Cologne: a city tasting tour with chef Wissler
Cologne was one of the first cities in Germany to be recognized in triple Michelin stars and its status as one of the country’s more interesting culinary destinations is thanks in no small part to star-chef, Joachim Wissler. As one of Germany’s most influential culinary leaders, he’s played an important role in the New German School style of cooking which reinvigorated German fine-dining through a return to forgotten regional products and dishes, after years of foreign influence.
Today, Joachim is quick to point out that young and acclaimed chefs all across the Cologne area are elevating the region’s food in an even more comprehensive way, so we’re embarking with him on a tour of the city. And with his Restaurant Vendôme heralded with three Michelin Stars, 19.5 Gault Millau points and a place on The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, we can think of no better local guide to the foods, drinks, and chefs to watch here.
Breakfast at NeoBiota
Neobiota sensational breakfasts served until 1 PM should make NeoBiota your first stop in Cologne but don’t miss the fantastic dinner menu either, served by a hearty open fire in the small restaurant by young, ambitious owners who earned a Michelin star within a year of opening.
Regional cuisine at MaiBeck
“If I want great, regional cuisine for lunch or dinner then MaiBeck is my go-to” Joachim advises. Here, local craftsmanship and cuisines really sing together over a direct view of the Rhine river.
Traditional food at L'Imprimerie
Another great tip for anyone who appreciates classic French cuisine comes in the form of L'Imprimerie. “You should, however, be forewarned that things are a bit different here” Joachim tells us. “You’ll need to patiently wait to be seated and you can only pay cash and per table, but you won't regret it”, he continues, “this is one of the first restaurants I visited after I moved to the Cologne area exactly 20 years ago.”
Le Moissonier for a fine dining bistro
With owners Liliane & Vincent Moissonier at the helm, you’ll feel well looked after on a visit to Le Moissonier, surrounded by a beautiful French bistro atmosphere. “It offers fantastically creative cuisine, all thanks to chef Eric Menchon who’s headed up the kitchen since the very beginning” Joachim points out.
Ox & Klee, the trailblazers
This contemporary restaurant in the new harbour district of Rheinauhafen has created another culinary landmark within the city offering up beautiful views and a very cool bar with summer veranda.
Coffee and cake at Café Fassbender
Kaffee und Kuchen is a staunch German afternoon tradition so for all coffee and cake lovers, the venerable Café Fassbender offers a great cake selection and one of the best Christmas cookies in town according to Joachim, all just a stone's throw away from the Rhine.
Die Henne - Weinbar
“A very exciting concept for food lovers, Die Henne - Weinbar is the perfect place to meet friends and enjoy a very good sharing menu together. This sort of concept always tempts me to order more than I actually intended to eat, but I’ve never regretted it!”
Regional burgers at Die Fette Kuh
In keeping with the current culinary zeitgeist, Die Fette Kuh is a burger shop which only serves ingredients of regional origin. The meat is prepared directly in front of you, according to your individual taste, and you can get a nice glass of wine and homemade fries. My son loves the place, even though he doesn’t drink wine!”
Seiberts Classic Bar & Liquid Kitchen
“My personal bar tip is Seiberts and if you intend on going with one of my dinner recommendations, then I advise heading here first for an aperitif since it opens at a very convenient 5 PM. One of my very favourite drinks is the Yuzu Gin Tonic.”