Places to Eat in Freiburg, Germany
Here is a look at some of my favorite places to eat in Freiburg. All of them are right in the center of the city where most of the tourists come anyway. The university is right here too, so they can’t get away with outrageous prices even for the center.
Although I love my adopted home city, I realize that I don’t write a lot about it specifically. Freiburg is a great university town in the south west of Germany on the edge of the Black Forest. As it is a town full of students as well as passing tourists (we get a lot of french and italian) the food choices are pretty good here.
Restaurant website links are mostly in German.
The influence from nearby Alsace is clear in Freiburg. This comes in the form of Flammkuchen. Similar to pizza in that it is a flat piece of dough with stuff on top, a normal one will be anywhere between the size of a large plate to double that width. The dough is crispy and the sauce is a creme instead of tomato based. Classic Alsatian has cheese, onions and bacon, although places here will often offer all different toppings including sweet.
Flammkuchen of one form or another can be seen at a lot of different places in town. Art Cafe & Cafe Legere however are my favorite places. They are next to each other on a square near the university. Both places have outdoor tables and the square makes wonderful people watching. Cafe Legere also has great breakfast offerings.
Cafe Legere : Niemenstraße 6
Beer is synonymous with Germany for quite good reason. Each town has its own local breweries and Freiburg is no different. Feierling is my favorite local brewery. It is near the center of town and across the walkway from its own biergarten. Summer is definitely the time for the biergarten, but the warmth of the brewery-restaraunt is great in the winter with its two large copper brewing vats.
The reason to come is the unfiltered Inselhopf bier. It comes in both light and dark versions. The beer is sweeter than normal pils. The food is local fare if you feel the need to eat something while enjoying the brew. The biergarten has a reduced menu, but you can always order across the street and bring it over.
Hausbrauerei Feierling : Gerberau 46
Schnitzel means cutlet in German. So a slab of meat usually breaded and pan fried. This is definitely one of the national dishes of Germany. SchniPo is a very common in pubs here. It means Schnitzel Pommes or Cutlet and Fries. Meat and potatoes in the most classic fashion.
Tacheles bills itself as Schnitzel Paradise. This is not far from truth. The entire back side of the menu is schnitzels with different sauces and toppings. All come with salads and a side of potatoes in you favorite form. The place is underground, so meat served in atmosphere.
Tacheles : Grünwälderstr.17
Want to make Schnitzel yourself? Check out these recipes for 12 variations of Schnitzel!
Schlappen is a whiskey pub. Inside are enormous tables for 10 people (if just you and your friend sit there, expect company) and tables out on the square. The food is student fare, so cheap but decent. Pasta, meat and potatoes as well as an extensive list of pizzas center the menu. The place is however more of a watering hole. A wall of whiskey behind the bar, a absinth menu and a full separate drinks menu featuring imported beers shows this. It can get busy in the evenings quickly, but it a nice place to sit outside in the summer.
For the guys take a quick trip to the bathroom (around the end of the bar through the door and down the stairs). A pit underneath the sink has a skeleton at the bottom. Just another part of the quirky styling of the place.
Schlappen : Löwenstraße 2
Right in the center of Freiburg steps from the bustling streets in the old newspaper print house is Markthalle. This means market hall and is an indoor food court. All different types of food are served here. Each stall offers a different nationality of food. Italian, Persian, Mexican, Indian, Chinese, German and more are represented here. The pasta place here is one of our favorites we have ever found.
Buy your food and look for a spot at the common standing tables. Afterwards take your plates to the common return spot. I go here quite often and love the bustling atmosphere. On the weekend evenings it becomes more a night spot with music and the stands offering cocktails.
Markthalle : Grünwälderstrasse 4
Every town around the world has an Irish pub or two. Freiburg is no different. O’Kellys is my pub of choice, my local as it were. The owner is from Ireland and a great friendly lass who has been running this place for 10 years. If you are looking for a place to hang out and watch the game (soccer, football, rugby as the day dictates), this is the place.
Weekly pub quiz and drink specials as well as weekend music means that there is almost always something going on. Especially as an English speaking expat, this is a nice place to hang out.
O’Kellys : Milchstraße 1
One of the great places to eat in town is the market itself. The market fills cathedral square every morning except Sunday until usually 1pm. Options here are any number of fruit stalls for fresh produce as well as a whole line of stands selling sausage. They are run by butchers that make their own (‘aus eigene Herstellung’). This is definitely stand up food territory, but it is great street food and one of the cheapest eats in town. 2Euro 20 for a sausage in a roll.
In Cathedral Square
Although currywurst is most strongly claimed by Berlin, the dish exists all over Germany. Imagine a sausage cut into slices and covered with ketchup and sprinkled with curry powder. I heard at the German bloggers meetup that “true currywurst” has curry powder in the meat itself.
Mensa drei is my favorite place for currywurst in Freiburg. This is pretty much their main (almost only) dish. The best thing about this place in my mind is that you can get the sauce in a bunch of different spicy-ness levels. Levels go from 1 to 10, where 1 is nothing and 9 and above are apparently not served without previous recommendation. I order 5 and 6 regularly. 7 will clear out my sinuses and I can’t taste much more than spice for a while. They serve the naked veal sausages usually with fries. Since they have mainly just curry wurst orders go like Number 6 with ketchup. The place is across from the university and although small is a neat little local place.
