Growing up as an Army brat in Mainz, Germany, I was one spoiled kid. We had the best playgrounds, the best pastry, the best parks, and we got to make regular trips to the eis café. I loved the tangy lemon and sweet strawberry sorbets, and it was always exciting to take a family walk to the cafe for a cone. As an adult living in Berlin, the ice cream shops still hold a special place in my heart. Berlin's winters can be pretty grisly—grey and gloomy and lasting well into the months when spring should really be blooming. So when the sun starts shining bright, everyone in town crowds to these sunny ice cream meccas—which generally open only for the season—savoring every taste of summer while they can.
Unlike the wild child Ben and Jerry's-esque flavors of the U.S., Germans tend to like their eis a bit more classic. Favorites include a variety of fruit sorbets like strawberry, mango, and lemon; chocolate chip, coffee, and the tangy quark are typical ice creams; and herbal infusions using Sandorn berry or sweet woodruff are also pretty common.
Berlin is covered in ice cream shops; every block has its own eisladen serving up brightly colored scoops. But with a summer this short (some June days felt like February had crept right back in again), you should really try the city's best while you can. Although there are a number of great Italian cafés and frozen yogurt places popping up, here are some of the top places for traditional German eis in Berlin.
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About the author: Katherine Sacks is a Berlin-based food and travel writer eating her way through anything and everything German. Follow her adventures at katherinesacks.com or Twitter @LaVitaCucinare.