Peggy Schatz finds fine foods and good vibes at Boxhagener Platz’s Saturday Food Market…
There are almost as many food markets in Berlin as there are districts – each one embedded in its Kiez like a pearl. There are big, shiny ones like the ones on Kollwitzplatz in Prenzlauer Berg and Winterfeldtplatz in Schoeneberg, plus smaller ones that are barely noticed and some wonderfully unique ones in between.
One of the best known – and most-loved – markets in Friedrichshain takes place every Saturday on Boxhagener Platz, known also for its Sunday flea market. The action on a Saturday revolves less around discounted vinyl, jewellery and vintage curiosities and more around quality food, supplemented by a smattering of mostly second hand clothing stalls.
The culinary offerings are undoubtedly the main draw: a recent visit revealed a diverse and wonderful spread of ingredients from giant tomatoes, wild garlic, king oyster mushrooms, rhubarb and pots of herbs to artichokes, broccoli, asparagus (imported), leeks, multiple types of potatoes, fresh raspberries, papaya, pumpkins and avocados, not to mention stalls hawking fresh water fish, smoked meat and sausage, eggs, cheese, mustard, honey, specialities from the Spreewald and Thuringia…
At ‘Einklang’ we found fresh wild garlic growing out of a water-filled stainless steel basin; a father and daughter team presented their pesto variations (wild garlic pesto, walnut pesto etc.), each one more delicious than the last.
Two men from ‘La Bruschetta’ were beaming with pride as they sliced a giant loaf of bread, grilled the slices and slathered them with – among other things – grilled vegetables, tomato, parmesan and fine olive oil.
There were ketchup and sauces ranging from mild to “owa” and sour at Eckart (I enjoyed the mango sauce the best, although the sauces were, for the most part, too sweet for my tastes); a stand with more than 100 types of liquorice (if you like that kind of thing); a plethora of jams at Bock & Gardener, homemade tarts and quiches at ‘Tartes de Tom’ and American snacks from Stacey at ‘Got Dessert?’. We even found some pretty crockery at ‘Mago Keramik’ and ‘Meine Freundin’.
The goods at the Saturday market and the thoughtful way they’re presented are in stark contrast to Friedrichshain’s reputation as a grungy hangout for the disaffected, appealing to a broader, more inclusive mix of students, families and tourists.
In fact the abundance of lounging and playing space makes it very suitable for families, and with plenty of restaurants, cafes (like Datscha, Macondo or Kaufbar) and shops (Cupcake or Proviant for example) scattered throughout the streets surrounding the Platz, it’s easy to spend a good few hours here shopping and browsing…
All images by Peggy Schatz
Wochenmarkt am Boxhagener Platz (Market on Boxhagener Platz)
Grünberger Str. / Gärtnerstr.
Every Sat: 8-14.30