I spent only a few days in Frankfurt during my business trip and, unfortunately, I had to work most of the time. However, I did my best to go around Frankfurt after working hours as much as I could. And I put a lot of effort into trying the best and the most traditional German food you can get there.
One of the 'must try' meals recommended to me in Frankfurt was the 'Haxe' which is the roasted pork knuckle.
Because Schweinhaxe is quite an inexpensive cut of meat, it was a typical 'Arme Leute Essen', or poor man's food. It takes around three hours of cooking to make it delicious.
The usual side dishes are potatoes and cabbage salad.
There are many different versions of this dish around Europe. In Austria, for example, they call it Stelze and eat it with mustard, horseradish, and pickled chili peppers.
Total price €22 - For the, formerly, poor man's food, the Haxe was quite expensive. The final price is with a 0.5l of Radler (beer with Sprite).
However, the meal is huge. I came to the restaurant quite hungry, but I couldn't finish it. You can easily share Schweinhaxe between two people.
One restaurant which came up a few times during my research for the best restaurant in Frankfurt was the Klosterhof Restaurant. It had good reviews, so I decided to include it in my plan.
As you can see from the photos, the entrance to the restaurant doesn't have much character from the outside. However, the interior is charming and very cozy. The staff was incredibly friendly, and the quality of the food was excellent.
The place is not very big and can get very busy. It is probably ok during the day, but if you are planning to come for dinner, you rather make a reservation. I arrived at 6 pm and there was no table available for at least another 30 minutes, so I had to book the table for the next day.
Handkäse's cheese name is Harzer, and it is a German sour milk cheese. When it's small and round, it's called Handkäse, and when it's cylindrical, it's called Stangenkäse.
It is very low fat (only 1% of fat), high on protein cheese and it's marinated with raw onions and caraway.
Handkäse mit Musik is a traditional German appetizer and leaving Frankfurt without trying it, wouldn't be the full experience. It's recommended to eat with Apfelwine (cider).
I tried it with Apfelwine for the proper experience, but next time I will rather have it with beer.
Handkäse is being served with bread and butter. Spread a little bit of butter on the bread and put a piece of Handkäse with some onions on it. I have to admit that this dish doesn't look very appealing, but in reality, it tastes great.
The 'Musik' part usually comes later. The whole combination of oil, raw onions and cheese can make you, in a few hours, fart a lot. From my own experience, this part of the meal is correct.
Total price €4.8 - with the Apfelwine or beer expect to pay around €8-9.
Café Hauptwache is right in the middle of the Frankfurt. It has good reviews on the internet but I was a little bit worried that it will be a tourist trap.
I was wrong. The interior of the restaurant is nothing special but it has a lot of space, and the staff is amicable and helpful.
It was such a pleasant experience that during my stay in Frankfurt I ended up eating here twice.
Best Worscht in Town was recommended to me as one of the hottest things in Frankfurt. Literally, the hottest!
This (fast-food) restaurant serves only one dish; the currywurst (sausages) with fries and the especially famous ultra-spicy sauce.
You can choose from four different menu sizes, pick from around nine flavors of sauce (cheesy, BBQ, etc.) and spiciness (level A to F where F is the spiciest).
They usually recommend spiciness B or B+. I was told that they brought B+ into the mix because the jump between spiciness B and C was too high. Having Korean family, I went boldly for the spiciness C. The guy at the counter wasn’t very sure and tried to discourage me. Maybe I should have listened to him 😃 I have to admit that the level C was a little bit over my spiciness limit and I would enjoy B+ much more. Go for the F only if you lost your taste buns ages ago.
Total price €6.7-9.3 - I went for the X-Treme-Combo menu for €7.1 which contains wurst, bread (das Brot), fries and drink.
They have multiple branches around Frankfurt and every time I pass one of them they were swamped which is always a good sign.
Grüne Soße seems to be a favorite dish in the area and from my research has a 50/50 percent popularity among people. You like it, or you don’t. I didn’t 😃
The Frankfurt-style is made exclusively from seven fresh herbs, namely parsley, chives, chervil, borage, sorrel, garden cress, and salad burnet together with sour cream, oil, vinegar, mustard, salt and added hard boiled eggs.
The sauce is served cold with peeled, boiled potatoes or just with rye bread, as an accompaniment to either hard-boiled eggs or roast beef brisket. Some people like it with Schnitzel, and indeed when I tried the Frankfurter Schnitzel, I got Grüne Soße as one of the dips.
The dish is traditionally accompanied with the Apfelwein.
If you like sour, cold, herby sauce, then you will enjoy this dish. It was a good experience, but I wouldn’t go for it again as it is not my preferred taste.
Total price €9.5 - I also had a small glass of Apfelwien for €2.2
I felt that the Grüne Soße won’t be enough for me, so I ordered some Weisswurst sausage as well.
