Ten cafés in Frankfurt where you could spend hours reading a good book
By Silvia Artaza from Gastronomistas
That Frankfurt is a place of contrasts is something you take in at first sight when you land at this German city. A skyline that rises over buildings from another era; a busy Turkish restaurant full of suited executives at lunchtime; a Japanese pâtisserie where you can just as well buy macarons as sit at its sushi bar.
We got away to Frankfurt for three days to find out what the city has to offer apart from the famous sausages it gives its name to. And we found out.
We used NH City as our headquarters. It's a very well located hotel, a stone's throw from Konstablerwache Square, where the pedestrian shopping area (Zeil) begins. There is a train station of the same name right there, with a direct line to the airport, which is an advantage worth considering when planning your trip. And if you like markets, the square has an interesting market of regional products at the weekend, with heaps of things to try from small-scale producers.
At Christmas, as in many German cities, street markets take centre stage, making this is a great time to visit Frankfurt. But undoubtedly the event in the city with the greatest international impact is the Book Fair. Held in October, it is the largest and most important book fair in the world, a showcase for publishers that attracts over 250,000 visitors each year.
It wasn't October, but we found a good book and headed off to look for those ten cafés where you could spend hours reading.
1- Iimori Pâtisserie & Restaurant. Macarons and Sushi Bar.
Very close to the cathedral, in the heart of Frankfurt, two discreet Japanese women welcome us to this original pâtisserie. A charming café to settle into and enjoy any of the sweet snacks from behind the glass counter: macarons, pastries, fine cakes, including green tea cake, fresh fruit tarts, etc. If you like tea, it's a place not to miss. And the same goes if you like Japanese food. Because upstairs you'll be surprised to find a sushi bar with a great choice of dishes both for lunch and dinner, as well as to take away.
There is a daily buffet breakfast with pastries, croissants, bread, fresh fruit with yoghurt, jams, chocolate cream, sausages and cheeses. And on Saturdays and Sundays there's brunch, where Iimori's sweet side is combined with a great selection of sushi and other Japanese specialities. (Braubachstraße 24)
2-Bitter & Zart. The pleasure of chocolate.
Without leaving this street, we switched from tea and pastries to chocolate in all its varieties. Bitter & Zart began as a shop offering fine chocolate. Tablets, pralines, chocolates, truffles, cocoa... of all the imaginable intensities and flavours (toasted almonds, Ceylon cinnamon, caramel, etc.).
But in 2012 an adjoining room, which they call the "living room", was opened. A cozy and inviting place to enjoy a coffee, tea, chocolate drink or juice, with something sweet or savoury from the counter display. If you come here you have to try the Bitter & Zart chocolate cake. (Braubachstraße 14)
3-Frankfurter Kunstverein café/bar.
Located in the heart of Frankfurt near Römer square, Frankfurter Kunstverein is an art centre that pioneers in the production and exhibition of young and experimental artists. Its café/bar is, as you'd expect, a meeting place for creative minds, where artists and advertising people are to be seen with their laptops while having a cup of coffee.
The fresh homemade food is based on seasonal regional produce. They bake their own bread and the fruit juices are freshly squeezed. It's a great choice if you're looking for a place to have breakfast or enjoy a cocktail in a good atmosphere. (Steinernes Haus am Römerberg. Markt 44).
4-Café Metropol. A must-do.
Also right by the cathedral, Café Metropol is one of the most common places to get together in the city. A good atmosphere and good prices. At its large wooden tables you can have coffee, one of the best homemade pies in Frankfurt, sandwiches, pasta and salads.
It is very bright and you can spend hours gazing through its large window onto a garden, which, coupled with its simplicity, makes it one of the nicest places we found to enjoy a good read. That said, you should know that for dinner (with its international menu) and breakfast at the weekend it's chock-a-block, so it's best to book. (Weckmarkt 13-15)
5-Breakfasts at Café Karin
Another place that is often full is Café Karin, which is a great place for breakfast. The variety is incredible. The breakfast menu uses the names of Frankfurt's various districts, with choices ranging from a classic croissant with butter and jam to a heaped plate of cheeses, meats, sweets... And of course, there are also fresh juices, coffee and muesli, plus the possibility of customising your breakfast with lots of extras. We could call it breakfast, or better still, brunch, because it's available until the evening. (Grosser Hirschgraben 28)
6-Café Albatros. An afterwork place with atmosphere
People had told us about Bockenheim, a neighbourhood we reached passing through a more residential area. Less lively than the centre, but with interesting places like this, Café Albatros, full of young people having a quiet beer after work.
Like Café Metropol, it closes after midnight during the week, so the atmosphere is lively at dinner time. And, of course, there is the Sunday brunch, with some 50 different hot and cold, sweet and savoury dishes. The menu is international, ranging from Italian pasta dishes and salads to tasty Samosas with yoghurt and mint sauce. (Kiesstrasse 27)
7-Roseli. An early evening café
A bit hidden away. This café is located in an alley in an area halfway between the shopping district (Zeil) and the main square (Römer). We liked it because it's small, intimate and very pleasant. And because it has a charming terrace away from the traffic for days with good weather.
