Six foodie things to do in Frankfurt, Germany

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FrankfurtThis throbbing metropolis on the Main is known more for its temples of glass and steel, and as a financial center, than for its food. Even a short visit can show another side of the place, though, and provide a traveler with tasty memories to take home. Tom and I spent a long weekend in Frankfurt last month–here are six recommendations for having as enjoyable a time as we did!

  1. Experience the traditional

The Sachsenhausen neighborhood is known for its “Epelwoi pubs” (apple wine restaurants), and whether around a long plank table indoors or the garden, these are great places to sample the hearty foods of Hessen.

Frankfurt
At Fichtekränzi, we shared a Bembel of apple wine (classic, ‘gespritzed’ with mineral water, served in a crockery pitcher) and tried green sauce on potatoes and as a starter, Schneegestöber ( herbed cheese spread on brown bread).
  1. Sample the unexpected and trending

Tom and I like to experience the current food habits of the locals wherever we go. In Frankfurt, for the past few years, new types of restaurants have been cropping up around town, offering a range of foodie experiences. We visited three within easy walking distance of the Frankfurt Main (railway) Station.

Frankfurt
A Friday night table at freitagsküche will get you a meal lovingly prepared by a ‘hobby cook’, plus a club music scene when dinner is done.
Frankfurt
Locals sometimes call their city ‘Mainhatten’, and pastrami-and-rye at Maxie Eisen could be one reason.
Frankfurt
Some places offer just one type of food, and do it very well. Our favorite was Kleine Anna, with an astonishing array of Brot Belage (spreads on toasted bread). Flavor combinations are almost endless at this tiny place.

3. Learn all about apple wine

Apple wine is THE traditional beverage of this part of Germany, and it comes in varieties to suit individual tastes for sweetness. Artisanal apple wine makers tout the specific varieties of apples that go into their wines, much as vintners do the grapes for traditional wines. At larger producers, taste is controlled by using a cuvée process, similar to that used to make champagne. To see the process of making apple wine, we visited Familienkelterei Possmann, which has been in the business since the 19th century.

Apple wine is served in a crockery pitcher called a Bembol and drunk from a " Gerippten", a special tumbler with grooves etched into the glass.
Apple wine is served in a crockery pitcher called a Bembol and drunk from a ” Gerippten”, a special tumbler with grooves etched into the glass.
Frankfurt
At Familienkelterei Possmann, it is possible to sample a range of apple wines, and to enjoy a meal, as well.
Frankfurt
We enjoyed our apple wine with Handkäs, a light cheese made from sour milk and served “mit Musik” (onions and vinegar).

4.  Satisfy your sweet tooth

Tea rooms dot Frankfurt’s Old Town, and are great places to escape the cold of a frosty day, or just have a mid-morning or afternoon sweets break. Some, such as Bitter & Zart Chocolaterie, around the corner from the Römer and steps from the Schirnhalle Gallery, offer handmade chocolates from an adjacent shop.

Frankfurt
Bitter & Zart offers seasonal truffles and chocolates, as well as glass canisters filled with impulse souvenirs like candy crocodiles and ribbon candies.

5.  Pay homage to the food gods at Kleinmarkthalle

Die Kleinmarkthalle is a must-see for any food traveler visiting Frankfurt! This specialty market–officially celebrating its 60th birthday in May 2014–seduces locals and travelers alike with cheese, sausages, baked goods and vegetables from farms in the region ( The first Kleinmarkthalle in Germany opened here 135 years ago, not far from the present location, and was rebuilt after the Second World War). Vendors are generous with explanations and samples–we enjoyed a refreshing glass of Turkish tea–and the presentation of all those fresh goodies is exquisite.

Frankfurt
Frankfurt’s Kleinmarkthalle is a must-see on any food tour of the city. Come here to gawk, shop and sample apple wine, sausages and more.
Frankfurt
The sausage stand of the Schrieber family has been doing a brisk business for more than 40 years. It’s a great place to sample the three most popular sausages consumed by Frankfurters. Frau Schrieber dipped three kinds of sausages from boiling water with her bare hands, cut them into bite-sized pieces, and told us in what order to try them.

6.  Take a food tour

We were exceptionally fortunate to have not one, but two knowledgeable guides to the Frankfurt food scene: Mikael Horstmann, a specialist in ‘table culture’, and long-time Frankfurt resident, food-and-travel blogger Karin Stienemeier of Yum and more. With their help, we toured and tasted much more–and more ‘soulfully’– than we might have on our own!

Frankfurt
Our Frankfurt culinary tour ended at Familienkelterei Possmann, where Mika and our host, Paula Possmann, showed us how to order apple wine like a local.
Frankfurt
Thank you Karin, for sharing with us some of your favorite places in Frankfurt!

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A big thanks to Frankfurt Tourism for hosting our visit, organizing a day of foodie adventuring with Mikael Horstmann. And thank you Mika for sharing your local knowledge and enthusiasm for all things culinary!

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4 COMMENTS

  1. Anita, I’ve stopped through Frankfurt and FRA airport hundreds of times, and I’ve yet to try the Grüne Soße or the “Ebbelwoi”. It’s bordering on tragedy (or travesty). 😉 However, the next time you’re in Frankfurt and if it’s in the summer, may I recommend the “Imbissboot” (snack boat) parked on the river Main. They have Döner, but their fresh fried fish sandwiches and homemade lemonade are perfect to have while sitting on the meadows by the river Main. (And yes, I wrote about that, too …) Thanks for writing about the foodie things in Frankfurt!

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