8 Places for Brunch in Frankfurt

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I’ve written about brunch many times before, but I feel there needs to be an updated list of great places to spend a lazy German Sunday in Frankfurt. Here are 8 of my favourite places for Sunday brunch!

8. Yours Australian Bar

Yours have a good, cheap yet noisy brunch consisting of lots of American/British favourites like pancakes, bacon and sausages. Their homemade lemonade is some of the best in town! They don’t take reservations for after 11am.

My previous review.

Their website.

 

7. Merianbad Cafe

Boasts to be the longest brunch selection in Frankfurt! One of my favourite buffet places, but the quality of the food is what you’d expect from a cheap buffet. Wonderful in the summer.

My previous review.

Their website.

 

6. Urban Kitchen

Only the Urban Kitchen up at Hauptwache and the one on the Main river have buffets, the Kaiserstraße one does it a la carte. With the buffet you are also able to order all-you-can-eat style from the menu and choose from pasta, curries and soups as well.

My previous review.

Their website.

 

5 Simit Sarayi

Turkish bakery Simit Sarayi sells amazing things for quick eats, but they also have great brunches with eggs, meat and breads as well as some other Turkish breakfast dishes for a slow and yummy weekend morning. Very very busy so be sure to get there on the early side! No reservations taken.

Their website.

 

4 Cafe Schoppenhauer

A brunch for pay-day celebrations. Buffet style, but hitting the higher scale at 20 euros (drinks and champagne included). They are very very busy so be sure to reserve, and get there early (I’d say 12.30 at the latest) as when the food runs out, it runs out.

Tripadvisor.

 

3. Schoneburger

A la carte brunch with some amazing food. Downside is that it’s pretty noisy and the service can be slow. I’d say you’d be able to get in without reservations with two or three people but booking is best.

My previous review.

Their website.

 

2. Cafe Karin

Very cutesy, very popular. A menu full of delicious, “home cooking” style food. But everyone knows how great this place is so I recommend making a reservation at least half a week in advance.

My previous review.

Their website.

 

1. Cafe Maingold

My favourite place in Frankfurt, whether for a lazy Sunday brunch sat in an old armchair eating the best muesli in town, or for Summer evening drinks outside under fairy lights. As with all great places, reservations are needed for brunch. Check out their list of unusual fizzy drinks/sodas.

My previous review.

Their website.

Korean Soul Food – Frankfurt

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There are SO many new amazing places around Frankfurt main station right now. As I was walking home from the tram one day I noticed that there was a new Korean bibimbap place that had just opened up…and some of my flatmates were inside! I had to check it out.

Bibimbap is super yummy Korean food. You’ll have a bowl (sometimes a hot stone bowl) with rice, vegetables, meat/tofu and an egg, and you have to mix all this together and eat it with a spoon. It’s one of my most favourite foods ever.

S(e)oul is a very small place that lets you decide exactly what goes into your bibimbap. From different kinds of rice, to different veg and then different meats/tofu and sauce on top, it’s really up to you how you have it. I had mine with barley rice, all the veg and beef on top. The shitake mushrooms were really really good quality and probably my favourite part of the whole thing.

The guys running it are really friendly and always up for a good chat.

I can’t find any website for them just yet and they’re not even on Googlemaps yet, but you can find S(e)oul along Weserstraße, a few doors down from BonaMente.

Burger Meister – Frankfurt’s Best Burger?

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My colleagues and I took a trip to Sachsenhausen the other week to go to Burger Meister – a burger restaurant I’ve been meaning to try out for months.

Their posters and signs proudly say that they are Frankfurt’s best burger but I wasn’t sure. The range of burgers was really good and it took ages before I could decide. I decided to go for the bog standard Otto-speck which was burger with bacon, and some “fresh fries” on the side.

There was just one guy working there – he yelled out that his coworker was out and so service would be a bit slower. But he was really friendly and we spoke a bit in German which is always nice.

After a while, our burgers arrived. Holy cow, they were amazing. It really was the best burger I’d had in Frankfurt. The beef was delicious, and the bacon was great. The bun wasn’t too cheap nor hard and the size of the whole thing was big enough to feel a challenge but not so big that it was ridiculous. 10/10.

