Clochemerle: French Café at the Market Place
Saturday is the best day to visit Offenbach, because Saturday is Market Day and Flea Market Day. I would suggest you go early, otherwise you will have to park in Berlin or New York and walk the rest of the way.
Near the middle of town, they have the large traditional square - the market place - which takes place every Tuesday, Friday and Saturday. On the north side of the market place is a small rounded little house. This used to be the Kaiser's official market office during the Second Reich. People paid their stand fees, taxes and the scales were checked here. Nowdays, it's a café, called Clochemerle. This is exactly the place to spend a relaxing Saturday morning reading the paper (from the Newspaper Kiosk) on the corner of this house.
Sitting outside on the picnic tables in front of Clochemerle is very charming. The square is bordered with horse chestnut trees and at the beginning of May, when they are in bloom, is especially charming. Right next to the café is where they sell fresh flowers in every color imaginable.
The square is lined with a number of nice restaurants, bistros and delicatessens. One deli specializes in foodstuffs from the Mediterranean, and the other two are for German specialties, chocolate, liquors, coffee, tea and tobacco. You can shop here for presents for your friends. The quality is excellent, and the prices are fair.
Clochemerle is also a meeting point for gay friends, but it is not an exclusively gay café.
Reservations are highly recommended on Saturday. They have 50 seats in the restaurant; 200 outside. The menu runs between 16 - 64 €. Occassionally they have live music.
Favorite Dish: Clochemerle serves café au lait in cups so big, that normally you could eat soup out of them. If you would rather have hot chocolate or expresso in your soup bowl, they will be happy to oblige. They get their croissants from the Backer Seitz, who is in the Frankfurter Strasse. These croissants are so delicious, that they could only taste better in Paris.
Beau d'Eau: Brasserie with Beer Garden
Because Clochemerle often too full is, many try the Café-Restaurant Brasserie Beau d'Eau . A very popular student café-restaurant, where you can also sit on the sidewalk terrace, when the weather is nice.
They have an old upright piano in the corner, that welcome's anyone who can play, to treat the guests with they virtuosity. Like many German restaurants, you can only get one kind of beer here, namely, Henninger, which comes from the Frankfurt. If it looks a little full, just look for empty chairs, and ask the people at the table if they mind you sit with them.
Favorite Dish: I couldn't tell you exactly, because the best things they have on the menu are written on the chalk board just outside the door. Always fresh, always changing, always new. They tend towards regional specialites and Noveau Cuisine.
Morleos: Wilhelmsplatz No. 14
All of the restaurants around the Wilhelmsplatz are popular, especially on weekend afternoons. Morleo's has always been a sucessful restaurant even though it's changed hands several times (it used to be called Kaiser's).
Favorite Dish: Morleo's is actually a bistrot/caf?, but doesn't serve French food. The interior is modern, the sidewalk atmosphere is pleasant.
A winner is their coriander-curry chicken shiskabob with chili sauce for 4.50 Euro.
Another one is their pasta dish with cherry tomatoes, olives and fresh herbe cream sauce for 8.50 Euro
They are open from 9-1 am from Mo-Th;
9-2 am from Fr-Sa,
and from 10-2 am on Sundays
The Gerbermühle: Dining Like Goethe
The Gerbermühle is a popular 'beer garden' for the Offenbachers and the Frankfurters alike, because it's in the no-man's land between Frankfurt and Offenbach, directly on the Main River. This was even one of Goethe's favorite places.
The best way to get here is by bicycle on the old line towing path on the left back of the river. In the late spring and the summer it's often packed and sometimes it isn't easy to get a table.
Even it's raining, it's still worth a trip here, because the restaurant has a very nice old German country atmosphere, which makes it so popular. The restaurant was ranked as Nr. 23 as the favorite 'in' places to go in Frankfurt.
Favorite Dish: They have a summer menu, which changes every year. They specialize in local fare. In addition to beer, most people drink a regional specialty, apple wine , something which takes getting used to, because for first timers it tastes like apple vinegar. If you would like to try it, but are not sure you could drink a whole glass, order a 'Süßgespritztes' or a sweetened apple wine, which is half a glass of pure apple wine mixed with a half a glass of Sprite (7-up). Then it tastes like apple soda with a kick in it. The natives will often order a 'Sauergespritztes' , which is half apple wine / half soda. Then they often will order 'Handkäs' mit Musik' , small hand-formed round paddies of hardened, aged cheese (from cows), with a sauce made of chopped raw onions, vinegar, olive oil, and caraway seeds. Another popular specialty is broiled roast with boiled potatoes and a cold green herbal sauce. The herbal sauce is made from 7 finely-chopped kitchen herbs, and either has a jogurt/curds base, or an olive oil/mayonaise base. Although it looks like someone poured cold chopped spinach on top of your meat, it's super yummy. In fact it's so yummy, people often order it without meat, just with hard-boiled eggs and boiled potatoes. They call the sauce 'Grie' Soß' or 'Green Sauce' .