Today I present to you Frankfurt’s Red Light District or in German, das Bahnhofsviertel. (The train station district.) This area is totally going through the process of gentrification right now and I happen to live right in the crux of it. This is your insider’s guide to the best places for food and drink in Frankfurt’s centre.
These are places that you probably wouldn’t find if you were just here as a tourist. These are locally known and cool spots.
Insider’s Guide to the Best Restaurants in Frankfurt
Frankfurt’s best sushi owned by the nicest small-business owner on the planet! Her tuna and salmon will melt in your mouth like butter and the design of the place is trendy and cute too. Definitely one of the best restaurants in Frankfurt.
The vibe here is great. High industrial ceilings, a huge space and noisy so you can bring a big group of people. The novelty of ordering your food and attaching the order with clothes pegs above your table is pretty cool!
Minimalistic design, small and intimate – the perfect place for a date night. I believe their menu changes from week to week and their food is really delicious!
Walon & Rosetti
Great place for after work drinks and there are lots of nice variations of gin. I’ve eaten there twice and both times I was very happy with the food. Go for the spinach and pine nut salad with sliced rump steak. YUM. You’ll probably need to make a reservation as it’s always pumping inside.
This place is amazing and completely random & hidden. It’s a tiny little speakeasy bar which is actually under street level. I haven’t had beautiful cocktails and perfectly mixed drinks anywhere else in the world like I have here at Kinly Bar. Their service is top-notch too. They will always make you the most creative and interesting drinks using very odd ingredients which just work together! My tip is to try and get in around 7 or 8PM because it’s usually very busy. To get in, you need to find a skinny, unmarked black door and ring the bell. You’ll be taken downstairs into the dark, taxidermy-laden bar. A really cool experience!
Definitely, my go-to place when I have visitors in town or if I’m craving a good piece of steak. Nice vibe, great interior design and a good range of drinks too.
Amazing burgers! Good quality ingredients and very simple, but perfectly executed. This is one of the best takeaway restaurants in Frankfurt, so get over there and give it a try. Over the last couple of years, Fletcher’s has opened many other locations all around Frankfurt & the surrounding areas.
Hot off the press ***
Misch Poke is now available inside both Fletcher’s on Oederweg and Ohmstrasse. Poke Bowls are a Hawaiian / Sushi mix filled with delicious ingredients. I had one today and I can confirm: delicious!
Another of the best restaurants in Frankfurt: unique because it never has the same food twice. It’s been set up in an apartment so it’s extremely cosy and a really great space. The staff are always friendly and the food is epic. As far as I know, you can only make a booking if you receive their weekly newsletter with the weekend’s menu. To get the newsletter, you need to sign up for it on their website. Bit of a process but totally worth it. We go almost monthly!
Brought to you by the same guys who do Fletcher’s Burgers. These pizzas are unreal and definitely make Montana Pizza on the list of best restaurants in Frankfurt. The Pacman oven was specially imported from Naples and all their ingredients are fresh. I really love the Parma ham, rocket and parmesan pizza.
Looking for other beautiful things to do in Frankfurt? Sachsenhausen, Nordend, Westend and Bornheim are the most ‘popular/wealthy’ areas but in terms of creativity and value for money, the Bahnhofsviertel is certainly the newest hip area in town.
After living here for seven years, I have written a lot of articles on Frankfurt:
Best Food in Frankfurt: An Insider’s List
Where to Find Great Cafes in Frankfurt
Frankfurt Has an Underground Caffeine Scene Brewing
VIF: A Frankfurt Insider’s Food Guide
The Nice Side of Frankfurt am Main: Germany
These are just my personal favourites. Of course, there are many other great places which aren’t on this list of things to do in Frankfurt & which I probably don’t know of. Why don’t you leave some of your personal favourites in the comments for me?
