While Hamburg may not be the first destination that springs to mind when planning a foodie weekend, the choice and quality available may surprise even the most devout food tourist. This is a quick list of our, meine Familie und ich, personal favourite eateries that we’ve discovered in Hamburg so far.
So when you are done cruising the Elbe and touring the Elbphilarmonie, why not grab a bite at one of these top-notch restaurants.
Kremeramtsstuben Restaurant Classic German
This was the very first restaurant I went to the day I arrived in Hamburg. It’s a cozy, traditional restaurant with a high quality classic German menu. Well worth a visit if you want to try a bit traditional German cuisine.
Henssler Henssler Restaurant SushiBar Contemporary Asian
If you are a sushi fan you will love this restaurant. The contemporary decor in colours of the Japanese flag, looks over the river Elbe. High end sushi made with locally sourced ingredients. The Henssler brother also have two other restaurants in Hamburg, Ono and Ahoi check their website below for details.
Mangold Restaurant & Bar at Gastwerk Hotel Contemporary International
You’ll come here for the creative international menu, but also enjoy the interiors visual feast. The contemporary red brick design of the restaurant and bar, built in a disused warehouse is cozy and spacious. Open for breakfast until 1 pm, followed by a three course lunchtime table menu, and dinner from 6pm.
Trific Restaurant Contemporary International
A stones through from Hamburg’s world famous warehouse district, Speicherstadt, and the Elbephilharmonie Tricif sits on the canal side in old town Hamburg. Excellent cocktails and market-fresh contemporary cuisine from the a la carte menu, or why not try the three or four course tasting menu.
East Hotel & Restaurant European & Asian
The 4 star menu at East, which is situated parallel with the entertainment district Reeperbahn, promises a culinary journey through Europe to Asia. Another incredibly designed space spread over multiple floors. East has a sushi bar, private dinning areas and cocktail bar on the upper level. At weekends the lights and music are turned up making this a trendy place for a night out or after hours cocktails.
Mash American Steak House Steaks
This Danish owned group of restaurants has a comfortable, relaxed lounge bar and restaurant has a gentlemen’s club look and feel. Enjoy views of the Elbe over superb steaks and fabulous cocktails.
Delta Bistro Steaks
You’d probably never find this restaurant if you didn’t know about it beforehand. Tucked away in Hamburg’s meat market, GrosseFleischmarkt, this place is a steak lovers paradise.
Atla Restaurant Contemporary German
This restaurant boasts the best schnitzel in Hamburg. Elegant dinning and, as with many restaurant cooking classes are also on offer.
Goldene Gans Contemporary International
Up-scale bistro cuisine at its finest. I can’t say enough good things about this restaurant, everything on the menu is always exquisite. Open for lunch and dinner, and breakfast up until 11:30 am during weekdays and later at weekends.
Brasserie La Provence Classic French
This is a Parisian style bistro with and exceptional Classic French menu. Choose mouth-watering dishes from the Brasserie Classique menu or the a la carte menu. Brasserie La Provence has been voted best french restaurant six times by Hamburg’s Gastro Guide.
Zur Traube Restaurant Contemporary German
I love, love, love this restaurant not only for the fabulous food but also for the traditional dark wood panelled interior and strange but interesting carvings depicting farm labourers and the like. This restaurant is first and foremost a wine cellar and has a large choice of German and international wines.
Kleien Brunnenstraße Contemporary International
My favourite time to visit this restaurant is during the summer when you can sit on their street terrace and enjoy the warm weather, the excellent menu, and wild flowers which sprout along the streets every spring and summer. Excellent lunchtime menu, and Chefs three or four course tasting menu in the evenings with wines chosen for each individual course.
Billy the Butcher Steaks and Burgers
Billy’s has become one of our go to eateries when we want a fairly low key but high quality meal. The burgers and steaks are excellent. The super friendly staff, all fully trained butchers, will help you personally choose your own cuts of meat which are on display.
Il Locale Contemporary Italian
This Italian restaurant is another of our favourites for low key, high quality dinning. Contemporary Italian cuisine, some of the best pizzas in Hamburg at really good prices.
I’m always on the look out for new and exciting places to eat.
Why not share your favourite places to eat in the comment section. Gluten Appetit!
