Boxhagener Platz, Market, Friedrichshain

Every neighbourhood in Berlin has its own weekend food market, except where I live in Mitte. I am not going to count the clutch of stalls in front of Butler’s at hackescher markt as an authentic one. Ackerplatz market is technically in Mitte but it’s the Prenzlauerberg side of Mitte.  It’s annoying that I can’t trundle down the road with my wheeled shopping bag, on the other hand I am not restricted to one market by proximity sake.  I’m free to bounce around the different locations and enjoy the many faces of Berlin.

Kollwitzplatz market in Prenzlauerberg is probably the most known but I haven’t managed to fall in love with it.  It’s somehow too self-conscious of its good looks.  Winterfeldtplatz market is like a sensible pair of shoes, it does what a market should.  As with most market squares, there are plenty of cafes surrounding it.  It is a market I go to often, especially as I have a few friends living in the area.  Wittenbergplatz (across from the KaDeWe) is a bijou sized offering, with prices to match some of those in the pricey food hall across the street.  Still I often find interesting things there. The Market at Karl August Platz is another sensible place to shop.Boxhagener platz market in Friedrichshain is one of my favourites.  It wraps around a large sand filled children’s park, seemingly always full to capacity with children and young European parents.  It has a couple of the large Turkish stands that seem to sell everything at all times of the year but unlike in other markets, they don’t dominate the square.  There are plenty of small stands selling seasonal, organic fruit and veg.What sets it apart for me is that there are plenty of people having a go at something different (I get a similar vibe from Markt Halle Neun).  Wether it’s the ‘got dessert‘ marshmallow stand. Or the bruschetta stand.  The lady selling rings made of old keyboard buttons.   Read more of this post

Market at Karl August Platz & Warm Cauliflower Salad

I am trying to make it to most of the markets in Berlin.  So I can (one day soon) write up the definitive guide and put it out there into w.w.w land so when a future me-like person, looking for a list of markets, moves to Berlin it’s out there.  My friend Misterrios pointed out that such a list already exists, here but like most lists about things to eat in Berlin, it doesn’t tell you which ones are winners, which ones are losers and there are no pictures.I remember when I first moved here, trotting up to the concierge at the Adlon Kempinski (thinking he of all people must know) and asking where the best farmers markets are

“There are no farmers markets here.” he replied.

“How can there be no markets?” I asked, “Every city has markets.”

“Ok, yes, there are markets but they sell the same stuff as the supermarkets but for a lot more money.” He answered.

I smiled and thanked him and thought, wow, what a tool?!Having been to a fair few now, I get what he means.

Markets in Berlin are made up primarily of wholesalers selling similar if not the same stuff you will find in Rewe, Kaisers, Lidl and so on, often more expensive because the big supermarkets have higher spending power and can push down the prices on the suppliers.  In between those wholesalers, there are a few stands that sell food they have grown.  Unfortunately, they tend to grow the same varieties that you find in the supermarket, so they do a bog standard broccoli, no purple sprouting broccoli or broccoli rabe.

You don’t go to a market here to get something similar to the Mexican sour gherkins you read about in Bon Appetit, or some picked crab.  You go with more sensible expectations, like buying some garlic that has not been grown with China (what is up with that by the way?) or some sweet onions or just some locally grown things that still have dirt on and maybe a few dead gnats bearing testament that it grew in the ground and not in some futuristic polytunnel in a galaxy far far away. Read more of this post

To Market - Wittenbergplatz Market

I have been looking for a market for a month now. I am becoming familiar with the many fruit and vegetable stands on the outside of Turkish supermarkets but I wanted German products, preferably grown close to Berlin. You know the spiel, seasonal, local - all those virtuous words. It’s August, so now is the time to buy seasonal. I found a great website called Hungry in Berlin, that sadly seems defunct since their last post was in December 2009, that makes reference to this market. Read more of this post


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