Berlin is an exciting city, with gorgeous architecture, rich history and a vibrant food scene. If you’re anything like me, one of the best things about visiting a new city is exploring the local foods, and that includes checking out the specialty food shops. When in Berlin, you owe it to yourself to visit the gourmet shop at KaDeWe. Short for Kaufhaus Des Westens (Department store of the West), KaDeWe is the largest department store in Europe, with over 60.000 square feet of retail space. Sure, there are tons of beautiful designer clothes, home goods, electronics and just about everything you would expect in a high-end department store. I was on a mission though, and I headed straight to the elevators for a ride to the gourmet shop on the 6th floor.
This is not just a place to shop for hard to find items like beautiful tins of tea from Provence, artisan German mustard in stoneware jars, and preserves from around the world. You can also buy specialty foods like organic poultry and meat, smoked fish, and other items to prepare at home. Best of all, there are 30 gourmet bars scattered throughout the shop, where you can enjoy delights like fresh oysters on the half-shell, grilled fish, delicious canapes, and beautifully prepared pastries. I followed my nose, which led me to a cheese stand where I pulled up a chair to enjoy a beautiful plate of French cheese. They take food seriously at KaDeWe. and my selection of soft-ripened goat and sheep-milk cheese was served at room temperature, allowing all the subtle aromas and flavors to develop. Add a glass of Pinot Noir and a baguette, and it made for a decadent and satisfying treat in the middle of the day. If you go to Berlin, do yourself a favor, bring your appetite, and spend some time at KaDeWe Gourmet.