Many Weihnachtsmarkt or Christmas Markets are closed after December 26 but there are some Christmas Markets that are still open like Gendarmenmarkt, which we went to last night. I went there before Christmas but my one regret was not having the raclette cheese because we were too stuffed to eat any more. So we just had to go back and try other goodies. I love going as a group because we buy one specialty per store to share and we get to taste more seasonal treats! Get ready for some foodporn!
Christmas markets can be really crowded on evenings before Christmas. So a tip for those who don’t like crowded places is to come for late lunch (but you don’t get to enjoy the amazing lights) or come after Christmas day. Gendarmenmarkt is especially lovely in between gorgeous architectural landmarks which are also lit up.
Glühwein and Glög
Glühwein is mulled or warm wine usually made by heating up wine (never to boiling point or the alcohol will cook off) that has orange slices, cloves, etc. This warm wine really makes you feel all warm so it’s perfect for these cold winter days! There are different variations of Gluhwein from other parts of Europe, like Glögg (Scandinavian) or Glögli (Finnish). I tried their Glögg at the Gendarmenmarkt. It had Vanilla Vodka and came with a spoon to scoop the nuts and golden raisins inside. For Gluhwein, there is also the option of adding a shot of Vanilla Vodka for an extra Euro.
*GOOD TO KNOW: Glühwein is served in mugs which have a Pfand or deposit. So don’t be startled if, when it is time to pay, the amount sounds really expensive because it includes the Pfand, say around 3 € or so. You will see different shapes, sizes and designs of mugs all over Berlin and the great thing about it is if you want to take them home, you are free to forfeit the Pfand and you are the proud owner of a Christmas themed mug. How cool is that? I knowsomeone who likes to collect them.
Fried grated potato puffs (puffier than hash browns). Make sure to get it with Apfelmuss. Try it and tell me what you think? This is a new favourite of mine and I think the one in Gendarmenmarkt was better because it was crispier than the one in Schloss Charlottenburg. Just ask around the different stalls and they will point you to the direction of these lovelies!
Raclette is heaven for any cheese lover. We got it on toast with some secret spices. It is also available with ham and with potatoes instead of on top of bread)
Half-wheels of cheese are placed under “irons” that melt the cheese. The cheese is then scraped on to bread or whatever you choose to have your raclette with.
For cheese lovers there is a stall full of wheels of cheese and other specialties made with cheese.
Original Thüringer Rostbratwurst & Nackensteak
The Rostbratwurst is a porky piece of wurst that is served on delicious bread, that’s crusty on the outside and soft on the inside. TD loves the Nackensteak which is also served sandwich style. These are all cooked on a grill so the taste is delicious and smokey.
Wurst and Kraut
My favourite wurst in Gendarmenmarkt came from this stall. Delicious smaller wursts served with sauerkraut, 2 different kinds of mustard, horseradish and brown bread. Have a little of everything with each bite and it’s just a flavour explosion in your mouth.
White sauce on bread with ham and other toppings, similar to Flammkuchen but the dough is different and quite lovely. It is baked in a traditional oven like below.
This is another new treat that we discovered thanks to our German friend Alex. It’s a Hungarian Fried Bread which is rubbed with garlic and sprinkled with salt. For garlic lovers like us, it’s simple yet amazingly delicious!
These crepes are oozing with everyones favourite hazelnut spread and eaten with your hands. Take lots of napkins to white you face haha!
Turrone or Nougat
Turrone or Nougat is a tradition for TD’s mother who is Spanish. So we were delighted we are able to continue the tradition with some Italian turrones from the Christmas markets. I especially loved the soft version with almonds. They have so many different kinds and I also like the coffee nougat and the chocolate covered nougat with hazelnuts.
From the same turrone stall, we also loved the caramelised roasted nuts. We usually buy the roasted almonds, but we bought different kinds to take home last night. The caramel coated roasted hazelnuts are even better than the almonds! If you are not sure which you prefer yet they sell a mixed bag and you can try all the different kinds before buying a small or big bag.
Last night there was some fun entertainment with a band singing rock songs and the crowd dancing and singing along.
Indoor Dining Options
Personally I think indoor dining in a Christmas Market misses the point, but if you are cold then it’s a great way to take a warm break. Grab a Glühwein inside and in no time you will be warm enough to go back out and enjoy the festivities.
CLICK HERE if you would like to know what other Christmas Markets are still open for 2013. And if you go make sure to dress up really warm and have both hands free to carry your food and Glühwein! Happy New Years and I hope you are enjoying the holidays!