When I heard that two old friends of mine were opening a bistro/bar at Oranienplatz, my expectations were high. Working just around the corner, I was craving for a new lunch spot and after-hour bar. The newly opened Ora happens to be both, and more. Once a pharmacy (for 150 years), Christoph and Lukas — a fellow photographer and filmmaker, did a beautiful job restoring the place. Amidst gorgeous chairs and tables for dining, pretty food displayed atop the bar, old wooden cabinets, medicinal bottles and jars remain mostly intact. When I glance at the beautiful bouquets, held in place by old pharmaceutical jars labeled “herbs” and “trickets”, I am reminded of my grandmother who lived nearby as a young woman. I can so easily picture her there, still today. But now Ora is a stylish hub, one that has not lost its long-acquired magic and has not gained any pretension; it feels cozy and effortless, easy to sink into. Now, as for the food, my absolute highlight is Christoph’s homemade bread, served with various spreads. It is a natural sourdough, made simply with flour, water and salt. As for the spreads, you can choose between cashew cream, cottage cheese and smoked paprika hummus. Rumor has it that the cakes and cinnamon buns are out of this world, but as of now I can’t get enough of that bread. All in all the food shares qualities of the space: colorful, tasteful, rich with love and precision. (Text & photo: Anna Rose)

Ora, Oranienplatz 14. 10999 Berlin-Kreuzberg; map

Mon-Sun 10-24h

Anna Rose is a photographer born and raised in Berlin. After spending 10 years abroad, in Brooklyn, she is happy to be back, working and living in Neukölln.