Barkin Kitchen x C/O Berlin Art meets culinary delights

Wednesday, February 22 2023

Opening Times

Daily: 11:00am - 8:00pm


Barkin Kitchen
Hardenberg­straße 22–24
C/O Berlin
10623 Berlin-Charlottenburg
.How to get there


+49 30 315 196 36

price level

Gastronomy in exhibition halls and museums is an ambiguous case. Most of the time, it serves more to briefly satisfy coffee cravings or to rest after an abundance of cognitive demands than to provide genuine enjoyment. However, the Barkin Kitchen team at C/O Berlin has been demonstrating since September 2019 that art and cuisine can indeed form quite a good symbiosis.

The long café is located directly to the right of the entrance area of the Amerika Haus, which houses the exhibition house for photography. In front of the counter on the left, delicious-looking cakes stretch out of the display case - juicy vegan chocolate cake, creamy NY cheesecake, gluten-free nut cake and thick cookies as the perfect accompaniment to the extensive coffee selection, plus one or two beautiful products for the home such as Oel Berlin or Greek mountain tea.

The window front on the right side offers a view of the hustle and bustle of Bahnhof Zoo. The location at C/O Berlin poses particular challenges, explains Barkin Kitchen co-founder Antonio Rilling: "As a caterer in an exhibition building, you are neither a café nor a restaurant or bar. That means you have to serve everyone and accordingly make sure you do everything as well as possible."

Barkin Kitchen (3)
Barkin Kitchen (2)
Barkin Kitchen (4)

In terms of the menu, Barkin Kitchen's approach is to give regional products an international and exciting flavour. "We try to create a taste with the products we have here that are not classically German."

That means coffee and cake - of course - but also delicious quiche, salads and sandwiches - and always one or two seasonal hot dishes. Risotto, for example, made from pearl barley instead of rice. "I think it's much better!" Antonio confesses, and we enthusiastically agree even before tasting the delicate beetroot risotto.

A little later, it's confirmed: warm, earthy, creamy, and thanks to the deep purple hue of the beetroot, it looks beautiful too. In short: the perfect lunch before or after a tour of discovery. Either through the C/O Berlin itself or the many other things to discover in the City West. 

To ensure that everything tastes good and fresh, the team at Barkin Kitchen produces all the dishes themselves and does not use any convenience products. Only the bread for the delicious sandwiches is bought from high-quality suppliers such as Gragger or Keit. We try the famous Baba Ganoush sandwich, in which pomegranate seeds, marinated red cabbage and fresh mint create a subtle contrast to the oriental aroma of Ras el Hanout.

Bread rolls with liver cheese or knuckle of pork also go down particularly well. With homemade mustard sauces and toppings such as sauerkraut or horseradish and coleslaw, the modern interpretations of the sandwiches are enjoyed by tourists, who naturally come to the house a lot, as well as by visitors to Berlin. 

The Barkin Kitchen team also offers catering services, and a few years ago, they took over the catering in the Martin-Gropius-Bau on an interim basis. In this way, they approached the museum catering, and a little later, the catering in the C/O became available. "This is a completely different form of gastronomy. On the one hand, we need less marketing, but on the other hand, you can also ruin the overall experience for the guests with a bad coffee experience. So we have a certain responsibility for the C/O Berlin," Antonio jokes half-seriously.

In addition to the usual business, the Barkin Kitchen has since been happy to pursue other formats here and always picks up on themes from the C/O Berlin exhibition: A drink for the current exhibition by William Eggelston, for example, which can also be found in a very similar way on one of the exhibited pictures. 

Antonio has particularly fond memories of the dinner on the occasion of the Queerness in Photography exhibition with the chef Naya de Souza aka Lux Venerea. After a guided exhibition tour, the queer chef conjured up a five-course meal. As a transgender person, the former sous chef at Kin Dee has a lot to say about the macho kitchen scene. These kinds of events, which combine art and culinary delights, also work great independently of the regular café business. 

Antonio also appreciates the urban location directly at Bahnhof Zoo. In summer, the terrace of the café almost extends down to the pavement. The S-Bahn tracks above, the Ullrich Markt in the back, a wide variety of people bustle about here: "It's a lively, beautiful place that's fun," and we absolutely agree with Antonio on that, too. 

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Barkin Kitchen x C/O Berlin – Art meets culinary delights
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