Sitting in the center of Germany, the city of Frankfurt is an international mecca for tourism. Not only does the Frankfurt airport serve as the country’s main gateway for tourists, but Frankfurt also draws in business travelers from around the world as a major financial center for Europe. Frankfurt is home not only to Germany’s central bank, Deutsche Bundesbank, but also the Central Bank of the European Union.
Like many German cities, much of Frankfurt was destroyed during World War II. A small section of the Old Town remains, but for the most part you’ll find yourself in a modern, fast-paced, skyscraper-filled metropolis. While tourists do stop in Frankfurt to explore some of the city’s many excellent museums or visit the birthplace of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Germany’s most-beloved literary giant, most international visitors in Frankfurt find themselves there on business.
As an international business epicenter, Frankfurt boosts a hearty food scene. You’ll find everything from traditional Hessian and Bavarian fare to Greek and Thai cuisine. Whether you’re coming through Frankfurt on holiday or coming into town for a business meeting, there is no end to the great dining options for you to explore.
Here are a few of the top dining spots in the city.
Sitting on an unassuming street corner, you’ll most likely find a line outside Aroma. This little hole-in-thewall roadside stand offers fantastic vegetarian and vegan Middle Eastern options, like hummus, pita, fries, and falafel, for which they’re most known. Enjoy a flavorful falafel sandwich at the small outdoor seating area or take your food to-go and head to a nearby park.
Hang out with locals at the Best Worscht in Town. This fast food joint serves up the German comfort-food favorite currywurst, sliced sausage topped with a curry-spiced ketchup. The menu also offers a variety of other types of sauces to try, such as an American-style barbecue sauce, a cinnamon coriander sauce, and a honey dill mustard, among others. Meals also come with fresh, crunchy fries and thick brown bread, both of which are just as popular as the main entree.
As a coffee-lover, one of the first things I do in any city is head to the locals’ favorite coffee shop. So in Frankfurt, head to Wacker’s Kaffee in the heart of the city. This small, family-run coffee house first opened in 1914 and has been roasting their own coffee beans since the very beginning. The shop prides itself on its fair-trade, high-quality, freshly roasted coffee beans. The attention to excellence and consistently friendly service has made this shop a busy, popular place for Frankfurt’s coffee aficionados. Savor a hand-crafted espresso beverage and a decadent pastry, and make sure to purchase a bag of coffee beans to take home.
If you feel like splurging with a fine-dining experience, make a reservation at Medici Restaurant and Bar. This upscale Mediterranean restaurant offers whimsical, modern European cuisine. The restaurant was opened in 2004 by brothers, and chefs, Stamatios and Christos Simiakos, who are committed to always using fresh, seasonal ingredients—so much so that some ingredients are delivered up to three times a day to ensure the upmost freshness. This high standard translates into the quality of their creative dishes, which are always evolving and changing with the chefs’ imagination. Some dishes you may find are lobster carpaccio in a lime-chili marinade with salmon caviar and avocado cream, yellowfin tuna on a ragout of mushrooms and macadamia nuts with wasabi mashed potatoes, and a chocolate raspberry dome over a pineapple compote with coconut praline and sour cream ice cream. Medici Restaurant and Bar consistently meets or exceeds guests’ expectations; in fact, the restaurant was a TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice 2016 award winner for one of the top 10 best fine-dining restaurants in all of Germany.
For some traditional German food in a restaurant packed with locals, head to Atschel. Founded in 1849, Atschel is one of the older apfelwein (apple wine) taverns in the area. Apple wine, or cider, has been produced and consumed in this region of Germany, the German state of Hessen, for hundreds of years. And locals will tell you that Atschel serves some of the best apple wine in Frankfurt. Pair an apple wine or a draft beer with traditional entrees such as breaded pork schnitzel with homemade spätzle noodles, frankfurters with sauerkraut, or haspel, which is boiled pickled pigs’ knuckles.
For another authentic experience, try Adolf Wagner, a family-run restaurant since 1931. Along with schnitzel, frankfurters, and apple wine, you’ll also find veal cordon bleu, meatloaf, and braised prime rib served with fried potatoes. Also be sure to try Frankfurt green sauce, a popular local condiment made with seven different herbs, including parsley, chives and borage, plus sour cream, and hard-boiled eggs.
While Atschel and Adolf Wagner feature more local Hessen dishes, Paulaner am Dom is a Bavarian-style restaurant, featuring dishes from the southern region of Germany. You’ll find plenty of beers to sample, warm hefty pretzels, weisswursts, bratwursts, and numerous sampler platters if you just can’t decide what to try. Guests can sit out on the large terrace or in one of the restaurant’s several rustic dining rooms. Kids will also enjoy their homemade lemonade and apple strudel for dessert.
Whether you’re looking to enjoy some traditional German food or cuisine that’s on the cutting edge and no matter if you prefer those tucked-away little gems or popular restaurants that are all the rage, Frankfurt’s food scene won’t disappoint.