The chips, however.

We’d assumed that they were homemade since they were labeled “fresh” on the menu but these were really cheap, from-frozen chips and were disappointing all round, even with the amazing truffle mayo.

Food aside, there was also a really great selection of bottled beers and soft drinks that I think I can safely label ‘hipster’. It was all very, very good.

I would most certainly go back to Burger Meister again…just ordering a burger next time though!

Find it at Dreieichstraße 20, 60594 Frankfurt am Main.

Frankfurt Itinerary – What to do in Frankfurt

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So you have a layover in Frankfurt? Or you live here and have people visiting? Perhaps you are here on a day trip? This post is for all of you, and for anyone else who needs to fill a day or two in Frankfurt.

Frankfurt is seen to be a boring place to visit. The truth is, it does kind of suck for tourism but it is great for living. However, there are things to do here and I’ve successfully entertained visiting friends, parents, grandparents as well as Couch Surfing visitors as well. Here’s my itinerary maker for Frankfurt which will hopefully help you have a great time!

Big Day-Fillers

These are things that will take up most of a day. It’s probably best to have one of these and then place smaller things around it.

Frankfurt walking tour – 3+ hours walking for just 10 euros.

Frankfurt zoo – 10 euros and can easily amuse you for a whole day. I’ve been there twice, for about 5 hours each time and I’ve not covered the whole place yet.

The Senckenberg Museum – Known as the “dead zoo”. 8 euros and keeps you busy for most of the day. Try not to go on school holidays.

The Flea Market – A massive flea market that takes place on the Sachsenhausen side of the river every other week. Check the link and where it says “Schaumainkai” is a day when it’s in Sachsenhausen. Be warned – this isn’t a place where you’ll get many bargains!

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Smaller Things

Padding for around your big day filler!

The Dialog Museum – The blind museum. You’re taken round an “experience” where it’s so dark it’s like you are blind. Probably not good for children. 16 euros for the 60 minute tour, 19 for the 90 minute tour.

The Cathedral – I’d advise going here with the walking tour as they give really excellent explanations about the history and so on of the building.

Mini Golf – Good for a few hours!

Markets – Aside from the flea market, there are many other great markets in Frankfurt. My favourite is the farmers’ market on Konstablewache on Saturdays (and Thursdays). See this link for a full list of markets in Frankfurt!

Places to Go See

These are places where there’s not much to do, but it’s good to walk there and just go see it and take photos.

The Main River – The perfect place to watch people and a haven for runners, dog walkers and, in the summer, sun bathers.

Meditation corner – Tucked away behind a busy street, this is one of my favourite secret spots. From Zeil shopping street, find the street called Liebfrauenstraße. Cross over the small road and on your left there will be a little square, usually with a few homeless people hanging around. In the left hand corner of this square is the entrance to the meditation corner. Listen as all the noise from the street vanishes!

Places to Take a Break

Galeria – At the top of Galeria is a cafeteria with an amazing view. Grab a nice hot chocolate or maybe a German beer and sit outside on the balcony to watch the world go by as you relax. It’s one of my favourite places to take people.

Fleming’s Hotel – Another great view…with a very interesting lift!

Drinks at pop-up bars along the river [summer time] – As far as I know, there are temporary summer drinks shacks along the river. One I posted about over a year ago, and the other is Main Cafe which is at lamp post number 23 on the Sachsenhausen side of the river (I’m sad. Yes. And also please marvel at the fact that the lamp posts are numbered along the river. This is a GENIUS idea.)

Maingold Cafe – I posted about the brunch here but actually the drinks in the evening here are really nice too. In winter, it’s nice to snuggle down on one of their sofas, and in the summer it’s great to sit under the lanterns in their garden. Easily my favourite place to eat and drink in Frankfurt.

Day Trips out of Frankfurt

Hoechst – Just a short tram or S Bahn journey away, and lovely for a long walk! A great place to walk dogs!

