Dolores is exactly what I had been looking for in Berlin: a straightforward burrito joint where carnitas are done right and the guac is real. That it look me two and a half years to discover this place is a tragedy (cue thoughts of sad burritos and wasted euros), but at least the next time around, I know exactly where to go when the craving hits.
Located a five-minute walk away from Alexanderplatz, Dolores is perhaps the closest thing Berlin has to Chipotle, an American chain whose burritos won my heart in 2006. But to call Dolores “Berlin’s Chipotle” would be unfair. After all, it makes its California roots very clear (CALIMEX, NICHT TEXMEX!) and specifically prides itself in serving Mission-style burritos: the large-portioned, meat-heavy, no-utensils-required type that emerged in San Francisco’s Mission District back in the 1960s. Fast forward to 2015 and Dolores’ Mission-style burrito is still making waves in Berlin, and has been for the last 10 years.
I expected Dolores to have a Santa Maria look and feel, but upon arrival, I saw the familiar burrito assembly line and immediately felt like a fool for calling earlier to reserve a table. It’s a fast food restaurant where they make your burrito right before your eyes, just the way you want it. Meat lovers and vegetarians alike can rejoice here, with plenty of meat options to choose from (I definitely recommend their juicy, citrusy carnitas). Another thing I loved is their varied selection of add-ons, which includes staples like sour cream, cheese and black beans, and quirky options like green rice, Mexican super rice and pink onions (dear readers, if you haven’t tried these on your burrito, do).
I loaded up my burrito and my receipt definitely proved it. If there’s one thing I didn’t appreciate at Dolores, it’s that it adds up fast. Extra cheese, salsa – even cilantro – will set you back 50 cents apiece, which is a far cry from burrito joints back home where salsa in all its forms is available upon request, and hot sauce bottles of varying Scoville scales litter every table. Speaking of heat, Dolores’ habanero salsa did not bring it on. Many times did I want to spice it up in between bites, but was reminded that extra salsa costs 50 cents (and I could have easily spent two euros).
Yet despite these flaws, Dolores still won a repeat customer in me. It’s my Chipotle-Ersatz, a place where I can build my burrito just the way I want with the ingredients I love, while enjoying wonderfully crispy chips and creamy guac on the side.
Tip: Craving a burrito in Schöneberg? There’s a second Dolores, close to Wittenbergplatz.
+49 030 280 99 597