The Kaufhaus des Westens, always known as KaDeWe by locals, is continental Europe’s largest department store and has a food hall to make visitors’ jaws drop, with 34,000 different foods on sale. The food hall takes up the store’s entire sixth floor and is a labyrinth of German edibles, with every province given its own corner piled high with ham, sausage, schnapps and beer. If that all sounds too hearty, the hall also stocks international delicacies, including Godiva chocolates and Dom Pérignon Champagne, and visitors flock to dine at its many upmarket lunch counters.
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If KaDeWe is Berlin’s food hall heavyweight, French import Galeries Lafayette has a somewhat lighter touch and its food hall is popular both for shopping and as a stop for coffee and cake. Housed at the bottom of the department store’s striking globular atrium, Galeries Lafayette’s food hall’s greatest draws, among its many edible delights, are cakes, from elaborate Viennese-style gateaux to melt-in-the-mouth Frédéric Cassel macaroons. Visitors should also look out for the excellent gift hampers.
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Located in a pretty café-filled corner of the Kreuzberg neighbourhood, the Marheineke market hall is perhaps the best place in Berlin to explore a German obsession: organic food. Whether you’re looking for rarities such as organic emu fillets or local delicacies like tender white asparagus from the Berlin region, the food hall has a farmers’ market feel and real local buzz. If you’re looking for more than daily produce, Marheineke also has a wonderful teashop and stalls run by local Turks selling excellent dried fruit and unusual confectionery.
Marheineke Markthalle, Marheinekeplatz/Bergmannstrasse, 10961 Berlin, +49 (0)30 6128 6146
This west Berlin institution, which opened in 1928, is both delicatessen and restaurant – and a delicious slice of Berlin tradition. It sells the usual high-end goodies you’d expect from a food hall – excellent Rhine Valley Rieslings, fine cheeses – but its real draw is fish. One the best places in Berlin to down a plate of oysters, Rogacki has its own fish smokery producing salmon and eel and a curious old tank for fresh lobsters, each one resting in its own clay pot.
Rogacki, Wilmersdorfer Strasse 145-46, 10585 Berlin, +49 (0)30 343 8250