Mensa Drei : Niemensstraße 7
Germans are not known for their ice-cream. But the Italians are famous for gelato. Thankfully this Italian influence is well received in Germany and in the long summer nights geleterias are nearly as popular as biergartens. Several places do close in the winter, but there are a few that stay open year round. Most places do have tables, but note that if you want to sit there you need to order off the menu. Cones are only for take-away. Don’t worry everyone walks around licking ice cream, even into the winter.
My favorite place is right around the corner from Martinstor in the center of town and called Incontro. There is usually a long line out of the small shop on warm days. They have some of the standard flavors, but my favorite are the ones inspired by candies. So rum, chocolate and cherry is named after Mon Cheri candies.
Incontro however is one of the places that closes during the winter. If in the midst of the cold winter, I still need an ice cream fix go to Portofino by the city theater. This is the same tram stop as O’Kellys and I remember many a Friday night of drinking with friends being finished by an ice cream cone.
Incontro : Niemensstraße 3
Portofino : Bertoldstraße 44
There are plenty of other great cafe’s and bakeries in the center of the city. Plenty of Asian, Italian and Turkish Döner places sprinkled about. If you are ready to explore beyond just the old town, there are lots more to see and eat as well. This is merely a small sampling of the places that I like.
COMING THIS THURSDAY March 15 – The German Blogger’s Stammtisch topic is Food.
April 19, 2013 @ 3:31 pm
Thanks. We have visitors coming this weekend, and I was wondering if you have any other restraurants you would add to this list.
April 21, 2013 @ 5:35 pm
Martinsbrau is another house brewery that is very good. It is right next to Martinstor underneath Markthalle. The beer is fresh and the food is local. The menu isn’t very varied, but what is on there is good.
El Bolero is down Kaiser Joseph str from Martinstor one tram stop or so. It is latin themed with some mexican style things as well as pizza. Not very “German”, but good.
Brasil is along the tram line, one stop to the west of the Train Station. The food is good and the atmosphere is nice. Some really great chocolate cake.
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March 21, 2012 @ 11:26 pm
Now I’m hungry again! I love Flammkuchen. So good. My favorite is the traditional one with onion and bacon. And I long for authentic Italian gelato and pizza and pasta and more…. I think, for the most part, we got lucky in Germany with pretty authentic Italian food. Don’t you?
March 22, 2012 @ 11:18 pm
Germany has good Italian and Turkish food for the same reason much of the US gets good Mexican. Immigrants bring their cuisine. Loving the Gelato here. Had one for lunch today.
March 17, 2012 @ 1:57 pm
Mmmm – we loved the food and beer in Freiburg. And meeting you, of course! =) Tacheles was so good we went back a second time in only a few days.
March 18, 2012 @ 6:45 pm
Oo, glad you enjoyed it. Yeah, it was lovely hanging out with you two.
March 13, 2012 @ 1:36 pm
As we are finalizing our moving to Freiburg by end of summer, I appreciate your blog more & more. I can’t wait to try out the Flammkuchen at Cafe Legere & Art Cafe! I’ve only had it once and couldn’t believe how good it was. Being from NY, I thought it would taste like bad pizza but, of course, it was an unfounded prejudice! Very much looking forward to relaxing in the biergartens too 🙂 And the Market by the cathedral is so beautiful, definitely one of the draws for me. Thanks for writing about Freiburg specifically! I’m starting to look forward to my new life in Deutschland.
March 14, 2012 @ 11:00 pm
Thanks so much. I’m glad that I can help.
New York Style Pizza is something we are still searching for here, though.
March 15, 2012 @ 12:53 am
Yes, NY pizza and great Asian food still need to find their way to Freiburg!!
March 16, 2012 @ 9:55 pm
I have an Asian place I quite like. Still need to work on Pizza. Italians made it first and there are plenty of them around, so I have hopes.
March 13, 2012 @ 10:04 am
Would you believe it? I’ve not yet been to Freiburg? Well, this list will certainly come in handy for the wife who’s always out to sample local fare.
March 14, 2012 @ 10:59 pm
Really? You need to come visit. There are tons of hiking trails around.
March 13, 2012 @ 9:03 am
I’ll need this guide during the visit to Freiburg.
March 13, 2012 @ 8:27 am
So what would be the best place to eat before, after, or during a football match? 🙂
March 14, 2012 @ 10:58 pm
O’Kellys is probably the most Sports Bar-y on that list and can definitely get crowded during a big game.
March 12, 2012 @ 5:58 pm
Andrew, I love this. I had a chance to visit Freiburg for two days during the time I lived in Germany. It was a beautiful city. I enjoyed Cathedral square and the market you mentioned. Next time I am in Germany I will try some of the restaurants in your post.
March 12, 2012 @ 10:43 pm
Only two days? Gotta spend more time than that the next time back.
March 12, 2012 @ 1:09 am
Sounds like about everything I would be looking for there Andy!! If I ever get to Germany again I will be coming to visit Freiberg!
March 12, 2012 @ 10:42 pm
Definitely come join us, we can make a round of the food and beer.
The Time-Crunched Traveler (Ellen)
March 11, 2012 @ 11:01 pm
Great post! Love Freiburg 🙂
March 12, 2012 @ 10:41 pm