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Laid-back at maiBeck: Jan C. Maier and Tobias Becker in their restaurant

Dinner restaurants

|   food

Take a culinary tour around the world without having to leave Cologne


Karl Hermann’s

Burgers. Even the stylish dining area is an indication of the exceptional food that is served here. As the waiter explains, the freshly minced beef comes from pasture cows that are fed exclusively on grass and hay and not given antibiotics or any other additives. After the first bite, we all agree that these burgers are fantastic! The pulled beef burger – tender meat in a spicy but not too smoky BBQ sauce – is served in a brioche with red cabbage. The 150-gram bacon cheeseburger is subtly seasoned to bring out the intensive taste of the beef, while the homemade fries (with the skins still on) and sweet potato fries are deep-fried in beef fat and perfectly crisp. And the restaurant’s very own dips are the perfect accompaniment. From the drinks menu, we order an ice-cold mint lemonade  and a Nolte craft beer. Text by Julia Uehren

Outdoor seating, Venloer Str. 538



Vegan. A great vegan eatery on the other side of the Rhine to the Cathedral. This small restaurant is devoted entirely to Japanese udon noodles, which are generally served in a broth. Depending on the dish in question, the broth is made of numerous ingredients – with red tantan udon, the most prominent of these are the pointed cabbage and the ginger and garlic paste. As well as this, the nori algae leaves laid out inside the bowl add a salty hint of the sea. Something else you should definitely try is the hojicha, roasted green tea that can be served hot or cold. It is dominated by a roasting aroma, with the familiar green tea flavour arriving as an aftertaste. After this you’ll know why so many people make the trip over the river. To avoid disappointment, be sure to reserve a table. Text by Tobias Pastoors

Outdoor seating, Josephskirchstr. 25



Michelin-starred. Regional. A laid-back atmosphere like this is not often found in gourmet cuisine circles. Before the four-course menu, bread and salted butter are served – or, for vegans, bread with a dish of warm olive oil. Even though there is no mention of vegan food on the menu, the restaurant – which has held a Michelin star for some years now – always offers an appetising alternative. For instance, as an alternative to the salmon sashimi, zucchini strips on a bed of radish, Amalfi lemons and asparagus kimchi are served. Needless to say, the non-vegan cuisine is also sublime. The meat dish – shoulder of beef – is melt-in-your-mouth tender. A wonderfully inventive touch is that you can also get a glass of excellent wine to go, which can be enjoyed on a stroll along the Rhine. Gourmet cuisine at its laid-back best. Text by Tobias Pastoors

Outdoor seating, Am Frankenturm 5



Chinese. The friendly proprietor welcomes us at the entrance to the restaurant at the quiet end of Florastrasse in Nippes. As a starter we go for the deep-fried lotus roots, which are crispy on the outside but still fresh and crunchy on the inside and served with a sweet chilli dip. The wide range of main courses includes various meat, fish and vegetarian options. Following the staff’s recommendation, we order the Fromanda spicy vegetarian stew and the beef with spring onions and ginger. As well as being chock-full of juicy tofu and fresh vegetables, the stew very much lives up to its name while still being delicately seasoned. The beef comes with fried sweet onions and strips of leek and bell peppers in a sauce refined with threads of ginger. We drink refreshing Chinese beer and make a mental note to try the roasted rice tea next time.  Text by Cosima Lorenz

Outdoor seating, Florastr. 174



Mediterranean. Simple elegance with a hint of modernity: this may well be the best way to describe the stylish corner restaurant in Neuehrenfeld, where you can sit outside in the shade of magnificent art nouveau-style buildings. The food here is excellent with a strong emphasis on regional and seasonal ingredients. The trout mousse is creamy and delicately seasoned, served with a spaghetti-style cucumber salad with a hint of mint. Marinating the sea bass in elderflower is a superb idea! The saltimbocca in a light cream sauce is tender and wrapped in mild bacon and sage. It is served with risotto, which contains fresh herbs and lots of parmesan. All of which is accompanied perfectly by liberal quantities of Blanc de Noire. And the Primitivo goes wonderfully with the osso buco and its rich sauce and fried oregano gnocchi.  Text by Julia Uehren

Outdoor seatingEichendorffstr. 25