When I was in Speyer recently (November 2013) this restaurant caught my eye and I was hungry anyhow. The advertising – Brotgenuß und Kaffeekult – means something like bread indulgence and coffee cult. I didn’t want a full meal, so bread with a delicious spread was just to my liking, although I found the prices (approx. 8-9 Euro for the “bread”) a bit on the dearer side. But once I was inside I saw that the prices are justified because it is not “just spread” they put on the bread but a delicious looking mixture of several kinds of ingredients. The one with mushrooms and potatoes caught my eye (I love mushrooms) and that day or week it was their speciality with a layer of mountain cranberry & horseradish just beneath the mushrooms and an extra of mountain cranberry jelly on top of the potatoes. So I ordered this and was even more pleased when the dish arrived: a delicious salad serving came with the bread. It did not only look delicious but it also tasted wonderful! Together with a latte macchiato my bill came to 11,90 Euro (8,90 Euro for the bread and 3 Euro for the coffee), a glass of tap water included.
Check their website, they have more mouth-watering spreads listed (just select the English version and then products – bread & spreads).
At home I did a bit of research because I liked the idea of this kind of hearty and filling snack. What I found made me smile: the cradle of the idea behind Aran is ... in Bavaria! In Rosenheim (which is near Lake Chiemsee) to be precise. It seems only fair that Bavaria “gives something back” to Palatinate, because the famous dishes which are so popular in Bavaria, such as Leberkäse, Pretzel and Dampfnudel, have been invented in Palatinate during the time when it was Kingdom of the Palatinate, ruled by the Bavarian Kings of Wittelsbach dynasty.
As it is obvious on my photo, Aran has also outdoor seating and blankets for those who wish to sit outside in chilly weather. It is located almost next to Altpörtel, the town gate, and ideal for people watching too.
Opening hours: Monday – Saturday: 9:00 – 19:00, Sunday: 10:00 – 19:00.
(I think credit cards are accepted, however I have to confirm this when I am there next time).
Location of Aran in Google Maps
© Ingrid D., November 2013 (So please do not copy my text or photos without my permission.).
Shopping and sightseeing definitely makes tired. So if you need to take a break, all the cafés and restaurants in Maximilianstrasse invite you to fill yourself up with energy.
My all time favourite for excellent cake is Café Schlosser, just 200 m west of Cathedral Plaza. It is not only a café but a patisserie, and the cakes they serve are freshly made, no “plastic” ingredients. Any kind of coffee is also very good (tasty Latte Macchiato), and they also provide a good selection of tea.
It is closed on Monday.
Favorite Dish: My red currant baiser cake was so yummy that I could hardly resist getting another one.
My colleagues has freshly made apple cake, and from their faces I could tell that they wanted it to be supplied to their hometown (which is Sao Paulo :-)
Cakes are around 2,30 €, coffee between 2 and 3 €.
Update Feb 2007:
also their version of lemon cheesecake is very much delicious ! (photo 3)
To satisfy your stomach, Domhof restaurant and beer garden is a very good option for Speyer. The restaurant is located just 100 m off Cathedral Plaza, and is well known for excellent food and their homemade beer. They serve palatine specialities as well.
Domhof has a beer garden with seating for nearly 100 people, but trees and fountains divide the space, so that you never get the impression it is crowded.
Service is quick and efficient.
They also have a restaurant with a bit more extensive menu.
Favorite Dish: I had a kind of potato fritter rolls, stuffed with light cream cheese and herbs. Excellent choice, it came with fresh green salad and very good dressing (freshly made as well, not from the bottle !).
Coffee: 2,80 €,
Apple juice: 3,10 € for 0,5 liter,
My potato rolls: 7,80 €
Other dishes are: famous Palatine Saumagen (oops, can someone help please with the translation ? It is mashed and minced meat, potatoes and some spices, filled into a dried pigs’ stomach and then cooked), tarte flambée, several salads, steaks and fish.
For the German speaking:
their website lists the different menus.
We visited Speyer on the recommendation of VT member Trekki and I strongly recommend you type her name into the search window and read her very thorough Travel Pages on Speyer. We have only spent a day there and whilst wonderful, we have limited experience.
