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Regensburg Restaurants and Beer Gardens

From: Regensburg, Germany

photo LEFT: The Historic Sausage Kitchen is packed with locals and visitors year-round.

Regensburg's dining scene isn't limited to sausage and pigs' hocks, but let's face it: Most visitors would rather stoke up on Bavarian specialties than eat Chinese food or nouvelle cuisine.

For hot, crisp-skinned tube steaks with sauerkraut and homemade mustard, try the Wurstkuchl or Historic Sausage Kitchen (see photo), which traces its roots back to the 12th Century and has been in the hands of its current owners since 1806. Platters come with six, eight, or ten small grilled sausages on a bed of kraut; if you're at all hungry, hold up all your fingers and say "Zehn, bitte." The Wurstkuchl is open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, so you can have brats and beer for breakfast.

Brauerei Kneitinger, on Arnulfsplatz, is another drinking and dining place with a past. The brewery has produced beer in the same location since 1530, and the Kneitinger family has operated the Gaststätte since 1862. Prices are quite reasonable: When I visited, Bavarian specialties such as Schweinshaxn, Rindsgulasch, Schweinsbraten, or Rahmsauerbraten with dumplings and sauerkraut were mostly in the 8-euro range. The kitchen is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily, and you can rent a guestroom if you want to stagger to bed from the beer hall.

 Andechser am Dom is a topnotch restaurant and beer hall on the Domplatz, next to an arch that leads to the Alter Kornmarkt. It's owned and operated by Kloster Andechs, a Benedictine monastery that has brewed its own beer since the Middle Ages. In summer, the restaurant has two outdoor venues: the Domterrasse overlooking the cathedral and the Biergarten in the historic building's courtyard.

When you've had your fill of grilled meats and dumplings, try Haus Heuport. The restaurant faces the Cathedral's western or main façade, and the dining room is one flight up from the arched entrance. Heuport's specialties range from breakfast  (weekends only in winter) to all-inclusive "express lunches" and a refined à la carte dinner menu.

Dampfnudel-Ulli, at Watmarkt 4 in the Altstadt, is a friendly, cozy, and crowded little restaurant that specializes in dumplings. It's open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 to 3 on Saturdays, and closed on Sundays and Mondays.

Most hotels in Regensburg have dining rooms. The Hotel Münchner Hof, where I stayed, has a friendly and traditional restaurant that has served Bavarian food at reasonable prices since the 1870s.

Finally, if you're looking for fast food, skip McDonald's and Burger King (both of which have Regensburg outlets) and head for Nordsee, a branch of the German seafood chain near the Kaufhof department store, or any stall that's serving sausages. (Try the small Nürnburger sausages, which are grilled and are often served in pairs inside a hard roll.)

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