Hamburg, specifically near Michaeliskirche (but also anywhere else)
I'll be in Hamburg for 6 days in July and am researching where to eat. I checked out the Hamburg threads and will look into the places mentioned on this thread http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/661056 especially, (and Nil does look great!) however I'm hoping for some new recs as well.
I'll be staying near the St Michaeliskirche. I've lived in Hamburg for a year, but that was 20 years ago (now I feel old..) so I doubt I will recognize much! I'm willing to trek around the city for good food, but would especially welcome recommendations for bars, coffeeplaces, restaurants, and foodstores (I'm staying in a place with a kitchen) in the area. Thanks!
thought I´d post a little report about my week in Hamburg. I had a fabulous time and some good food!
This trip was very nostalgic for me because I lived in Hamburg as a student, 20 years ago. I stayed in a hotel near my old apartment (which was near Landungsbrucken) and spent a lot of time exploring the old neighborhood. I was delighted to find Cafe Johanna on Venusberg, a small breakfast and lunch cafe where I had a very nice breakfast and good coffee. Good looking cakes, too.
I´m always on the look out for places to spend an hour or two with coffee and the paper, and was lucky to find 2: Kopiba at Bei Grunem Jager (near Schulterblatt), a very friendly and quiet little place where your coffee comes to your table in your very own French Press; and Erste Liebe, Michaelissbrucke 3, a modern bar with lovely seating outside and a ton of papers and great magazines to read.
My first night I had dinner at Schauermann, Sankt Pauli Hafenstraase 136. The food was good (my starter of stuffed artichokes pleasant if unremarkable, the risotto with chanterelles and blueberries fantastic). Service was weird. I was dining alone and they moved me around, until I ended up between a party of 5 and a couple. It was very awkward, to the point where the guys in the party of five offered me a glass of wine for the inconvenience! A shame because I would have loved to try dessert, but it was really too uncomfortable to stick around for that.
Made a little day trip to the beach at Oevelgonne. Right next to famous beachbar Strandperle a new bar has opened, called Strandkiosk. I only had coffee there but it was nice and friendly. Then moved to Strandperle for lunch. Fishcake and potato salad, nothing fancy, but it is a most splendid place to sit with your toes in the sand and a cold beer and watch the boats go by.
Next night I met a friend for dinner and she took me to the Poletto Weinbar, Eppendorfer weg 287. We shared a fantastic platter of cured meats, lovely hams and salamis.. really good. After that I had a chanterelle pasta which was very nice. Interesting wines by the glass, trendy atmosphere in a fancy neighorhood, worth a visit if you´re in that area.
After dinner we went to cocktailbar le Lion. A fantastic place for real cocktail fanatics and also for cocktail nitwits like myself.. highly recommended.
Next day lunch at one of the Bok noodle places near Sternschanze. Fast, cheap, fresh and filling.
That night dinner at Cafe Paris, Rathausstrasse (opposite bar Le Lion). My steak frites was good, if not very exciting, my husbands Moroccan fish stew was more French than Moroccan, still we enjoyed our dinner. It´s a lovely room and the menu has all the French bistro classics.
Next day we had dinner at Indochine, which was pretty horrible. Pretentious, tired, would-be Asian food, ridiculously expensive. Not recommended.
Fortunately, next day was a great eating day. A matjes herring sandwich for lunch and then dinner at Nil, which was one of the best dinners I´d had in a long time. A beautiful patio, wonderful service, and great food. Fresh, seasonal, creative. You can see some pictures on my blog here:
(the post is in Dutch, scroll down for Nil pics)
I'm not sure about proximity to the Michaeliskirche, but the best meal I had in Hamburg, which I've raved about previously here, was at Picasso Restaurant (Rathausstraße 14). Really excellent grilled octopus, great grilled fish and a very tasty paella. Good and fair-priced wine, too. Highly recommended! I seriously debate going back just for this meal.
Note that Eimbüttel and the Schanzenviertel are a bit far from the Michel. -- and not easy to reach by subway, particularly since the U3 is under construction in that area. You might try the Portuguese quarter down at the Hafen. A brief walk and many restaurants to choose from (I'll be having dinner there this week). There's a nice square across the street from the Michel in the Admiralitätsstrasse, including a restaurant with outdoor seating (didn't eat there, but drank at the Marinehof across the square). From there, you can easily access by foot the chic Neuer Wall and the Innenstadt
Seems that we enjoy similar places in Amsterdam, so will try to help out with some Hamburg suggestions, although my time there seems almost as long ago as yours...
I enjoyed the Freischwimmer in Eimsbüttel - fun, unpretentious, friendly and a great mix of German and Mediterranean cuisine. It's a great area for bars between there and the Schanze. http://freischwimmer-hamburg.de
In that same area, and an incredible experience of unexpected flavors and textures, check out Artisan. A true foodie experience. http://www.artisan-hamburg.com/
For somewhat more standard, but also very good restaurants, you might want to try http://www.trattoriasalento.de/ for good Italian (also) in Eimsbüttel and http://www.el-toro.de for solid Spanish near Schlump.
Hope this helps!