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VISITING GERMANY

Here are the top Michelin star restaurants in Germany for 2018

2018's Michelin guide reveals a record high of 11 German restaurants which have now been given three Michelin stars, beating the country's previous record of ten.

Here are the top Michelin star restaurants in Germany for 2018
Sven Elverfeld, head chef at Aqua. Photo: DPA

1. Atelier im Bayerischer Hof, Munich

 

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This year's new addition to the list is run by chef Jan Hartwig, who has garnered praise previously when he was awarded chef of the year by foodie magazine 'Der Feinschmecker' in 2016.

Atelier was created by renowned Belgian art dealer Axel Vervoordt and describes itself as having a luxuriously simple design, which “spreads the flair of its creator with an intimate atmosphere”

Judges at Gastro Guide “Gault & Millau.” said that, “everything is always perfectly crafted and aromatic down to the most minute detail.”

2. Restaurant Bareiss,  Baiersbronn (Baden-Württemberg)

The small town of Baiersbronn boasts not one but two restaurants with three Michelin stars and has been dubbed by the New York Times one of the “world's most unexpected restaurant capitals”. 

The first of the two triple Michelin starred restaurants in the town is Restaurant Bareiss, situated in the hotel of the same name.  According to the site's website, chef Claus-Peter Lumpp combines visual attractiveness and wholesomeness with his signature of technical perfection and aromatic richness.

Bareiss has won a huge number of awards for its food and service and received its third star back in 2007. The Michelin Guide describes head chef Lumpp as having “rigour” and a “painstaking attention to detail”, which has elevated the restaurant to one of the best in Germany.

3.Schwarzwaldstube, Baiersbronn (Baden-Württemberg)

The second eatery in the small town of Baiersbronn to have earned the coveted three-star rating is Schwarzwaldstube, located in Hotel Traube Tonbach.

The restaurant has had three stars for more than 20 years and describes itself as a “symphony of superlatives” and apparently offers a “once in a lifetime experience”.

Command was recently taken over from the late Harald Wohlfahrt by his protegee and the restaurant's sous chef of more than 10 years, Torsten Michel. Thankfully, there has been no sign of a slump in quality through the transition as the restaurants stays at the top for another year.

4. The Table Kevin Fehling, Hamburg

 

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Opened just two years ago, The Table Kevin Fehling experienced almost immediate success and was awarded all three stars within its first year.

At 40 years old, head chef Fehling is the youngest German chef to ever receive three Michelin stars, aged just 34, earning them originally in a different restaurant back in 2011.

In a rather unusual setup, the restaurant only seats 20 people at any one time, meaning reservations are booked months in advance. Michelin inspectors called the restaurant “perhaps the most gastronomically spectacular reopening of the year” and complimented the unusual seating arrangements. 

5. Waldhotel Sonnora, Wittlich (Rhineland-Palatinate)

 

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The regally decorated venue in the small, southwestern town of Wittlich received its first star more than 30 years ago and has been holding three stars since 2000.

Specialising in French cuisine, the Sonnora prides itself on putting food, particularly local produce, first. On their website, they say that “the produce is the star” and Michelin critics are in agreement, saying the produce is “the undisputed centrepiece of his timeless classic cuisine, beautifully and skilfully presented on the plate.“

6. La Vie, Osnabrück (Lower Saxony)

 

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Hidden in the historic Old Town of Osnabrück, La Vie aims to be avant-garde and creative. Head Chef Thomas Bühner has a “take your foot off the gas” approach to cooking and takes his philosophy quite literally, using low-temperature methods of cooking.

The menu is designed by Bühner to be more of a symphony than a collection of unconnected dishes so that when they come together they are more meaningful than a single dish, the restaurant boasts.

Bühner earned his third star at the restaurant back in 2011, not surprising given that he was taught by fellow triple star winner Harald Wohlfahrt from Schwarzwaldstube.

7. Restaurant Überfahrt, Rottach-Egern (Bavaria)

Bavaria's second restaurant with three Michelin stars is in a small town along Lake Tegernsee near the Austrian border, run by chef Christian Jürgens.

The restaurant prides itself on using the finest produce from the Alpine region, transforming them into “exceptional menus” and bridging the gap between rustic and sophisticated food, according to the website. 

Restaurant Überfahrt received its third star in 2013 and its head chef has received many additional accolades, including chef of the year from Gault Millau and Gusto Bavaria, and cook of the year from Der Feinschmecker. “Few chefs show such sensitivity, finesse and taste”, Michelin writes, “the presentation is world class”.