I wanted to create a warming drink for the winter season and as we are currently living in northern Germany, a Glühwein recipe seemed a natural choice. But, I’m just not in the mood for the abundant choice alcoholic seasonal drinks right now. So a Mexican friend introduced me to a drink that is on the stove top of pretty much every Mexican home during the holiday season – Ponche.
Traditionally made with Jamaica flower (Hibiscus), spices, Tamarind, dried fruits, cane sugar and Tejocotes, a fruit native to Mexico which is part of the Hawthorne family of plants. I’ve substituted some of these ingredients for ones that you may already have on hand. For example, I’ve used dark brown granular sugar instead of cane sugar which still gives a sweet warming taste to the punch, and Quince instead of Tejocotes, which adds a light aromatic flavour and are more readily available.
The punch is really simple to make, and will create a very inviting fruity, spicy aroma in your home. You can keep it warm on the stove, so that you have something warming to offer guests as they pop by during the holiday season, and as its alcohol-free kids can enjoy it too. Feliz Navidad!
You will need
40 g of Dried Jamaica flowers
40 g Raisins
30 g Tamarind (from a block of fruit or
you can use the fruit from about 8 pods)
40 g Dark brown sugar
2 Cinnamon sticks
6 Star Anise
2 Litres water
2 Clementines, chopped
1 Small Quince, cored and chopped
1 Small yellow apple, cored and chopped
Put the Jamaica flowers, spices, Tamarind, prunes, raisins, sugar and water into a large saucepan, bring to a boil then turn down the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
Remove all of the ingredients with a slatted spoon. Add the chopped fruit and simmer for a further 20 minutes. The punch will absorb all of the lovely juices from the fruit. Serve with the pieces of fruit in mugs or punch cups.
I’ve found over the years that when it comes to cooking, like most people, I’m constantly re-adapting or re-inventing a recipe to suit my family’s taste, make it more seasonal or to use up any ingredients I have left over. These dishes often become favourites in themselves. But even classic, much loved recipes invite a little adaptation from time to time. I was initially going to make a tarte au citron a classic lemon tart, exchanging the usual pastry base for a gluten-free almond crust. However, with the bounty of citrus fruits available right now, it seemed fitting to create something more in keeping with the season. So, for the custard filling for my – not at all like a tarte au citron tart, I’ve opted for clementines, a delicious deviations from zesty lemons, with the addition of a little orange blossom water which enhances the delicate notes of the fruit. For the base, a combination of almond flour, fine oats and ground whole almonds gives the tart a bit of gluten-free texture. The result is a delicately aromatic tart, with a little crunch that gently lights up the taste buds.
You will need
For the crust
100 g Almond flour
50 g Fine Oats (Gluten-free)
150 g Almonds
1 egg yolk
50 g butter, melted plus extra for greasing tart tin
1 tbsp honey
23-24 cm tart tin
For the custard
5 med size eggs
Zest of 2 Clementines
Juice of 2-3 Clementines – you’ll need 100ml
150 g of brown caster sugar
1 tbsp of Orange blossom water
65 g of butter, melted but not hot
To begin, grease your tart tin. Pop the whole almonds in a food processor and grind to a medium texture. Mix all of the crust ingredients in a bowl and combine until it resembles a moist crumble. Empty the mixture into the prepared tart tin and, with your fingers or the back of a spoon press the mixture out evenly from the centre to and around the edges of the tin to form a base of even thickness. This may take a little patience, but persevere. Place in the fridge for about half an hour to set.
Pre-heat your oven at 180 C with convection. If you are using a loose-bottom tart tin, place on a baking sheet and pop in the oven for 10 minutes or until lightly golden. Remove from the oven and let it cool slightly.
Turn the oven down to 160 C. Melt the butter and set aside to cool. Zest the clementines with a fine grater, then squeeze the juice into a measuring jug and add the orange blossom water. Put the eggs and sugar in a bowl and whisk together. Add the zest then slowly add the melted butter and then the juice. Pour the filling into the tart base, put it in the oven for 20 minutes or until the filling is golden and just set. Serve with a dusting of icing sugar and a little mascarpone.
The base for this recipe was inspired by – Food and Travel Magazine May 2017 edition.
