cream, granita, soft serve and even a Japanese kakigōri joint.

People get very serious about what constitutes the ‘best’ ice cream in Berlin and ranking ‘American-style’ ice cream against gelato (I highly recommend reading up on the differencesthey really are two different things) is as complicated as it is controversial. Nevertheless, as with any kind of craft in cooking, I think it’s possible to compare the love and care of ingredients – all the shops on this list are truly exceptional. With this year there is however no more official ranking between the shops on the list, the order of them means nothing.

My fellow ice-cream worshippers, without further ado, behold the very best ways to make the most out of the Berlin summer And winter, for those shops that stay open.

Ice cream

So sought after is Hokey Pokey ice cream that the shop nearly had to close after opening because neighbours complained about the queues. Thankfully, for the sake of all of our sweet tooth, Niko Robert’s iconic ice cream shop is still around and stronger than ever. On a sunny Saturday the line for Hokey Pokey stretches down the block (keep in mind we’re off the grid in Northern P’berg here). Say what you want about the hype, but Hokey Pokey makes some of the best ice cream in Berlin. Less is more at Hokey Pokey and fruit sorbets like pear and rhubarb are just as delicate and fantastic as sweet dairy flavours like Sicilian Pistachio and Café Noir. Not to be missed is also the Hokey Pokey namesake; vanilla ice cream with huge chunks of honeycomb toffee.

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Did I mention the caramel with sea salt flavour is the best caramel ice cream in Berlin?

Ice cream

Newly opened in 2018 this ice cream shop is located right around the corner from Mauerpark and therefore a destined hangout all summer long. The prime location and strong line-up of both classic and vegan-focused flavours make this one of the more interesting openings of recent years. Especially the progression from year one to year two was very impressive. Look out for a brilliant vegan Chocolate & Peanut flavour as well as Cream Cheese with Carrot Cake.

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You can also order 'Ice Cream for Breakfast': Blackberry sorbet with yoghurt swirl & almond granola

Gelato

This celebrated Mitte gem, located on a quiet side street, is infamous for its delicious and vegan-friendly gelato. Cuore di Vetro might in fact just have Berlin’s best dairy- and egg-free gelato. You can see the magical mixtures churning in the kitchen behind the shop which adds next level authenticity to their already outstanding flavours, which are handed over the counter to you by gloriously charming Italian goths. Wacky flavors here have included a David Bowie tribute complete with smoked Cuban cigar cream, which made international headlines.

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My picks: Dark Goth Chocolate (which is vegan and off-the-grid good), Butter Caramel and Sheep Ricotta.

Gelato & Granita

The opening of Duo in late 2017 meant one thing: Proper Almond granita finally had arrived in Berlin. These guys serve the Sicilian classic exactly as it should be, meaning with coffee and brioche, for breakfast. This small ice cream joint is pure Italian talent with outstanding gelato and granitas, traditional Sicilian cakes (many use almond flour and are gluten free) and great coffee. The shop takes its name from the idea that you should never order a single, lonely scoop of ice cream but that would frankly be impossible at Duo with flavours such as Cardamon, Coffee and Pistachio all demanding to be put together!

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Check out the 'Brioche con Gelato', which is literally an ice cream burger.

Ice cream

Meet Gabrielle Jones, the most dedicated ice cream maker in Berlin. Nobody puts more love and expertise into ice cream making than the 2006 French Champion of Dessert, as evidenced by the fact she hand-bakes all her own cones as well as freshly-churns all ice creams. What started as a small ice cream truck has since turned into a fantastic shop in Schöneberg. It’s the cones and the unmatched quality of ingredients that set Jones apart from the competition – well worth the extra cents. Gabrielle’s iconic flavours including Banana-Chocolate-Marshmallow, Salty Caramel and Whisky-Pecan-Cornflake, but new additions such as Black Sesame and Rhubarb are testament to the endless dedication and quality thinking this fantastic ice cream shop employs.

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Jones' super smooth ice cream goes very well on top of their American-style cookies baked in-house.

Ice Cream

If Raspberry & Basil and Pineapple & Sage don’t scream summer at you then you might be lost cause. These are just two of the seasonally rotating flavour combos the Rosa Canina guys have on offer. They’ve got four shops open throughout Berlin and their affogato made with hazelnut ice cream is the stuff of legends.

Locations:  Hufeland Str. | Markthalle Neun | Pasteurstr.Ackerstr.

