I realise this might well be considered the wrong end of the summer to be writing about ice cream, but it’s been a long, hard couple of months of research (honest) and I’m not going to relegate this post to my drafts just because there’s a grey cloud and a splash of rain. Or a massive electric thunderstorm.
Just because it’s utterly miserable outside, it doesn’t mean we have to stop eating delicious, sweet, frozen stuff: the Germans certainly aren’t going to stop serving it. Those thick, warm blankets are appearing on chairs outside cafés for a reason, you know, so get your hat and gloves on and tuck in to a nice big bowl of ice cold Eis.
1. Dulce: Langgasse 27
Dulce have quite the list of franchises these days, but this little shop on the corner of Langasse and Goldgasse doesn’t really feel like part of a chain. I’ll admit I’m not a huge fan of their chocolate; and I’ve never tried their cake. They do a pretty good hot white chocolate; and I can highly recommend their waffles. But what I think Dulce do best is their homemade sorbet and ice cream (so stick a scoop of Chai Tea on that waffle). Yes, you can sit yourself down and order a annoying-shaped bowl piled high with squirty cream and 20 different kinds of sprinkles or sauces, but in my opinion you can’t do better than perusing their blackboard for a couple of scoops to combine in a cup (or a cone). Dulce have quite the impressive list of flavours to mull over, from cookies and cream to fresh banana, nut brittle to Riesling sorbet, but my favourite combination is a bit of a classic: one scoop of strawberry sorbet and another of Grand Marnier chocolate. Whatever you plump for, I promise it’s well worth the wait in the inevitably lengthy queue. And without flavourings and colourings or too much sugar, it’s as guilt-free an ice cream as you’re probably going to get. Top marks, Dulce.
2. Eiscafé Cortina, Dotzheimerstrasse 77
A bit further out of town is the family-run Eiscafé Cortina. They have a huge array of ice creams and sorbets on offer behind their enormous glass counter: Snickers (sweet and salty – my favourite), Nutella, buffalo milk, Stracciatella; you name it, it’s waiting to be generously scooped out of its tub and crammed into a cone. Cortina’s ice cream is lip-smackingly good. And it’s cheap. Which is why, throughout the summer and despite the fact that it’s located on a busy main road (with a life-sized model cow on the roof), you’ll always find the place buzzing, both inside and out. The terrace is always packed with small children (and grown-ups) staring in awe at their vast, looming towers of ice cream and fresh fruit; and there’s always a queue at the counter that snakes astonishingly far down the street. People actually drive to Eiscafé Cortina for their weekend ice cream fix; you can actually have your ice cream wrapped up in paper to take away. So, I’m presumably not the only person who’d recommend it. Gold star.
3. Café Wenzel, Goldgasse 10
Number 3 on my list is a surprise late entry and a seriously guilty pleasure. I was utterly disappointed by Café Wenzel when I lunched there a few months ago, but since it occupies such a lovely spot in Wiesbaden’s cobbled old town, it’s hard to resist giving it a second chance – especially for a bowl of ice cream on a sunny weekend afternoon. The Kunterbunt is the kids’ option on the list, and given that it comprises a generous scoop of Mövenpick strawberry ice cream (with chunks of frozen fruit), a heap of squirty cream, a good scattering of sugary sprinkles and smarties (SMARTIES!!) and a decorative stick featuring a cartoon creature, I should probably have felt slightly embarrassed to order it. But I was ill and feeling terribly sorry for myself and do you know what, I am not in the least bit ashamed of myself for having ordered a Kunterbunt because it was utterly delicious; and I suggest if you’re ever need a bit of cheering up with something sweet and cold and comforting, you treat yourself to it, too. Good work, Wenzel.
So, there we have it. My top three Wiesbaden ice creams. It’s a short list, so what did I miss off?!
p.s. Speaking of ice cold, delicious guilty pleasures… have you ever tried Spaghetti Eis?