Frankfurt is way more than a traffic knot and bankers town. If you fly in and out of Frankfurt, it is well worthwhile to spend a day in town instead of rushing through. Take a downtown hotel and explore the city on foot, the spots you want to see (Goethe’s birth house, Römer, Kleinmarkthalle and the Foodie places in Sachsenhausen) are surprisingly all in walking distance. Although Frankfurt wouldn’t be listed as a culinary hotspot in the first place, some local specialties are known worldwide: Frankfurter Würstchen (sausage), Frankfurter Kranz (cake), Grüne Soße (green sauce) and Apfelwein (apple wine). Reason enough for a curious foodie to explore!
Ebbelwoi tavern in Sachsenhausen
On my usual mission to explore the traditional food of the area and to find the places where locals go, I ignore the countless fancy international restaurants and focus on typical and traditional pubs (Ebbelwoikneipe), which are listed at my Foodie map Frankfurt.
The apple wine tavern is as distinctive a Frankfurt institution as the brewery pub is of Munich. Many of the best-known establishments are concentrated in Sachsenhausen, but others are dotted all over the city. They are strongly traditional and offer hearty local food at moderate prices in a rustic setting – it is very common to share the table with strangers. Apple wine is served in a Geripptes, a glass with a lozenge cut that refracts light. A filled Geripptes is called a Schoppen. If you drink more than one glass or you are a group, you typically order a Bembel (a specific Apfelwein jug). The different sizes of a Bembel are designated after their contents in glasses from 4-er to 10-er Bembel. The matching traditional dishes are eggs with green sauce (Frankfurter Grüne Soße), salted pig meat with cabbage (Rippchen mit Kraut) and local cheese with vinegar and onions (Handkäs mit Musik), something you get in every apple wine pub – of course each pub has it’s very own recipe! If apple wine is not your cup of tea – you usually get also wine and beer, so don’t worry!
Sachsenhausen and German Gemütlichkeit
The modern skyscraper (by the way the only skyline in Germany) might distract you from the fact, that Frankfurt has a long history, which can be seen at the Römer (town-hall): the statues of four important German Kings decorate the frontage. King Ludwig for example – he gave Frankfurt the right to hold fairs, which made the town rich, and King Karl IV, who declared Frankfurt as a selection town for the emperor. However, the last emperor who stood at the balcony of the Römer, was Franz Beckenbauer when he and the national team were celebrated for winning the world championship.
The modern banker town Frankfurt lives side by side with the traditional trade and fair town and the best way to find authentic bars and restaurants, is to cross the iron bridge (Eisener Steg) to Sachsenhausen. Here you find down to earth pubs, the older people speak dialect and drink apple wine – no lounge music and fancy furniture, just long wooden tables and German Gemütlichkeit.
Foodie map Frankfurt