We drove from Esthal where we were staying, parked easily and walked past the Altportal (Old Gate), a beautiful tower. The street from the Altportal to the Dom (Cathedral) is gorgeous, lined with shops and cafes. We stopped at the Tourist Office about halfway along the street and got a map and some information. Wanting to eat after we visited the Dom, we asked the Tourist lady for a restaurant recommendation and she suggested we eat at the Domnapf right across from the Dom. Good idea!
Favorite Dish: Here is my Journal entry for the meal which was good, but not great. "After we visitted the Cathedral, we left the Dom and crossed to the recommended restaurant on the corner across from the church. Ed had chicken and I had pork. Both were very good but a little salty."
I must admit that aside from a bit much salt for our tastes, it was a warm, cozy place with a very friendly and helpful waitstaff. We thoroughly enjoyed the lunch and would cheerfully eat there again.
You have to love Germany. Wherever there is a touristy site there is at least one German restaurant serving German beer. Visit an old ruined castle or abbey and there will most likely be at least a small café on site offering you a cold beer (but only on weekends and holidays). Many of the larger restaurants brew their own beer. This is the case of the Domhof Hausbrauerei located close to the Dom (cathedral) in Speyer. They brew four different beers: Helles, Dunkles, Hefeweizen and Bockbier.
The restaurant is located at the one o’clock position if you are standing on the steps of the Dom looking out on the courtyard. They have a nice indoor restaurant as well as a beer garden that can get crowded as we found out the day we visited. Their food is tasty and there were some unusual dishes – at least we haven’t seen them on the standard German menus we are used to ordering from. I only tried one of their beers (the Dunkles) but I thought it had a nice taste to it and would be willing to go back there to try their other brews.
If you are interested in seeing more of my posts on brewery restaurants please check out my Germany travel page.
As Speyer is located directly at our famous Rhein river, which always played an important role to the inhabitants during any century, it might be a nice option to go for a walk and have something to eat here. It is very much popular in summer, both restaurants are quite crowded.
The one I like best is Alter Hammer, this is the one on the southern side of the embankment (or to your right, once you are at the water). They have a big seating area inside, which is actually quite nicely decorated (not normal for popular restaurants at the rivers) but also offer a huge terrace with parasols and little heaters and blankets for chilly evenings.
The meals are simple but taste quite good, given the runs they have to face on sunny days, when the Rhein boats make their stops here.
When I was there with Ian and Rosemarie, we had tagliatelle with creamy mushroom sauce (photo 5) for 6,90 € and fried calamares with spicy mayonnaise sauce (photo 4) for also 6,90 €. They have also meat on their menu, prices vary from 6 € to 15 € (for beef dishes). They have a little selection of local wines and a big selection of hard stuff like vodka, schnaps, tequila etc and several choices of coffee and tea and soft drinks. And they have Bionade!
The restaurant is open daily from 11:00-23:00 and unfortunately they do not accept credit cards.
From the cathedral, walk south into the garden and then cross the street to the east, until you arrive at the water. It is on your right hand then.
Coordinates on GoogleEarth:
Fish market (Fischmarkt) is a nice place a bit off the mainstreet for a relaxed beer or coffee during sightseeing. Kutscherhaus (would translate into coach/carriage house) is perfect for this. Not only does the house itself look gorgeous from spring on with all the wisteria growing, but they also provide nice wooden chairs and tables with parasols on the outside. I can only report about their latte macchiato, which is excellent. But I saw other people’s dishes and this all looked excellent. I have yet to try myself next time.
Their website is in German only, the dishes are average in price, from 4 € for soup to 7,50 € for salad and 10-20 € for the main dishes.
Favorite Dish: Directions:
Continue walking west from St. Magdalenen through Pistoreigasse and Holzmarkt to Fischmarkt or walk north from Maximilianstraße into Salzgasse, continue into St. Georgengasse, and there you are.
daily 11:30-14:30 and from 18:00-23:00. Closed on Wednesdays.
