Whaaat? Ubercool Berlin can be all magical? Yes, but only if you look closer. My fave 10 gift ideas for any budget + 3 e-shops from big B.
While you sometimes just need that fancy glitzy thingy from overseas, ethical brownie points can be earned by discovering local artists and businesses that create, produce or discover amazing things for you.
You’ll find a lot of Berlin-made fashion brand compilations on the web, and you’ll find a lot of local restaurants and shops and exciting stuff on blogs by people who strive to be or are real Berlin insiders. However, this is a compilation of my personal favourites.
Not all of my picks are vegan or certified organic, but all are awesome, and fair, and made in Berlin.
#1 For a fancy lady or a house owner who have it all – or – surprise a vegan friend with a living plant
Who: Botanic Art
What: Excellent flowers and plant arrangements for decorating your home or for bouquets and other “green” presents.
My favourites: Christmas wreaths but also green gifts like these living succulents, arranged in a glass cube with golden pebbles and a Buddha candle (€25).
#2 For the design-loving friend with a green heart – or – for kids
Who: Schöner wär’s wenn’s schöner wär
What: Eco/fair furniture, stationary, gifts, design items, toys from Berlin-based and select manufacturers from abroad. Shop (Moritzplatz) and online shop.
Name roughly translates as “it would be nicer if it would be nicer”.
My favourite: „Berliner Stadtholz“, a lamp from a workshop in Berlin Neukölln, €109.
#3 For the elegant tea drinker
Who: Paper & Tea
What: A tea shop – or rather a tea space – in Berlin Charlottenburg. Sitting atop of the green and beautiful Savignyplatz, Paper & Tea offer select teas from all over the world as well as the most delicate tea stoneware from Japan and Taiwan (from artisanal workshops that pay fair wages – no China-made tea accessories here). Fantastical and the most imaginative handmade stationery tops off the selection.
My favourites: A 4.50€ cotton bag with this Sting line: „You drink coffee, I drink tea my dear“ and the Box of Original Scents (€18) to win and convert new tea drinking adepts. Mwahaha!
#4 For the TV, comic, and pop culture geek
What: Claire, the talented author of several heart-warming multilingual web comics depicting the complicated life of living between different cultures – Swedish, French, American and German – offers mini comic books from her own art and also accepts commissions from any fellow Sherlock geek, Whovian, or fan of Elementary, Monty Pythons, LOTR, HYMYM, Life on Mars, House…
My favourite: Funny limited offers like my personalised greeting card (picture below). Commissions start at €15.
#5 For the amateur chef – and for anyone with a sweet tooth you have presented with every chocolate out there already
Who: Martina Kabitsch’s Manufaktur von Blythen
What: Located at Schöneiche bei Berlin, merely a stone’s throw away from Müggelsee and the city limits, resides the „manufacture of flowers“. The name is the product: the range of this certified organic company comprises every- and anything you can craft from flowers. Violet sugar? Elder flower ratafia? Dried rose petals? Jasmin and plum chutney? A truly magical place, but I admit: I prefer to conveniently shop online.
My favourite: Culinary school classes – cooking with petals. I want to cook with petals and blossoms and rainbow clouds! Hellooooow, lavender chocolate truffles, have you just called my name?… €95 per person.
#6 For everyone who have laughed their butts off at Mark Twain’s dissection of the German language – for a friend who wants to settle in Berlin and work at a startup
What: Zoë and James run the stellar English language blog about Berlin and Berliners called, quite cleverly, überlin. They just published What I Know About Germans, their first book, written by Liv Hambrett and illustrated by Josh Bauman. Funny observations, adorable illustrations and a good dose of Denglish charm.
My favourite: Well, the book! 😉 Book €7.99, ebook €3.49, buy ->
#7 For fans of lush and cosy oriental styles
What: Social enterprise that produces most beautiful handmade leather goods in Morocco and fancy knits in Ecuador, partnering with rural communities and supporting their development. The store is located in the Kastanienalle in Berlin Prenzlauer Berg.
My favourite: Surprisingly affordable embroidered leather poufs, small (69€) and big (€99). With a tray, they transform into tables.
#8 For the Francophile in your life – or – a great hostess gift
Who: Makrönchen Manufaktur
What: Not to be confused with macaroons, macarons are the fine French pastry made of egg whites, sugar and almond flour, baked and assembled into finger-food-ish bites with delicious creme, both sweet and savoury. Laura, the founder of the Berlin Schöneberg-based company, has a secret recipe that involves less sugar than the French originals – but by no means less creativity. Her concoctions have attracted countless Berlin brides and event managers.
My favourite: The brand new sweet spreads that were initially made for filling the macarons. Proper genius! Available in Blonde Chocolate with Gingerbread Spice, White Chocolate With Poppy Seeds and Cranberries, Dark Valroha with Orange, Butter Caramel With Salt. €4.40 per jar (can be shipped nationally).
#9 For the true foodie, vegan or omnivore
Who: Vom Einfachen das Gute (link to Facebook page; name translates roughly as: “the good from the simple”)
What: From Berlin-made finest chocolate treats or select coffee to beer brewed in Berlin, this new deli located in the Invalidenstrasse collects the highest quality, organic or biodynamic oils, wines, but also meat specialties and cheese varieties from either local manufacturers or from specialists from abroad.
My favourites: Wild at heart espresso beans by Berlin roasters Tres cabezaz (€6.90), Pure bitter chocolate sticks with rock salt (7.20€) by Christoph Wolfarth Berlin; Lesbos early harvest olive oil (6.60€).
#10 For the lover of fashion illustration
Who: Vanessa from
Take only Memories
What: Vanessa’s unique painting style – fashionable, refined yet authentic – is truly enchanting. What has started with illustrating just for her own blog, quickly and surprisingly emerged into a new career. You better hurry now.
My favourite: “The Christmas lady”. Commissions price: upon request.
EXTRA: BERLIN-BASED ONLINE SHOPS
#1 i+m Naturkosmetik:
BDIH-certified organic, vegan and founded in Berlin by a real pioneer spirit some 36 years ago. Downside: national shipping only. This way to the online shop (German language).
A Dutch couple settled in Berlin and created a very beautiful and well-structured online shop and a beauty corner. My go-to source for leading green luxury brands from the US and Canada. Amazingy also plant a tree for each order. Shipping is worldwide.
This small Berlin-based design studio offers ecological letterpress stationery on FSC certified cardstock. The designs are enchanting; sweet, modern-day fairy tales. This way to their online shop on Dawanda. Delivery: Germany, UK, Austria, Switzerland.
As always: no affiliate links.
I hope that if you’re from Berlin, you have spotted something new for you or maybe found something for a friend who’s hard to please or “has it all”.
If you’re not from Berlin but love the city, maybe you’ll have fun visiting one of those with an online shop.
And if you couldn’t care less for Berlin, I hope that you may be inspired to discover your local artisans.