Considering the amount of money sloshing around Frankfurt, it's perhaps not surprising that the city takes its dining seriously. The business lunch is a major feature, along with Michelin-starred restaurants and Japanese food. We take a look at eatin
Wallstraße 5 (Sachenhausen)
Tel: 069 612 778
The English and Irish have their pubs, Bavarians their Biergartens, and Frankfurters their Apfelweinkneipen, where young and old, business suits and the guy who lives upstairs all come together at the end of the day. They say with your third glass of Apfelwein it starts to go down a little easier - try it 'süss gespritzt' with limo or 'sauer gespritzt' with mineral water. But if acclimating yourself to the local customs isn't your cup of tea, don't worry they serve beer too - big, frothing mugs of it. Das Fichtekränzi is more than a drinking experience - order from the daily specials listed on the giant slate board for excellent, modern variations on typical Frankfurt fare. Nice courtyard seating in summer.
Tel: 069 49 90 083
When taxi driver Hartmut Mennicke discovered his favourite café was in danger of being turned into a bank (presumably a constant threat in Frankfurt), he banded together with his friends Hagen Knaak and Norbert Wolf to rent the place and save it from the clutches of Mammon. Now it's a charming neighbourhood café with a wide selection of roast coffees and cakes (also available to take away) and a relaxed atmosphere. Mennicke seems to know all the customers--mostly regulars from the area--personally, and ribs them gently over their espressos. According to Mennicke, many of the regulars treat the café as a second home; some even leave their spare keys there.
Café in KunstVerein
Tel: 069 21 93 140
Arty café which is surprisingly quiet considering its location right next to the Römerberg; its huge windows give you a view of the Dom and main square. Sit in the low Bauhaus-style chairs, read a newspaper from their wide selection, and gaze superiorly at the tourists trudging past.
An der Welle 3
Tel: 069 72 07 18
A restaurant named after the Rabelaisian character Gargantua must surely cater to the pleasures of the flesh, and jovial chef Klaus Trebes certainly makes sure this is the case. Renown for his food column and books, he combines classic French and German cooking with Asian touches. The reasonably-priced lunch menu changes every week, and the wine list is exceptional.
Tel: 069 72 19 97
This tiny bistro looks more like an old-fashioned Frankfurt pub than a top-class restaurant, but it's been described as the best restaurant in Germany. Chef Valery Mathis impresses with his subtle and inventive take on southern French cuisine, while owner and sommelier Eric Huber provides the perfect wine to complement your meal.
Saalgasse 19 (in the Historisches Museum)
Tel: 069 29 44 00
This slightly kitsch Apfelwein tavern is in the same building as the Historisches Museum, and appropriately features a display on the history of Frankfurt's favourite drink, with old Bembel pitchers and other apple-related paraphernalia. The traditional Hessian food on the menu is the perfect complement to the tart Apfelwein. In fine weather you can sip your cider in the museum courtyard, where a sign on a huge barrel mysteriously announces that 'there are large drinks in the garden.'
Tel: 069 94 94 85 78
Stylish Greek restaurant run by former newsagent Theo Georgiadis and his sister. The interior is nicely restrained, with black and white photographs on the wall and fresh roses on the tables, and the food is excellent. Since it opened two years ago, it has become increasingly popular, to the extent that reservations are now essential most nights.
Lenaustrasse 97 (Nordend)
Tel. 069 599 356
Founded in 1978 as a meeting place for what was then then an active left-wing alternative scene (think a young Joschka Fischer), this corner locale has developed into a culinary sure thing without losing its original character. Crowded wooden tables, an eclectic art collection, and a buzzing clientele contribute as much to this dining experience as the wonderful smells wafting from the kitchen. A rotation of sometimes as many as seven different cooks, who often come out and chat with waiting patrons at the bar, means the daily specials are rarely recycled, so expect a wide choice with German, French, and Italian touches. Reservation a must, especially for the coveted outdoor tables.
Holbein's Café Restaurant
Tel: 069 66 05 66 66
This upmarket restaurant is situated in the same building as the Städel museum, and a full meal here would indeed set you back the price of an artwork by a minor artist. Chef Johannes Ballman combines regional and international influences to create a modern, light, cuisine, and the interior is as stylish as you would expect, given its arty neighbour.
Helaba Building (53rd floor)
Neue Mainzer Strasse 52-58
Tel: 069 36 50 47 77
Vertiginous diners should avoid Main Tower; the restaurant is located 200 metres above the city on the 53rd floor of the Helaba building. Admire the view through the floor-to-ceiling windows, sip a cocktail prepared by the expert bartender, and choose from the 'evolution' or 'traditional' menus.
