The sweet welcoming gelato next door
Located right by the canal, Gelateria Tosoni has the people and authentic Italian-style ice cream that puts a smile on your face
Tucked between two residential buildings on the south side of the canal, no matter if you’re in the mood for a quiet break or have a chill chat with friends and family, Gelateria Tosoni is the go-to hangout spot in addition to your gelato needs.
We had a chance to sit down with Beate, the lovely lady who runs Gelateria Tosoni. At first, we thought the chat couldn’t happen due to language constraints (she doesn’t speak much English and we are still operating on baby-Deutsch level), though Anna, who’s also working at the shop came to the rescue, joined the conversation with us and did the translation. (Thanks Anna!)
How did you get into ice cream making?
Beate: I’m from Poland, with Polish and Italian backgrounds, and I lived in Italy for many years before moving to Berlin, the city I’ve been living in for 18 years. I learned ice cream making in Italy, and I was working at Hotel Continental as a pastry chef, baking pastries and cakes after I moved to Berlin. Later I got an offer to import ice cream, and run a shop here, and I said yes. It’s from this Italian couple I know that has a shop in Italy, and they wanted to open a shop here in Berlin, so the way make ice cream is the Italian way.
What is life like as you run this ice cream shop?
B: Sometimes when it’s hot in the summer and lots of people come, we would run out, so some of us need to be in the kitchen and make more ice cream. It gets pretty crazy! Also, I still go back to Italy every year to learn new ways of making ice cream, so every few months we’ll come up with new flavors to add to the menu.
Who are the people that come to the shop? Are they mostly returning customers or mainly tourist?
B: Everyone that lives on this street knows us, and they come with their kids all the time, so when we reopened after the renovation earlier this year, they came up to us and said they were so happy! Besides, we do events for kids, for example, today we just had a birthday party for a seven-year-old, where the kids made their own ice cream in the kitchen, enjoyed it with the cake in the shop with the other kids, and took the ice cream that they made home. It was really nice. Some of the parents jokingly said they wanted to make ice cream for their birthdays, too. (Laughs) In all seriousness, we can also host ice cream parties for adults!
Since you’ve been running the shop for a while now, what are some of the memorable moments on the top of your head?
B: Like I mentioned earlier, hosting parties for kids and seeing them enjoying their time here. Also, people keep coming back, and they bring their family, they chat with us, and it’s really great that our customers see us as friends. It's always a nice atmosphere, where the kids play and eat in the back, and we sit outside with the parents just chatting.
Anna: There’s this old guy that comes almost every other two days, he lives five minutes away, always gets either strawberry or chocolate with whip cream on top, talks a lot, like he knows every single place in this area.
Where did you have the best ice cream? It doesn’t matter if it’s in Berlin or not.
A: About 2 years ago, my friends and I were in Italy for vacation, and we were searching for food in this town close to Verona. It was around 8 pm and most of the stores were already close because it’s a small local town and it’s not touristy at all. Just when we were about to give up, we saw this ice cream shop that was still open, so we just walked in, and it ended up being one of the best ice cream I’ve had. There was this old Italian guy that didn’t speak much English, but was super energetic and friendly, and there was his wife who made the ice cream. The pistachio ice cream I had was so good! Later on, the couple and their son and daughter took us to dinner, and we had a really nice time together.
(During the conversation, we found out Anna happens to be one of the rare native Berliners!)
As a Berlin native, what do you like most about Berlin?
A: Berlin is so different from other cities in Germany. Here you have a mix of so many cultures, and you get to meet very different people everyday. Also, people are here so open-minded, especially the people in this neighborhood. They’re doing so many things together, like there was this community project in Kreuzberg at this small garden close to here, right in front of Netto, where all the people who live close by, including the kids and adults, came together, cleaned up the garden, built a fence, and planted sunflowers. Even though there are already lots of green in Berlin, people are still planting more trees and flowers.
🍴What to expect here?
Come for: A hangout with some cappucino overlooking the canal
Stay for: A taste of Italy in a cone or in a glass with fruits and whip cream
Planufer 92 D, 10967 Berlin