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The EAT List

The 21 best restaurants in Germany

Savour traditional Bavarian fare, Michelin-starred eats, street food and more at the best restaurants in Germany

Written by
Aida Baghernejad
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When folks think about the best restaurants in Germany, they conjure images of beers and wurst—lots of both at that—but there is so much more to discover. 

While a trip to the local pub or bite of traditional wurst can certainly still top your list of things to do, be sure to check out the rest of the country's satiating fare. German grub has always been very diverse and influenced by both neighbouring countries and migrants settling here. The döner kebab we all tuck into at the end of a boozy night out was invented in Berlin, after all.

Today’s Germany is full of colourful markets, young chefs putting sustainability first, and modern takes on old favourites. Get ready for a trip through the country's kitchens and the very best dishes found in cities like Hamburg, Berlin and Munich.

Best restaurants in Germany

Where is it? Berlin.

What is it? A Thai joint serving mind-blowing dishes by chef Dalad Kambhu. She’s known for his unique approach to regional ingredients.

Why go? Ex-model Kambhu heads a gourmet-temple unlike any other, combining the taste of her childhood home in Thailand with seasonal ingredients from Berlin and Brandenburg. Papayas make room for kohlrabi, endives for betel leaves. The confit octopus is a dish you’ll be dreaming about for a long time.

Price? High-end

Where is it? Berlin.

What is it? Germany’s first and best street food market continues to bring Berlin’s diversity to your taste buds.

Why go? A few years ago, Markthalle Neun was a dilapidated covered market, ready for demolition. A neighbourhood initiative saved and restored the market. Now it houses some of the best butchers and bakers in town, plus a colourful, cheery and delicious street food market every Thursday. Don’t miss Sironi’s scrumptious Italian-German bread creations!

Price? Budget

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Where is it? Berlin.

What is it? A hip restaurant with an eye for style and creative ingredients.

Why go? Julia Heifer, the brains behind Lok 6, opens up Wednesday to Sunday at various times (check their Instagram for up-to-date info) to offer a fun, ever-evolving menu. The simple, wood-clad surrounds are just as alluring as the dishes. These are artfully curated and presented, have included kouign-amann (bready cake), beef tartare with truffle mayo and matcha cake.

Price? Mid-range

Where is it? Leipzig.

What is it? Seasonal menus and homemade cakes to feed Leipzig’s art crowd

Why go? Despite its name which translates to ‘emperor pool’, Kaiserbad is not an old pool, but an old iron foundry. Lovingly restored and filled with stylish furniture, the kitchen here serves a weekly changing menu inspired by the season and its produce. Make sure to explore the Baumwollspinnerei arts centre down the road.

Price? Mid-range

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Where is it? Leipzig.

What is it? Relive the Roaring Twenties in this art déco café in the heart of Leipzig.

Why go? Café Grundmann has seen its fair share of debauchery, destruction, and deviant behaviour in its long history. Founded in 1919, the café was known as an artist hangout and a haven for critic folk. Try the Austrian veal schnitzel with warm potato salad and check the website for the live jazz evenings.

Price? Mid-range

Where is it? Leipzig.

What is it? Delicious food and equally tasty drinks under one roof. Plus there's a helping of art, too.

Why go? If you love a tipple then this spot is perfect, because Leipzig's finest cocktails can be supped on at Rudi. This bright, airy and stylish bar serves innovative small plates (to help soak up the cocktails), regularly changes up the artwork on display and hosts monthly supper clubs to boot.

Price? Mid-range

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Where is it? Hamburg.

What is it? Tacos and ceviche with a spectacular view.

Why go? Salt & Silver is actually not one, but two eateries: a street food bar and a restaurant with a family-dinner vibe and experimental Mexican-inspired cuisine. The founders are usually busy travelling the world, hunting for new dishes to serve. The fiery tacos are a must and adventurous eaters should try the crispy fried locusts.

Price? Mid-range

Where is it? Hamburg.

What is it? Nordic cuisine with emotion and passion.

Why go? What used to be an old sailors’ bar, is now one of the city’s most exciting restaurants. Nordic cuisine, combined with Hamburg’s rugged hospitality, makes for an explosive mix. Head chef Björn Juhnke has worked in some of the world’s best kitchens and uses his experience to create unforgettable dishes. Definitely order the dessert.

Price? Blowout

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Where is it? Hamburg.

What is it? The place to get a dinner of champions (or heroes at least).

Why go? Translating as ‘heroes’ place’, Heldenplatz clearly thinks a lot of its customers. And why not? Hamburgers are a great bunch after all. Rub shoulders with the best of them at this French-inspired joint, where you can dine on white wine risotto and veal fillet. Plus, they're open until 2am, making for a great alternative to the kebab.

Price? High-end

Where is it? Frankfurt.

What is it? Omnivores and veggies alike marvel at this Michelin-starred vegetarian gourmet temple.

Why go? Vegetarianism doesn’t need to mean over-cooked tofu burgers. Seven Swans elevates vegetarianism to an art form. Using ingredients from their own permaculture farm, the kitchen team creates knockout dishes in tune with the seasons. Best coupled with a drink before and after dinner at the bar Tiny Cup downstairs.