This restaurant is the proof that the best isn’t simply at the main streets :-). I am grateful to Ian and his partner Rosemarie (Iandsmith) who were staying in the Engel hotel when they were visiting Speyer early 2008. And when I came to spend some days with them, we wanted to have something to eat close by but they didn’t have space for us. This year in May I stayed in Speyer for 2 days with a young colleague, we’ve booked our rooms in the hotel and made sure that we booked a table early enough. What caught my attention was the Slow Food logo in its window (photo 5), as these days I just came back from Umbria and was completely captured by the Slow Food concept: heavenly dishes with local ingredients.
So I was anticipating heavenly experiences and I wasn’t disappointed. To start with: the restaurant is located in an old vaulted cellar (photo 4), with many little niches for a real cosy atmosphere. It is sparsely decorated and this adds to the atmosphere of a heavenly place.
Favorite Dish: The dishes: oh my… I need to come back soon. I had a season salad with wild herbs, a potato cakelet/fritter and ham as a starter (photo 3), delicious!! I tried to identify the wild herbs, and it was even dandelion inside, something I only knew in my childhood and it was good to see that this finds its way back onto our tables! As main course my colleague had the liver dumplings with wine sauerkraut (photo 2) and she was very much satisfied. I went for the Boef Stroganoff (main photo) with wild herbs and it was indeed heavenly. As we didn’t need to drive somewhere, we could try local red wine – very much delicious!! Their wine list is impressive, 11 pages with local wine of course and also wine from Australia, Chile, Spain, France, US and Italy.
The bill came to 50 € including espresso for both of us and a big bottle of water. That’s not too bad for two persons! The starters are all below 10 €, main dishes below 10 € for the Palatinate specials and 10-20 € for the ones with beef and fish and desserts are around 5 €.
Highly highly recommendable!
From Altpörtel (the tower and the cathedral in your back) walk into the little street Mühlturmstrasse right hand side across the main street (Bahnhofstrasse). It is on your left after a couple of metres.
Coordinates on GoogleEarth:
49°19’03,52’’ N; 08°25’50,04’’ E
I think the staff were somewhat overwhelmed by the arrival of 30+ VT-ers, although they had been forewarned.
So service was slow, and rather erratic. I felt sorry for the young waiter who was, I think, doing his very best to cope with a multitude of orders in a multitude of accents and broken/no German!
But the beer was fine and the food, when it arrived, equally acceptable. I have to admit that my daily special of 'mozzarella, tomato and egg baguette' (see photo) was rather different from what I had expected (VT-er toonsarah felt the same way)! but actually it was extremely tasty. Clearly they'd had to improvise, but at least their improvisation was good!
A nice place to have a snack, a drink and/or a rest, I think. Its outside tables are well-placed for watching Speyer go by (including random wedding arrivals and departures, as the Rathaus is almost next door).
When it was time for lunch, Ingrid suggested the CAFE' SCHLOSSER, which was right on the main square.
As there was thirty of us, you can imagine that it took them a while to get to everybody. They did a fantastic job and everyone was happy.
Hans and I and Ove who was sitting with us, ordered Flammkuchen mit Speck und Zwiebeln ( with ham and a special cream sauce). It looked just like a pizza and tasted delicious. We all had lemonade to drink and Hans and I shared a beer.
Favorite Dish: Flammkuchen "Baked in the Flames" - is one of the specialties of the region. Thin bread dough is rolled in a circle, which is covered by a sauce of quark, sour cream and creme fraiche and then onions, bacon or ham is added to it. It is quite delicious and filling.
I have never known a VT meeting that didn’t involve food and drink, and this one, while primarily a sightseeing tour, was no exception! On Ingrid’s recommendation we all headed for the Café Schlosser, where we could relax in the sun over a light lunch. It has to be said that the service was a little slow and haphazard (one reason we weren’t able to see as much of the city as we would have liked) but the food was delicious – and after all, they probably don’t get invaded by 30+ VT-ers every day ;)
Favorite Dish: I chose one of the day’s specials, which consisted of a small light omelette alongside a salad of tomato, mozzarella cheese and basil, dressed with pesto and balsamic vinegar. It was light and fresh-tasting – perfect for the warm weather. With this I drank a sparkling mineral water. I don’t remember exactly what I paid (too busy chatting perhaps?) but I think the dish itself was around €5, which is very reasonable.
i took the apfelstrudel mit sahne
appelpie with cream about 3 euro i think
big glass fresh orange juice was about 6 euro so guess thats expensive.
think swanet had something like Johannisbeerkuchen am not sure.
open 9-18.00 think monday closed
The owner of the restaurant are from Bohemia, so you can find here Bohemian and Palatianate dishes.