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Megan (@MeganCStarr)April 16, 2016 at 11:25 am
such a great list!!! i havent been to bento so this makes me want to check it out pronto!!!
bahnhofsviertel is actually my favorite area of the city. i do all of my shopping, and most of my eating around the area.
kaptainkennytravelApril 16, 2016 at 11:29 am
Glad you enjoyed the read Megan – Bento is 100% amazing, tell her Phoebe sent you when you go 🙂
Megan (@MeganCStarr)April 16, 2016 at 11:31 am
i definitely will! 🙂
ElisaApril 19, 2016 at 1:39 pm
These places arent visited by “the locals”. As a local, i live there for almost 18 years, i avoid these places. Its really expensive and everything looks fake to me. I’m not a huge fan of hipsters and not at all of gentrification! These places you are naming are very new and just try to be cool and hip. The Bahnhofsviertel is/was so unique. There are nice and crazy take aways in the Taunustraße and dont be afraid of the junkies. As long as you are nice to them and dont treat them like you are a better person than they are, they are usually very nice. In münchnerstraße are some very nice indian, asian and arabic food stores where you can find all sorts of food and its really cheap. If you are looking for something “fancy” you can check out the backyard near by the mosque in münchnerstraße. Sometimes they have a market there. And its way better than the one in the kaisterstraße.
kaptainkennytravelApril 19, 2016 at 1:44 pm
Thanks for your message. I’ve lived in BHV for about 5 years and I see a lot of the same locals in these places which I posted. You’re absolutely right regarding the food in other locations too though. I personally love the Thai Imbiss on Taunusstr and the Indian takeaway guy on the corner…. Indigo I think it’s called is great too! I always get my “Doener” on Taunusstr too so I’m not immune to that part of the BHV. In terms of the junkies…. well I do live on Niddastr and they often do heroin in front of my door. I guess that’s part and parcel of the area but you’re right, so long as you don’t bother them, they don’t bother you 🙂
I personally love what a little bit of gentrification brings an area and maybe I love these places because I’m a sucker for design and good coffee – I guess everyone has their own opinions about things 🙂
LaraApril 19, 2016 at 2:48 pm
I really enjoyed reading about this great area of Frankfurt which is – in my opinion – completely unterestimated by a lot of people (locals as well as visitors). I can really recommend Club Michel, the atmosphere is so relaxing after a day of work and the food is even better, so try to go there as soon as you can 🙂 Another place popped into my mind while I read through your post: A place called Freitagsküche (http://freitagskueche.de/). As the name might tell you, it’s only open on Friday’s and has a great and unique concept. Greets, Lara
kaptainkennytravelApril 19, 2016 at 2:52 pm
Thanks for your message. See, this is why I love people to comment because I can find out about new places too. I’ve never heard of Freitagskueche but will definitely head over *on Friday* and check it out 🙂
Club Michel is definitely one of my fav places in this area – in fact, I have some friends visiting this weekend and I think I might try to book us in there.
AlexApril 20, 2016 at 5:20 am
The time when Freitagsküche was only open on friday is long ago and dates back to the original concept which was closely linked to the artists of Städelschule (http://www.zeit.de/2010/52/WMIH-Freitagskueche). Since Freitagsküche moved to Mainzer Landstrasse, you can eat there every day.
kaptainkennytravelApril 20, 2016 at 5:21 am
Do you need a reservation? Or can you just come and get a table? Which location do you prefer?
Laura ChanApril 19, 2016 at 3:52 pm
There is this new speakeasy that is open for pop-up events also located in Banhhofsviertel. You should check it out! Food is yummy, they have interesting pop-up event concepts, and the deco is cool. Right now, it is still a hush hush place, but I already see that it gets quite difficult to book for a seat on their pop-up events. The place is called Makan e.V at Moselstrasse 25, 1st floor. You can follow them on http://www.facebook.com/makanev
kaptainkennytravelApril 19, 2016 at 3:54 pm
Laura that’s an amazing insider’s tip and definitely something I’ll be checking out! Thanks a lot 🙂
This area is pumping with life and cool things to do.
VerenaApril 20, 2016 at 10:40 am
Why would you bash on the people living and staying in the Bahnhofsviertel??
Whether its the prostitutes, junkies or homeless: they were there before you!
That is all part of the charme. If an original, local feel is what you are looking for: feel welcome! They are all individuals like you and me and all of them deserve a place to stay! If you want a ‘clean, hip and nice, warm and cosy place that give you a mushy feeling: go to the Westend and get lost!!
