It was a day in June 2012 when I was able to fulfill a life dream. I was on my way back from a wedding in Munich with some friends when we spotted a rest stop on the freeway to Berlin that was extremely full of snacks: Burger King and McDonald’s, both in the same place. Twice later, I had a puffy Double Whopper from Burger King and a bag of perfectly sticky McDonald’s fries in my arms – a dream come true.
I feel the same this June morning. I start my work week with greed – it’s 11 a.m. when I go from Potsdamer Platz to the BLZ office. In my hand: a bag with about two kilos of fries inside. little Brammibal’s, little Dunkin ‘Donuts – what time to be alive! Only this time it’s not the perfect combination as I did at the Burger King McDonald’s parking lot. Today the opposites that matter to me: Brammibal’s or Dunkin ‘- who makes the best donuts in Berlin?
Dunkin ‘Donuts is the international leading dog. The US chain was founded in 1950 and now has approximately 120,000 employees worldwide and more than 20,500 branches. So it’s not a light weight that Brammibal’s is struggling with.
The Berlin-based donut start-up donut, which only offers rings for vegan fats, was founded only in 2015. So far, the six branches have been limited to the company’s birthplace. But here are some Brammibal donuts: Brammibal, Brammibal, Brammibal – I can hardly hear anything else! It is time for a direct comparison in five categories.
In terms of location spread, Dunkin ‘Donuts have the clear advantage. It is also clear – since January 2022, the donut chain has 66 branches in Germany, 17 of them in Berlin alone. Whether Spandau or Steglitz, Kreuzberg, Mitte or Charlottenburg – the next Dunkin ‘Donuts are never too far away. Arriving at one of the branches, however, does not always offer an attractive picture: Many Dunkin ‘Donuts stores look badly like shacks with a fat franchise. Here you would definitely rather pick up your rings decorated with icing sugar than eat them on the spot. This is not even possible at many branches, as Dunkin ‘Donuts operates several train station cabins.
It’s completely different at Brammibal’s: Almost all six branches are designed to stay. Bright, airy rooms, modern wooden stools and benches, plus concrete floors and lots of plants – start-ups in Berlin look like the capital’s classic hipster café. For example, the architects Flachsbarth Schultz were in charge of a branch in Neukölln. Brammibal’s are always more beautiful than any Dunkin ‘Donuts store. And: The young company even operates a bench at the chic KaDeWe. Dunkin ‘Donuts will not be able to do this soon.
1: 0 for Brammibal’s!
Interestingly, the boxes from Brammibal’s and Dunkin ‘Donuts look suspicious – which can only mean that Berlin’s much younger start-up inspired the international mega-company. A colorful world of bright pink and orange, a screaming presentation in the style of the seventies – there are some commonalities in the logos, boxes and cups of the two suppliers. While Dunkin ‘Donuts is almost entirely limited to its own logo when designing its boxes, the Brammibal box is decorated with a depiction of a hidden object.
The faceless figures hold up the circular donuts, the graphic forms result in their body, clothes and hairstyles. the company logo is kept in relatively narrow lower case. Not bad, but pretty much close to the Berlin hipster cliché. The packaging from Dunkin ‘Donuts, on the other hand, is a bit more down-to-earth, more honest: The letters on the logo, which match the product range, are extremely bold, large and rounded, stylized donuts with colorful sprays and bite marks , a graphically designed pink cup of coffee – this is all you need for Dunkin ‘Donuts. And anyway: the Americans had already cultivated the pink and orange look of the seventies before the Berliners.
Dunkin ‘Donuts draw 1-1!
This category should really be fairly easy to evaluate. Besides, the six-pack from Brammibal’s costs 17 euros and the one from Dunkin ‘Donuts only 12.50 euros. In fact: Because with the US provider, not all donut options are included in the price of the six packs. If you want to bring a so-called “deluxe donut” to the sugar set, you will have to pay an extra 1.40 euros. Absolutely manageable, of course, in the end I pay 13.90 euros for the six-pack from Dunkin ‘Donuts. The issue with extra charge is not really customer friendly.
And anyway: It is noteworthy that the two donut shops are in quite a similar price range. After all, Brammibal’s is a much smaller company that does not use ready-mixes and only produces in German bakeries, uses only vegan products and has been certified as completely climate neutral since this year. All of this is probably not the case with Dunkin ‘Donuts – paying a little extra for so much quality and locality at Brammibal’s should be on paper.
Brammibal’s is ahead again with 2: 1!
The size of the selection at Brammibal’s or Dunkin ‘Donuts can not be determined precisely – it is very likely that Dunkin’ offers different varieties in the 36 countries where the company currently operates branches than here. In addition, the US chain always offers extra holiday amenities. Orange pumpkin donuts for Halloween, Christmas sweets with cinnamon and all that. One thing is for sure: Brammibal’s lists 14 types of donuts on its website, Dunkin ‘Donuts has 15 – but I already have some in the Potsdam Platz branch of The Show not mentioned online.
Some overlaps are noteworthy: Boston Creme, Cinnamon Sugar and Strawberry Sprinkles, for example, are available at both donut shops – something similar to the packaging design could mean that Brammibal copied some of Dunkin ‘Donuts . Well, yes, creative freedom has its limits in the bakery sector. It is somewhat clear that both providers have pink strawberry frosting with colorful sprays. While Brammibal’s wants to stand out with highly creative creations such as Matcha Coconut, Passionfruit Filled or Strawberry Pretzel, it lacks the authentic donut: the regular light icing. A blunder that Dunkin ‘Donuts does not make. Here the classic is simply called Glazed.
2-2 is 2-2!
Now let’s deal! I brought two packages of six from Potsdamer Platz, one from Brammibal’s on Alte Potsdamer Strasse, one from Dunkin ‘Donuts at Sony Center. Of course, the fat test rings should be as similar as possible, so a Cinnamon Sugar, a Strawberry Sprinkles and a Boston Creme ended up in my box at both Brammibal’s and Dunkin ‘Donuts. also from Brammibal Matcha Coconut, Bienenstich and Tiramisu, from Dunkin ‘Donuts also Triple Chocolate, Salted Caramel and Bavarian cream. I blindly try the corresponding varieties and I can immediately assign them to the right manufacturer – you can just try out the vegan variations.
Vegan creams are less velvety, a little tighter and all have a similar taste, a little milder. In addition, Brammibal donuts are sometimes much sweeter. Especially with Matcha Coconut, the sugar really crumbles between your teeth. On the other hand, Berlin donuts, which are a little bigger and bulkier due to the manual work he does for them, are significantly more airy and loose.
Dunkin dough is more compact, but no less soft and juicy. At Brammibal’s you can try the individual ingredients. You can clearly taste that there are more natural ingredients in Berlin donuts. But do I want that? After we tried all twelve donuts – oh! – I’m convinced: No, I do not want it very much. I do not go to the donut shop looking for something fresh, natural, but for the complete opposite. And I still find this with Dunkin ‘Donuts.
We have a winner, baby – Dunkin ‘Donuts just won, but clearly 3: 2.