I’m going to skip over our time in Brussels (it was two days, we didn’t eat out and my camera was broken) and move on to the sweet stuff. The sweet stuff being all of the vegan eis, the german word for ice cream, we enjoyed in Berlin. We spent six weeks in Berlin. Six lovely weeks without carrying around our backpacks and moving cities! We rented a cute apartment in Friedrichshain, which put us within walking distance to many of the city’s vegan restaurants and two ice cream shops known for having a wide selection of vegan flavours. As part of our strategy to survive the intense July heat, we frequently went on ice cream dates. Keeping cool was our first priority, the second, of course, was research. After many tastings and flavour pairings, I’m excited to bring you a review of vegan ice cream options in Berlin…
Der Eisbärliner was the closest ice cream shop to apartment, which means they got most of our business. They’ve got a good selection of flavours, prices are cheap, €.80 Euro ($1.03 USD) per scoop, and we could walk there in just a few minutes. We were totally spoiled.
During all of our visits, they had a standard selection of fruity options. There was always plenty of raspberry, mango, strawberry and cassis/blackcurrant but lime was often running low, a sign that it was a favourite of many customers.
In addition to the fruit eis, there was always one soy ice cream option in stock. We had a chance to try vanilla, coconut and stracciatella, a combination of vanilla ice cream with fine bits of chocolate throughout.
Okay, now let’s observe some more scoops in action…
All of the ice cream at Der Eisbärliner is super yummy, but stracciatella, coconut and mango stood out as the best. The fruit flavours were always super thick; we could tell there was a whole lot of fruit packed into each scoop. On our last visit, I tried a soy milk shake with stracciatella ice cream. It was good, but disappeared fast. There were two big scoops in there, but I like my milkshakes extra thick and this one was quite thin. Maybe if you smile and ask nicely, or pay a little extra for additional ice cream, you could get a thicker version.
Eissalon Tanne B
Eissalon Tanne B is another popular ice cream shop offering vegan options. One afternoon we headed to Kreuzberg to give them a try. We only made it there one time during our six week stay, but they made an extra good first impression on us.
They had six vegan flavours: lime, strawberry, raspberry, mango, soy hazelnut and soy vanilla. Knowing we like the creamy soy-based ice cream best, we opted for big waffle cones packed with scoops of hazelnut and vanilla.
Wow. The soy hazelnut was… ummm, the best ever!!!! The vanilla was nice too, but nowhere near as good as the amazing, creamy hazelnut. Really, there’s no way any of their other flavours could compare.
The hazelnut was so good, in fact, John went back for a second serving. He felt compelled to mix it up and give a fruit flavour a try too, adding on a scoop of strawberry to his order. Like the vanilla, it was good, but the hazelnut was the obvious winner for the day. Ice cream loving vegans must visit Tanne B when in Berlin. The scoops are a bit more expensive, €.1.20 Euro ($1.55 USD) each, but the portions are bigger. Cross your fingers and hope hazelnut is available when you drop in!!
Eissalon Tanne B
10997 Berlin, Germany
Tel: 030 69567811
Carmello’s Eis was the other vegan-friendly ice cream shop within walking distance to our apartment. But being a few blocks further away than Der Eisbärliner, we never managed to drag our feet the few extra steps. Funny enough, I celebrate the end of my adventures in Berlin at Carmello’s, side by side with my good friend Glauce from All about Vegan Food.
We waited patiently in the long line that flooded out on to the street. When we finally got up to the front and took a look at the display case, we were disappointed to see there weren’t any creamy soy flavours to choose from. Fruit ice cream is good, but you can find dairy-free versions almost anywhere. It’s the soy ice cream most vegans are after, and soy flavours are what can set one ice cream shop apart from all the rest. That’s my take, anyway.
Seeing no other choice, we reluctantly selected some fruit options and paid our €1.00 Euro ($1.29 USD) per scoop. I chose the banana and strawberry & lime. Both flavours were good but I finished off the cone a little disappointed. I’d heard Carmello’s usually has soy-based nut flavours, like peanut and hazelnut, and after my experience with Tanne B’s hazelnut ice cream, the fruity flavours just weren’t doing it for me.
Luckily, Glauce’s friend Clarissa ordered her scoops a few minutes after we did and emerged from the shop with some soy peanut ice cream. Looking at each other in total shock, Glauce and I couldn’t believe we overlooked this option. It was there all along, but our eyes skipped over it because the tag was a different colour than the rest of the vegan fruit options. We were on the verge of being full after finishing our fruit scoops but decided we had to go back for more. After all, it was our last ice cream outing in Berlin. I tried one scoop of the soy peanut ice cream and was so happy to discover it was on par with the hazelnut ice cream from Tanne B. Full of peanut pieces and super creamy, it was love at first lick! I made sure to eat every last drop, leaving my cup completely clean. Yum!
Caramello Eis & Coffee
10245 Berlin, Germany
Tel: 030 50343105
If you could create your own ice cream flavour, what would it be? If you visit Das Cafe, you’ll have the chance to make your ice cream dreams come true! They’ve got a soft serve ice cream machine they use exclusively to make vegan ice cream. Unlike many places, they don’t make one flavour per day, they make each person’s ice cream individually. You pick the ice cream base, choosing from chocolate, vanilla, raspberry, lemon or blackcurrant. Then you can add one or two of the following ingredients: cherry, raspberry, mango, strawberry, mint, basil, waffle, nougat, caramel and peanut. Sounds amazing, right!?
From what I can tell, John was feeling kinda boring that day and went for the vanilla ice cream with nougat. It was good, but the combination wasn’t that exciting.
I was beaming with excitement at the opportunity to make my own ice cream flavour. But I also started off with a boring approach, choosing the classic pairing of peanut butter and chocolate. The result was really, really good, but left me wanting more ice cream…
I decided to be more adventurous with my second creation and choose to pair vanilla ice cream with strawberry and basil. It may sound like a crazy combo but strawberry and basil go very well together, especially in smoothies. Don’t be afraid to give this wacky flavour a try!
Das Cafe is part of the Linienstrasse 206 community housing project. The cafe is open three days a week, Monday and Thursday 5:00-11:00 p.m. and Sunday 3:00-11:00 p.m. In addition to soft serve vegan ice cream, they have coffee, tea and some vegan food. It’s an underground operation, so there’s a good chance the opening days, hours and offerings will change without notice. Show up and hope you get lucky.