It’s always a bit of a shock to the wallet going to Western Europe after spending time in Central or Eastern Europe, where the prices are significantly lower.
Berliners swear their city is cheaper to live in than other European capitals, but while rents, utilities and transport might be lower – and we certainly found eating out in restaurants to be fairly affordable – unfortunately our grocery shop, below, was the same as those in Venice, Paris and Barcelona, give or take a euro or two.
There are two supermarkets within five-minutes walks, Kaiser’s (Furstenberger Str. 8 ) and REWE (Schonhausser All 36-39). Kaiser’s is slightly cheaper than REWE, though REWE is bigger and better, and is sort of like a cross between the UK’s Waitrose and the USA’s Whole Foods with an emphasis on organic produce and eco-friendly products.
REWE also produces their own products, from quality fresh pastas to fine contemporary chocolates, in flavours like chilli and cardamom. There’s a good deli section with a wide range of cheeses, cold cuts, smoked fish, fresh sauerkraut, and salads. The wine section is pretty good too and there’s a bewildering array of beers.
There’s a decent bakery section and while the bread is expensive, it could probably be the best bread you’ll ever have. Nobody makes bread like the Germans. They have truly perfected the art of breadmaking. There must be dozens of varieties and they’re all delicious, but I love all the heavy dark rye breads that are jammed with seeds and nuts.
While I love the shopping in Prenslauer Berg – the streets of the ’hood are lined with vintage clothes and furniture stores, record shops, bookstores, fashion boutique stocking Berlin labels, etc – there are actually very few specialty food shops, just a handful dotted around the neighbourhood.
Fortunately there is a farmer’s market on Kollwitzplatz on Thursdays and Saturdays, which has loads of stalls selling locally-sourced and organic produce including seafood, meat, fruit and veg, as well as olive oils, vinegars, preserves, etc, as well as sweets, crafts, and flowers. There are also plenty of food stalls selling everything from Bratwurst to kebabs. The Slow Travel Berlin site has a more detailed rundown of what’s on offer here.
|2 litre water||€0.80||£0.68||US$1.09|
|1 litre milk||€0.75||£0.64||US$1.02|
|Bottle of local wine||€6.00||£5.13||US$8.19|
|250g coffee beans||€4.00||£3.42||US$5.46|
|50 tea bags||€3.40||£2.91||US$4.64|
|1 kg sugar||€0.65||£0.56||US$0.89|
|Jar of jam||€1.50||£1.28||US$2.05|
|1 loaf of bread||€1.90||£1.62||US$2.59|
|250g quality butter||€1.60||£1.37||US$2.18|
|500 ml oil||€4.70||£4.02||US$6.41|
|1 doz organic eggs||€2.30||£1.97||US$3.14|
|1 kilo tomatoes||€2.00||£1.71||US$2.73|
|1 kilo onions||€1.70||£1.45||US$2.32|
|1 kilo apples||€2.00||£1.71||US$2.73|
|250 g pistachios||€3.50||£2.99||US$4.78|
|1 Pkt fresh sauerkraut||€1.35||£1.15||US$1.84|