Organic teas, coffees and irresistible cakes. But there are also savoury dishes like quiche, focaccia, panini and salads. Nearby Roseli there are other urbane alternatives worth dropping in at, like Brot und seine Freunde (a home bakery with coffees, sandwiches and sweets) and Souper! (with loads of great soups to eat in or take away). (Weißadlergasse 9)
8-History at the tables of Café Liebfrauenberg
Part of Frankfurt's history is definitely to be found here, in this café. Established over 120 years ago, it was and remains a place for social gatherings in the city centre. With its air of nostalgia and of being from another time, it is a must on a list like this, taking in this German city's cafés.
Coffees, teas, drinking chocolate and a variety of sweets to drive you mad. Pancakes, crepes and waffles, and also homemade cakes made with seasonal fruit. Don't miss the walnut cake. (Liebfrauenberg 24)
9-Cocktails and more at Moloko +
Neither Anthony Burgess's book nor Kubrick's film adaptation of it reveal its recipe, but we remember the Moloko Plus as the cocktail drunk by the characters in A Clockwork Orange. Its namesake in Frankfurt also began as a cocktail bar, but has now evolved into a non-stop concept where you can have everything from breakfast in the morning to a mojito at night. The interior design is excuse enough in itself to drop by. (Kurt-Schumacher-Straße 1)
10-Café Süden. Drop in to try its sweets and teas
We love to get off the tourist trail and so one afternoon we ended up in the Bornheim district. We were told that this is an area where locals hang out, which makes us like it even more. With places like this little café. Just four little tables and a bar at the back full of cakes. Really lovely, a place to enjoy a good tea in a candlelit atmosphere. To our surprise, it's the little brother of a Spanish food restaurant in the city! (Berger Strasse 239)
And don't miss…
Operation "Frankfurt beyond the frankfurter" achieved, but we must confess that we also tried a few of them. Which is why, along with all of these recommendations, we encourage you to not miss ...
A visit to a traditional cider (Apfelwein) bar, like Apfelwein Wagner in the Sachsenhausen district, with apple/cider wine, breaded cutlets (Schnitzel) with green sauce(Grünen Soße), which they make with “seven herbs” (borage, chervil, watercress, parsley, burnet, chives and sorrel), or a typical cream cheese with paprika served as a spread starter (Spundekas). (Schweizer Straße 71)
And you should also stroll around the daily market at Kleinmarkthalle, where you can stop off at the Schreiber stall to try some of its sausages. At mid morning there is usually a long queue of locals waiting their turn, but if you want a real frankfurt in Frankfurt, this is the place. (Hasengasse 5)
Makes you want to go, right? Do it! Check out our prices here!more info
Text: Andreas Schmidl
Since star photographer Jürgen Teller picked Frankfurt as the backdrop for a fashion story and documentary of the celebrated
Redlight District, all the signs are that Europe has a new power city. Frankfurt combines the raw and creative energy of art schools with financial power, leading worldwide ranks of living quality. Amidst strict but stylish businessmen, visitors encounter a crowd of experimental artists, high fashion lovers and flea market raiders.
Number one spot for the trend and fashion savvy is the concept boutique Hayashi – located directly in the heart of the city, opposite of the Stock Exchange. The ‘white box’ space with its prominent centre staircase is divided into a floating mid-level and hosts desirable womenswear labels like Acne, Helmut Lang, Theory and Kenzo as well as easy and affordable diffusion lines such as T by Alexander Wang, Sonia by Sonia Rykiel and Étoile Isabel Marant. Hayashi is also known and celebrated for its fashion blog and street photography, presenting the latest trends and newest looks, always with a little edge and tongue-in-cheek twist. A fun place to visit – in the real and virtual world.
Hayashi Börsenplatz 13-15 60313 Frankfurt Lu- Vi 11-19, Sat 11-18 Parkhaus Börse, U-Bahn Hauptwache www.hayashi-shop.com
Text: Andreas Schmidl
Why not take a trip to Frankfurt? Have a look at our flights here!
China No, it’s Bethmannpark
Bethmannpark is a small, pleasant park near the heart of central Frankfurt, much to be recommended to those needing a break from the hustle and bustle of the city. The star attraction is a lovely Chinese garden planted there in 1990.
The park itself dates back to 1783 when the wealthy banker Moritz von Bethmann (1768-1826) planted his Rococo garden in the space. The garden was admired by such illustrious visitors as Napoleon Bonaparte, Johann Goethe, and Austro-Hungarian Emperor Franz Joseph I. The garden passed into public hands in 1941, and the city of Frankfurt opened it as a park in 1952 after reaching agreement with the Bethmann family.
