Published on May 7th, 2013 | by Nat and Tim


5 Awesome Foods to Try in Cologne

In the mood for some German food ? Our friends from A Cook Not Mad share why Cologne is not to be missed, and what foods you MUST try when you’re there! From Kölsch beer, to mouth-watering dishes, they dive right into the food scene and share the goods with us:

We had the pleasure of discovering Cologne last summer and we are so glad we did.  Germany’s fourth largest city, Cologne is spread out over both sides of the Rhine River.  It has a vibrant cultural scene with over 30 museums, numerous art galleries and a mouthwatering food scene.

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Cologne is known for many things, one being Kölsch beer.  A straw-coloured beer with a biscuit flavour and fleeting freshness, it is served in small .21L glasses called stange.  No need to hail the bartender at any bar in this city, beer will continue coming until you place your coaster over your glass.  Now that’s service!


Another thing Cologne is known for is food.  Germans in general love their meat and they have found some succulent ways of preparing it.



1. Himmel un Ääd (Heaven and Earth)

photo 3 heaven and hell

Named for the two main ingredients, apples (from the sky) and potatoes (from the ground), this dish resembles mashed potatoes but has distinct apple flavour and sweetness.  It is most often served with blood sausage. The most appetizing plating and best tasting Himmel un Ääd we had was at Früh Brauhaus at Am Hof 12-18.  This beer hall is huge and has all sorts of nooks and crannies; after exploring the whole place, we found ourselves a tiny two seat table tucked away in a corner.



2. Mettbrötchen

phot0 4 mett

Mett on a bun, mett being raw pork sausage meat.  I know, it sounds scary, but once you get over your paralyzing fear of listeria and salmonella, dig in because this is such a delicious treat, I would hate for you to miss out.  It’s a great snack that goes well with beer and it’s very affordable at about €2 per serving. We found our favourite Kölsch (Päffgen) and the best mett in town at Bierhaus en d’r Salzgass (Frankenwerft 27).  With a terrace overlooking the Rhine, you can’t go wrong.


3. Schnitzel

photo 5 schnitzel

What could be better than a piece of meat (usually pork, veal or chicken) flattened, battered and fried to form a crispy, golden outer crust, maybe the mountain of fries that is traditionally served on the side?

Tired of the crowds in the downtown core?  Walk over to Ursulagartenstr. 11-15, here you will find Schreckenskammer Biergarten, a bierhaus filled with friendly locals and delicious schnitzel.


4. Schweinshaxe aka Crispy Pork Knuckle

photo 6 crispy pork knuckle

Don’t be intimidated when this Jurassic size piece of meat gets placed on your table.  This may just be the most succulent plate of food you may ever enjoy.  Use the soft potato dumpling to soak up the meat jus that assembles on the bottom of the plate.  This may be the closest you will get to heaven on earth.

Sünner im Walfisch at Salzgasse 13 is the place to go for this side splitting meal, established in 1626, they’ve had plenty of time to perfect it.


5. Leberwurst

photo 7 leberwurst
Known as liver wurst to non-Germans, this is another quick and affordable snack that will fill you up with meaty goodness.  Traditionally comes served with sliced red onion and a bun. You can find liver wurst in most brauhäusers, but Peters Brauhaus at Mühlengasse 1, is so cozy and the service so attentive, you might want to stay for more than a snack.


Cologne has so much to offer, make sure you stop in on your next German holiday. For more information on travelling to Germany, contact one of our travel consultants at 1-877-967-5302 or visit your closest store.

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About the Author

together for close to a quarter of a century, have indulged their passion for life and experience to the fullest, but they feel most alive when traveling, cooking and eating. An award winning chef, Tim has dedicated his life and career to cooking and the pursuit of honest food. As a professional photographer, Nat records their adventures with incredible pictures of everyday life and the extraordinary. They believe that everyone should get to know a culture by learning about the foods they eat and living like locals as much as they can.

5 Responses to 5 Awesome Foods to Try in Cologne

  1. Great article. I’ve travelled extensively in Germany, so know it’s just as easy to eat in as drink in. Most people don’t, so this post will be as educational as it’s entertaining.

  2. Thanks Matthew, we didn’t know when we went but had a lot of fun figuring it all out 🙂

  3. Pingback: Cologne Tourist Attractions / Travel Guide / Tips / Blog

  4. Aria John says:

    A very informative article. Didn’t know German food is so much tasty and healthy. Thanks a lot for sharing. Good Work.

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