Frankfurt may be home to the humble frankfurter, but there are plenty more food options beyond the city’s sausage. Here are some of our favourite things to eat in Frankfurt am Main and where to find them.
Frankfurt is well known for its commerce, banks and financial district, but beyond the suits and skyscrapers hides an excellent food scene that deserves our attention.
And yes, the legendary frankfurter (full name Frankfurter Würstchen) does come from here—in fact its heritage has been protected by law since 1860—but there’s a lot more to Frankfurt’s culinary offerings than that.
Here are some of the places we found and loved when Christina and I were in Frankfurt.
Oh, and if you want to know more about how the frankfurter has evolved to become the ubiquitous hotdog, click here.
Bakeries in Frankfurt
Germans love their baked goods. And I mean love, and Frankfurt is no exception. It’s impossible to walk anywhere in the city without passing a bakery packed with delicious looking pastries, breads and sweet treats.
Strahmann – this small bakery and sandwich shop has a very tempting range of tasty sandwiches, soups and salads perfect for a quick lunch snack. Strahmann has two shops, both in Frankfurt city.
Zeit für Brot – a small chain with half a dozen stores across Germany with a name that says it all: ‘Time for Bread’. If you find any of the three in Frankfurt and you’re feeling hungry for baked goods, check it out. The sandwiches they sell here are great.
But what’s even better is the Zeit für Brot website and its product page. It’s got the name in German with descriptions in English with photos and even cross sections! Helpful when you’re in any bakery in Germany.
Kaiserzeit – these big bakeries (it’s a chain with stores throughout southern Germany) have so many food options. My favourite are the breakfast bagels.
Finally, Der Bäcker Eifler. Instead of a Starbucks or Maccas on every corner, expect to see the immediately recognisable red and yellow Comic Sans signs of these bakeries wherever you go.
Der Bäcker Eifler is a huge bakery chain with almost 70 stores in Frankfurt alone. And for a chain, it’s not bad. You know what you’re going to get and it’s reasonably priced.
We were surprised at how good the coffee in Germany is—much better than places you’d expect it to be good like France or Belgium. Most bakeries can do an ok latte, but these two coffee-focused stores really know what they’re doing.
Why! Specialty Coffee – this place, just down the road from Frankfurt’s main train station, does amazing coffee, to the point where we didn’t feel homesick for a flat white once. However, it’s only open weekdays.
Bunca – Also not far from the station, this cafe knows what it’s doing, but it’s not as good as Why!. The big difference here though is it’s open over the weekend.
If there’s one thing synonymous with Europe, it’s great markets, and Frankfurt stands out here for all the right reasons.
Erzeugermarkt – Frankfurt’s biggest farmers market (‘bauernmarkt’) set in the central square of Konstablerwache at the end of the Zeil shopping mile, Erzeugermarkt is a grown-up’s playground of craft beer and wine, but also all kinds of artisan produce, food, flowers and crafts. It’s been running every Thursday and Saturday afternoons since 1989.
Schillermarkt on Schillerstrasse – this all-day street market (8am-6pm) runs every Friday near the Frankfurt stock exchange. The market takes over at laneway lined with beautiful buildings and transforms the city’s serious, financial hub into a place of fun, food and relaxation.
Kleinmarkthalle – this big undercover market with over 60 stalls offering everything from fresh fruit, veg and meat to flowers, bread and cheese. Upstairs on the mezzanine are little bars and cafes and a full restaurant on the veranda at the back, all of which using produce from the market or their own artisanal products.
Germany is well known for its love of libations and its ability to house them in venues that make you want to stay for more time than you have. Frankfurt has more than its fair share of bars, but here are a few we really enjoyed.
Plank – this late-night bar has a real local vibe but is very friendly and sells everything from your basic beer and wine to more complex cocktails. During the day, it’s also a cafe, though we didn’t try the coffee here. Open roughly 10am-2am every day.
Eschenheimer Warte at Eschunheimer Turm – a street-side bar perfect for people-watching housed in a pretty roofed tower that dates back to 1300s when Frankfurt was a walled city.
The tower—Eschunheimer Turm—is one of only three remaining gate towers and was once a jail much like the Tower of London. It now hosts the toilets, which are up a long spiral staircase, so factor that into your timings!
Fenstergucker in Sachsenhausen district – a cosy little tavern full of locals who insist on smoking inside still. But it’s got a great atmosphere nonetheless.
One of the oldest remaining parts of Frankfurt that dates back to the 1100s, the Sachsenhausen district is right on the south bank of the river. This has become an entertainment district of sorts and the street that Fenstergucker is on (Große Rittergasse) has a great party vibe.
While you’re here, look out for venues with wreaths on the doors. These are the last remaining breweries that are allowed to make and serve their own apfelwein—a kind of cider that’s specific to Frankfurt.
Gioia – a nice little beer garden off the main drag but also close to bar-packed Sachsenhausen district, Gioia is ideal for a pitstop and served us well on our long hike through the city.
Not to be missed
Although the places we’ve mentioned so far are great, these next three were standouts for us, more for the style of food than anything.
Wirsthaus im Ostend – a modern yet typical Frankfurt eatery, Wirsthaus im Ostend serves classic German dishes without any pretension but cooked perfectly. Christina’s classic Frankfurt schnitzel was crisp yet tender, and extremely tasty and came with Frankfurt-centric grüne sosse (green sauce), while my pork knuckle was as immense as it was satisfying.
What you’d expect to be an overly touristy place is in fact more popular with locals. I think we were the only non-German speakers there.
TonBul Grill – Turkish kebabs have become hugely popular in Germany (they’re more like the English kebabs than the Lebanese style ones in Australia) and one of the most popular is TonBul Grill.
The queue snakes down the street but you’re only there for about 10mins. You choose your kebab type then order from the window along with salad, sauce etc. It’s a bit nerve-wracking when you order, but the staff are patient and friendly.
You can eat in if you can find a space or just take away. Don’t forget to grab some green chillies from the big bucket.
Die Fromagerie – Run by Frenchman Alexandre Allemany from Bordeaux, this wonderland is an ode to everything cheese, from raclette to sandwiches, this is the place you come when you’re really hungry!