The lunch lowdown
Travel blogger, foodie and former Cologne resident Angelika spent a weekend in the city. Here she reveals her culinary encounters.
Pizza fans will know what the name – or number – of this restaurant refers to. Authentic Neapolitan pizza has to be baked at an extremely high temperature, and that’s exactly what you get here. The oven has pride of place in this long room. It bakes huge, crispy, thin crust pizzas to perfection in just one minute, after being topped with the finest, and often quirky, ingredients. 485° uses tomatoes grown in the foothills of Mount Vesuvius, while the buffalo mozzarella and fior di latte come – as you might expect – from the Campania region. The pizza dough contains just yeast, water and salt and is fermented for 72 hours, producing pizza the way it is meant to be. Alongside traditional toppings, the restaurant also throws a few extravagant and modern creations into the mix, such as the Rocky Balboa Speckbirne pizza with its delicious combination of provolone, pear, bacon, rocket and walnuts. The 485° team’s ingenious concept has just been awarded a fantastic 13 points in the Gault & Millau restaurant guide. A well deserved result, I say.
Where: Kyffhäuser Str. 44, 50674 Cologne (a second restaurant is located at Bonner Str. 34, 50677 Cologne)
Just one small step through the door and I’m in France. Epicerie Boucherie in Cologne’s Südstadt district is lovingly managed by Frenchman David, who has France in his heart and savoir vivre running through his veins. Ever since he opened many years ago, David’s been on the search for the best, freshest and most authentic French ingredients and delicacies to bring back to Cologne. This is a cosy and most congenial place, with David and his team busy behind the bar and in the kitchen to create delightful dishes for their guests every single day. Open morning to late night, this place makes you feel like the King of France. If you’re unlucky enough to not find a table, simply order some delicious sausage, select cuts of cheese, a delicious bottle of wine or mouthwatering baked goods to take home for your very own personal taste of France.
Where: Elsaßstraße 3, 50678 Cologne
No, I’m not going to claim that they do the best burgers in town here. Because everyone’s different, and to each their own. BUT (yes, I’m using capital letters) – these burgers are outstanding. When I drop in at this burger joint in Ehrenfeld, it’s still early evening and I manage to grab a seat. The interior isn’t what you would expect in a burger bar. In fact, it’s rather posh – just as posh as the food and the way it’s made. I’m in a celebratory mood, so I order a truffle burger – that’s actually topped with real black truffle shavings – and whose beautifully creamy sauce is made with white truffles. The patty itself is on the generous side and grilled to perfection with a pink centre. The meat is from grass-fed Boeuf de Hohenlohe cows. My burger tastes as classy as that description sounds. And the bun is the icing on the cake, so to speak. It’s a brioche, admittedly my favourite type of burger bun, and it’s perfect. I also order some delicious sweet potatoes as a side dish and mineral water to drink, although I was tempted for a minute by their long list of cool craft beers. Well, next time.
Where: Venloer Straße 538, 50825 Cologne
Veedel Vital is one of the Südstadt area’s prime spots for friendly service and healthy food. It’s a great option for indecisive diners with not a lot of time to spare, although it’s the kind of place you could spend hours in. Veedel Vital serves only the best food in small portions that guests can combine to their heart’s delight. Since I’m one of those indecisive people I happily choose four of their delicious salads, just in case I miss out on something good. And boy, was that the right thing to do. These home-made, incredibly creative dishes are so good I almost literally wanted to lie down in them. And that baked-on-the-premises, lightly toasted bread… The food looks delicious, too, arranged pleasingly in small colourful bowls. If you like Sriracha, this is the place for you: a whole battery of bottles of the popular hot sauce is available at the counter just in case you need more flavour – which I guarantee you will not. Veedel Vital is run by Kamil and Kubi, brothers with an exceptionally sunny disposition, whose enthusiasm and friendly manner make this one of the top food places in Cologne.
Where: Ubierring 18, 50678 Cologne