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Oct 15, 2013 04:37 AM


I'm visiting Frankfurt this weekend with my boyfriend and having done a bit of research on the boards I have made a reservation at Margarete and have enquired about reservations at Heimat and Emma Metzler for our other evening meal. If both are possible, which would you recommend? I haven't been able to find a Heimat menu (I'm trusting positive chowhound feedback here!) so am unsure how they compare.

I'm also interested in casual suggestions for breakfast/lunch. We are exporing the city to see what it might be like to live there, so will be spending time in a few different neighborohoods - Nordend, Sachsenhausen, lower end of Bornheim and Bockenheim are all on our list. Info about any nice cafes, bars or food markets that are in these areas that we might visit would be great.

Also, is there much of a cocktail/wine scene in the city? any recommendations would again be very welcome.

thanks and apologies for the short notice!

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  1. If you should be lucky/wise enough to move to Frankfurt, be advised that breakfast is more easily found in the hotels. There is always the Hauptbahnhof.

    With a city apartment next to the I.G. Farben building for 6 years, I found the city very walkable with delightful culinary surprises. Usually in basements or the 1st floor of apartment buildings.

    Kaufhalle on the Ziel had the best food market. Both every day and imported goodies. But just a couple of blocks towards the river is the Kleinmarkt halle. Wonderful cheeses, wide variety of seasonal and imported veggies, and butchers along the wall. Do not miss.


    3 Replies

      Thanks for the tips, the markets sound particularly good. Hopefully we will find some places for breakfast or a mid-morning coffee and cake as I like to support smaller local businesses (which is not the case with our hotel this trip!).

      My reservation enquiries have come back and Heimat is closed for a private dinner so we will go to Emma Metzler.

      1. re: abby d

        So, we went and had a lovely meal at Margarete and an overpriced disappointing one at Emma Metzler. We also discovered and enjoyed the sweet delights of Bitter & Zart.

        At Maragrete we ate in the restaurant rather than the less formal cafe which serves tapas. Having seen the enormous portions being served, we started by sharing ricotta ravioli with sauerkraut and a lemon and potato foam. Delicious and a nicely balanced dish. My boyfriend’s main was one of the specials – liver and mash – very simple and very delicious.

        I had the fish special which was a white fish which the waiter said would be served with a lentil and pear salsa plus mash. Instead it was a celery and pear salsa and I think the mash was flavoured with peas and broad beans. The contrast of the cold and crunchy salsa with the rest of the dish was lovely and made it quite light to eat. No space for pudding but I would really recommend the wine we had – a Scheurebe which is a lovely German white wine.

        At Emma Metzler we opted to have the 4 course set menu with wine. The starter was an enormous plate of salad leaves served with a soft goats cheese and three small pieces of smoked salmon. Far too much cheese, not enough salmon and the large pile of salad leaves were very uninspiring.

        The fish course which followed was better – the fish and seafood was beautifully cooked and served on top of haricot beans which were cooked with apple and had been spiced with cinnamon. The dish was too sweet for my tastes and I didn’t like the use of the spices. The next course was chicken which was wrapped in pastry. Neither of us can can’t remember what accompanied it. This was the only disappointment with the wine pairing as despite being told all the wines would be German, we were served a French red.

        Pudding was a chocolate sponge which had a melted chocolate centre (vanilla sponge and a milk choc centre), plus vanilla ice cream, various fruit puree smears and a chocolate straw. Overall we had a bill that was twice as much as Maragete and apart from the pre-dessert (some blackcurrants topped with lovely light chocolate foam which was squirted on top of the fruits) didn’t find anything we’d like to have again. We both really liked the space though and I imagine it is lovely for lunch or on a light evening when the light is streaming in.

        Bitter & Zart is a chocolate shop and cafe (on the same street as Margarete) which we popped into en route to an early morning walking tour of the city. They serve thick unsweetened hot chocolate (you can have it with or without milk – I preferred without) and have a selection of flavoured sugars you can use – rose, citrus and violet were the flavours we tried. Our second visit was for hot chocolate and to try their lovely looking cakes – I had a delicious plum streusel tart and my boyfriend had a creamy apricot & yoghurt tart. Be warned though, although the cafe is open on Sundays, the shop is not (so no souvenirs for me).

