On your journey to Frankfurt you may have seen the fields from the train window. Seven herbs grow between Frankfurt-Sachsenhausen and Oberrad, which together with other ingredients become the Green Sauce, one of many Frankfurt specialities.
Behind the farmland rises the new Henninger Tower and on the right hand side the European Central Bank with the up-and-coming Ostend district. Everywhere you look you will find restaurants that have what it takes to become your favourite pub. Their cuisine is regional, creative and irresistible. Best views are offered by the Restaurant Franziska in the newly rebuilt Henninger Turm, , originally a grain tower and one of Frankfurt’s best-loved landmarks. Its creators call the concept ‘progressive German vintage cuisine’, featuring a revamped Frankfurt crown cake (Frankfurter Kranz) and other classic dishes – although it’s no secret many diners visit for the spectacular views. Panoramic windows all the way round give great views of the Frankfurt skyline and add a touch of glamour. This was noted by the cast of Skylines, who visited for the premiere of their Netflix series.
The Lindley Lindenberg in the Ostend district of Frankfurt is a fusion of hotel and co-living – a ‘guest community’ with roof terrace, indoor herbarium, living room and several communal kitchens. There’s a similar cosy chic on the ground floor in the Leuchtendroter café-restaurant – the ‘upstart younger sister’ of the Michelin-starred Seven Swans restaurant. Its approach is radically local, as they grow their own produce – and serve exclusively vegetarian delicacies.
Talking about little sisters: where do you think the Le Petit Royal, the first offshoot of the world-famous Grill Royal outside Berlin, is? In Frankfurt, of course! It is in the Ameron boutique hotel near the central station, where it delights guests and visitors alike. And what a great fit it is, with its relaxed mid-century elegance and unfussy interpretation of French cuisine.
Between the train station and Ostend, i.e. in the middle of Frankfurt city centre, there are two more recommendable restaurants. Under the rather modest sobriquet “bistro and bar”, the Bidlabu does dish up edgy cuisine. For example, in winter you will find venison and red cabbage on the menu, or cima di rapa with egg yolk and truffles; in summer there’s fish of the day with courgette and saffron. A few select ingredients, pared down to the essentials, accompanied by a great selection of wines. What more do you need to win a place in the hearts of many Frankfurt residents?
If you prefer a bit more of a spectacle, book a table at the Aureus. This restaurant in the Gold Museum, which also has a daytime café-bar, offers diners magnificent premises at the picturesque villa established by the historic firm Degussa, complete with trompe l’oeil murals, blue upholstered furniture, oak parquet flooring, silver cutlery and hand-blown glasses. The restaurant staff dress the part: their uniforms have gold thread running through them as they serve up pigeon with truffles or halibut in goose fat. Visitors with time on their hands can visit the Gold Museum and gift shop on the same site.
But now back to the herbs and green sauce: borage, chives, parsley, pimpinella, cress, chervil and sorrel – can you list them all? If not, you will be helped here: the Solzer is a venerable institution which proves that you don’t need to go to the suburb of Sachsenhausen to find excellent ‘Grie Soss’ as the locals call this regional specialty. And to top it all off, it offers a cosy atmosphere pitched somewhere between garden shed and pub.
Nearby, the Bornheimer Ratskeller with its whitewashed brick walls, low-hanging designer lighting and fresh flowers on the tables, presents a contemporary interpretation of the traditional Frankfurt establishment. Mario Furlanello won the Frankfurt Startup Award (Frankfurter Gründerpreis) for his concept. The menu offers typical Frankfurt cuisine with selected Italian home cooking plus distinctive creative details for a refined feel.