Tag Archives: Mexican

Santa Maria Eastside – Mexican Food, Berlin Style

Table of Food at Santa Maria Eastside in Berlin

Last month I had the pleasure of going to a tasting at Santa Maria Eastside to celebrate the launch of their new menu, overhauled to make the most of their fully organic, all-German handmade tacos – a first for the Mexican food scene in Berlin.

The majority of European tortillas are mass-produced using instant corn flour imported from Mexico but the tortillas at Santa Maria Eastside are handmade in Berlin using fresh corn grown in Bavaria.

My partner in crime for the evening was Gilly and we arrived early and started the night with a beer.

Co-owner Jules (who is also one of the driving forces behind another andBerlin favourite Piri’s) explained the new menu concept and at his suggestion we elected to try a bit of everything (almost).

Pozole at Santa Maria Eastside Berlin Tortilla Chips and Sikil P'aak at Santa Maria Eastside Berlin

We started with a taster of the Pozole – a pork soup with white corn and Mexican chillies, served with radish, cabbage and a tostada – followed up by the Sikil P’aak – a dip of habanero, roasted tomato, roasted pumpkin seeds and coriander served with fresh tortilla chips.

Trio of Vegetarian Tacos at Santa Maria Eastside

I had explained to Jules at the outset that I was a little sceptical about eating the vegetarian dishes so the trio of vegetarian tacos – Papas con Rajas / Calaza / Rajas con Crema – that we had next were a revelation to a meat-obsessive like me.  Who knew that food without meat could be something to get excited about?

Tacos de Cochnita Pibil at Santa Maria Eastside Berlin

I’m not contemplating vegetarianism though so we finished off with the Tacos de Cochnita Pibil – pulled pork tacos with pickled red onion and habanero chillies and a tropical habanero salsa.  Pulled pork really is the ingredient of choice at the moment and is cropping up on menus everywhere.  The meat here was tender and the pickled onion created a nice contrast of textures and flavours that Gilly compared to Sauerbraten.

Margaritas at Santa Maria Eastside Berlin

Our appetites well and truly satisfied we washed everything down with a boozy Margarita.

I’m amazed to say it but one of the vegetarian tacos was my favourite dish of the evening – the Papas con Rajas, a mixture of roasted onions, chillies, peppers, corn, garlic and potatoes.  For confirmed meat eaters though, I would recommend the Barbacoa de Res Burrito that I’ve had on other visits.

Worth noting are a few special offers on the menu – lunch specials, Taco Tuesday and Margarita Happy Hour.  From 19:00 to 21:00 on a Tuesday you could combine the last two and with 1€ Tacos and Margaritas for 4€ you could dine and drink like a king or queen without breaking the bank.

The quality of the food and a wide range of different Mexican flavours, including a tasty selection of vegetarian dishes, make Santa Maria Eastside in Berlin the perfect venue for a (small) party or an evening out with a group of friends.

The Bar at Santa Maria Eastside Berlin Barbacoa de Res Burrito at Santa Maria Eastside Berlin Quesadillas on the Grill at Santa Maria Eastside Berlin Santa Maria Eastside Berlin at Night

Maria Bonita – Great Mexican Food in Berlin

The sign at Maria Bonita Berlin

Maria Bonita on Danziger Strasse is only big enough for a handful of people to eat at the same time but the food at this tiny Mexican bistro is a real treat.

A lack of good Mexican food in Berlin is one of the biggest culinary gripes in the city, especially amongst the expat crowd.  As an indication of just how bad Mexican food can be here, I once had Fajitas with cabbage in them – a first (and I’m determined a last) for me.

So when friends told me about the quality of the Mexican food at Maria Bonita, I was determined to give it a try.

On both of my visits I’ve had the Puerco Especial Burrito – a large tortilla filled with pork, guacamole, red salsa and Chipotle cream – an abundance of meat with a great balance of flavours for €6.

Puerco Especial Burrito at Maria Bonita Mexican Bistro Berlin

As always, I’d recommend washing it down with a beer – a Berliner Kindl is €2.

If you’d like to know what else is available, check out the Menu here.

This is the best Mexican food I’ve had in Berlin, though for a Californian-style Burrito I would recommend Dolores, which has restaurants in Mitte and Charlottenburg.

Maria Bonita, as mentioned earlier, is a small restaurant – just a kitchen really with a few stools at counters facing the cooking, the street and along the sidewalls (10 or so in total) – though during the summer there are also tables outside on the pavement.

If you’re looking for a larger restaurant, capable of seating larger groups, try Maria Bonita’s sister restaurant, Santa Maria on Oranienstrasse in Kreuzberg.