I had been wanting to visit Morocco for as far back as I can remember, and was awe-struck and inspired the moment I stepped from the plane. Morocco is one of the more politically stable nations of north Africa, and has enjoyed a thriving, well established tourist trade as far back as the 1930’s. Yet, in spite of the high tourism, for me at least, it still evokes a sense of other worldliness. It’s difficult to describe how the colours, textures, sights and smells exude such a sense of wonder.
Our journey through Morocco began in Marrakech. We would then venture to Essaouira, then through the High Atlas mountains to Aït-Ben-Haddou and the Sahara before returning to Marrakech. On our arrival we stayed at La Maison Arabe, a traditional Riad in the centre of old Marrakech, who’s past patrons include Sir Winston Churchill. I would have come to Marrakech just to stay at this hotel. The elegant, jewel coloured interior, intricate carvings and woodwork, central courtyard patios with ornate rose petals filled pools; and morning tea served in the most lavish silver-ware was like stepping back into a colonial past.
We arrive at our camp as evening draws near. Gathering around the camp fire as darkness begins to fall, we are served delicious tagine and sweet mint tea. Musicians entertain us as we take in the star filled sky, the most stars I have ever seen in my life. At dawn, we ride camels through the dunes before making our way back to Marrakech.
Where to stay in Marrakech – La Maison Arabe Marrakech
Where to stay in Essaouira – Villa Maroc Essaouira
For the longest time and for reasons unknown to me, I have been utterly seduced by all things Middle Eastern–the music, decor, architecture and, of course, the cuisine.
I especially love the way ingredients such as rosewater and orange blossom water are added to foods and drinks giving them a delicate, sensual, almost other worldly nuance. So when I’m in the mood for a little dreamy reminiscing about my previous trip to Morocco, I reach for this beautifully fragrant, easy to prepare aromatic coffee and date recipe.
You will need
For the coffee
Strong, freshly brewed coffee – 4 cups
20 Green Cardamom pods
Saffron, a generous pinch
For the dates
Medjool Dates – 12 pitted
Ground almonds – 3oz
Rosewater – 2-3 tablespoons
Soft brown caster sugar – 1 1/2 oz
Put the brewed coffee into a saucepan, bash open the cardamon pods in a Pestel and Mortar and remove the seeds, stir them into the coffee along with the saffron. Keep the coffee hot by placing the pan over a medium heat, pop a lid on and leave for about 8-10 minutes. This will allow the spices to infuse into the coffee while you prepare the dates.
Mix together the ground almonds, sugar and 2 tablespoons of rosewater and make into a paste. Squeeze the paste together by hand to form a ball. Add more rosewater only if needed, as the natural oils from the almonds will help bind the paste together.
Take just less than a teaspoonful of the paste, roll it into a ball between the palms of your hands, then form a sausage shape. Fill a pitted date with the paste. Continue until you have filled all twelve dates.
Pour the coffee into cups through a tea strainer to remove the spices, and serve with the dates. The aromatic coffee is delicious either black or with a splash of cream. Enjoy!
Date recipe inspired: Tamarind & Saffron by Claudia Roden
This is one of those non-recipe recipes, the ones you turn to again and again when, although you have tons of cookbooks, you haven’t a clue what to make. I usually make this dish with quinoa, but this time I’ve chosen to use freekeh, a grain I’ve been meaning to try for an age.
Freekeh (pronounced free-kay) also known as frikeh or farik, is a green durum wheat used in Levantine and North African cuisines. The roasting of the grain gives it a traditional smoking flavour which pairs beautifully with the roasted vegetables in this dish. I’m sure there are a myriad of recipes similar to this, but I’m rather partial to this one. Enjoy.
You will need
100 g freekeh
500 ml chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 medium butternut squash
1/2 fennel bulb – reserve leaves for garnish
1 med red onion
2 red peppers
1 med aubergine
100 g cooked chickpeas
4 sprigs each of fresh rosemary, thyme, oregano, parsley
3 black cardamon pods seeds removed and ground
6 tbsp olive oil plus extra for frying
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to season
To begin, preheat your oven at 200C or equivalent. Put the Freekeh in a bowl and add enough cold water to just cover. Soak for about 20 minutes.
