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Much has been written about Berlin’s wilder side as the city draws international creatives attracted to a hedonism, anonymity and freedom of expression quite unlike any other European capital. But did you know, Berlin also has a much sweeter side? And true to the German capital’s artistry it’s one that’s alive with saccharine, edible works of creativity.
Here are six places that show Berlin’s sweetened edge, each wholly encapsulating the city’s masterful imagination.
Kristiane Kegelmann is a renowned sculptor and a trained patisserie chef. She combines both talents and love of handwork in her PARS Pralines - exquisite, futuristic and geometrically mesmerising treats that share a close bond to Berlin terroir as Kristiane only uses ingredients from local Berlin farmers to create all-natural colourings and flavours.
Customers including some of the city’s best restaurants as well as luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton and Bvlgari all fall over themselves to get her small batch pralines which burst with beetroot, hazelnut and sunflower seed cream centres.
One of Berlin’s newest and most deserved Michelin stars went to René Frank - an award-winning pastry chef who worked in some of the world’s most renowned 3 star kitchens before continuing his creativity at CODA - ostensibly a “dessert” bar albeit one which neither needs nor uses any additional sugar to work ingredients such as seaweed, aubergine and tofu into spellbinding seasonal creations which challenge your understanding of exactly what dessert is.
His set menu is expertly paired with seasonal cocktails for an overall experience that’s unlike anything else in Germany.
Friedelstraße 47, Berlin
Black Isle Bakery
With a background in fine art it makes sense that Ruth Barry’s bakery would feel more like a gallery than a traditional bake shop.
After training with Christophe Vasseur at the world-renowned Du Pain et des Idées in Paris, Ruth opened her beautiful small-batch bakery in Berlin’s Mitte district where customers come for cult classics including Millionaire’s Shortbreads, Scottish gingerbread (served with salted butter) and seasonal buns including marzipan, brandied sultanas and candied peel creations.
Black Isle Bakery
Linienstraße 54, Berlin
There are many reasons to visit the double Michelin-starred Horváth but for the purpose of this article we say only two words: Blood truffles.
Chef Sebastian Frank’s signature petit fours mix a brilliant blood chocolate praline with brown butter for an after meal treat that’s the perfect embodiment of his classic, down-to-earth and yet still slightly controversial cooking. The restaurant’s patisserie section is overseen by Jens Hildebrandt who is currently competing for Germany’s Patisserie Chef of the Year award.
Paul-Lincke-Ufer 44a, Berlin
Erich Hamann Bittere Schokoladen
This chocolatiers is housed in a 1928 factory complex built by one of the Bauhaus’ founding fathers, Johannes Itten, who conceived both the shop and its interior design with the world renowned design school’s core principle of “form follows function” in mind.
The shop has stayed true to these original aesthetics and still serves all its bittersweet pralines, chocolate bars and marzipan creations in the original and iconic 1920’s checkered boxes with blue ribbons.
Erich Hamman Bittere Schokoladen
Brandenburgische Str. 17, Berlin
No trip to Berlin would be complete without sampling the city’s Syrian sweet treats at Damaskus Konditorei.
After fleeing the war in Homs, owner Tamem al-Sakka settled in Berlin and gifted the city his significant baking prowess as a result. His shop is a saccharine playground piled high with classic pastries such as baklava alongside a whole host of goods you’ll enjoy getting to know including Halawet el Jibn (rolls of semolina dough filled with white cheese and rosewater).
Sonnenallee 93, Berlin