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Lübeck Restaurants and Food

From: Lübeck, Germany


ABOVE: The Schiffergesellschaft, or Seamen's Guild, was founded in 1535. (Check your marlinspike at the door.)

Restaurants and bars

In terms of culinary variety, Lübeck can't compete with Berlin or Hamburg, but as a tourist, you're unlikely to mind. Why bemoan the lack of Afghan or Balinese restaurants when you can dine so well on Baltic seafood and traditional German specialties?

No visit to Lübeck is complete without a meal at the Schiffergesellschaft (see photo above), which has been owned by the local brotherhood of sea captains since 1535. The ground floor is an atmospheric tavern with ancient wooden tables and a large ship model hanging from the beamed ceiling. The main restaurant upstairs is more genteel, with a clientele that ranges from businessmen to local families and visitors from Scandinavia. Menus vary according to the day and season.

Another fine choice is the historic Ratskeller, which you enter from the market square behind the Rathaus or city hall. Try to get a booth (once reserved for local bigwigs). If you're visiting during fall or winter, don't miss the roast leg of goose with red cabbage, dumplings, and crisp potato balls.

photoIf your budget doesn't run to upper-middle-class restaurants, try Brauberger, a beer hall at the lower end of Alfstrasse near the harbor and Holstentor. Leave the multi-course menus to guests with fatter wallets and order a Riesenschnitzel, Lübecker Pannfisch, or other modestly-priced meal at the buffet counter.

For more restaurant and bar options during your visit, buy the German-language Lübeck Rundum guide at the Lübeck tourist office (look for the "i" sign at the northwestern corner of Holstentorplatz).

Street food and cafés

Like most German cities, Lübeck is well-equipped with sausage vendors and other places where you can eat cheaply or snack between meals. Cafés are also in good supply: Café Niederegger (see below) is the place to go if you're traveling with your aunt, but you'll also find Italian caffé bars like Lavazza and even a few U.S.-style coffeehouses where you can have carrot cake with your Americano.

Food shops

Lübeck must have one of the highest bakery-to-population ratios in Europe: You can hardly walk more than two blocks in the central business district without encountering a bakery that sells bread, pretzels, coffeecake, and other antidotes to an overzealous appetite.

photoConfectionary shops are another Lübeck (and German) specialty. The most famous is Niederegger, which has produced marzipan from a carefully guarded recipe since 1806. The ground floor of the main shop in Breite Strasse is awash in marzipan and chocolates, the cake-laden Niederegger Café is one flight up, and the Marzipan Museum on the second floor traces the history of the almond-based confection.

Next page: Lübeck tourist information

Lübeck - Introduction
History and background
Sightseeing and tours
Museums and culture
Where to stay
Restaurants and food
Tourist information
Lübeck photo gallery

Related articles:
Travemünde - Lübeck's seaside resort on the Baltic
German Christmas Markets: Lübeck