        1. re: abby d

          Thank you so much for the report. You have added Maragrete to my wish list.

    2. Sorry to have missed this post when you were here. In case you return for another visit, here are a few more suggestions:

      All the areas you are considering are full of local cafes, restaurants, etc. In Sachsenhausen, I love K'ties for a simple and delicious lunch or a cappuccino and cake. They are only open for lunch and is more a cafe for cappucino and cake. But their a daily quiche and salad or soup is delicous. And the crusts on their tarts are wonderful. Very darling Petite cafe with odd ends from France.

      The cocktail/wine scene in Frankfurt isn't that great compared to NYC, London, Tokyo, Shanghai or other major cosmpolitan centers. However, if you consider that Frankfurt is just a big small town, then your expectations will be better met. For wine/Sekt, a cheap and lively options are the second floor of the Kleinmarkthalle, the Friday market stall in front of the Old Borse building, the Saturday market on Konstablerwache, or any of the other fests that seem to take place each weekend in Frankfurt. For Cocktails at sunset I head to the rooftop bar of Flemings hotel near the Eschenheimer Tor, or Vai Vai in Nordend because I live in Nordend and these are within 10 min walk from my house. For wine, we usually drink at home, but if we want to go out, the weinstube on Eckenheimer Landstrasse, is our to to place. The place is always packed and loud; get there early if you want a table. Otherwise people crowd the bar or stand outside and enjoy their wines. Hope this helps for your next trip.

      I also just moved here this past summer so I can appreciate what you and your boyfriend may be considering. Lots of youngsters and foreigners also live in Bornheim and seem to have their share of favorite cafes, restaurants, etc. What I have noticed here is that people usually stay within the area they live. It is different from major cities where people will drive or travel to a great restaurant. Here, people tend to walk or go to the local places within their 'hood. Good luck!

      2 Replies
      1. re: lecker

        hi lecker, thanks for your post. the good news is that none of it is wasted as we will be moving to Frankfurt in the new year! I'll be sure to revisit this when I'm local and starting to explore.

        1. re: abby d

          Congratulations on your upcoming move! If you liked Margarete's back restaurant (that was our weekly staple when we first moved here), you may also like Lohringer on the other side of the Main River or Groessenwahn, which is located in Nordend.

          We also weren't too impressed with Emma's, but maybe it was their day off. It is a pleasant and quiet environment especially when the weather is nice outside to sit. If you liked sweets, you should also try the patisserie next to Cafe Karin. They have nice chocolates, truffles and macarons. Good luck with your relocation.

      2. extract from a recent NY TImes article:

        "Frankfurt, long considered strictly a financial capital and major travel hub, used to land on the culturati map once a year, during its annual book fair. A recent boom of restaurants and clubs, though, makes the case for permanent placement. Leading the city’s transformation is its fast-evolving red light district, where spots like Maxie Eisen, a deli-style cafe by day and a speakeasy-inspired bar by night, offer a sexiness that isn’t unseemly. In the city center, a buzzy pan-Asian restaurant called Moriki was just opened by the Berlin-based chef Duc Ngo with a menu that includes envelope-pushing courses like sushi pizza; and the new sleek Lamoraga, a modern Spanish restaurant, is pulling in the shopping crowds for lunch. By the end of next year, the developer Ardi Goldman plans to reinvent and reopen the famed King Kamehameha Club, which had its original heyday in the 1990s and 2000s. And growth extends to the art world: The 32,000-square-foot underground extension at the Städel Museum earned accolades from around the globe when it opened last year."

        my boyfriend ate at Mariki over the weekend and enjoyed their food. I'll be visiting in a couple of weeks and am looking forward to trying some of lecker's suggestions for cocktails!

        1 Reply
        1. re: abby d

          Yelp, I read the same article with a bit of shock. NYT also included Frankfurt in their 'places to visit in 2014' last week: another shocker for those of us who live here. We're not snobs or anything but when we think of places we want to visit, Frankfurt doesn't necessarily rise to the top as do other more exotic locations. Maybe it's because we've always thought of Frankfurt as just a finance and transit hub, neither of which are 'glamorous'. I'm glad it's getting recognized, but there are so many other worthy places that don't get the plug, which I guess is good; I can still enjoy those places without the populous swarms.