Düsseldorf’s charms are not immediately obvious. You have to walk down the Königsallee, or Kö as the locals call it, to realize this is Germany’s fashion capitol. Düsseldorf is also where you can enjoy some Rhineland relaxation (and hopefully sunshine) along the Stadtgraben with its Triton fountain. But if you find yourself here in March for the wine-trade show ProWein, the city offers places to visit for every mood and occasion.
Whether you seek breakfast or have not yet been introduced to the German ritual of Kaffee und Kuchen—the traditional mid-afternoon caffeine and sugar break—head to much-loved Café Hüftgold. Famed for its house-made cakes, it also offers light lunches for mid-day refreshment.
Need to escape the buzz of the fair? Bread & Roses awaits, offering a menu of modern German food. The recipient of a Michelin star, this small venue offers surprisingly good value. Sila Thai is a popular and beautiful destination for well-executed Thai dishes. If you’re with a crowd, the lively La Luce Due is a pizza and pasta joint that prides itself on super-fresh ingredients.
Those who seek authentic German cuisine should head to one of the local Altbier breweries. These offer cosy, unpretentious surroundings and down-to-earth fare. Owned by the Schumacher brewing family since 1838, Im Goldenen Kessel offers typical beer-friendly fare like Flönz (black pudding), liver sausage and marinated cheese with caraway. Im Goldenen Ring is another historic venue. For burgers, ribs and steaks, Butch Becker Grill & Bar is the only spot you need.
Night owls who seek fun can enjoy classic cocktails at the 1920s-inspired Bar Alexander. Rum aficionados should check out Mojito’s for signature cocktails and an impressive list of aged rums. At Liq, you might have to ring a doorbell to get in, but classy drinks await. Tiny, old-town stalwart Et Kabüffke (Flinger Straße 1, 40213 Düsseldorf, open till midnight daily) serves Killepitsch, an off-sweet herbal digestif that has been brewed in the Rhineland since 1858. For whiskey and beer, stop by Engel, where live bands regularly turn up the volume.