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Keep an eye out for their Sea Buckthorn flavour.

Liquid Nitrogen

Not all ice cream was created equal. A fact cemented by Woop Woop’s icy treats which are frozen at -196°C 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 ever likely to experience. The resulting taste is so extreme, the texture and density cam almost be compared to a ganache. With four flavours always on offer, Woop Woop offers something for everyone (there is always a vegan option). Expect Vanilla, Salted Caramel & Popcorn in the summer and booze-infused delights during the long winter months.

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This is one of Berlin's only ice cream joints that stays open during winter

Gelato

If Sweet Potato and Dulce de Leche flavours don’t grab your attention, then I’m not sure what will. Argentinians claim they make better gelato than the Italians and this shop is your chance to investigate the claim with South American flavours running throughout. Check out the Banana Split flavour if you’re unsure, served with a lick of dulce de leche. Best ice cream in Friedrichshain? I’d say yes.

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Oh and hey, they deliver ice cream to your door - check out the website!

Ice cream

Despite not making their own ice cream (they work with a manufacturer in Poland), Oak & Ice is definitely one of the ruling champions of dairy-free ice cream in Berlin. The fruit content in Oak & Ice’s sorbets is so high, even non-vegans would be hard pressed to fault them on their flavour. There is also an abundance of sugar-free ice creams on offer (the dark chocolate flavour is sensational) and gluten-free options (hello, ice cream sandwiches!) on their vast menu 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.

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A great alternative for a winter ice-cream and cake snack since they are open all year.

Ice cream

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 a visit if you’re in the area.

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Nunzio also supplies Prenzlauer Berg’s 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.

Ice Cream

One of Kreuzkölln’s most in-demand summer stops, the flavour combinations may sound random here but actually go together very well. On my last visit I ordered Gu-Zi-Mi (cucumber, lemon and mint) together with their Carrot & Orange after the server’s recommendation and was very pleasantly surprised by how well it all all worked together. Check out two different locations across Berlin.

Locations: Friedelstr. | Manfred-von-Richthofen-Str.

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Let’s talk about that Gu-Zi-Mi: the mint is zingy, the cucumber cooling and the citrus makes your taste buds go ballistic.

SOFT SERVE

This “gourmet soft serve shop” opened its doors in 2017 offering funky and high-end soft serve creations such as The Salty Dude (featuring vanilla ice cream dipped in caramel sauce, hazelnut brittle & sea salt) and Holy Shit (featuring chocolate ice cream, pretzels & Sichuan pepper). The ingredients used here are top notch and the crew keeps on developing innovative combos including toasted gelato brioche burgers and ice cream brûlée in pocket cones.

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Gelato

Since its opening in 2017, Early Bird has quickly developed into a Wins-Kiez favorite. The reasons are obvious: The Italian-style gelato is fluffy and light and the quality of the ingredients shows in every bite. Some flavours might use a bit too much sugar, but for flavors like the divine pistachio or their raw chocolate, these guys hit the perfect gelato-balance with a cake-like texture that calls for serious indulging. Lovely place to hang out and enjoy the quiet neighborhood.

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Eat a mountain of pistachio gelato along a cup of their extraordinary coffee.

Kagikori

Kakigōri, the Japanese version of the South-East Asia shaved ice dessert, has in the course of the last years exploded in popularity in Japan. The Japanese have elevated the humble ice cream dessert to new levels with innovative toppings and a scientific approach to freezing water to perfectly clear eyes. At Tenzan Lab in Prenzlauer Berg you can save yourself a flight ticket to Tokyo and experience the real deal: Mountains of fluffy, hand-shaved ice, dressed with delicate sauces and toppings such as fresh fruit and mochi balls. Quite possibly the best Kagigori in Europe.

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Get the Matcha Mascarpone or the Ichigo summer strawberry and finish with a cup of the sensational Japanese teas.

GELATO

Venture out West to experience the most serious ice cream opening of 2018. The gelato maestro of “Gimme Gelato” learned his trade in Italy and now features over 16 varieties of handmade gelato in his shop on Wundtstraße. The quality of the product is remarkable, both in terms of flavor and texture, catapulting Gimme Gelato into the segment of the best ice cream makers in Berlin. The eye-catcher of the large shop is something else: The fantastic popsicles, shaped as dog-paws or hearts, that come in multiple flavours.

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Mix it up with one of the fantastic popsicles

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