You can’t get more Kreuzberg than this: not only is Klinke right in the middle of it all between Oranienplatz and Kotti, but at the helm are three real Kreuzbergers. Siblings Jette, Lilo and Moritz grew up on Schlesi and are no strangers to Berlin’s restaurant world, having run Mirika near Moritzplatz for several years. The trio found their second location through a childhood acquaintance, who hooked them up with a cafe owner who was giving up his joint. The corner space now shines with new splendour thanks to trained designer Lilo, who has transformed the place into a sophisticated yet casual bistro which retains the vibe of the down-to-earth pub it replaces. Wooden chairs and floors create a warm and uncomplicated look, while the spherical lights and marble counter lend cosmopolitan elegance. Food wise, it’s a similar story with attractively constructed German small plates to share.
This sharing philosophy means it’s best to come to Klinke with several good friends. It’s particularly practical if, like me, you rarely prepare German dishes at home or have friends from overseas visiting. During our visit, we particularly enjoyed the crispy fish croquettes, the tender fried chicken and the cucumber salad as a refreshing addition. Many of the ingredients in these dishes are organic, while the bread and meat come from regional partners (the latter from Havelland). Despite this selection, we didn’t accompany our food with German beer – opting instead for summery, light drinks perfect for outdoor dining. From autumn onwards, Klinke will open its indoor space for cozy gastropub-style dinners and drinks, though you are just as welcome to drop in for lunch to try the simple weekly menu. While the weather allows, grab a seat on the terrace for a slice of Bienenstich and make a toast to Kreuzberg, the Kiez which never gets boring. Speaking of which, the district features in almost every detail: even Klinke’s plates, which are made by a local ceramic artist, are modelled on Viktoriapark. As I said: you can’t get more Kreuzberg than this.
Text: Nina Trippel / Photos: Kateryna Firsova