Wiesbaden – Lovely for a full day. Be sure to take the English walking tour!

Heidelberg – Not been yet, but a very popular trip location!

Cologne – A little bit more expensive to travel to, but still very much worth a visit!

Have I missed anything off the list? What’s your best thing to do in Frankfurt?

Why I’m Leaving Germany

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When it was time for me to leave Japan, I knew it right away. Seeing how my colleagues acted so casually in the aftermath of the tsunami made me start piling up all the reasons why Japan made me unhappy. How I could never fit in. How I had terrible loneliness. How I started acting out when people were ignorant about non-Japanese people and culture.

Now, in Germany, it’s not taken a tsunami to shift me out of love with my life here, but I know for sure that it is time for me to leave. I often think I’m crazy, since I have a job I feel passionate about, and I live a very good life here in Germany. But there are two main reasons why I feel I cannot go on here without becoming very unhappy.

1. Communication.

Tonight I was in the food section of a department store with a friend when an elderly lady fell back and crashed to the floor, knocking her head on a freezer as she went down. Blood was pouring from her head. A man and a woman nearby jumped to help her, and I did too. I helped the lady to her feet then was listening as the woman was explaining to the lady that there was blood coming from her head. I stood around helpless, wondering what to do, what to say. The lady needed to sit down, and the woman spoke with a member of staff but I didn’t quite catch anything about getting her somewhere to sit. I said awkwardly to the woman “there are sitting places over there” but the woman looked at me as if I was a nuisance and turned away from me. In the end, I could do nothing. So I paid up and left.

Even though Frankfurt is an international city, where 99.9% of people speak English, I feel isolated. My German is coming along well and I understand quite a bit these days, but I would need to study German a lot more before I was in a place where it would take away my isolation. In Japan, I wasn’t isolated by a language barrier – but I’d been studying it since I was 16.

I want to be in a place where I can make small talk with someone nearby. Or help someone in the street. Or be able to live with people who don’t have to put any extra effort into speaking with me because they speak in English anyway. Although I have more English-speaking friends here than I know what to do with, the fact that my go-to language isn’t the same as the majority of those around me makes me feel very limited in my world.

2. Information.

I’m in a supermarket in Germany and I pick up a can of soup. I judge it by its price, the design, the ingredients list. That’s it.

Take that same situation in Britain and I have a lot more information to hand – perhaps I’ve seen an advert about the soup, perhaps I saw a review for it in a magazine, perhaps I remember eating this soup at uni and remember whether I liked it or not.

I feel that here in Germany – and, indeed, as an expat in many places – it can feel like such a one dimensional life. It’s almost like being a child, with no prior knowledge on the things around you. This goes beyond a language barrier, it’s an informational barrier. Of course, one could learn more about the things around them – watch the tv adverts, talk about things with locals. In Japan I can’t read the words “ajino moto” or “biku camera” without singing the jingles, and simple information like that made me feel more at home there. But it’s totally different when you’re back at home in your own country and you are holding an item that takes you on a trip down a million memory lanes, sparking recognition in your brain. I want to go back to living around things that I know well, not things that are new and unknown.

Though I look around at the amazing people and the amazing life I have here and feel sad to be leaving it all behind, I get a pang of excitement inside me when I think of being able to live back in the UK again. I’ve been away for so long it’s like a foreign country to me now and I’m even excited at the prospect of experiencing reverse culture shock. There’s nothing like living abroad for understanding your own country and culture, but I feel that when I return and see everything with fresh eyes, I’ll be able to understand what it is to be British more than ever before.

And then I can start writing a whole new chapter in my life.

Buzzano Frankfurt

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It was a Saturday night and I had nothing to do. I hate wasting a good weekend night so I grabbed the only person on Facebook chat who was free and dragged him out for some protein – STEAK. I did a little googling and I fell for the hipstery charms of Buzzano’s website.

We arrived at Buzzano’s and was instantly made to feel super super awkward at how posh it all is. For a last minute decision for steak with a guy-friend, it sure was starting to feel like a very stuffy date… I kept apologising to my friend over and over until we were served.