Chop all of the vegetables in to chunks an inch or so in size. Remove the herb leaves from the stems and roughly chop reserving a little of each to garnish along with the fennel leaves.
Place the chopped vegetable in a large bowl, add the herbs, black cardamon and 6 tablespoons of olive oil and toss the vegetables until completely covered. Line a large baking tray with foil and spread all of the vegetables out in a single layer. Season with salt and pepper and pop into the oven for 20-25 minutes.
Drain the freekeh, place in a saucepan, add the broth and simmer for 14 minutes.
Add some olive oil to a small non-stick frying pan and bring to a med-high heat. Fry the chickpeas until lightly crispy, then place on kitchen paper to absorb any excess oil.
When the vegetables are roasted allow them to cool slightly before adding the freekeh. Mix together thoroughly.
Serve garnished with the fried chickpeas and the reserved herbs.
I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to return to Portugal. My first trip here was to the Algave with a college friend. I instantly fell for the golden beaches, the vanilla and cork tress and, of course, the fiery peri peri chicken. I vowed to return soon but never did. Fast forward a few years, and a birthday celebration brings me back to Portugal but this time Lisbon.
Aside from moorish tiled building, vintage yellow trams and mosaic tiled walkways and plazas, the hilly city of Lisbon feels as if it’s opening its arms to welcome you. It feels so comfortable here, like a favourite pair of shoes. The locals are warm and friendly, and you really get the impression that they want you to be here, to immerse yourself in their history and savour their cuisine — from Iberico pork to seafood to baked goods, all every bit as good as the cuisine of their neighbouring Spain. The food is fresh, simple, unpretentious. And although they are proud and passionate about their food, they don’t shout about it nearly enough.
The Portuguese, historically intrepid explorers and world cuisine pioneers, introduced, among other things, chillies to India and tempura to Japan, a dish native to Portugal. But more recently, though, Lisbon has been enjoying a cultural resurgence, with some of its most celebrated chefs doing their part to place Lisbon firmly on the foodie map. With the re-imaging of the historic Mercado de Ribieria into an upscale food court, to the multiple offerings by celebrated local chef Jose Avillez, and wines at Jose Maria da Fonseca’s flagship restaurant By the Wine, Lisbon is worth adding to your must-see list.
So grab your camera, a good pair of walking shoes and explore one of Europe’s most understated capitals. You won’t be disappointed.
Where to stay
Casa do Principe – Praca do Principe Real, 1250-184
During my visit I stayed at this charming bed and breakfast located atop the Barrio Alto neighbourhood. The guest rooms are spacious and beautiful and the breakfast room gorgeous, with a breakfast selection that’s worth getting up for.
Where to eat
Cervejaria Ramiro – Av. Almirante Reis, 1150-007
This restaurant is a seafood paradise — affordable, plentiful and frequented by locals and tourists alike. You’ll find incredibly fresh local sardines, tiger prawns, scarlet shrimp, crabs and clams on the menu, simply prepared with coriander and garlic. Once you’ve had your fill of the seafood, it’s time for dessert. The Prego steak sandwich will complete your meal, washed down with a glass or two of local beer. No reservations are taken, so prepared to queue for a table, but I promise you it’s worth the wait!
Cantinho do Avillez – R. Duques de Bragança, 7, 1200-162
Portuguese cuisines with a world view is how this restaurant likes to present itself. The contemporary cantina style decor is cozy, the food a fusion of traditional and modern. This is one of the five restaurants created by chef Jose Avillez who, along with other young chefs in Lisbon, are leading the charge to put their city on the world food map.
Mercado de Ribieria – Av. 24 de Julho, 481-1200
This large open market has communal tables at the centre with a mix of food, drink and produce stalls on its perimeter. Originally opened in 1892, this market was taken over in 2014 by Timout magazine Lisbon, which created this upscale food court. Food stalls are run by some of Lisbon’s top chefs and offer everything from Portuguese steaks, Maderian breads, hamburgers, sushi, Port, cocktails, you name it. Cooking classes are also on offer.
Where to drink
By the Wine – Rua das Flores, 41
I just happen to pass this wine bar on my way to a dinner reservation. Not only does it offer a vast selection of Portuguese wines by the glass or bottle, but you can also sample local fish dished, steaks and, of course Iberico hams. Wine tastings, wine courses and wine tourism is also available. A must for food and wine lovers.
