Italian in Berlin: Karloff

Karloff is a tiny space, 14 seats inside only, fitted into a neat square space, that not only holds the tables and chairs, but the wine shelfs and even the kitchen. A perfect use of space with a cosy yet stylish atmosphere, all done by the owner itself, Achille Farese. Don Farese, as the guy who looks through the small window facing Reichenberger Straße, calls him late at night, when we’re munching our second dessert. And a good name it is, because he’s a master host, making sure all guests leave with happy bellies and, or stay for another drink long after the last course was served. And about that food! The tastiest ingredients come together for a simple Italian meal boosting with flavor. For a mere 19,- for four courses!

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Karloff’s menu is strictly seasonal, made of several sfizi, or snacks – starting with montanara, small, fried pizzas with cherry tomatoes and parmesan – that looks a bit pale on the picture but was actually crisp and excellent. We continue to feast on excellent tomatoes from Sorrento with buffalo milk mozzarella and aromatic basil  – a dish so simple, it needs the finest of produce to work. A fact many gastronomies putting it on their menu easily forget, hence offering blandness all over. Not at this place, Achille is a painstaking perfectionist and very opinionated when it comes to ingredients and produce – which is so necessary for Italian cooking.
We then went on to enjoy zucchini with grottone cheese, and aromatic melanzane served three ways.

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Since we enjoyed most of our dinner outside, it was too dark to photograph the last two courses – after ten we switched to a table inside for dessert. Two desserts, in fact, because one can never have too much sweets. At a previous dinner here I very much enjoyed their own take on tiramisu. The classic is freshly assembled and super delicious, but sadly was already out that night, a fact that brought us almost to tears, if it hadn’t been for the three semifreddos Don Farese brought us: pistachio, raspberry and white chocolate, and nocciola, all house made, with the pistachio being all our favorite.
And then a stunner of a millefoglie filled with creme patisserie and intense fresh strawberries, that made us very, very happy.

And you can trust Don Farese when it comes to the wine list, his choice is excellent. Karloff is a prime spot to enjoy Italian flavors and hospitability, to bring your friends or a first date, even your parents would enjoy it, definitely.

By the way, Karloff is also on our Best Places in Berlin map, together with almost 100 other excellent places to eat, drink, shop and frolic. Get it here.



Reichenbergerstrasse 152

10999 Berlin Kreuzberg

Kottbusser Tor

Opening Hours:

Tues–Sat 18:00 – 23:30


also leave a comment
  1. Christa on


    I went there a couple of days ago and was a tiny bit disappointed. The menu was 4 course but really tiny servings. An then you had to pay for two courses extra. So with 2 glas wine it was 50 € . Which is ok but you think – oh wow 19 Euros….well now its 21 € anyway. And the pasta was uninspired. Expected a bit more. Well we Berliners are very spoiled. But the staff was very friendly and the place is stylish and cosy. Can only get better.

    1. Max on

      You really think Berliners are spoiled?! We have a phase among us from real food-focussed cities, was it “berlin good” or was it “actually good”. Berlin has a long way to come.

  2. Michael on


    After reading a book on the food revolution in California (primarily focusing on SF and LA) I think we are where California used to be in the 80s. Berlin might perceive itself as the culinary epicentre of the world, but I agree with Max, there is still a long way to go.

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