The waiter looked like a butler that time had forgotten. With unforgivingly fast German, he made no attempts to make sure I was ordering exactly what I wanted. I had the lady steak and a side salad, my friend had the caesar salad. They were very expensive, and nothing to write home about. Much sad.

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The only good point I can give about Buzzano is that the bill came in a funky little chair that also had chocolates in it. Nice move there.

Find Buzzano at An der Welle 3, 60322 Frankfurt am Main

Schöneberger – Nice Burger?

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I’ve already blogged about the awesome brunch at Schöneberger on Bergerstraße. But when I needed a venue for a small gathering to welcome new members to our team at work, I thought I’d give it a whirl for evening food as well.

Many people told me the burger at Schöneberger was awesome. Sadly, I have to disagree with them. Firstly, the bread bun was really cheap. You know, the kind of bun you’d get with a burger sold out of a van outside a nightclub on Friday night. But this burger wasn’t 3 euros, it was around 12, so I think more effort should have been put in.

Also, the chips sucked. Obviously from frozen generic potato wedges. You can buy a massive bag of these from Rewe for 2 euros. I don’t expect the very best, but for the price I really think they could have put a little more effort in it. Maybe normal chips with a variety of sauces? Sweet potato chips? Crinkle chips?

I was not impressed. This does not go on the top burgers of Frankfurt list. Boo.

Find Schöneberger at Berger Straße 237, 60385 Frankfurt

Palmengarten Winter Lights

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Last weekend I went with a few friends to the “Winterlichter” display in Palmengarten park here in Frankfurt. I’ve blogged about this place before, but it’s a huge park area with green houses keeping lots of interesting plants nice and toasty. It’s 7 euros to enter, which is a shame because a lot of free parks I’ve been to are actually much nicer than these. When there’s an event like this happening, however, I don’t mind paying.

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There were lots of interactive parts which was pretty cool!

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The winter lights end today, sadly, but it’s always worth a trip to the gardens themselves so check it out if you’re in town!

Frankfurt’s Best Sandwich?

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The question on everyone’s lips, of course, is “where should an up-and-coming hipster eat lunch?”

I have asked myself this countless times, and so that’s why I was relieved that there’s a new hotspot in town catering to hungry lunchtime hipsters. And that place is Maxie Eisen.

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Just one block up from my favourite bar, Plank, it’s also catering to the exact same crowd. It’s not owned by the same people, just business friends who wanted to open up a sandwich restaurant. But before we get into those, let me talk about the homemade lemonade. It was SO good. I remember it had tea in it (which is weird but let’s go along with it) and was the perfect partner for the epic sandwich I ate…

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There is a shitake mushroom vegetarian version, but if you like meat (and you will REALLY love this meat) then go for one of their two main sandwiches – the Reuben or the pastrami. I went for the pastrami and I really, really think this is the best sandwich in Frankfurt. It was so juicy, so meaty, with a perfect amount of mustard in it. Share some home made fries with your sandwiches as they are to die for as well.

The downside is that everyone and their aunt wants to eat here right now, so you need to get there early or miss out. I got there bang on 12 noon and we got a table easily. By 12.15 it was full.

You can find Maxie Eisen at Münchener Str. 18, 60329 Frankfurt am Main

Spanish Soul Food!

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What’s that? A new restaurant I’d not heard of?! UNBELIEVABLE!

I set out with 14 awesome people to try out Lamoraga, a new Spanish “soul food” restaurant. It’s a little bit more expensive than the average restaurant in Frankfurt, and you really should use all the dishes as tapas but it just turns out that we all chose our own food, so the portions seemed really small.

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There were some real home dishes, like this stew.

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Can you believe that I had the salad (top) and not this burger?! Me neither. But I had a stinking cold and I didn’t want to eat a burger when I can’t properly taste it. Plus, after all that food in Dublin, I need some salad…

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But I did have this gooey chocolate cake which was AMAZING.

If you have a little extra cash on you and fancy so fancy dining, then give Lamoraga a go!

Find it at Junghofstraße 14, 60313 Frankfurt.