Ginjinha – Largo Sao Domingos, 8
Just off of the Rossio square is the oldest and most famous Ginjinha bar in Lisbon. Ginjinha, a local wine is made from Morelo cherries and served in small glasses with or without the cherry. Very sweet, utterly delicious!
Quiosquo – Placa Luis de Camoes
There are many Quiosques in Lisbon (small refreshment booths) but, this is one of my favourites. I stopped here several times: in the morning for coffee and mini natas, and in the evening for a pre-dinner appetitive –a glass of Ginjinha, Port or local wine, and a perfect spot for a little people watching.
Where to Explore
Belem was the first neighbourhood on my list. From my hotel, I took a scenic walk passing the Sao Pedro de Alcantara Convent (definitely worth a peak), stopping at the Miradouro do Sao Pedro de Alcantara (Miradouro – look out points) to take in the amazing views of the city and the Castelo de Sao Jorge. From here, I headed to the tram stop at Av. 24 de Julho, which luckily is all down hill. Then I took the number 15 tram to Belem. Tickets can be purchased at the booth next to Cais do Sodre station.
Monteiro dos Jeronimos, Belem tower and the monument Padrao dos Descobrimentos are must-sees in Belem.
Gluten sensitive or not, there is no way I could visit Belem without sampling the local pasties de natas at the famous Pasteis de Belem. Said to be the best in Lisbon, this charming blue and white tiled maze of a pastry shop and cafe is an experience not to be missed.
The Barrio Alfama is the oldest neighbourhood in Lisbon. Take tram 28 or if you’re feeling energetic, walk around the narrow winding streets. There are Miradores dotted all over, and most have at least one Quiosque where you can rest your feet and sample a glass or two of Ginjinha while taking in the stunning views of the city. Keep walking, and you’ll come across more historic buildings and monuments and eventually arrive at the Castelo de Sao Jorge. Walking around the castle grounds, you not only soak up the history but get great panoramic views across Lisbon. The resident peacocks living in the grounds will also provide extra photo opportunities.
Read: The High Mountains of Portugal by Yann Martel
I’d only really heard about Andorra in passing decades ago. I knew nothing about this tiny, isolated country back then. So when a work opportunity takes us there I’m both surprised and intrigued. What was to unfold for us was the discovery of a hidden gem of incredible beauty.
We enter the country through its southern boarder from Spain, taking a pleasurable drive along switch back roads following the ups and ups of the high Pyrenees.
It is late spring when we arrive, just as the season opens into full bloom. The air is thin and fresh, at an altitude of over 3000 metres above sea level at its highest. And views of deep, deep valleys cutting through rugged mountains, rushing streams and lush, flower covered meadows are a pleasure to see after months of grey skies and drizzle in the UK.
Andorra is a landlocked micro-nation nestled snuggly between Spain and France, barely known outside of Europe. Inaccessible by train or air save by private helicopter, this mountainous, co-sovereign state, takes about 3 hours or so to reach by road from either Barcelona or Toulouse.
An escape from the intense mediterranean heat in summer, and a winter play ground from November to April, the principality has flourished in a relatively short time, and has done well to shake off its impoverish, smuggler past. Andorra boasts the largest high altitude hot spring spa in Europe, as well as being ranked 15th in the world for its winter sports resorts with an abundance of outdoor pursuits; skiing, hiking, pro-cycling and mountain biking just for starters.
Much like other micro-states, tourism is its main source of income, with relaxed banking services and very low tax rates on offer plus, of course, duty-free shopping in the country’s capital, Andorra la Vella which, is one of its biggest draws. But it would be a shame to go there just for the duty-free. Andorra’s real treasure is its astonishing nature beauty, beauty that’s hard to put into words. You’ll have to go there and see for yourself.
Making this recipe always reminds me of one of my favourite books and movies Chocolat. The chocolate melting as it slowly simmers, stirring it gently, adding the spices one pinch at a time. And the aroma of chocolate filling the air, rich and dark only adds to the sensual chocolatey pleasure.
This soup is rich, velvety, and easy to make, with a hint of chilli, cinnamon and nutmeg which adds complexity and intrigue to every spoonful.
