A popular weekly farmers market in Prenzlauer Berg’s pretty Kollwitzplatz…
Kollwitzplatz is today one of Prenzlauer Berg’s best-known and (arguably) most attractive squares. Named after the famed artist Käthe Kollwitz, whose work reveals it to have once been home to the city’s impoverished and downtrodden, it was one of the first areas to be gentrified when the Wall fell in 1989.
You’d never guess at the area’s working class roots as you stroll around the leafy, cobbled streets today, admiring the refurbished Altbauten, watching families play in the trio of playgrounds that make up half the square (specifically built for kids of differing ages) and exploring the multitude of cafes, bars and boutiques that surround it.
Though Kollwitzplatz is always fairly vibrant, Saturdays is an especially popular day thanks to the extensive farmers market that runs along the Kollwitzstraße side (and a little into Wörther Straße), offering everything from seasonal fruit and veg to flowers, deli food and home-made arts and crafts.
The specific stalls are prone to change, but you can always find organic butchers, fish vendors, sweet sellers, clothes makers and a slew of reliable folk selling specialist items like Nudel & Co’s wide variety of fresh, hand-made pastas, Martin Franz’s boutique chocolates and a variety of home-made oils, jams and other lecker delicacies from Germany and beyond.
Like all good food markets, this one will probably make you feel peckish before long. Luckily there’s lots to eat and drink auf der Hand, from good coffee and fresh juices to falafels, fish Brötchen, waffles and Bratwurst. One particular highlight are the chirpy duo who serve up fresh wok-fried king prawns (from Asia) and oysters or mussels (from France) with a glass of wine or Prosecco. Don’t worry about missing it – the delicious smell will stop you in your tracks.
Prices tend to vary. Farmers markets have a reputation for being expensive, but much of the fruit and veg here isn’t any pricier than in the supermarkets and it’s generally fresher and certainly more locally sourced. You’ll obviously pay for more for the chic treats—but that’s precisely why they’re treats.
You should be forewarned that the Saturday market is deservedly popular nowadays and can get almost uncomfortably busy in the summer months. One trick is to get there nice and early (it opens from 9am onwards) before the lunch & brunch crowd arrive. Another alternative is to visit the smaller and less well known organic market on Thursdays. It’s quieter and probably the best place to browse a superior range of olive oils, jams and honey etc.
If you do arrive on Saturday and find it already too bustling for your liking, you can also take a stroll north to Helmholtzplatz’s market, which is held on the Lychenerstr. side of the square. Here you can find good meat and fish vendors, cheese stalls, plenty of fruit and veg, flowers and more. It’s open from 9am-4pm or so, and nearby places that might interest you include the cafe Wohnzimmer, the Slow Food deli Goldhahn & Sampson and – for families – the welcoming kindercafe Kiezkind.