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Erfurt Restaurants and Food

From: Erfurt, Germany

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ABOVE: Hans Peter Ahr, a guide with Erfurt Tourist Information, enjoys a Riesenbratwurst from the Suhler Stadtgrill booth at the Erfurt Christmas Market.

Where to eat in Erfurt

Thuringia and its capital aren't a culinary mecca for vegans, but for the rest of us, the local kitchens offer a cornucopia of gastronomic goodness and excess.

I can personally recommend Köstritzer in the 16th Century Haus "Zum Güldenen Rade" on Marktstrasse. A local "Gastro-Test" gave this traditional restaurant five stars for food, cleanliness, service, and value, with four stars for drinks and decor. I had a first-rate and very filling meal of roast goose with red sauerkraut and Thuringian potato dumplings, served by an efficient (not to mention lovely) blond waitress who seemed surprised that I couldn't manage a second helping of dumplings. Köstritzer offers seasonal specialties year-round and even has a vegetarian menu. Be sure to try the Original Köstritzer Schwarzbier, "the dark beer with the blonde soul," which is a specialty of the 450-year-old brewery. In summer, you can dine or drink in an outdoor beer garden.

If you're looking for a quick pastry or snack at a reasonable price, try Siebrecht Café on the Domplatz. Locals come here for pastries, sandwiches, coffee, and other drinks in a modern, cheery atmosphere. (Toilets are downstairs.)

For tips on the local beer scene, see Ron Pattison's Erfurt Pub Guide at Europeanbeerguide.net.

The Erfurt tourist office has a free bilingual Erfurt: Gastromischer Stadtbummel booklet with descriptions and photos of several dozen restaurants, ranging from the 11th Century Gasthaus zum Goldenen Schwan (where groups of 15 can brew their own beer) to Alboth's (upcale cuisine, with a list of 180 French and German wines) to Bar & Restaurant Texas, a "Wildwest-Romantik" eatery where you can enjoy Chili-Gerichte and other dishes with Countrymusik on Oldienight. For Italian dishes, Argentinian steaks, and pizza in atmospheric surroundings, try Paganini in the historic Guildhouse next to the Town Hall.

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