P.S. please don’t bring your fancy banker friends..
Megan (@MeganCStarr)April 20, 2016 at 7:33 pm
On what world do you live in that you feel that you can state that prostitutes, junkies, and homeless people add to the ‘charm’ of an area? That is someone’s family member. The fact that you think it is all part of the Bahnhofsviertel’s charm is pretty appalling and quite frankly, scares me for this modern society.
P.S. I am pretty sure any of my banker friends would agree with me.
VerenaApril 21, 2016 at 8:43 am
thank you for your considerate reply.
Sorry that I’m laughing but quite frankly I think it’s funny that you state that you are scared of me because it is you and the cliché of the person you represent that scares the shit out of me.
You discover and hype a ‘hip’ district based on the fact that it feels authentic, is filled with life that students who live there provide due to the fact that they can’t afford any other district-rent. The ‘authenticness’ is created by people who live and stay there, respect and tolerate each other, despite their social background or the financial state they are in.
I never mend to glorify the lifes hat the prostitutes or junkies lead. They are the way they are and you can try to provide help and support but there are always going to be people living a more difficult life then you and me and they deserve a place to stay and to be tolerated. What makes the Bahnhofsviertel great is that there are so many different people living, parting, working and going out there. It always has been. Its dirty, its far away from perfect and yes there are people with drug problems and other issues that you would love to look away from or at least ‘get them out of your hip and beloved quarter’.
But where are they supposed to go?
To the Gallus viertel? – oh wait – in two years time thats the next hip place you and your friends will want to go..
Just wanted to clear that up.
jApril 20, 2016 at 4:11 pm
Good job guys!
kaptainkennytravelApril 20, 2016 at 4:13 pm
Thank you! 🙂
Megan (@MeganCStarr)April 21, 2016 at 9:03 am
I am so confused … I think your Google Translate may not be working? I stated nothing that had to do with relocating junkies to other parts of the city. I had a comment based on your mentioning that junkies and prostitutes add to the ‘charm’ of a place. I just have never met anyone who thinks sex trafficking and drugs add to the charm of a place and I found it a bit disturbing.
For your information, my favorite places to eat in Bahnhofsviertel are: Ganesha Asia Call Food (South Indian and Sri Lankan), Selera (Malaysian), African Queen (ok technically this Eritrean place is located in Gutleut area, but still), Nollywood (Nigerian and kind of Gutleut but close by), Pattaya Thai Imbiss, Saravana Bhavan (vegetarian South Indian), Lam Freres (Vietnamese), Jade (Chinese), etc. I do most of my shopping at Spicelands, Alim’s, and Gutleut Asia Market (Kaiserstr). I also like Feinkost Paradis at the Kaisterstr Market. I know bar owners at the sketchy Braz (Ipenema Bar) and Aventura Pub. I love the international vibe of the area and I am sorry you’re anti-hipster, but I think you’re missing the point on some things. Great businesses will continue to be great. New ones will move in. Some ‘hipsterish’ and some not. The junkies and prostitutes are still there. I see them daily. They haven’t moved on to a new location so I am confused about how a new coffee place, supper club, speakeasy, or restaurant is going to automatically be the cause of them being chased away. I know, traditionally, the junkies get moved from one area to another in Frankfurt. But maybe that isn’t a new business’ fault but rather the way the city is viewing these people. You mentioned you found them, their business of sex trafficking and drugs, charming. You’re the first person who I’ve ever heard make such a brash statement.
If someone has a brilliant idea for a business, why shouldn’t they be allowed to open? Because they are not some traditional schnitzel and apfelwein place? The world needs innovation and ingenuity. It scares me when people are scared of change. During Soviet times, entrepreneurship was illegal (so basically, in one part of this country, that kind of shit existed). Seeing as that is relevant history to this country, shouldn’t we encourage and embrace entrepreneurship and ideas and rather than shun them? And shouldn’t we value other people’s opinions as much as we value our own? And if we are going to take the time to comment on a blog post, maybe we could be a little nicer and offer some ideas instead of negativity. I know negativity is what makes Germany go round, but for once in a while, let’s try to make someone’s day instead of ruin it.
