Text Size


Notes from Berlin: KaDeWe

Kadewe wurst

BERLIN - The official name is Kaufhaus des Westens but nearly everyone calls it simply KaDeWe. Indeed, the shortened name is all that shows on the side of the seven-story department store, the second largest in Europe after Harrod’s.

The first five stories of KaDeWe (kah-day-vay) hold the typical fashion and design elements found in any upscale department store, in Europe or the States. But it’s the top two floors that make it unique -- and a must-do destination for any foodies visiting Berlin. Those levels are designated almost entirely to food and wine, with dozens of small service counters, each representing a cuisine or food specialty. If you've been to Harrod's food stalls you'll have an idea of the concept and quality but not the scale. KaDeWe's food floors dwarf Harrod's.

You’ll find Asian, French, Italian, seafood -- fresh fish or an oyster raw bar -- cheese, charcuterie, desserts and much, much more. More than two dozen in all, along with prepared foods, gourmet items and even a produce department. Many are branded and operated by others. When I visited for New Year’s in 2011, I ate at the Paul Bocuse counter. This time, Bocuse was gone.

Kadewe cheese

We weren’t able to settle for just one choice, so we began with a plate of three cheeses and a glass of wine at the cheese counter. The orange and waxy mimolette and Comte were delicious, but the cantal was just so so.

For our mains, we chose the German stall -- It’s Berlin, for crying out loud -- and found a place to eat at one of the large windows overlooking Tauentzienstrasse below. A couple of plates of wurst -- one with potato salad, one with sauerkraut -- and two glasses of beer made for a full feast.Kadewe lobster

On the top floor is an extraordinary array of foods in an area unjustly called the buffet. True, it is a sort of experience where you wander among the various types of prepared foods and help yourself to whatever looks yummy (which is pretty much all of it). But it’s unlikely you’ve ever encountered a buffet like this anywhere else. Lobsters, prawns, steaks, roasts, casseroles, all arrayed gorgeously and enticingly in the bright open space. Thirsty? Help yourself to a flute of Veuve Cliquot. You’ll have a hard time keeping yourself from loading your plate, but beware: most of the items are sold by weight.

Kadewe veuve

Another caution: before deciding where you really want to grab a bite, make an effort to wander the entire space. I learned that lesson after the first visit. Although the Paul Bocuse experience was good, I found at least four others I would have rather tried if only I had seen them first. Also, bear in mind that these are actual food counters with high stool seats. Protocol is that if there is an open stool you may just grab it and have a seat.

KaDeWe is at Tauentzienstrasse 21-24, A Wittenbergplatz, Berlin. Here’s a link to the KaDeWe website, but its info on food stalls is lacking. Still, you’ll want to refer to it for hours of operation and directions. (The U1 stop is just outside the front door.)

Kadewe dining

Related Articles/Posts
STP - Sloppy Taco Palace, Created by Scott JosephSTP - Sloppy Taco Palace...
You might expect one thing from a place that refers to itself as STP. You’d definitely expect another once you knew that the initials stand for Sloppy Taco Pa...
Last Chance to Save on Reading Between the Wines Tickets, Created by Scott JosephLast Chance to Save on Reading Between the Wines Tickets...
Today is the last day to get the advance-purchase “early bird” rates for this year’s Reading Between the Wines event. Click this link to go to the RBTW websit...
Pairing Wine with Food This Spring, Created by Andres MontoyaPairing Wine with Food This Spring...
  Cabernet Sauvignon, such as this BonAnno from the Wine Barn, complements spiced rack of lamb or grilled game.Spring is just around the corner and pairin...
Outriggers Tiki Bar & Grille, Created by Scott JosephOutriggers Tiki Bar & Grille...
At first glance, Outriggers Tiki Bar & Grille has a cheesy familiarity. The decor has a plasticized newness that lacks any style or soul. But there’s muc...
Olea Mezze Grill, Created by Scott JosephOlea Mezze Grill...
Greek is the latest cuisine to be given the assemblage trope. Olea Mezze Grill is a new fast feeder in Maitland that uses the same conveyor line method as su...


0 #2 BG 2013-05-29 10:10
The world's a great expanse - thanks for sharing. I'm off to Berlin for the 5th time in a few weeks.

I'm sure this site largely caters for Orlando, but is it going to kill you to learn that there's something outside of Florida?!
0 #1 Local Yokel 2013-05-22 18:35
Not sure why this is here. I thought this website was about dining in Central Florida, but maybe it's becoming a travel site? Wish to learn more about restaurants at home. There are plenty of travel sites and one can only wonder how many readers here are planning a trip to Berlin.

Add comment

Security code

Sunday, 20th April 2014

What is a Flog?

A flog is a food blog with news and reviews of restaurants. Here you'll find all things edible, lots of things to drink, including expert wine advice, and lots of other stuff.

Scott's Newsletter

Please register to the site before you can sign for a list.
No account yet? Register