To stomp around 10 crowded exhibition halls with a bulging diary makes for three exhausting and exciting days at ProWein. Thank heavens there are numerous watering holes for every taste and budget in the Rhine metropolis.
Wine lovers who appreciate fine dining won’t be disappointed at Weinhaus Tante Anna in the Altstadt, which has been going since 1820. The food is classic German executed with refinement, while the wine list provides proper depth across all German regions. The enterprising co-owner, Tobias Ludowigs, can be spotted in various German wine regions on regular buying forays.
Eiskeller will appeal to those who seek to disappear underground and discover an exciting wine list. This centrally located, vaulted-cellar bar boasts a roundup of Germany’s coolest wines alongside Champagne and a smattering of international winemaking talent. If you love biodynamic or orange wine, this place is for you.
A 10-minute taxi ride from the fair is Rocaille, a café, bistro and wine bar all in one. Run by a wine lover, this is international, contemporary and popular. It’s the sort of wine bar you could find in any metropolis: well-run and upmarket, but casual. Apart from the long wine list, the patisserie treats also win praise.
A bit hipster-ish, but totally fun and delicious is Rheinton in the Altstadt. Uncomplicated pleasures make up the menu, like vintage-dated tinned sardines or dates wrapped in bacon, but this is more for snacking than dining. The wine list is refreshingly unpretentious, and any bottle from the shop can be opened for a corkage fee. Closed Mondays.
“Serving the best from Berlin and Paris,” is the motto of Parlin-Weinbar in the Altstadt. The food is classically French yet unpretentious, and the wines are predominantly German and French. The lovely stucco ceiling is original. Beware: it’s closed Monday and Tuesday, and it doesn’t accept credit cards.
If you’ve had enough of wine, try Düsseldorf’s Altbier, a dark local beer. Hausbrauerei zum Schlüssel offers it along with homely atmosphere and rib-sticking food. The speciality is local, draff-fed beef (the spent grain from brewing), but pork knuckle and sausages are also available, of course.
Close by, another brewery and taproom awaits. But Brauerei Kürzer is different, as it’s done away with the gingham cloth and carved wood in favor of a contemporary makeover. That does not diminish the traditional menu, which offers classics like Himmel und Ähd, or “heaven and earth.” It’s fried black pudding with sauté potatoes and apple sauce. There’s also fish and chips or burgers.
Updated with new content on February 6, 2019.