Cologne, Germany’s fourth biggest city, proves that Germans can indeed have fun. The capital of German carnival is known as the country’s most liberal and light-hearted city and attracts visitors from all over the world because of the famous Gothic cathedral that dominates the city centre. Intrigued yet? Here’s our insider’s guide to some of Cologne’s best restaurants, so you don’t go hungry whilst exploring this German gem.
Glashaus Restaurant makes sightseeing easy with spectacular views over the Rhine, Hohenzollern Bridge and Cologne Cathedral. Thanks to its flexible construction, one of the chef’s tables can be used as a live cooking station during breakfast. In the evenings, diners can look forward to dishes like asparagus with crispy guinea fowl and monkfish with a pine nut crust.
Lindenthal – Dine & Wine
Cologne’s cool crowd loves to meet at Lindenthal. The restaurant is the ideal location to see and be seen and its outstanding European-based cuisine with a slight Asian influence does not disappoint either. Love birds are in for a treat as the restaurant offers a selection of well-priced candlelit dinner menus.
Sonder prides itself on using only locally sourced ingredients and cooking everything from scratch. If you’re looking to treat your body (and soul) to delicious food, we could not recommend this cosy restaurant more. Must-try: Sonder’s asparagus risotto with apple pieces and fresh lemon balm.
A restaurant with a view – Osman is located on level 30 of the 44-storey skyscraper Cologne Tower and offers one of the most magnificent views the city has to offer. Its culinary delights do not disappoint, either, and their Mediterranean cuisine has made a name for itself amongst the locals.
Curious what traditional German food tastes like? Then give Deutzer Brauhaus a try. It’s a well-established German brewery that offers a fantastic selection of German beers as well as some of the best homemade Reibekuchen – savoury potato pancakes, a German speciality and especially delicious paired with apple sauce.
Locals treasure this authentic Greek restaurant situated right by the Rhine promenade for its holiday vibes. Traditional Mediterranean food and outstanding service turn this long-standing family business a real gem where dinner feels like a short holiday in Greece. Take a seat, tuck into their famous meze dishes and enjoy the river view across the Rhine.
Restaurant Ox & Klee
On the hunt for a special treat? Then look no further than Ox & Klee, which wows guests with its ‘experience menus’. The team believes food should not simply satisfy your hunger, but make you feel as good as possible and they cook up a delicious range of dishes full of veggies and carefully sourced meat and fish. The Ox & Klee experience isn’t confined to the plate either, as the view of the city’s stunning marina makes you feel as if you were on a seaside holiday.
FRÜH am Dom
Peter Joseph FRÜH opened this German brewery in 1904 and FRÜH am Dom has been a firm favourite amongst locals ever since. Here you can enjoy traditional German dishes such as sausages and sauerkraut and treat yourself to a local beer or two. FRÜH am Dom is in the heart of Cologne and sits right next to the city’s main attraction, Cologne Cathedral. Tip: remember to bring cash, as the restaurant does not accept card payments – we mentioned that it was traditional, right?
Gilden im Zims
Get to know Cologne’s history in this traditional German gem that first opened its doors in 1920 and is still going strong today. Regulars love to meet at Gilden im Zims for a pint of Kölsch, the local beer, and to tuck into a plate of pork knuckles served with their special Cologne sauce – a delicacy you have to try.
Old-school elegance can still be found in Hanse Stube, located in the 5-star Excelsior Hotel Ernst right next to Cologne Cathedral. The restaurant serves classic French cuisine at its best. If you’re interested to see where locals meet to close their business deals and you love sophisticated old-world glamour, then Hanse Stube should be your restaurant of choice. Try their daily changing lunch menu and don’t forget to save room for dessert.
Situated in a former grain warehouse at the city’s harbour, Joseph charms guests with its spectacular location and one of the best outdoor terraces the city has to offer. Sit down and enjoy the view across the river whilst tucking into Joseph’s specialty: asparagus in all its forms. But fear not, Joseph’s also offers a range of traditional Southern German and Austrian dishes such as Wiener schnitzel (pan-fried breaded veal).
Visit OpenTable to make a reservation or discover more restaurants in Cologne.
This is a guest post from freelance journalist Beatrice Clark. She has written for Vogue, Glamour and Vanity Fair, among others, and has spent the past 15 years living in France, England and Scotland. She is currently based in Berlin and is always on the hunt for the perfect Eggs Benedict.