Zum Brandanfang: Restaurant with a history
Located in Deichstrasse, one of the very few preserved areas of 17th century Hamburg, this restaurant offers authentic Hamburg cuisine. Prices are higher than in other areas of Hamburg, but similar to other restaurants located in this area. Lunch offers are available from 8,50 EUR, most other dishes range between 12 and 20 EUR. The menu includes many local fish and meat dishes, many of them long forgotten among Hamburgers. They include Pannfisch, Scholle "Finkenwerder Art", Matjes and other fish specialities. A hand full of classics like Schnitzel with potatoes are available as well. Vegetarian dishes are not on the menu, but available upon request. The landlady is a very kind person and the rest of the staff is friendly as well.
The atmosphere is cozy and traditional. One table has a view on the channel and the old storehouses. The restaurant is full of old pictures from Hamburg and if you ask the landlady any questions about Hamburg's history and its traditions, she will most likely be able to answer it. The building was used as a restaurant under different names since the 17th century. For many decades they kept the tradition alive that sailors put a money bill on the ceiling before they went to sea. They would retake that bill upon safe return to pay for their first drink at home. The sailors said that it would protect them from any dangers at sea and guarantee a safe return. Still, there are many bills hanging from the ceiling and a couple of new ones are added to the sides.
If you want to eat, see and live Hamburg traditions, this is the place I would recommend you to go to!
Favorite Dish: The Pannfisch is always good, try Labskaus if it is on offer.
Tin Miner Finest Pasties: Excellent British Pasties in Hamburg.
This ist the first place to eat Cornish Pasties in Hamburg! The Owner of this small deli, located directly at the Hamburg Harbour Skyline, learned to bake pasties in a small bakery in Cornwall. You should defenitely check this out.
Favorite Dish: Pasty Traditional Steak is my favorite... but i love the other Pasties as well. The owner said he is experimenting to do a Salmon Pasty. Can´t wait to try that one.Related to:
- Budget Travel
- Family Travel
Freudenhaus St Pauli: Lovely place to eat
This restaurant is in the "Reeperbahn" area. The "Reeperbahn" - Hamburg's Nightlife Hub and Red Light District.
The name "Reeperbahn" comes from the old German word "Reep" meaning "heavy rope"; in the 18th century, heavy hempen ropes were produced here for sailing ships in the Hamburg harbor.
Freudenhaus translates to "House of Pleasure"
Favorite Dish: Mike had the suckling pig and I had the pork medallions. We shared a bottle of Reisling.Related to:
- Castles and Palaces
- Historical Travel
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Taverna Nostalgia bei Sotiris: The absolute very best Greek Restaurant I know
The ultimately very best Greek restaurant I have been to so far - small, cozy, friendly staff and the most excellent food! Not the typical socalled Greek food like the "Hellas plate" or "Sokrates plate", but authentic Greek food, vegetarian food, excellent meats and fish - and the free dessert is an additional plus!
Greek restaurant with a personal history: Taverna Sotiris
Sotiris is a very unique place to me: it is dark, has very basic furniture, no tablecloths, nothing fancy - just a crowd of people going there, discussing, drinking and enjoying the food.
It is different than the usual Greek restaurant in Germany, and that is what I like so much about it. The food is okay, good helpings - and this unique atmosphere!
It does have a personal history to me, since I used to go there rather frequently with my friends, when I still lived in Hamburg and when Sotiris himself was still the owner. I even knew this restaurant, when it was still smaller and in a different location - but just as authentic as it is in the Barnerstrasse.
Sun Kwong: Chinese Restaurant in the Gaensemarkt-Passage
If you are looking for a classic Chinese restaurant in the centre of Hamburg (no fusion, no fast food), I would like to recommend Sun Kwong. It is located in the upper floor of a shopping mall (Gänsemarkt-Passage). The restaurant is divided into two parts, one facing the shopping mall and the other, larger one, (with a classic chinese restaurant atmosphere) in the rear. The food is fine, but less spicy than in other restaurants. It is one of the places where I would suggest to order extra spicy if you would like to have some taste beyond the basic ingredients. However, the meals were fine and had a fair price, especially during the lunch hours (many meals for around 2/3 of the price, as of 2010 ranging between 5 and 8 EUR). Service was very friendly and distinguishes itself from other restaurants by being quite fast.
Don Cuba: Coffee with a little bit of Cuba
My favourite place for a cup of coffee in Hamburg is located in Hoheluft, an area which features many restaurants and cafés. This one is run by a sympathic Cuban guy and his family. The atmosphere is always lively in this small café with many returning regular customers. Coffe, tea and bakery are the main things on the menu. Some delicious snacks include the hot croissant with serrano ham or the famous "Don Cuba" burger. During lunchtime, changing "Dish of the Days" offers are available every day. Although most dishes are of Cuban origin, there are also Spanish and Portuguese dishes as wellas bakery from those countries. There are a couple of special events, including nights when the café is open until late and it serves as a bar or "pig roast" days with a full Cuban menu on offer. This place is not big and not spectacular, but a place which is always full of life and where you always feel welcome.