You will need
Milk – 362 ml
Double cream 32-35% – 125 ml
Dark chocolate – 250g at least 70% cocoa
Caster sugar – 25g
Water – 1 tbsp
Egg yolks – 4 large
Whipping cream – 100 ml plus a little extra for garnish
Chilli powder – 1 1/2 tsp
Ground cinnamon – 3 generous pinches
Nutmeg – a little grated
Lime zest to garnish
In a sauce pan bring the double cream, milk and chocolate slowly to simmering point, stirring continuously with a wooded spoon until the chocolate has melted and combined with the milk and cream. Remove from the heat, then add the chilli powder a pinch at a time. Stir in the cinnamon and nutmeg then set aside.
In another pan heat the sugar and water for just under a minute until you get a syrup consistency. Be careful not to overheat otherwise you’ll end up with hard goop in the bottom of your pan. Next, whisk the egg yolks and add the sugar syrup. Whisk continuously until the yolks and syrup are thoroughly combined and the mixture has almost doubled in volume.
Whip up the whipping cream then fold it into the eggs. Now add to the chocolate sauce until thoroughly combined.
Pour the soup into 4-6 individual bowls and pop in the fridge to chill for about an hour.
You can serve the soup chilled or at room temperature. Once made it will keep for a day or two in the fridge if you want to make it ahead of time.
When you are ready to serve, garnish with a spoonful of whipping cream and a few very thin strips of lime zest. Top with crumbly flakes of chocolate and serve.
Makes 4-6 servings.
Recipe inspiration: Unwrapped, Black & Green’s Chocolate Recipes
For almost two years I was lucky enough to live in Barcelona one of the most captivating cities in Europe. You can’t help but stand in ovation at her magnificence! Her beauty is immeasurable.
On warm, still evenings I’d sit on one of many restaurant terraces lining my street, eating freshly grilled seafood, drinking glasses of Cava watching as the city passed me by. Waiters were bustling yet attentive, the street entertainers grappled for attention and tourists were relaxed and joyful as they released all their inhibitions along with their heavy clothing. The city is tranquil yet vibrant — every day like a holiday.
Barcelona’s cuisine is exceptional, of course, and with so many incredible places to eat, it’s really hard to know where to begin. I have listed just a few restaurants that I would go to often, and would always take visiting friends.
Betlem – Carrer de Girona, 70 at Consell de Cent
I just love it here! Betlem is an informal, Parisian-style restaurant that offers a varied menu from tapas to delicious meat and fish dishes. The chefs change the menu regularly and use the very best seasonal produce to create some of the most succulent dishes I’ve eaten in Barcelona. Their menu del dia is plentiful and, as with most menu del dias in Barcelona during weekdays, very affordable. I highly recommend a visit here for lunch or dinner.
Elsa y Fred – Carrer del Rec Comtal, 11
This is one of my favourite tapas restaurants close to the Arc de Triomf in the El Born neighbourhood. Small and cozy, with fireside leather chairs in the centre of the restaurant making it very inviting. The food is creative, modern and very high quality. There is also a great selection of wines and cocktails.
Cervesaria Ciudad Comtal – Rambla de Catalunya, 18
This is a great tapas restaurant situated on the Rambla de Catalunya. Here you’ll find some of the highest quality mouth-watering tapas, along with a great selection of beers on tap and, of course, Sangria. They offer traditional papas bravas, pulpo, croquettes and an abundance of fresh seafood as well as more modern dishes. One of my favourite is the nut encrusted Camembert with fruit preserve. Delicious! This place is always, always busy. No reservations are taken, so leave your name with the hostess, have a drink while you wait and watch life pass you by on the Rambla.
This is a beautiful, colonial style restaurant in the heart of the vibrant El Born neighbourhood. The menu offers the very best in Catalan cuisine — paella, bacalao and one of my favourite dishes, roast lamb with whole bulb of garlic.
Casa Fausto – Carrer de Funoses – Llussa, 2
A little off the beaten track, this restaurant is worth a visit if you have time. It offers exceptional fish dishes, excellent steaks and, of course, tapas with a modern twist. They also have an amazing selection of some of the best Spanish wines.