Favorite Dish: The "Pfälzer Teller" with Leberknödel (liver dumpling), Saumagen (stuffed pork's stomach) and Bratwurst gives you a bit of three typical Palatinate dishes. It goes along well with a Bohemian beer Budweiser/Budvar.
In the previous tip I told you about Domhof’s beergarden. They only have a small selection of food, so if you are craving for a rich meal, go inside the restaurant and select from their incredible big menu.
Inside, it is very much spacious, but you will never have the feeling to be crammed, as they have niches here and there, all separated by nice decorated pillars, ovens and other details.
The staff is very quick, very helpful, and usually they have waiters from all over Europe, so there is a chance that they might even speak your language. But don’t worry, English menu is available as well. I would like to put emphasis on the friendliness of the staff, even in the busiest times, they have a nice word and are never impatient. This is not always normal for German restaurants, so I think, it must be the boss who takes care of the “behaviour”.
Update (Feb 2007):
Domhof Restaurant is known for their speciality weeks and buffets. I have been here recently and took a flyer with me, which announces several of these events:
Potato buffet: March 3 and April 24, 2007 (8 p.m.), 12,90 € p.p.,
Swabian buffet: Feb 27 and April 17, 2007 (6 p.m.), 12,90 € p.p.
Palatine buffet: March 13, 2007 (6 p.m.), 12,90 € p.p.
Doppelbock Anstich (barrel-tapping of a beer speciality): March 9, 2007 (7 p.m.)
Favorite Dish: The restaurant has all kind of local specialities, either small portions or bigger ones. Salad, steak, soups and deserts in big variety. During autumn, they serve mushrooms, which was perfect for me, as I cannot get enough of mushrooms. Wild boar with dumplings and red cabbage is also a very delicious meal to eat there. I was amazed to hear that they also serve half portions for half price !
All is accompanied with either home brewn beer (light, dark or wheat/Weizen), wine from the region and soft drinks or coffee.
As already mentioned, I had my usual musrooms in creamy sauce – filling but yumm !
And this evening I had a bit too much beer (even if Richie would tell me now one can never have enough beer, hahaha), but this was fine, as we only had to walk some metres to our beds, and I was tired enough not to hear the Cathedral bells, hahaha.
Check their website for the menu, unfortunately only in German.
Mo - Thu: 11 am - midnight
Fri: 11 am - 1 am
Sat: 10 am - 1 am
Sun: 10 am - midnight
(warm food served from 11 am - 11 pm)
I completely agree with our Scottish friend. Delicious food, from typical beergarden fare to more contemporary and health conscious food (nice salads for example). One thing you forgot to mention is the absolutely fantastic choice of beer... Think Germany , think beer, think Reinheitsgebot (=law of purity). This place goes one step further though: the beer is labelled and being a fresh living product, is sold to you in plop-top bottles (those with a little rubber plug) and it has a short lifespan. I t needs to be kept in the fridge, like fresh milk or juice!! You can even book a guided tour of the brewery if you are interested to know how they make the golden juice...And if you can manage to carry it, they sell you bottled and barrelled beer as presents or takeway (not for overseas I reckon, think excess baggage ...)
I never used to like beer at all, but I happened to work in the nearby hotel for a while, and by accident I got to try their homemade beer and it really tastes so rich and so smooth. Just go and try for yourself.
Favorite Dish: Personally, I am not too fond of heavy German food, so I might go for a salad, or winter time, perhaps something accompanied by sauerkraut.
The best food here is the liquid food :-) Remember : One pint replaces a meal or so ...that's an old German saying about beer.