Most people visiting Hamburg on a short trip will probably not come to this café as it is not really centrally located. However, if you are in the Eppendorf/Hoheluft area, come in to see the good sides of Cuba in Hamburg.
Favorite Dish: Definitively the "Don Cuba Burger"
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Das Feuerschiff: Was once a ship on the sea
So you want some beautiful food...fresh from the sea ...and in a refurbished ship....well grab a map...put on your walking shoes and head to the Hamburg harbour.
The Feuerschiff is docked in the harbour and when we were there 2012 was a little hard to find as there were road works hiding the ship from view.. We found the entrance opposite the Metro-station "Baumwall" and used the railway stairs and ramp to cross over the road.
VTer globetrott had info in his review so we knew to look out for the way .
We arrived without a booking ...maybe the festival in town gave us a bit of luck keeping folk busy on the riverside.
It was an exciting and enjoyable experience to dine midst the memories of yesteryear.
Favorite Dish: Well we all chose a fish dish...what else is there in a restaurant that was once a ship sailing on the seas.... followed be delicious dessert. But this is not important ...go along and choose from the menu yourself. There is an English version. Everything is tempting.Related to:
- Food and Dining
Yin - Yang: Asian Fusion at its best
Although restaurants in shopping malls (in this case the Europa Passage) are just places for a quick grab to me, this one is an exception. I would even say that it is among my top five restaurants in Hamburg. Yin Yang is an Asian Fusion cuisine restaurant, although the focus lies on Japanese. Pries are somewhat higher than in other restaurants, but for the price you will get more on a very appalingly decorated dish. I have been there a couple of times and appreciated all dishes I had. For Vegetarians, I would like to recommend the “Buddhistische Fastenspeise” – a very well prepared vegetarian dish with tofu. The other tofu dish I had (“Tofu mit Udon”) was delicious as well. The restaurant is not really full during daytime, but gets full in the evening. Look out for the sushi bar offers which range from delicious single dishes to an all you can eat buffet. Tables with view onto the Alster lake are available. For the evening, reservations are recommended.
There is a susidiary in the HafenCity, the new quarter in the former Harbour areas south of the city centre. I have not been there, but I assume that it is quite as good.
Vapiano - Hamburg City: The well known chain of fresh italian food
Vapiano is a chain for Italian restaurants located throughout Germany and many other European countries. The main philosophy is that food is freshly prepared upon your own wishes. Therefore, you go to several bars where cooks prepare your dish on demand. There is usually one bar for pasta, one for pizza, one for meat and vegetable dishes and one for salads. Drinks are available everywhere, but some Vapianos have an extra bar for alcoholic drinks, such as the one in Hamburg’s City centre. This Vapiano is located close to the Alster lake, the central train station and the Kunsthalle.
There is not much to say about the menu: You can almost everything as long as its italian and does not take hours to prepare. The pasta bar, for example, has around a dozen if different home-made noodles from which you can chose. The menu shows several dishes, especilly for one who can’t decide on what they would like to have. It includes also specials of the seasons like African-themed dishes around the FIFA World Cup 2010 in South Africa.
That said, a Vapiano is always a larger restaurant as a smaller one can not offer this wide range of choices and fresh food without high costumer figures. Although this is a self service restaurant (You get a plastic card at the entrance and pay what is charged on your card when you leave), the service is good. The staff mostly consists of young, friendly people who all speak English. For me, it is one of the top choices when I have to take visitors to Hamburg for a meal. Perhaps the only drawback here is that the restaurant seems to be always full. During lunch and dinner hours, it is very difficult to get a table.Related to:
- Budget Travel
Schachcafé: Good prices and close to the airport
People looking for a cheap alternative to the airport restaurants can do a stop at the Schachcafé. This place is directly located at the railway station "Ruebenkamp", which is just eight minutes away from the airport. Trains run every 10 minutes between Airport and Ruebenkamp during daytime and every twenty minutes (only up to midnight and again from quarter past four, trains to the city centre - but not to the airport - are available 24h on weekends) at night. Of course, this place is suitable as well for anyone else looking for a nice atmosphere and a cheap meal in the Barmbek and City Nord area.
