In Cologne you can simply go out for a delicious meal. No matter whether you are a gourmet, you are looking for all you can eat, vegetarian or vegan, you will definitely find something for every occasion and taste in the Rhine metropolis. With over 1,000 restaurants, 87 bars, 11 star restaurants, over 800 pubs, almost 600 food stalls and 170 cafés, the gastronomy in Cologne offers an enormous variety or simply relaxation in one of the many cafés. The whole world is at home here in culinary terms. There is hardly a kitchen you cannot try here - as you would expect from a metropolis.
Places to eat in Cologne
Restaurants in Cologne
If 88 restaurants in Cologne were recommended in the Michelin Guide and 11 of them were included in the coveted Hall of Fame of star restaurants, this testifies to the high culinary level of Cologne's culinary culture. Which restaurants are popular right now? What is well rated? Where is it worth going?
Grilled meat in the Pantanal Rodizio, Turkish hospitality and dining culture in the center of Cologne in the restaurant mangal or gastronomic highlights with a great view of the Rhine and the cathedral in the Rhine terraces.
The "XII Apostles in Cologne have nothing to do with the cathedral, but are a trademark for upscale Italian gastronomy in the city center on Heumarkt. The bar-restaurant with this name serves Italian dishes and wines in an exceptionally beautiful ambience made of magnificent ceiling paintings, carved wall coverings, chandeliers and red velvet curtains. The names of the biblical twelve apostles appear on the menu and name twelve wafer-thin pizza variations that come from the wood-fired stone oven and are prepared in front of the guests. The 32 cm large delicacies are baked at over 400 ° Celsius and have made the restaurant famous throughout Germany.
Simple basic products of selected origin in the best preparation. This is how the namesake and initiators of the maiBeck restaurant describe their culinary offerings in the heart of Cologne city center, right next to the cathedral. The food also won over the Michelin gourmets and they again awarded the coveted star in 2019. In summer you can also enjoy your meal on the terrace of the restaurant.
The name Maredo stands for sophisticated steak culture worldwide. The numerous branches are therefore also present in the cathedral city, two times not far from the Cologne landmark in the city center. In addition to the steaks from Argentina and Uruguay that are perfectly grilled at the desired cooking level, there is - among other things - plenty of salad from the buffet.
Anyone who is out and about in Cologne for gastronomy knows NENI . Above the roofs of Cologne's old town, it's not just a trendy restaurant but an institution. NENI is a real family business run by the kitchen virtuoso Haya Molcho with her four sons. For the Molcho family, cooking is a longing for home. Accordingly, the dishes are a feel-good experience, primarily with Far Eastern flavor creations.
Those who love Japanese food and especially the sushi culture will find plenty to choose from in Cologne. The first sushi restaurant was opened in 1988 in the cathedral city. Since then, the Japanese specialty restaurants have become firmly established in Cologne. The well-known addresses in this category include the sushi restaurants of the Bento Box, which in addition to Munich also enrich the Cologne sushi culture with three branches. The delicious offer of the Bento Box is also used as a take-away or with a delivery service.
Pizza and pasta with an Italian ambience are also plentiful in Cologne. What used to be an insider tip is now a very well-known recommendation for "the best pizza in Cologne": the Al Caminetto restaurant . Small, fine and quaint Italian with a view of the pizza stone oven, here in the middle of Cologne you can enjoy the pizza, pasta & Co. prepared with original Italian cuisine. The popularity of the restaurant means that a seat reservation is mandatory during normal meal times.
Authentic South African cuisine has a name in Cologne: Shaka Zulu. Refined seasoning, the rich food is served in small bowls, which also invites you to share and promotes table discussions. Vegetarians and vegans can also enjoy full flavors here with the appropriate menus. There are also extraordinarily creative cocktails. The whole thing at fair prices. It is not without reason that this small restaurant ranks high in Cologne's popularity ranking.
The tradition of Latin American cuisine is one of the most important in the world. This can be found with original recipes from South America in Cologne's El Inca restaurant . Typical South American dishes and creative cocktails as well as original Peruvian beer are served in the small cellar restaurant with Peruvian flair. A piece of home even for Spanish-speaking South Americans. In the restaurant, which is always well attended, a seat reservation is recommended during normal meal times.
In the Belgian quarter of downtown Cologne, friends of Indian cuisine will find an authentic culinary address. The Ginti restaurant offers you a typical Indian menu from mild to spicy. It is significant that many Indians come here to eat. Vegetarians will also find a rich selection of meatless Indian dishes without sacrificing enjoyment.
Directly on the banks of the Rhine, right next to the Rheinauhafen, the Greek restaurant Limani not only convinces with the beautiful view of the Rhine but also with a high-quality Mediterranean menu. In the summer months, the terraces are a popular destination for walkers along the banks of the Rhine. Enjoying the Greek food in a pleasant ambience with a view of the Rhine brings a holiday feeling, especially in summer.
The finest pieces of beef are known to become steaks. In order to then enjoy this culinary delights, the cathedral city of Cologne offers a number of good steakhouses with different thematic characteristics, from typical South American to medieval.
In the heart of Cologne at the foot of the cathedral is a traditional Cologne building of a special kind with the name ALTER WARTESAAL, which was renamed in 2014 after a renovation to "waiting room at the cathedral". The name already testifies to its past as part of the historic Cologne train station for first class passengers. Since the renovation, it has not only been a restaurant but also a location for renowned events with a capacity of up to 1,000 guests. The rooms impress with the elegant ambience of Art Nouveau architecture, in which fine international cuisine is served. The brunch offered every Sunday from 12 noon to 5pm. is very popular.
The banks of the Rhine
Great places to eat
Cafés in Cologne
Do you know a café in Cologne where you can have a late breakfast or an early lunch from 9am. to 6pm. If not, then you should get to know the Café Buur, which opened in June 2017 in the beautiful Belgian quarter. Under the motto "Breakfast all day", an extraordinarily rich selection of pancakes and unusual breakfast menus is offered here. There is something for everyone - both meat eaters and vegetarians and vegans.
Be it breakfast, lunch and dinner or classic coffee and cake, in the long-established nostalgic-looking Café Schmitz in Cologne's northern old town you will find everything from 9 a.m. to midnight. Readings, concerts and a wide range of newspapers also make this location a literary café. The ambience with chandeliers, gold-painted ceiling and tables and chairs made of dark wood is reminiscent of the Viennese café house tradition.
When café visitors in Cologne rave about cake and good Meinl coffee, speak of Café RICO in the Belgian quarter of the city center. Artists, gallery owners and politicians also meet here to enjoy the delicious coffee and cake or the delicious dishes on the breakfast menu. In summer you can also enjoy this street café, which is sometimes overwhelmingly well rated, outside.