Some of the other expat bloggers I read are part of a Blogger Stammtisch that I’m not involved with, and they have really neat ideas for posts sometimes. In September, they had a ‘favorite restaurants in your town’ topic, and Grounded Traveler did a post about their top five favorites in Freiburg. I love to eat, so this really got me thinking.
Regensburg has truly embraced cafe culture, so much so that some people refer to Regensburg as Italy’s northernmost city. There are so many bars and restaurants here that it’s probably not possible to eat at every single one. The sheer logistical impossibility has not stopped me from trying, though. For the relatively short time that I’ve been here, I’ve actually eaten in a very large number of restaurants. I really like so many of them that it was difficult to narrow a list down to just five. For example, do I include the better of the two local Irish Pubs? (Murphy’s Law.) How about the best of the bajillion traditional Bavarian places in town? (I’ve eaten at many, and I found the Regensburger Weissbräuhaus to be the tastiest.) Do I include the tastiest of the four (that I know about) Indian restaurants? (Maharadscha, with Taj Mahal a close contender for the Flavor Throne.) What about steak houses? (Just kidding, there are no good steakhouses in Germany. I’ll have to eat steak when I visit the United
Steaks.. er, States again in a few weeks.)
Here are my selections, in no particular order:
Cafe Lola: Cafe Lola is a staple in my weekend breakfast/lunch diet. Their breakfasts are delicious, especially the bagels with eggs. (Try the JFK Bagel.) They have a warm noodle salad that is positively amazing. And I can’t say enough how much I love their strawberry iced tea.
Cafe Felix: I’ve been saying for months that I want to try the burgers at Cafe Felix, but I never get around to it because I always get the salad. Always. The salads are enormous and delicious. My personal favorite is the Provence, which contains strips of cooked and seasoned meat, sauteed mushrooms, lettuce, tomato, and cucumber.
Did I mention they’re enormous?
kAffé dAdA: Dada is a vegetarian restaurant with some full vegan entrees. I’m not a vegetarian, but I can appreciate good vegetarian cooking, and this place makes delicious food. The dish pictured below is a veggie take on a classic Bavarian dish- meat medallions with Knödel. However, the meat in this case is seitan, a wheat gluten based mock meat.
Pam Pam: Pam Pam is a local pizzeria that also does very tasty pasta dishes. The portions are quite large here. I’m having a difficult time thinking of things to say about Pam Pam, but this restaurant has a warm and fuzzy place in the part of my heart that is reserved for favorite restaurants.
Vitus: While Vitus is technically a French restaurant, they have plenty on the menu that isn’t French cooking. They make excellent pasta and traditional German food. They also have a number of vegetarian options on their menu. During Spargelzeit (asparagus season), they do some very tasty things with the white asparagus that this region loves so much.
I said earlier that I had a difficult time narrowing the list to just five restaurants. That’s because there’s too much brilliant food around. The five that I list above are all relaxed sit-down restaurants, but sometimes I’m in the mood for something much faster and simpler. Here’s a few more that I frequent:
Pizza Rossa: This is a small chain of pizza places that sells delicious New York style pizza by the slice. For four Euros, I can have a slice of mushroom pizza and a small Coke.
Nordsee: Nordsee restaurants are all over Germany, and can often be found right in the local Bahnhof. It’s sort of like a slightly upscale Long John Silver’s.
Kona Coffee Garden: Kona is another sit-down restaurant, but it’s good for a light breakfast or a snackish sort of lunch. This is another joint that does good bagels, but they also have good coffee, smoothies, and some other tasty things. Pictured is a tuna salad bagel. Delicious!
Last but not least, Döner around the corner: I’m not going to specify a Döner stand, because they’re everywhere throughout Europe. I’ve been to seven countries this year, and the only place I’ve been that doesn’t have any sort of a Döner stand is the United States. If I walk in any direction, I will eventually find a Döner place. I can think of eight of them within walking distance of my apartment, and that’s just off the top of my head. The reason for the high number of shops is high demand: Döner kebab, for the uninitiated, is shaved meat in a pita. It is delicious, hot, and fast. Several of the Döner shops around town are open incredibly late because it’s a popular food for people who’ve been out drinking. In the United States, Taco Bell fills the post-alcohol-binge role that Döner handles here. Amusingly, most of the Döner places also seem to sell pizza and tiramisu. Draw your own conclusions from that.
Writing this post made me hungry. Luckily, everything I mentioned in this post is inside a fifteen minute walk from my apartment. I’ll be back after I’ve eaten.