The Schachcafé can be best described as a German version of an English pub, albeit without a bar. Food is not eclectic, prices are comparatively low and servings are huge. Unfortunately, some meals taste as cheap as they are, for example the Spaghetti Bolognese. Others are excellent, which include the Wiener Schnitzel and the Sauerkraut-Auflauf. There are platters to share or huge servings of French Fries for just a couple of Euros which go pretty well with a beer or wine. Some major sport events (usually Champions League matches of German teams) are transmitted on up to three screens. The area outside, which is open in Spring and Summer only, does not offer a good view (it is usually a parking lot with view on the railway line...), but is a good alternative during the warmer months. There is even a screen for the said football matches. The audience is pretty mixed, but obviously it is popular with airport employees. On weekends (especially Saturday evening) or for sport events, a reservation is recommended.
This place is open until late, on weekends even 24h!
Favorite Dish: Next to the two mentioned above, I like the "Griechische Hirtenpfanne as well. That includes fried vegetables (including peperoni), olives, feta cheese and pieces of bacon.Related to:
- Budget Travel
Frank und Frei: Typical Schanze restraurant/pub/café
Typical pub/café/restaurant of the "Schanze" area with a rustical menu and even more rustical furniture. It is a typical hangout for students, alternative-stlye people and any other who likes such a kind of atmosphere. The meals are good, however you should not expect anything eclectic - just plain food and large servings. Pizza, Pasta and hearty German meals are the favourites on the menu. Prices are average compared to other "Schanze" locations - that means: Backpacker- and student-friendly.
The name is a German expression which can be roughly translated as "Free as a bird"Related to:
- Budget Travel
Leonardo da Vinci restaurant: Worth seeking out.
The restaurant is situated a little away from the centre, although it is convenient for the Exhibiton Halls. It is downstairs in a residential block, and is spotlessly clean.
The German lady (obviously the lady of the house) was extremely friendly. I suspect from the odd piece of Italian football memorabilia, her partner was probably Italian, and the cooking would seem to bear this out.
Apparently, there is a daily special served between 1200 - 1600 hours for 5:50 euros.
The food was excellent and reasonably priced, service good, nice ambience, a decent bottle of wine - what more could you ask for really.
Favorite Dish: The pizza Inferno was, as described, nice and hot, and the base was thin, crispy and cooked to perfection. My ex-girlfriend thoroughly enjoyed the spaghetti bolognese.Related to:
- Budget Travel
- Family Travel
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Fischerhaus Restaurant: The harbor in the rain
While I was riding around St. Pauli, near the harbor, the wind came up and the clouds started getting darker, so I found a sheltered place under a roof where I could lock my bike to a railing and walked down some steps to the Fischerhaus Restaurant.
This restaurant has two sections. Downstairs is the section called "Rustikal", which promises to exude that untranslatable German atmosphere called Gemütlichkeit (sort of like the Danish hygge, if that is any help). Upstairs is a section called "Hafenblick" (harbor view) with "gehobenes Ambiente" (upmarket atmosphere).
I wanted a view of the harbor in the rain, so I went upstairs and discovered a large room with lots of tables and probably the least upmarket atmosphere I have seen in years. Rather it was sort of a bedraggled retro atmosphere from the 1950s. But the tables did have tablecloths, unlike the ones downstairs, so I suppose that was what made it so upmarket.
But upstairs they had the same menu and only slightly higher prices, and I did get to see the harbor under the pounding rain, so that was fine.
Second photo: Across the street from the restaurant a girl came by on her bicycle, disproving my theory that only men and boys ride around in the pouring rain -- because women and girls "have more sense than we do". This was a theory that I proposed in one of my Paris tips called A rainy day at Place de Roubaix. (For further disproof of this untenable theory, see my travelogue Rainy days in Copenhagen and my Copenhagen tip Cycling in the rain.)
Third photo: I can’t believe I actually took a photo of my meal before eating it, but after seven years on VirtualTourist I finally seem to have succumbed. The dish must be the one called Ewerscholle "Finkenwerder Art" mit Speckwürfel und Kartoffelsalat (Plaice "Finkenwerder style" with bacon and potato salad). It was fine, but nothing you couldn’t get at any other fish restaurant anywhere in Germany.
Fourth photo: Looking out at the rain through the authentic 1950s windows of the restaurant.
Fifth photo: The harbor in the rain, from the restaurant window.
Fleetschlosschen: If Visiting The Maritime Museum
If visiting the Maritime Museum down at the Hafen City then instead of using the museum's somewhat sterile restaurant give this characterful little place a try. Fleetschlosschen (Fleet Castle) is an intimate cafe/bar (about half-a-dozen tables) just across the road with friendly service and what looks like proper home-made cafe-style meals and snacks.
I only popped in for a coffee, which was served cheerily, tasted great and wasn't particularly expensive, and was suitably impressed by the comfortable and friendly, mostly local, atmosphere.Related to:
- Museum Visits
- Beer Tasting
- Food and Dining
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