A-Musik is unique in Germany. Since 1995, the record store has been supplying the people of Cologne with experimental music that, even in times of Spotify, is hard to get hold of. The offer at this record mecca ranges from free jazz to new music and electronica, down to the currently hyped indie rock and other obscure artist records. A-Musik is enjoying an excellent reputation among music aficionados that goes beyond the city’s borders. Weekly German newspaper “Die Zeit” even once described A-Musik as the best-stocked record store in Germany. Our tip: at the late-night shopping event on the first Thursday of every month you’ll meet a like-minded crowd and can catch up on the latest gossip from Cologne’s music scene.
Kleiner Griechenmarkt 28–30, 50676 Cologne, a-musik.com
With the relocation to Neumarkt in autumn 2017, a long-awaited wish has come true for Benedikt Taschen. Thirty-eight years ago, the publisher opened his first comic store not far from the current location, thereby laying the foundations for the Taschen empire, which meanwhile includes 13 stores worldwide. And the Cologne headquarters have now been revamped: an impressive 200 m² store and exhibition space is home to a wide-ranging assortment of high-quality art and coffee table books and nostalgic comics at affordable prices. Italian designer duo Alberto Stampanoni Bassi and Salvatore Licitra was responsible for the flagship store’s sleek interior.
Neumarkt 3, 50667 Cologne, taschen.com
The dark rye bread from Zimmermann can confidently be described as a Cologne classic and is so popular that they can order it online! But we still recommend a visit to this old-fashioned traditional bakery, which is a real institution in Cologne. Located on Ehrenstrasse and now in its fifth generation, the family-run business has been supplying the Rhinelanders with its superb baked goods since 1875. It goes without saying that they don’t use artificial additives and — what many people don’t know — their products are also kosher. Zimmermann’s regular customers include members from Jewish communities throughout the whole of Germany.
Ehrenstrasse 75, 50672 Cologne, baeckereizimmermann.de
Store owner Diane-Sophie Durigon, who hails from France, knows what women want. In her exquisite lingerie boutique everything revolves around lingerie, sex and music — without any inhibitions. In addition to selling eye-popping lingerie (by aspiring newcomer label Opaak from Cologne, for example), she also regularly gives intimate massage workshops or organises small concerts at her concept store. As well as the perfectly fitting bra, you’ll also find the ultimate sex toy or the most recent Le Pop sampler here. And thanks to her French charm and attentive consultation, even the most red-faced customers will feel very much at ease at Le Pop Lingerie. Oh là là!
Geisselstrasse 10, 50823 Cologne, lepoplingerie.de
“The food rescuer from Cologne” is what Nicole Klaski has been dubbed by the media. Once a week, the 30-something and her staff go around collecting discarded fruit and misshapen vegetables from farmers in the surrounding area for her small store on Venloer Strasse in Ehrenfeld. These are all items that aren’t good enough for regular retailers but too good to throw away. Groceries that are past their sell by date, baked goods from the day before and tinned foods are also available to buy here according to the “pay what you want” principle. The assortment is varied and sometimes even fresher than that of the organic supermarket around the corner.
Venloer Strasse 414, 50825 Cologne, the-good-food.de
(by Katja Peglow)