The best focaccia in Berlin has its home at Focacciosa. It is located at 13 Holteistraße, in the Friedrichshain district; it is open from Monday to Saturday, both for lunch and dinner.
Nicola Centrone is the owner; he is 28, he was born and raised in Berlin but he spent many years in Ischia (Italy) where he fell in love with Neapolitan cuisine and in particular with focaccia. “In Germany focaccia is not so popular; Italian cuisine has so much left to do here. Anyway it is a pleasure for me to be one of the Italian cuisine representatives in Berlin. The most important thing is respecting tradition and ingredients. In Italy every region has its own focaccia; my focaccia is basically a mix of Genoese focaccia and traditional Italian pizza: it has a crispy base and a softer upper part. We only use Italian and quality ingredients; leavening needs 24 hours and it happens at room temperature.”
Focacciosa menu consists of not only focaccia but also different kinds of pasta such as ragu lasagne, spinach and ricotta cannelloni and rigatoni with broccoli; you could also find different kinds of salads. White focaccia and bread are homemade. Here you could enjoy a lunch or a dinner with typical Italian tablecloths made of paper, tap water (not obvious in German restaurants) and a pleasant home atmosphere.
A slice of focaccia costs 1,90€, if you take 3 slices of focaccia it’s 5,20€ and 22€ for the whole baking tray. Pasta dishes and salads are about 5€ and 6€. Sometimes Nicola’s mother prepares a delicious tiramisu. “We never serve industrial food, the most important thing for us is recipes and flavours authenticity. More and more German people are starting loving Italian quality food, understanding that eating well is an essential element of life. We also serve cocktails, for example every Fridays during summer we offer Aperol Spritz for just 3,80€.”
“I was raised in Kreuzberg. My mother is from Ischia, my father is from Santeramo in Colle (Apulia); they knew each other in Italy and when my father found a job in Berlin they moved here. I started working in the food service industry at the age of 13, I used to sell ice-creams in Kreuzberg and then I started working as a waiter in Ischia. On July 2015 I opened my own restaurant, the “Focacciosa.” “How does it fell to be a native German/Italian now that Italian immigration to Germany has increased a lot?” “As an Italian person I feel sad, but as a Berliner I feel very happy about it. Italians could teach a lot to Germans, but also Italians could learn a lot from them. Here the internationality of the city is seen as a pride; anyway it’s enough to move from Berlin to see how mentality changes. In a medium-long term period Italian immigration could be seen in a bad way. We hope it won’t happen; Italians and Germans have much in common. I’m going to be a dad soon, my girlfriend is Italian too but we’ve decided to deliver the baby here in Germany. I’m proud of my origins but I respect Germany too.”
Holteitstrasse 13, 10245 Berlin
Open Monday to Saturday, from 10 am to 10 pm (from 10th August to 31st August open from 10 am to 5 pm)
Happy hour on Friday – Spritz + focaccia for just 5 euro
Translation edited by: Giacomo Martella