The Chinese garden was planted in 1990 to honour protestors who died in the massacre the year before at Beijing’s Tiananmen square, or “Gate of Heavenly Peace”. It was designed by Chinese craftsmen in accordance with the principles offeng shui, and most of the materials used were brought from China. The garden is walled and accessible through a gate guarded by two sculpted Chinese lions. Once inside, the visitor can admire the exotic vegetation as well as a temple, a pagoda, and the carved Jade Bridge over a small pond.
There is also giant working chess set which is a popular gathering spot
Bethmannpark is between Berger Strasse, Friedberger Landstrasse, and Mauernweg. The nearest undeground station is Merianplatz (line U4).
We encourage you to discover this little paradise in Frankfurt! Check out our prices here
The Manhattan of Europe
By Tensi Sánchez from Actitudes Magazine
Frankfurt on the Main, commonly known as Frankfurt, is one of the most important cities in Germany and one of Europe’s leading economic and financial centres.
Tradition and modernity live side by side in this German city on the banks of the River Main. Its skyline of metal and glass buildings is reminiscent of the famous views of Manhattan as seen from the Hudson River. Although modernity has made its mark on this Bavarian metropolis, many architectural treasures still remain of what was, centuries ago, one of the most important cities in the German empire.
A perfect symbiosis that endows Frankfurt on the Main with a timeless ambience, where conservative German style, contemporary architecture, classic European art and cutting edge design create a fusion that makes this city an ideal destination for all types of tourism.
From Haupbanhof, the city’s main station, we can explore almost the entire city without having to use public transport. As we stroll among Frankfurt’s modern building’s, the old city begins to make its presence felt ever more clearly with each step. Along the cobbled streets in the city centre, we discover magnificent examples of classic German architecture: balconies teeming with flowers, houses with red tile roofs and picturesque buildings that reflect the history of a Medieval city.
The main artery of the city is the Zeil and adjoining streets, all full of shops and shopping arcades. We recommend visiting Zeil Galerie, where we find shops like The Hub, a concept store offering such brands as Acne and Filippa K, as well as the boutique Balmain, Mathew Williamson and vintage articles at Moschino, Vivienne Westwood and Issey Miyake, among others. Another great option is Superette du design, a spectacular shop selling decorative items and gadgets, or Leonid Matthias, a multi-brand store with articles by both German and international designers. From the Zeil Galerie roof-top terrace, you can enjoy fabulous views over the city centre.
The city’s old quarter is home to many famous buildings, such as the former Römer city hall inRömerberg square, Hauptwache, Frankfurt opera house, St. Bartholomew’s Cathedral, the Stock Exchange guarded by a bronze bull and a bear that represent the ups and downs of the stock market. The historic city centre boasts modern, state-of-the-art buildings such as the European Central Bank and theMMK Museum of Modern Art, one of the most important contemporary art museums in the world. Its vast collection includes works by Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Claes Oldenburg, Pablo Picasso, Mario Merz, Jeff Wall, Marlene Dumas, Bruce Nauman… The museum is also home to the Club Michel City restaurant, offering a pop-art ambience, the perfect place to take a break and wind down.
On the banks of the River Main we find the museum area, popularly known as Museumufer (Museum Embankment) a series of ten wonderfully restored villas converted into cultural spaces, all with cafés, shops and extensive gardens. One of the finest is the Museum für Angewandte Kunst (Museum of Applied Arts), where you can find fashion design and Asian decor alongside locally designed furniture from 1925 through to 1985. The museum also has a concept store and restaurant. Another great museum in Frankfurt is the Städel Art Museum, which houses one of the finest collections in Germany: Rembrandt, Edgar Degas, Johannes Vermeer, Botticcelli…along with other great masters.
One of the city’s greatest attractions must be the Frankfurter Skyline, which includes some of Europe’s tallest skyscrapers, towering over 331 metres. And some of the city’s bridges offer fabulous views of the sunset.
The Frankfurter Skyline encompasses over 26 skyscrapers, including: Commerzbank Towerdesignedby Norman Foster and at 259 m is considered the tallest building in Frankfurt and the second tallest in the European Union, although it is surpassed in height by Europaturm at 331m, but this observation tower is not generally regarded as a building as it has no consecutive floors that can be occupied.
It is also worth mentioning Westendtower, Opernturm, Tower 185 and Main Tower, the latter being one of the most visited by tourists (entrance charged) and has an excellent restaurant known as Main Tower Restaurant & Lounge.
The Eurotheum skyscraper is home to INNSIDE Frankfurt Eurothem, the ideal place to relax in the evening, located as from the 22nd floor and serving wonderful cocktails to the sound of live piano music while we marvel at the breathtaking views. A truly unique experience. While this hotel is quite incredible, those who are not too keen on heights and prefer a more relaxed atmosphere can stay at the vanguard hotel that is part of the same chain,INNSIDE Frankfurt Niederrad, just one stop from the main train station and the perfect place to relax and wind down after exploring the city.
Picture by Rubén Seco
What are you waiting for to book your vueling? The perfect way to enjoy a weekend break.