Why ice cream?
After a long winter, one of my favorite things about warmer temperatures is getting ice cream! I heard people joke in Berlin that when the temperature reaches about 50 degrees (Fahrenheit), it’s warm enough to get ice cream! Much to my surprise, that’s not too far from the truth. I definitely got ice cream on a few occasions at a mere 55 degrees.
Ice cream in Germany is good: it tastes good, you can find it almost anywhere, and it’s pretty cheap. Most of the ice cream is similar to Gelato, which is a bit lighter than the American variety, which of course, means I can eat a lot more of it without feeling totally sugared-out. Another perk about ice cream in Germany is that it’s just about everywhere. It’s hard to walk more than a block or two in a city without finding an ice cream parlor. Last, it’s an inexpensive treat. In Berlin, prices range from about 80 cents to €1,50 for a scoop. (By the way, commas and periods are reversed from American English when writing numbers in German. I use that notation when writing about prices because that’s the way you’ll see them.)
General ice cream recommendations
- Spaghettieis (literally, spaghetti ice cream): Spaghettieis is a must. There’s actually no spaghetti involved at all, it just looks like spaghetti. It’s made up of vanilla ice cream pressed through something resembling a large garlic press to make it look like noodles, strawberry topping for the sauce, and coconut flakes for the parmesan cheese. It’s delicious, and it’s probably the most famous ice cream dish in Germany.
- Eiskaffee (ice cream coffee): Eiskaffee is another German specialty made of freshly brewed coffee, vanilla ice cream, and whipped cream. It’s perfect for an afternoon pick-me-up on a hot day.
- Kinderbecher (kid’s cup, pictured to the right): Kid’s ice cream cups are just fun. They typically consist of vanilla ice cream, “smarties” (what they call an M&M-like candy in Germany), and waffle cookies or a waffle cone. Kid’s ice cream cups are usually made into some kind of cute little animal. I believe the one I ordered in the picture is a mouse.
- Flavors: My favorite flavors that I don’t find as much in the states are hazelnut and stracciatella. Stracciatella is basically vanilla ice cream with chocolate shavings.
Where to find it–in Berlin
Ice cream is such a seasonal business, so it’s sometimes difficult for those companies to stay in business (or in one location) all year round. The good news is that you can find ice cream almost anywhere, and it’s always good. Here are two of my favorite places to go in Berlin for ice cream.
- Eispiraten (literally, ice cream pirates): We used to live right around the corner from this excellent ice cream parlor. It’s pirate-themed, and they typically have a line out the door. It’s definitely worth the wait for 28 different flavors of ice cream they offer daily. They make all their ice cream in-house and have some of the most interesting flavors, such as Grandma’s apple cake (Oma’s Apfelkuchen), brownie, a raspberry basil sorbet (Himbeer-Basilikum), cinnamon (Zimt), and vanilla fig (Vanille-Feige).
- Aldemireis: For me, the appeal of Aldemireis is their ice cream creations. I highly recommend any of them. You can also create your own by getting a waffle, your choice of different scoops of ice cream, and toppings.