VIMES’ favourite haunts in Sülz and Südstadt
VIMES’ Azhar and Julian talk about their favourite corners of the city
Azhar and Julian struck up their close musical partnership in 2011, when they got together to found electronic music duo VIMES. They combine live instrumental performances with digital elements to produce a highly unique and eminently danceable sound – personally, I can’t get enough of their album Nights in Limbo. VIMES also tour regularly, including in South America, and already have several gigs lined up for 2017. And they’re currently busy writing new tracks.
By the way, if you’ve seen our VisitKoeln videoclip Vibe of Cologne, you’ll have already heard their superb track Rudal, which they specially edited to fit the visuals.
Although they both live in Cologne, both musicians hail from completely different corners of Germany: Julian from Stuttgart and Azhar from Kassel. But neither of them have any plans to leave the city; they love the Rhineland too much for that. When asked what they like most about Cologne, the answers come quickly. For Julian, the attraction lies in the atmosphere of this “mini-metropolis”, which makes it feel very familiar, but never boring. Azhar fell in love with Cologne while living on the east bank in Kalk, crossing the Rhine every day by train while gazing at its skyline. In this article, VIMES describe their favourite haunts in “their” districts of Südstadt and Sülz.
Julian has been a Südstadt resident for a number of years now. “The Südstadt is an integral part of Cologne. It’s comfortable and familiar; a place you love to come back to again and again,” he summarises.
In this tiny bistro-style eatery, guests sit shoulder to shoulder on bar stools around high wooden tables. Typical Italian dishes are enjoyed with an almost mandatory side dish of conversation with one’s fellow diners. It’s practically Italy in miniature, with a great price-to-portion-size ratio and a perfect location just off Chlodwigplatz.
Address: Alteburger Straße 41, 50678 Cologne
This second-hand treasure trove is somewhere between a flea market and an antiques store. It has everything, from squashy sofas and ancient teapots to stereo systems. Mimapi is stuffed full of items patiently waiting to be discovered by shoppers as they navigate their way through the bric-a-brac. Be warned: you will return home with one if not several purchases.
Address: Severinswall 15, 50678 Cologne
Helga Heider’s flower shop
This small flower shop on Merowingerstraße doesn’t just sell pretty greenery; its owner is a Südstadt institution in her own right. Helga is always on hand to dispense friendly advice to her customers. In Julian’s words, “If you shop here, you automatically become Helga’s best friend. And you can never go wrong with a plant!”
Address: Merowingerstraße 25, 50677 Cologne
Azhar has lived in Kalk and for a short while also on Barbarossaplatz, but these days he calls laid-back Sülz his home. “I love Sülz because you know everyone here a little bit,” he explains.
Located smack bang on Luxemburger Straße, you can’t miss Bo. During daylight hours, the café serves delicious coffee and home-made cakes. In the summer, Bo’s outdoor seating area is perfect for watching local residents go about their daily business. There’s also a great breakfast menu.
Address: Luxemburger Straße 315, 50939 Cologne
Weisshaus cinema is an institution apart, with its comfortable retro charm and a ‘quality, not quantity’ approach: its two 1950s-style theatres mainly show smaller arthouse films, but also occasional blockbusters.
Address: Luxemburger Straße 253, 50939 Cologne
According to Azhar, this place serves the best stone-baked pizza in town. His own taste in pizza is rather more conventional – he prefers a pure funghi (mushroom) topping – but there’s many more options on offer here, including vegetarian and oriental. It’s fast, it’s cheap, and it’s very tasty.
Address: Weyertal 34, 50937 Cologne
The ice cream manufactory Keiserlich offers traditional as well as more unconventional ice cream flavours, all of which are made using locally sourced fresh ingredients. The range changes every day, so if you check in regularly you can taste your way up and down the menu, which ranges from raspberry cheesecake or melon and cream cheese all the way to rice pudding. But Keiserlich’s phenomenal vanilla ice cream is what draws me here every time. I don’t know of a single ice cream parlour that does good old vanilla quite like they do it here.
Adresse: Wittekindstraße 42, 50937 Cologne
Thanks to Azhar and Julian for taking some time out from their busy schedule – and album production work – to meet with us! If you want to know more about these two likeable Cologne residents, check them out online:
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