Nevertheless, I’m heading on vacation (to Morocco because I’m not scared of other nationalities and embrace diversity, of course) so I am no longer going to reply to any of your comments here. Let’s try to make being open-minded our goal for 2016.
SaraMay 9, 2016 at 2:12 pm
Thank you so much for taking the time to write this blog! Like you, I also moved to Frankfurt for love, and since I am very new here (and my German is still a work in progress), having all this info in English has helped…big time!
kaptainkennytravelMay 9, 2016 at 9:11 pm
Oh that’s amazing to read Sara!! Glad to here it’s helped 🙂 Where are you from?
Christie @ A Sausage Has TwoMay 10, 2016 at 2:17 pm
Hello from down the road in Wiesbaden 🙂 I’ve visited Frankfurt an embarrassingly small number of times given I’ve lived here 6 years, so I can’t profess to knowing the restaurant scene at all… but I’d totally get on the train just to go and eat at Selera – best beef rendang I’ve had outside Malaysia! Very happy to have found your blog, am always after local food tips 🙂
kaptainkennytravelMay 13, 2016 at 12:39 pm
Thanks Christie!! Happy to have you as a reader 🙂 I’ll definitely look up your recommendation too as I haven’t heard of it before now. Have a great day!
pumpkinplumMay 25, 2016 at 9:57 pm
Great write up! I am visiting soon and really looking forward to it. 😀
kaptainkennytravelMay 25, 2016 at 9:58 pm
I’m sure it took a long time to read, sorry about that – I tried to condense the info, I swear 😬😬 you will enjoy yourself! It’s a crazy and cool place indeed. Will you be in a group or solo?
pumpkinplumMay 25, 2016 at 10:03 pm
It’s hard to condense when so much to say. Going as a group of 3 for a long weekend. Could you recommend any good central gin/cocktail bars?
kaptainkennytravelMay 25, 2016 at 10:04 pm
I don’t think I saw gin at all to be honest – because rum is the national export product, most drinks are rum related. It could have been available but I always had my eyes open for the Havana Rum stuff 🙂 Which city?
pumpkinplumMay 25, 2016 at 10:06 pm
Sorry, commenting on your Frankfurt post.
kaptainkennytravelMay 25, 2016 at 10:07 pm
Goodness me! I’m daft sometimes – yessssss so many places in ffm for amazing gin! Let me ask my bf for his recommendation because he found a great place recently. I’ll get back to you!
kaptainkennytravelMay 27, 2016 at 10:07 am
Heya! So my boyfriend said Chaplin is a good bar with good gin 🙂
pumpkinplumMay 27, 2016 at 11:16 am
Great, thanks for the suggestion!
AmiGirl_FFMJune 2, 2016 at 5:09 pm
Great post! You’ve listed most of my favorites for hip, new places in the city!
If you long weekend is still ahead of you, you should try a new place opening in Bahnhofsviertel: Jambo Bar (Elbestrasse 20) – they just open this weekend and are doing Kenyan street food and 50 different kinds of gin! (Chaplin has a good selection, but it’s a smoking bar – just to warn you in case that’s an issue)
Also good for gin – look up Naiv or Logenhaus.
kaptainkennytravelJune 2, 2016 at 5:13 pm
Thanks a lot! What about Parlour too? I’ve heard that’s a lovely bar although I’ve never been. It’s also a smoking bar but apparently it has some crazy exhaust fan which lifts the smoke directly before it goes anywhere near you. They are said to have some of Germany’s best barkeepers too! Another bar worth mentioning is Kinley in the BHV. Amazing drinks, speciality gins, homemade tonic etc and it’s a cool location. Kind of in the middle of the crazy BHV with a black door to knock on. Then you go down the stairs to another world!
AmiGirl_FFMJune 2, 2016 at 5:56 pm
Oh yeah – the Parlour is great! Some nights can be a bit smokey, but they do have pretty good ventilation.
My favorite cocktail I’ve had there so far was Corn and Oil. Perfect place to tell the bartender what kind of flavors you like and let them surprise you.
