Bratwurst, pretzels and sauerkraut. What springs to your mind when you think of German cuisine? I have to admit, I didn’t know much about it until I visited Hamburg recently. I made up for this by scoffing as much food as I could fit into my belly throughout the full two days of my visit, in an attempt to uncover some of the best places to eat in Hamburg.
Besides typical German foods, Hamburg’s multicultural nature attracts a tantalising range of international cuisines to the city. From African, British, Chinese and Greek, to Japanese, Thai, and Vietnamese cuisine – even the fussiest of eaters will be wiping drool from their mouths. There are so many exciting places to eat in Hamburg, you can pretty much eat the world without leaving this city.
Each day, I ate breakfast at Heikotel Hotel Am Stadtpark, where I was staying for my trip, before embarking on sight-seeing outings to some of Hamburg’s most popular attractions. For lunch and dinner, I ate at restaurants in the city centre. On my second day, I actually had two dinners to compensate for the fact that I was only going to be there for two days (oh, the shame!)
Here are five of the best places to eat in Hamburg, based on the highlights of my dining experiences.
Nestled in the middle of Hamburg’s biggest shopping street on Mönckebergstraße, Mö-Grill certainly isn’t the only street food stall selling traditional German delicacies, but the crowd of locals gathered around told me it was the one to visit. I wasn’t surprised to discover it’s been going for over 30 years, as it’s clearly a cherished meeting place for the local community.
Order a bratwurst, currywurst, krakauer or the signature Mö-Griller and huddle around small round tables (no seating available) as you tuck into your food. The currywurst was crammed with thickly sliced, meaty sausage, smothered in a fruity, slightly spicy curry sauce and topped with curry powder, served with a crusty white roll. An absolute bargain at €3.20 for a small portion, and only around €1-2 more for a jumbo serving.
Mönckebergstraße . 11, 20095 Hamburg, Germany | +49 40 336721
Better Burger Company at PERLE Hamburg
On my first evening in Hamburg, after a long day of sight-seeing, I succumbed to the temptation of the Better Burger Company, situated in multi-storey shopping mall, PERLE. I had a voucher for a free burger through the Come to Hamburg programme (normally €6.90) and for just an extra €3, I was able to get a side of fries and homemade iced tea. You can opt for either a chicken or beef burger, with or without cheese and/or bacon.
After my chicken burger had been freshly cooked, I was invited up to the counter to choose my unlimited toppings.
I went for sun-dried tomato, pea shoots, pickles, sliced onions and garlic mayo. I could only just manage to pick the burger up with two hands as it was absolutely stuffed with toppings, along with a lean, grilled chicken fillet, tangy melted cheese and crispy bacon.
If you’re looking for a light bite to eat and you have a sweet tooth, head to Coffee Fellows, next to Hamburg Hauptbahnhof (Central Station). One in a string of coffee shops spread throughout Germany, this seems like one of the best places to eat in Hamburg if you like coffee and cake.
With half an hour to kill before the English-speaking city bus tour, I popped in to Coffee Fellows and ordered a large latte and a slice of strawberry cheesecake. A freshly brewed latte was served in a cup so big, it may as well have been a bowl, while the shiny-glazed strawberry cheesecake had a soft sponge base and an outer edge coated with chopped hazelnuts. I scoffed the lot in less than two minutes.
Heidi-Kabel-Platz 16, EG + 1. OG, 20099 Hamburg, Germany | +49 40 30374883
Established around 20 years ago, Flamm’Hus was originally based in Frankfurt, but moved to Hamburg because that’s where the owner’s wife and her family come from. The restaurant is based within the Markthalle Speicherstadt food court on Am Sandtorkai, and if you sit by the window, you can watch boats sail down the canal as you dine.Flamm’Hus is named after its speciality dish, flammkuchen. Translated to English, this literally means ‘flame cake’, while in France it would refer to a tarte flambée, or ‘pie baked in the flames’. In other words, a satisfyingly thin and crispy pizza.
Come to Hamburg kindly offered me a complimentary pizza at Flamm’Hus. As I planned to eat my way through a variety of dishes on the day of my visit, I asked for a small pizza (priced from €3.50), but the owner insisted I have a large one (from €6.30) so that I could sample the different toppings. I didn’t take much convincing.
A rectangular pizza bigger than my forearm was laden with four mouth-watering toppings.
I instinctively reached for a slice of the Serrano ham, goat’s cheese, honey and thyme pizza. Slightly sweet and tangy, this was loaded with ham. Next up was the Alsation bacon and onion – which tasted exactly like my mum’s carbonara – followed by salty chorizo and Gruyère cheese; and last but certainly not least, aromatic basil, pesto crème fraîche, mozzarella and tomato.
When I got up to leave, the owner told me to stay because he had something else for me, and just a few minutes later, he whipped an apple tart out of the oven, sprinkled it with cinnamon and placed it in front of me. I could smell it before it even arrived at the table; if Autumn had a scent, sweet apple and warm cinnamon would be it.
To drink, Flamm’Hus serves a selection of soft drinks and fruit juices, as well as homemade iced tea. I opted for a bottle of Fairtrade blood orange lemonade (€2.50/250ml).
Markthalle Speicherstadt, Am Sandtorkai 23/24, 20457 Hamburg, Germany | +49 1573 3924558
I spent my final night in Hamburg exploring St. Pauli, otherwise known as the red light district. After checking out the top places to eat in Hamburg on TripAdvisor, I made a bee-line for EAST Restaurant on Simon-von-Utrecht-Straße; a highly-rated restaurant serving sushi and pan-Asian cuisine. Based within the stylish EAST Hotel, the restaurant oozed sass and glamour. Before I’d even announced my arrival, I found myself taking photos of the funky decor.
Sadly, it emerged that the restaurant was holding a private kitchen party, and I could only sit at a table downstairs if I spent a minimum of €85. Alternatively, the waitress told me, I could take a seat on one of the bar stools and order food, but I was told to expect a long wait. Sod that, I thought.
In search of sushi, I hotfooted it over to Copper House, just off St. Pauli’s Reeperbahn. Upon arrival, I was delighted to discover that the decor was almost as eclectic as that of EAST Restaurant. The dining space was cosily lit by what looked like brightly-coloured, glowing balloons, along with contemporary bubble lighting.
Succulent and meaty, the fish tasted freshly caught and, best of all, my whole meal set me back less than €20, with a glass of prosecco. If I was hungrier, I totally would’ve pigged out on the all-you-can-eat Asian buffet.
Davidstraße 37, 20359 Hamburg, Germany | +49 40 7566 2011
If you’re planning a trip to Hamburg sometime soon, I hope my recommendations on the best places to eat in Hamburg will be helpful for you!
Have you ever been to Hamburg? What’s your favourite kind of cuisine? Drop me a message in the comment box below and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible 🙂