They are made from a mixture of finely minced veal and back bacon stuffed into pork casings. Typically seasoned with parsley, onions and fresh lemon as well as ground spices such as nutmeg, cardamon, mace, and ginger.
It often comes with Pretzel and mustard.
The weisswurst casing is quite thick, so the best way how to eat weisswurst is to cut off the tip of the sausage and suck it out of its skin or slit it along. Don’t eat the casing.
Total price €8.5 - It wasn’t bad, but I wouldn't go for it next time. I prefer richer meat taste in sausages.
I found this restaurant on the internet as one of the recommended places to eat in Frankfurt. It is an excellent place to eat at as they serve all the main dishes you may want to try in Frankfurt. The food was good, and it is close to the city center, so a nice win-win.
People mention excellent service in the reviews. However, I didn’t experience anything unusual. The service was good but nothing I would explicitly point out.
Because of its good reviews, the place can be bustling, and you may need to make a reservation in advance. Especially in the evening. I came a little bit before the rush hour, and one table was available for a quick meal.
Frankfurter Schnitzel is basically a Viennese Schnitzel with the Grüne Soße. Schnitzel is a very popular food all around Central Europe with just a small differences.
Total price €23.80 - I had the Schnitzel in the Café Hauptwache, and I felt like it was a little bit overpriced, but the overal quality was excellent and I had a good meal.
Pretzel has been an integral part of German baking transitions for centuries. It’s not clear when and how it was invented, but it has been used as an emblem of bakers from at least the 12th century.
In Frankfurt, pretzels are a vital part of a well balanced daily diet, and I can understand why. Fresh pretzels are delicious.
Pretzel is a type of baked bread product made from dough most commonly shaped into a twisted knot. The most common seasoning is salt, but you can buy other variations: sesame seeds, nuts, poppy seeds.
It is delicious as it is and I stopped by the bakery every morning to buy one as a snack during my stay in Frankfurt. However, it’s excellent with butter.
You also get Pretzel with a Weisswurst sausage.
In any bakery. I mostly bought my morning Pretzel at Der Bäcker Eifler bakery. It is a little bit soulless chain bakery, but the quality of the bread was good, and they are at almost every corner in Frankfurt.
Total price €0.7
Apfelwine is a cider. It’s made from fermented apple juice, has a sour taste and 4.8%–7.0% of alcohol.
I can’t say I enjoyed it a lot. However, it’s widespread to drink Apfelwine mixed with sparkling water or Fanta. The second time I went for the Apfelwine/Fanta mix, and I enjoyed it a lot more.
You can get Apfelwein in any restaurant in Frankfurt.
As you probably already know, beer is a big thing in Germany. And there are many exotic flavors to it. In Frankfurt, besides the regular beer, you can also go for Radler (beer with sprite) or the lesser known Bananaweizen.
Bananaweizen is a Weißbier (wheat beer) with banana juice. As crazy as it sounds, banana beer is actually delicious. A little bit sweet, because of the banana juice. So probably not for everyone, but I enjoyed it a lot.
You can get Bananweizen in almost every restaurant.
Mezzo Mix was first introduced in Germany in 1973. The official slogan of this non-alcoholic drink is Cola küsst Orange which means ‘Cola kisses Orange.' As its slogan indicates, the drink is the mix of Coca-Cola and Fanta.
You can get Mezzo Mix in every supermarket and some restaurants.
When I did my usual research about Frankfurt, Zeit für Brot popped out in the search results, and I added it into my 'to explore' list. After my colleague in Frankfurt mentioned it as well, I instantly knew that I have to visit.
Zeit für Brot is an excellent bakery where you can make your usual day to day bread shopping.
However, the real highlight is the Schnecke. Schnecke is the sweet bread with many different fillings: cinnamon, apple cinnamon, walnut & syrup, poppy seeds, chocolate, white chocolate and more.
Poppy seeds are not being used as baking ingredients in surprisingly many countries around the world. But around Central Europe, it is a very common ingredient. If you come from one of those countries where you don’t use poppy seeds, then I would recommend you to try the poppy seed Schnecke. It’s excellent.
They also serve coffee so you can enjoy your Schnecke on the spot.☕️
Total price 2.7€ - for one Schnecke. Not the cheapest but the size is pretty decent.
The German food, in general, is pretty heavy and food in Frankfurt is not an exception. If there is any salad it's mostly for the decoration only.
I found the service very good in all restaurants I have visited. Also, the quality of food was always outstanding, even if the restaurant wasn’t on the top of the google lists of the best in Frankfurt. I believe that it is safe to say that you don’t need to worry too much about finding the right restaurantin Frankfurt. If you are hungry and need to eat, whatever place you will choose, you will be all right.
Although, I found eating out in Frankfurt quite expensive. Prices felt high enough to compete with London which I didn’t expect in this much smaller city. So, be ready to burn a hole in your wallet.