Price? Blowout

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Where is it? Frankfurt.

What is it? Regularly changing supper clubs at a secret venue in Frankfurt’s sleazy heart.

Why go? Club Michel is Frankfurt best/worst-kept secret: founded by club owner and DJ Ata Macias, the restaurant has no fixed menu but offers a different menu every week. One week they might invite a celebrity chef from Israel, the next might be Japanese-themed. Deliciousness always guaranteed.

Price? Mid-range to high-end

Where is it? Cologne.

What is it? A stylish haven for day and night dining with the best shakshuka in town.

Why go? Julia Wallstab and Iga Raczka worked in cafés and restaurants all over Cologne before opening Wallczka together. This little bolthole in hip Ehrenfeld serves fantastic breakfasts to share and a unique take on mezze, all in a stunning interior. Even the trip to the loo turns into an artistic experience.

Price? Budget

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Where is it? Cologne.

What is it? Fine dining breakfast for the morning after the night before (featuring homemade corned beef).

Why go? NeoBiota is usually known as a fine dining hotspot with a wine selection focusing on Georgia, Hungary and Bulgaria, but during the day, the owners offer an interesting and exceptional breakfast until 3pm. The perfect place to take a date the morning after or to nurse the kölsch hangover.

Price? Mid-range for breakfast, high-end for dinner

Where is it? Thalmässing, Franconia, Bavaria.

What is it? A paradise for carnivores and their vegetarian friends.

Why go? Home-slaughtering might not sound very appealing, but for Zum Goldenen Ochsen, the restaurant at the Winkler family’s guest house, it is the pride of their house. The inn in the Franconian countryside is worth a trip to take in the rich nature, Southern German hospitality and the hearty leberknödelsuppe (liver dumpling soup).

Price? Mid-range

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Where is it? Binz, Island of Rügen, Mecklenburg-West-Pomerania.

What is it? The little sister of Michelin-starred Freustil swaps fine for fun in dining.

Why go? This little space, right next to internationally renowned Freustil, serves small dishes, good drinks, and a daily changing ‘captain’s dinner’ in three courses for 19€. The wine selection is small but packs a punch. For special occasions, book a table at big sister Freustil for product-focused high-end dining.

Price? Mid-range

Where is it? Heringsdorf, Island of Usedom, Mecklenburg-West-Pomerania.

What is it? A quaint haven for seafood lovers, with a view to die for.

Why go? Few eateries are as cute as Uwe's Fischerhütte. From the outside it's a tiny shack by the sea, but inside it's like a cosy old pub, albeit one with a fish counter. There are a few tables indisde this family-run restaurant (which has been in the Krüger family since 1830) and more outside, or you could you pop in to take fresh fish home with you.

Price? Budget

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Where is it? Neustrelitz, Mecklenburg-West-Pomerania.

What is it? A rebuilt old farm serving hyper-locally sourced produce and outstanding creations.

Why go? It’s a family affair: son Wenzel Pankratz cooked in some of the best kitchens in Europe but decided to rather take over his family’s farm and pursue his own vision. His father grows whatever is needed, his son uses whatever is growing in his inventive and outstanding menus. Make it a trip and stay in their cosy rooms overnight.

Price? High-end

Where is it? Munich

What is it? Traditional Bavarian cuisine in a contemporary atmosphere, guaranteed without Lederhosen.

Why go? Don’t queue with tourists to be herded through the Hofbräuhaus. Head straight to Spezlwirtschaft, where industrial chic meets centuries-old architecture (the building is said to be about 800 years old). Here traditional Bavarian fare is paired with smashing drinks. Turns out doughy spinach dumplings go well with a Sazerac, who knew?

Price? Mid-range

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Where is it? Dresden.

What is it? Quite possibly the best currywurst in Germany – with five types of sausage to choose from.

Why go? While it’s unclear where currywurst was invented (Berlin even dedicates a museum to the humble snack), Dresden takes the lead when it comes to taste. Curry & Co offers pork, beef, and vegan sausages, as well as six different sauces to top them with. Try the non-traditional honey-mustard sauce.

Price? Budget

Where is it? Heringsdorf, Island of Usedom, Mecklenburg-West-Pomerania.

What is it? Old-school charms, stripped-back interiors and modern cooking by the beach.

Why go? The woods, the sea, the beaches, and nude Germans – the Baltic sea has plenty to offer. Inspired by its environment, the kitchen team of the new O’ne in Heringsdorf manages to give old favourites a fresh and new twist. Try the königsberger klopse, beef dumplings with caper sauce and beetroot.

Price? Mid-range

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Where is it? Munich.

What is it? A dream spot for great wines paired with honest Bavarian food and a Franco-Italian-twist.

Why go? It’s not all about beer in Munich, Kim & Co offers exciting wines that will delight even the nerdiest wine nerds. The menu changes weekly, but don’t miss the fantastic roast chicken. The surprise menu is great value and they happily cater to vegetarian eaters – not always easy in Munich.

Price? Mid-range

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