Culinarily speaking, Berlin is a city of great diversity and almost endless possibilities – with dining choices ranging all the way from American junk to the oriental delicacies. There is, of course, the huge selection of street foods, including all varieties of wursts and sausages, pizzas, soups, Turkish döner, and all kinds of sandwiches with everything that has cholesterol in it. But above everything stand the pastries.
The Germans have a glorious tradition of baking, with special expertise in breads (“Brot”) and buns (“Brötchen”). In my opinion, the traditional dark breads are certainly the best, but even the simplest light buns, or obvious non-German breads like baguets, usually taste great. All of these are also very reasonably priced (about 1.5-2.5 Euros for large breads of high quality, and small change for buns).
The people of Berlin are very fond of other pastries as well, and those can be found practically anywhere – over street stands, cafes, restaurants and numerous bakeries – in a stunning variety. You’d find there all kinds of cakes, croissants, bagels, doughnuts and petit four, sweet or salty, with or without creams, coatings and glazings etc.
My own personal favorite is the Berliner doughnut, usually refered to as “Pfannkuchen” or “Krapfen” (it is called “Berliner” only outside Berlin). It’s a small doughnut, filled with jam or cream, very similar to the ones eaten in Hanukkah in Israel, only much better. Unfortunately, it is a traditional New Year’s Eve goody, and is rarely to be found in Berlin during the rest of the year.
There is also the famous Apfelstrudel, which I believe is actually Austrian, but I doubt it if the Austrians make it better (just as I believe the people in Austria Restaurant, on Bergmanstrasse, Kreuzberg, who claim their schnitzel is the best in the world. But I would leave that to the home carnivore, Yonit).
I could talk pastries for hours, and I’ll probably even do so in the future. Meanwhile, here are some more pictures that might explain my enthusiasm.