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Tapas in Kreuzberg: Fingering Flavoursome Food

On the Oranienplatz, directly on the lively and very cool Oranienstraße in Kreuzberg and only a stone’s throw away from the Kottbusser Tor, one finds a couple of very pretty restaurants. They seem a bit more posh and up-scale than many of the small eateries you can see on the Oranienstraße. And one of these restraurants is Sol y Sombra. Last winter, while wading through inches of thick snow, I stumbled into this small restaurant. The atmosphere is very candle light-y, the decoration is quaintly Mediterrean and the food basically revolves around tapas. Sure, you can order a main dish and be particularly lazy, but that would just be silly.

So of course, we too, ordered tapas. When you go to Sol y Sombra around dinner time, you will most likely have to spend a bit of time lounging at the bar with a nice glas of wine – or a Spanish beer to wait for a table. Never a hassle when it’s only two people. And when ordering tapas, you also have the joined fun of picking and matching your food. We actually made a proper list on a coaster while sipping drinks at the bar. By the time our food (no less than eight different tapa dishes) came, our table was ready.

When it comes to tapas, I am a big fat slutty fan of the dates or prunes with a layer of bacon (crispily baked, of course). Such a slut, that we actually ordered the dish twice. The classical flavour combination of crunchy and spicy bacon with the soft sweet texture of a prune is something almost magical. But when one is eating tapas, you will not feel too bad about ordering a ‘naughty’ dish, considering you only get a small plateful of it. To supplement my slutty prune craving, we also had gamba’s, green peppers, chorizo, calamares, spicy meatballs and Spanish tortilla (also one of my favourites – a thick eggy pancake with potatoes).

Intimacy in Kreuzberg

Sol y Sombra is definitely a fabulous tapas restaurant when you want a bit more of that intimate feel to dining out. If one would want to compare it to the Prenzlauer Berg restaurant Tres Tapas, I would personally go for Sol y Sombra – but it does definitely depend on the company you are entertaining. Where Tres Tapas is classy and decorative, Sol y Sombra is cute and atmospheric. Also, Tres Tapas is slightly more expensive than Sol y Sombra.

Another thing that is very practical when it comes to this restaurant is its location. After a nice, elaborate tapas meal, resulting in bloated bellies and fat tummies, there is nothing better than going for a brief twirl, hop or plain dance on the Oranienstraße which is only a couple of steps away. Roll into the funky 36, the fabulous Luzia or nibble on some metaphorical cake in the Cake club. I think I have just given anyone still looking for something to do this weekend thé perfect recipe!

What makes this restaurant fabulous?

  • The small band of gypsy-esque musical men that pop in for a couple of nicely played tunes.
  • The atmosphere – which was the reason why I came back. Dark wooden tables and chairs, patchwork tiling on the walls and candles in the middle of a darkened restaurant. Yes.
  • The tapas, which are generally nice and tasty and enable one to eat many different things in one evening.

What makes this restaurant less fabulous?

  • It is not the most fabulous food you will ever eat. It is simply nice, good Spanish tapas.
  • The service is nice and friendly, but not that quick and particularly attentive – which may result in empty beer bottles and sad dry wine glasses. If you only have an hour to spare, I would not go here on a busy evening.

Where to go?

Sol y Sombra
Oranienplatz 5
10999 Berlin
030/ 69 56 38 87

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