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Melzer has a slightly more sober take on the situation. “The reason it feels like so much is happening here is because we were starting from almost nothing,” he said. His point is well taken: Berlin’s Jewish community is still a fraction of what it was before World War II, and decades later, the wounds of the past are still freshly felt. But tucking into a slice of creamy mohnkuchen, poppy seed cake, at Kaedtler or spooning up the kugel at Beth Café, one tastes a bit of healing with every bite.
Leah Koenig writes a monthly column on food and culinary trends. Contact her at email@example.com.
Where to Eat in Berlin (*denotes kosher certification)
Barcomi’s Café A café and bakery with two retail locations, serving coffee and espresso drinks, New York-style bagels and cheesecake, cinnamon rolls and other pastries.
Beth Café* Eastern European classics (gefilte fish, kugel), a few Middle Eastern dishes served in a cozy space with antique furniture, rows of teapots, and photos of Shlomo Carlebach. Kosher pantry items are also available.
Kaedtler Bakery* A traditional German bakery founded in 1935, that had many of its breads and pastries certified kosher in 2002.
The Kosher Classroom* Located in a converted classroom at Berlin’s historic Jewish Girls School, they serve elegant, kosher Friday night dinners and Sunday brunch.
Luigi Zuckermann This sandwich shop, run by Israeli Udi Cohen, serves both Italian-style deli meats and pastrami.
MANI This sleek, upscale restaurant, located in the MANI Hotel, serves French-style cuisine with a focus on Israeli and Middle Eastern ingredients.
Mogg & Melzer A Jewish delicatessen serving pastrami, pickles, matzo ball soup and cheesecake (as well as more inventive dishes like red kuri squash salad, and a lentil, avocado and chipotle sandwich).
Ruben & Carla Also owned by Udi Cohen, this shop is a pastrami bar during the day and serves tagliata (Italian-style roast beef) at night.
Sababa This Israeli-owned restaurant serves hummus, shakshuka, and schnitzel.
Zula This Israeli-owned café serves many varieties of hummus, as well as soups and different salads.