Food Report: Düsseldorf

I have spent quite a lot of time in Düsseldorf over the couple of years. Since I was hotel-based during this time, I have got to try a good number of the restaurants that this pleasant city has to offer. For the most part I have listed restaurants outside the Altstadt, mainly in the Flingern, Pempelfort, Tußmannstraße and Zoo areas just to the north-east of the centre area. While, the Altstadt is fully of places to eat, many of these are aimed at tourists. The restaurants, with the exception of two, are in the above areas, and all are frequented by locals.

I’ll group the restaurants by area. The map at the bottom shows where they are.

Am Wehrhahn

El Ömmes – Wielandstraße 37, Pempelfort, 40211 Düsseldorf T: 0211 571914

This is a friendly cross between tapas bar and Gaststätte. The tapas are good, if a little oily and occasionally garlicky. Pimientos de Padron are excellent. Really busy at the weekends. Prices are keen. No credit cards.

Trattoria Emiliana – Adlerstraße 42, Pempelfort, 40211 Düsseldorf T: 0211 350123

This excellent restaurant serves great Italian food. There is a menu with pasta, pizza, mains etc but it’s best to choose from the blackboard, which changes weekly. They have a fantastic dip for the bread made with cucumber, garlic, parsley, oil and vinegar. Prices are good.

Bar Olio – Schirmerstraße 54, Pempelfort, 40211 Düsseldorf T: 0211 3677294

Very popular restaurant in a hut in an old railway freight yard. Food quite good but seems to hit the spot, as the place is permanently packed. Reasonably priced. No reservations.

Les Halles – Schirmerstraße 54, Pempelfort, 40211 Düsseldorf T: 0211 3677294

Across the yard from Bar Olio. Priced considerably higher. Dark and atmospheric. Again very popular. Does a good brunch on Sundays. Zimmer No. 1, which is just across the street does a very nice Sunday breakfast too.

Su Nuraghe – Am Wehrhahn 69, 40211 Düsseldorf T: 0211 354921

Tiny hole-in-the-wall pizza/pasta joint on Wehrhahn. Some of the best pizza you’ll eat anywhere, especially the simpler pizzas. Not many seats (stools really!) and usually busy. No credit cards. Closed on Saturday!!!

Frankenheim – Wielandstraße 16, 40211 Düsseldorf T: 0211 351447

Restaurant belonging to the Frankenheim Alt brewery. Used to be the brewery but now only restaurant and bar. Good solid German food and great beer. Good value.

China Restaurant Sichuan – Am Wehrhahn 59, 40211 Düsseldorf T: 0211 ???

Very popular Chinese restaurant, especially with Chinese expats. Lots of people also come for the buffet. I personally prefer the authentic Sichuan dishes from the menu. Excellent value.

Malkasten Restaurant & Bar – Jacobistraße 6, 40211 Düsseldorf T: 0211 173040

Trendy bar and restaurant, especially the bar. Good food but quite expensive for Düsseldorf.

Pempelfort/Tuβmannstraβe/Zoo

This is a real up-and-coming area. There are lots of restaurants and bars, so the ones below are those that I’ve been to a few times. Other restaurants in the area include Löffelbar, Ab der Fisch and Botschaft Mitte.

gu:s – Moltkestraße 120, Pempelfort, 40479 Düsseldorf T: 0211 20964085

Very well executed German food, with a modern twist and light touch: Himmel und Ähd, Rostbraten etc. Nice wines. Good value.

vin & mer – Moltkestraße 122, Pempelfort, 40479 Düsseldorf T: 0211 4846479

Nice restaurant next door to gu:s, specialising in seafood and wine. Very good quality but prices are quite high. Last time I was in the area, the restaurant seemed to be closed. Hopefully only for holidays.

This restaurant has now closed and been replaced by em brass. Not tested yet.

Tußmann - Tußmannstraße 63, Pempelfort, 40477 Düsseldorf T: 0211 4846350

Fusion restaurant. Good food and wine. On the expensive side.

Askitis - Herderstraße 73, 40237 Düsseldorf-Zoo T: 0211 6020713

Fantastic Greek restaurant: the best I’ve been to … anywhere. Great food, good Greek wine selection and friendly staff. The grilled octopus simply melts in your mouth. Prices good.

Himmel und Ähd – Nordstraße 53, Pempelfort, 40477 Düsseldorf T: 0211 4981361

Bar cum restaurant in a lively area serving German classics such as Himmel und Ähd, Schweinehaxe, Veal liver etc, all washed down with by excellent Alt beer. Only slight drawback is that is a Raucherclub and you have to put up with a little smoke.

Kirti’s Dhaba – Düsselthaler Straße 1a, 40211 Düsseldorf T: 0211 8604202

Best Indian restaurant I’ve found in Düsseldorf. It’s a simple place and you can’t be in too much of hurry, but the food’s really good and the prices reasonable. I have been there a couple of times with a group and we have managed to try a fair bit of the menu. Unlike many Indian restaurants, the dishes seemed to have their own distinct identity and consistency between visits was good too. There is a good vegetarian selection.

Flingern

This is a leafy area with lots of cafes and restaurants. I’ve only been to a handful: a situation I must address.

El Pescador – Grafenberger Allee 67, 40237 Düsseldorf T: 0211 2519153

This is a fish shop with restaurant attached. Prices are good and the fish is usually pretty good too. Things are pretty simple here. Very large portions.

Kytaro - Grafenberger Allee 119, 40237 Düsseldorf T: 0211 686048

This is a lively Greek/Mediterranean restaurant on the busy Grafenberger Allee. The food is good, the prices good and the atmosphere great. It is/was one the places to be seen. Unfortunately since the new smoking laws came into place, Kytaro has become a Raucherclub (ie smoking club), which makes life unpleasant for non-smokers, except in summer, when you can sit on the terrace.

As of March 2011, Kytaro seems to undergoing extensive renovation. Maybe has closed.

Altstadt

The Altstadt is chock-a-block with restaurants, mostly aimed at the tourist traffic. These are fine as far as they go, but not my thing. As well as drinking a few Alt beer in the Uerige brewery, try out these two restaurants, which are just around the corner and offer good food.

Fischhaus – Berger Straße 3, 40213 Düsseldorf T: 0211 8284564

Good fish restaurant with a vast range of fish at good prices.

La Copa – Berger Straße 4, 40213 Düsseldorf T: 0211 3238858

Excellent tapas bar, with a huge selection to choose from.

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