Kinley is worth a try, but tiny so it’s hot or miss if you have along wait after ringing the bell. Fun and friendly bartenders though!
kaptainkennytravelJune 3, 2016 at 10:09 am
You seem like a girl who knows her stuff! 🙂
PinduJune 18, 2016 at 5:25 pm
Nice! Thanks! Went to Maxie Eisen Wednesday evening. The waiter threw the menu on the table without a word. That was it for us! Such a bad experience without trying anythig 🙁
kaptainkennytravelJune 19, 2016 at 6:42 pm
What a disappointment that must have been for you :*( Did you guys manage to have a good night anyway? Sometimes the Bahnhofsviertel can be soooo pretentious 🙁
MarvinAugust 28, 2016 at 5:21 am
It’s actually a nice and useful piece of information. I am happy that you shared this helpful information with us.
Please keep us up to date like this. Thanks for sharing.
kaptainkennytravelAugust 30, 2016 at 11:41 am
Thanks for your comment. How did you come across the FFM Bahnhofsviertel post? I’m amazed that so many people keep finding it 🙂
VIF: A Frankfurt Insider’s Tip – Kaptain Kenny TravelFebruary 26, 2017 at 9:26 pm
[…] Frankfurt’s Red Light District is indeed worlds apart from the tourist trap of Amsterdam’s R.L district. It’s not an area I would recommend staying in per se but there are countless new speakeasy bars, cafes and restaurants in the area. For proof of this, just click on my most popular ever: Where to eat and drink – Bahnhofsviertel; Frankfurt: Germany. […]
illbehomesoonApril 29, 2017 at 11:38 pm
Nice post. I’ll look forward to checking out the Sushi place soon.
Have you ever been to Der Fette Buelle on Kaiserstraße?
It’s honestly great. Best burger i’ve eaten in Frankfurt (better than Fletcher’s, Jamy’s Die Kuh die Lacht… all of the other comparable joints i’ve eaten at!)
It makes a really good place for a date or a group meal, its always buzzing in the evening and has some novel specials (my favourite is a bacon-y avocado burger!)
Keep up the great work!
The nice side of Frankfurt am Main: Germany – Kaptain Kenny TravelMay 21, 2017 at 6:40 pm
[…] plenty of options for places to eat and drink at. This list seems to be growing by the second. See this blog for some options in the […]
LeniOctober 10, 2017 at 1:03 pm
Dear Phoebe, thank you so much for this lovely post. When I first moved to the Bahnhofsviertel I felt excited, but also a bit lost. Your blog post was like a map to new places that would soon make me feel home.
kaptainkennytravelOctober 16, 2017 at 8:43 am
Hey Leni! I totally need to update my list because I’ve discovered some new places which are also cool. If you reach out to me privately via Instagram messaging, I’ll send you my full go-to list for Frankfurt 🙂
expatfrankfurtMarch 1, 2018 at 4:39 pm
Great summary of what’s available! Quite a few that I have never been to… but looking forward to testing 🙂
kaptainkennytravelMarch 1, 2018 at 4:40 pm
Ooh how exciting! Glad I could be of assistance 🙂 Enjoy, Phoebe
DavidJuly 10, 2018 at 5:38 pm
Hey, I’m moving to BHV in the next couple of months, with my partner. We are looking at apartments in Niddastrasse.
Are there many good butchers and greengrocers nearby?
kaptainkennytravelJuly 12, 2018 at 8:52 pm
Hey there David – on Mainzerlandstr (about a 6 minute drive away from where we live) there’s a HUGE new supermarket called REWE. It’s directly opposite LIDL and Aldi too, so in terms of choice this is quite good. If I were you, I would also look at the Scheck-in-Centre on Hanauerlandstr on the other side of town. They have slightly better quality/more gourmet produce and it’s also close to another brand new Rewe. You’ll need a car for this though! The Red Light District is more restauranty and doesn’t have much except a couple of Asian supermarkets and convenience stores.
DavidJuly 12, 2018 at 10:09 pm
Fantastic. Thank you for this. We signed today on the lease for out new flat. I’m very excited to start exploring the area/City.