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You know Germans take their baked goods seriously when the recipe for the famed Black Forrest Cake is strictly regulated by the state. Fittingly, one of the most venerable traditions in Germany is Kaffee und Kuchen, or coffee and cake eaten after an afternoon stroll.
Finding affordable Kaffee und Kuchen is… well, a piece of cake in Berlin. But if you’re looking for something extra special, here are a few suggestions:
1. Albrechts Pâtisserie
Rykestraße 39 (Prenzlauer Berg near Kollwitzplatz)
Tel: +49 (0)30 440 172 73
Hours: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. (Monday to Friday)
As the name suggests, Albrechts Pâtisserie draws from the best of France and Germany. Combining “German traditions with French finesse,” Albrechts offers up to 20 different kinds of sumptuous cakes and pies on any given day.
The owner’s personal favorite? Stephanie Albrecht recommends the Schokodom, a tower of fluffy sponge cake and two kinds of mousse au chocolat, topped with more chocolate. In addition to the Prenzlauer Berg location, there are shops in Schöneberg and Charlottenburg (see the Web site for details).
Pannierstraße 29 (Neukölln)
Tel: +49 (0)30 288 791 79
Hours: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Monday to Thursday), 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. (Friday to Sunday)
Israeli baker Aviv Koriat doesn’t bother delivering. Instead, folks from no less than 16 cafés personally pick up pastries from Mr. Koriat’s eponymous bakery in Neukölln.
The spartan shop has no seating inside, but it does offer a sidewalk bench. Try to look nonchalant as you balance your peach and pistachio cake on your lap while sipping espresso. You are on hipster-filled Pannierstraße, after all.
3. Der Kuchenladen
Kandtstr. 138 (Charlottenburg near Savignyplatz)
Tel: +49 (0)30 310 184 24
Hours: 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. (Tuesday to Friday), 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. (Saturday and Sunday)
If you want to feel special without spending a fortune, check out this little shop. Der Kuchenladen serves handmade delicacies to a select few customers—that is, those who battle it out with young families and gay couples to grab one of the four tables in this tiny, pink-walled café. You’ll find all the usual suspects of German bakeries here, but always with a twist.
4. Alles Gute…
Simon-Dach-Straße 3 (Friedrichshain)
Tel: + 49 017 814 432 45
Hours: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Tuesday to Friday), 10 a.m. to 5 pm. (Saturday), 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. (Sunday)
Follow the smell of freshly baked brioche and you’ll find yourself at Alles Gute. Whether you like your latte with organic or soy milk, this café on fashionable Simon Dach Straße caters to your whimsy. Plus, you won’t find a cheaper slice of artisan cake in the neighborhood.
Unter der Linden 5 (Mitte)
Tel: + 49 (0)30 202 68-3
Hours: Open daily from 9 a.m. to 12 a.m.
If you feel like splurging, you can mingle with the well-heeled dames at Opernpalais, which boasts “Berlin’s biggest selection” of over 65 cakes (including some for diabetics). The servers can be a tad impersonal, but you can’t beat the location on magnificent Unter der Linden.