Germany’s second largest city, once called ‘the gateway to the world’, wins over visitors with its Hanseatic charm. Its maritime spirit infuses the entire city – from the architecture to the cry of seagulls, you always know you are near the North Sea. So, if you fancy a quick getaway to one of Germany’s most thriving and international cities, give Hamburg a try. Here’s our insider’s guide to some of Hamburg’s top restaurants, so you can really dive into the Nordic spirit.
Liman – Since 2011, Liman has made a name for itself as one of the best seafood restaurants offering a wide variety of fresh fish such as salmon, halibut and seabass. Located in the lively area of Hamburg-Winterhude, any fish-lover has to give Liman a try. We recommend their king prawns with garlic cream and the Calamaretti Patagonia.
Delta – Lovers of a good steak cannot pass Delta Bistro, a Hamburg fave that’s been serving the best meat in town for the last 17 years. Located behind the historic walls of the former slaughterhouse, it’s a truly unique location and not for the faint-hearted, but don’t worry, the restaurant’s elegant and modern décor does not evoke its past.
Ono – You are in for a treat at this lively and relaxed East Asian restaurant. It’s owned by Steffen Henssler, one of Germany’s most prominent chefs who frequently demonstrates his skills on national cooking shows. Watch sushi being prepared in the show kitchen by chefs from the Far East and don’t leave without trying the pike-perch teriyaki.
NENI – If you are looking for a restaurant experience out of the ordinary, NENI is a must-visit. A culinary mosaic of Persian, Russian, Arab, Moroccan, Turkish, Spanish, German and Austrian influences, you’ll experience new food pairings that will blow your mind. The restaurant adopts the Haya Molcho method – everyone is able to try a little of everything, and pots and pans are taken from the kitchen and placed directly on the table without any airs or graces.
Störtebeker – If you are lucky enough to have tickets to Hamburg’s legendary concert hall, the Elbphilharmonie, named after and located right next to the river Elbe that runs through the city, you simply must visit Störtebeker. The restaurant, named after one of the North Sea’s most notorious pirates, celebrates Nordic food and lifestyle at its best and offers a vast selection of beer which is perfectly suited to your food of choice.
Café Paris – Located in a spectacularly tiled 1882 butchers’ hall and adjoining Art Deco salon, this stunning brasserie is a slice of Paris in the heart of Hamburg. Indulge in steak frites or beef tartare and soak up the French atmosphere. We recommend making a reservation in advance as tables fill up quickly, especially on weekends.
Wasserschloss – Wasserschloss Speicherstadt truly is a little castle built right next to Hamburg’s waterfront in the city’s dazzling harbour district, Speicherstadt. Recognised as Hamburg’s prime tea location, you can enjoy over 250 exclusive loose teas, create your own blends and learn about tea production at their seminars. Head chef Irina Berggreen and her team also use tea aromas to spice up their main courses and desserts, so tea connoisseurs are in for an unforgettable experience.
Coast – Coast is an Asia-inspired seafood grill and bar located in the heart of the Hafencity district and benefiting from spectacular views onto the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg. Next to a fantastic selection of seafood including sushi, the restaurant’s stunning interior design, which includes an inner wall grassed with real plants, makes this the choice for any lover of aesthetics.
Cantina Popular – The Hamburg district Schanzenviertel is one of the coolest and quirkiest in town and, of course, this is where you’ll find one of the most innovative new restaurants too. Cantina Popular offers authentic South American cuisine produced by chefs Cristián Orellanus from Chile and Carlos Ledesma Mosquera from Peru, with the latter having been appointed ‘official culinary ambassador of Peru in Germany’ by the Peruvian government. Artists and celebrities including popular German author and musician Heinz Strunk are equally taken with the restaurant – are you intrigued yet?
La Tana – This Italian restaurant, aptly called ‘cave’, truly lives up to its name in the most positive way imaginable: 35 seats decked in deep red and wood colours creates a charming atmosphere ideal for a romantic evening for two. Owner Carlo Spilimbergo creates classic Italian dishes with a twist. We recommend his pasta with anchovies, pine nuts and raisins.
For more inspiration, visit OpenTable and discover more great restaurants in Hamburg.
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.