Rhine & Dine in Düsseldorf
Supermodel Claudia Schiffer, electro-band Kraftwerk and postwar artist Joseph Beuys are three of Düsseldorf’s world-famous exports. This mini metropolis on the banks of the Rhine is also Germany’s fashion capital, and its respected design academies and fashion fairs draw international talent. And for three days every March, the town hosts the world’s most international wine fair, ProWein, so act now if you plan to attend.
Düsseldorf’s grand 19th-century boulevard, Königsallee (known as the “Kö”), is one of Europe’s renowned luxury shopping districts. Famous for its contemporary art scene, Düsseldorf is chic, but its people never lose their down-to-earth Rhineland charm.
Wander from the cobbled, pedestrian-friendly alleys of the Altstadt, the historic town center, along the river on the Rheinpromenade to KIT (Kunst im Tunnel), a contemporary art venue with a funky café. You can ogle Frank Gehry’s wonky Zollhafen building at the MedienHafen, situated along Düsseldorf’s working harbor. Venture back via the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, which hosts numerous exhibitions and installations of 20th and 21st century art, onto the Königsallee for a little retail therapy. Attend one of the daily classical concerts at the Tonhalle, or enjoy music, literature, discussions and poetry at performance space Zakk.
Go ultra-German at Im Füchschen and order pork knuckle, mashed potatoes, sauerkraut and a foam-topped altbier (a top-fermenting, dark beer from which the term ale is derived) right where it’s made. This traditional brewery is an institution, offering great value, authenticity and generous portions.
Sample more award-winning wheat, strong or unfiltered altbier at Uerige Hausbrauerei, an equally traditional brewery. You can sit outside and sample its home-brewed fassbrausen, nonalcoholic elderflower or rhubarb-flavored lemonades.
If you fancy becoming an expert on the local brews, the Düsseldorf tourist office offers English-speaking, guided Altbier-Safaris for $27.
Visit Saittavini, a friendly Italian enoteca with an impressive international wine list. Shop for bottles, taste at the bar or dine on Italian classics—think vitello tonnato, carpaccio and housemade taglierini with truffles.
If you’re looking to escape the beer vibe, check out Beuys Bar for its understated style, sophistication and classic cocktails.
Snack your way through some of Germany’s finest produce at the central Carlsplatz market (daily except Sundays) and sample sausages and cheese, chocolate and baked goods. Once you’ve worked up a real appetite, head to the adjacent Münstermann Kontor, a deli and bistro, for lunch.
For a well-curated German wine list with excellent modern German cooking, try Stappen im Wilke. For highly seasonal, finely executed French dining, eat at Brasserie Stadthaus in the old town. If you love fresh seafood, sample various oysters at Andrej’s Oyster Bar & Restaurant, which sports a predominantly French wine list. You can also go for Breton-inspired crustaceans and fish at Patrick’s Seafood No 1. Discover Michelin-starred creativity at Tafelspitz 1876, conjured up by Chef Daniel Del Ben. Düsseldorf also plays host to Germany’s largest Japanese community. Prepare to be wowed by Japanese artistry at Nagaya, famous for its omakase.
- 1What To Do
- 2Where To Drink
- 3Where To Eat