Altes Zollhaus’ charm comes from its skillful balance of seemingly opposing elements: rustic versus urban, traditional versus cutting-edge, and, in the warm-weather months, outside versus inside. The restaurant’s outdoor dining area stretches across a cobblestone drive and bloom-studded lawn, and the crisp white tablecloths and sparkling glassware signal a fine-dining experience.
Built in 1902, the cottagelike eatery was once a tollhouse for river barges and steamships traveling through the adjacent canal, which is now a tree-lined urban park. The setting of a luxurious rural retreat hidden in Berlin’s modern metropolis is matched by the menu, which combines fresh regional ingredients and traditional dishes with modern international cuisine.
The restaurant is particularly known for its roast duckling from the local Brandenburg region, served with savoy cabbage and potato cakes. There is also a changing light menu from the herb garden, which focuses on the presentation of particular herbs in three courses. A recent offering included a goat cheese gratin with chive oil and vegetable bread salad, the famed local white asparagus baked in pastry with chervil sauce and a rhubarb tart with woodruff ice cream and fresh strawberries.
Among its extensive wine list are vintages from Altes Zollhaus’ own vineyard, Horcher, located in the Pfalz region.
Altes Zollhaus; Carl-Herz-Ufer 30, Kreuzberg, +22.214.171.1242.3300