The phrase “Berlin’s best hot chocolate” had us hopping on the metro and in search of the world’s largest chocolate store. Fassbender & Rausch is Berlin’s oldest chocolate shop; Heinrich Fassbender first opened a chocolate store in 1863. Wilhelm Rausch followed, opening his own very successful shop in 1918, and in 1999 these two master chocolatier families came together to form Fassbender & Rausch Chocolatiers at the Gendarmenmarkt.
Still a family business with Jürgen Rausch at the helm of the flagship store, the two story chocolate shop and cafe overlooks the Gendarmenmarkt. Regarded as fine enough to supply the royal court, the cafe was the perfect spot for Tim and I to escape the cold and snow for a bit (and have a little birthday dessert)!
Visitors tend to be lured into the ground floor shop and miss the second floor cafe and chocolate restaurant. We hopped in the elevator and headed straight upstairs to the cafe to indulge our sweet tooth. The menu boasts no less than 10 kinds of hot chocolate, some like hot chocolate with chili or orange essence. Tim chose a whole milk hot chocolate with espresso, amaretto, and cream.
While Tim read over the almost poetic menu, deliciously describing the hot chocolate and cakes, the 16 types of cakes at the counter caught my eye. I picked out a little pink striped chocolate cake topped with a cherry. While the drinking chocolate with Maraschino liquor, Cointreau, and cream sounded absolutely delicious, I thought all that chocolate might be a bit much. Always a fan of loose leaf teas, I chose a pot of Roobios Hot Chocolate Tea with my cake.
Our cakes were practically art: cherry with yogurt and an almond mouse wrapped in cherry chocolate for me and tiramisu wrapped in dark chocolate and topped with grated dark chocolate for Tim. Chocolate heaven on a little plate!
Tummies full of chocolately goodness, we checked out the ground floor chocolate shop. It was like entering Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Room! A chocolate volcano erupted little spurts of molten chocolate and all of Berlin’s landmarks were there in chocolate: the Brandenburg Gate, the TV Tower, and the Reichstag. An A380 airplane soared above and an intricate Fabergé egg stood amongst a field of chocolate rabbits.
There’s plenty more of not-just-eye-candy with rows of truffles and pralines lining the shelves. Europe’s longest truffle counter is enticing and we couldn’t help but notice the Rausch Plantagen Chocolate map on the wall. In production since 2000, individual plantations in exotic locations like Trinidad, Ecuador, Peru, Costa Rica, Venezuela, Madagascar, and Papua New Guinea are engaged in ecologically sound cocoa production and maintain the standard of quality outlined in the Rausch cacao manual. We bought a sampler box from the plantations around the world (Madagascar was my favorite!).
We found the chocolates to be reasonably priced and they make a great gift! The shop also sells the delicious loose leaf Roobios hot chocolate tea in 100 gram bags and I’m happy enjoying a pot as I write this post.
Know Before You Go
- The Fassbender & Rausch Chocolate Cafe is open Monday – Sunday from 11am – 8pm; the Chocolate Shop is open Monday – Saturday from 10am – 8pm and Sundays 11am – 8pm
- Fassbender & Rausch is located at Charlottenstraße 60; U-Bahn: Stadtmitte
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