Tel: 069 61 99 59 06
Located in the same building as the Museum of Applied Arts, Emma Metzler is suitably minimalist and elegant, with white walls and dark wood furniture. The menu features mainly German & Italian dishes and the wine selection is impressive, with bottles priced at up to EUR150. The outdoor tables allow diners to enjoy the peace of the adjoining park (although the sight of the winos who gather there may put you off your food).
Eschersheimer Landstraße 38
Tel: 069 55 34 55
This popular and very reasonably-priced Italian restaurant feels pleasantly old-fashioned, with its wood interior and faded paintings. Owner Michele Liberti creates a family atmosphere ('The daily contact with the guests is my life!' he says on the restaurant's website, bless him) and the jocular staff seem to be having as much fun as the customers.
Tel: 069 13 37 67 79
This Sardinian restaurant assures diners they will 'eat like in mother's kitchen' and you could indeed feel you were at your mother's, assuming your mother had a taste for kitsch Sardinian souvenirs. The smartly-dressed staff are attentive, and impress with nice touches such as offering you a choice of lemon or fresh mint in your mineral water. As well as the a la carte menu, there are weekly specials, with fresh pasta a speciality. Entertain yourself while waiting for your food by looking through the piles of Sardinian tourist brochures for unintentionally funny English translations.
Tel: 069 28 36 27
This restaurant is popular with Frankfurt's Japanese community, and touches such as the signs in kanji and raised tatami-mat area add to the already considerable authenticity. The staff seem to be having a great time: the young waitresses tickle each other and the cheerful sushimen trade wisecracks with the chain-smoking Japanese customers at the counter. The place is disarmingly unpretentious; the walls are decorated with logistics company calendars and you have to practically go through the kitchen to get to the toilets. Look out for the friendly Bulgarian waitress who speaks perfect Japanese, having learned it from scratch during her two years working in the restaurant.
Tel: 069 46 09 04 860
Frankfurt's first noodle bar has a minimalist Japanese interior, orange segment lights, and a cool logo (you can buy MoschMosch t-shirts on their website, should you feel like subsidising their marketing efforts). Chefs in the open kitchen prepare a selection of noodles, including ramen and udon, for the well-heeled shoppers from nearby Goethestraße. The combination of tasty noodles and witty design must have paid off for the possibly-not-very-Japanese-at-all owners Matthias Schönberger and Tobias Jäkel; they've just opened a new branch at Wilhelm-Leuschner-Straße 78 (tel: 069 2400 3737).
Alte Gasse 14
Tel: 069 92 00 780
Enjoy Sardinian cuisine from chef (and former book-keeper) Paolo Vargiu in this tiny but stylish restaurant (with only six tables, reservations are more than essential). Try not to break any dishes during your visit; they're all from Versace.
Heiligkreuzgasse 16-20 (next to Tigerpalast theatre)
Tel: 069 92 00 22 0
Part of the Tigerpalast variety theatre, the Michelin-starred Tiger Restaurant has a suitably artistic flair, with theatre posters decorating the walls. Chef Martin Göschel serves up a light seasonal Mediterranean cuisine, while his wife takes care of the mouth-watering desserts. As well as the a la carte menu, guests can choose from seafood, vegetarian or gourmet set menus; choosing a wine from the selection of over 1000 bottles may prove more difficult.
Tel: 069 66 36 84 94
Founded in 1910, this seafood restaurant was run by the Paukerl family for years. When the current generation retired (they now live above the restaurant), Charlotte Gaensslen and Philipp Degenhardt from the cocktail bar Astor took over, extending the menu and added a trendy kitsch twist to the already fairly kitsch interior. The warm colours, coal-burning stove and (ahem) carpeted walls make it very gemütlich, while the mussel shells decorating the ceiling provide a visible link to the restaurant's history; they were gradually added over the years from the remains of guests' meals. A collection of signed photographs testify to an eccentric selection of celebrity visitors, including Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Louis Armstrong and German Schlager star Freddie Quinn.
Habsburger Allee 6A
Tel: 069 49 40 162
This friendly Turkish restaurant is very convenient for the bars of nearby Berger Straße. The laidback staff and home-made décor (with its amateur photos of Turkey and hand-written anti-racism sign) give the place a pleasing family atmosphere. The large conservatory, shielded from busy Habsburger Allee by bamboo plants, is a pleasant place to relax with an organic beer (a house speciality) on a sunny afternoon.
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