8. Vendôme, Bergisch Gladbach (North Rhine-Westphalia)

 

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Vendôme, in Bensberg Palace just outside Cologne is the epitome of modern German cuisine. Run by Joachim Wissler, the restaurant serves provocative and creative food.

Wissler's blend of classic and modern cuisine has clearly been a big hit as Vendôme was the highest placed German restaurant on San Pellegrino's list of top 50 restaurants in the world.

9. Victor’s Fine Dining by Christian Bau, Perl (Saarland)

Run by couple Christian and Yildiz Bau, Victor's fine dining sits in a renaissance castle and hotel near the Luxembourgish and French borders.

Since Christian is from Baden Württemberg and Yildiz was born in Istanbul, the food at the restaurant reflect an international palette of classic Western and Eastern elements, “from Paris to Tokyo”, as the website describes.

That means your multi-course meal could include anything from lobster-claw sushi to French-style duck in the same sitting.

10. Aqua, Wolfsburg (Lower Saxony)

 

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Deep in Volkswagen country lies Aqua, in the Ritz-Carlton hotel. Aqua's head chef Sven Elverfeld prides himself on being able to transform the most trivial everyday food items into high culinary art. 

“The modern, creative notes forming an integral part of his expressive and fully flavoured dishes and never seeking to dazzle or dissemble,” Michelin writes of chef Sven Elverfeld, “The elegant service is also beyond reproach.”

11. GästeHaus Klaus Erfort, Saarbrücken (Saarland)

 

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Also along the French border, GästeHaus Klaus Erfort invites diners to “experience flavour”. Head chef Klaus Erfort and his team “conjure unforgettable taste experiences” because “the truth is on the plate”. The pleasant ambience also includes a terrace with a view of English-style gardens.

“The floor-to-ceiling windows afford you a glimpse of Klaus Erfort's temple to classic French cuisine even before you enter this wonderful white villa,” Michelin writes “The food is impeccable and the preparation perfect.”

LIVING IN GERMANY

Five of Germany’s most magical Christmas Markets to visit in 2021

Despite rising infection numbers, most of Germany’s Christmas markets will be open to fill our hearts with festive cheer this year. We give you a rundown of five of the country’s most magical Christmas markets.

Five of Germany's most magical Christmas Markets to visit in 2021
The entrance to the Stuttgart Christmas market in 2019. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Tom Weller

In 2020, many Christmas markets in Germany had to close or were scaled back massively because of the pandemic. This year – at least at the time or reporting – lots of markets are set to open in the coming weeks. 

Here are five we love at The Local Germany. If you have any suggestions for magical Christmas markets in Germany, please leave a comment below. 

Maritime Christmas Market on the Koberg, Lübeck

Lübeck, the so-called “Christmas city of the North”, will be welcoming the festive season this year by lighting up its old town with over 500,000 Christmas lights.

The northwest of the old town island is where you’ll find the maritime-themed Christmas market which has been going since 2011.

Centred around the gothic, middle-aged church of St. Jacob, this Christmas market celebrates the city’s historical sea-faring residents by creating a cosy harbour atmosphere with old wooden barrels, nets and a stranded shipwreck as well as a Ferris wheel with an unforgettable view of Lübeck’s old town and harbour.

Culinary stands offer visitors sweet and savoury dishes, and beverages such as hot lilac punch, mulled wine and, of course, rum.

Extra info: The current rules for events and hospitality in Schleswig Holstein is that 3G applies (entry for the vaccinated, people who’ve recovered from Covid or people who show a negative test)  but from Monday, November 15th, indoor areas will be enforcing the 2G rule (excluding the unvaccinated).

The Christkindlesmarkt in Augsburg Photo: picture alliance / dpa | Karl-Josef Hildenbrand

Christkindlesmarkt, Augsburg

With its origins in the 15th century, the Christkindlesmarkt in Augsburg is one of the oldest in Germany, and the Renaissance town hall provides a particularly beautiful backdrop to this winter wonderland.

As well as a wide variety of stands selling handcrafted nick-nacks and tasty treats, the Augsburg market also has some especially magical features, including the “Heavenly Post Office,” and “Fairytale Lane”: an animated fairytale depicted in ten scenes in decorated shop windows around the market place.

Extra info: In order to keep dense crowds to a minimum, the Angel performance will not take place this year. The market will also be spread out over more locations in the historic centre and there will be fewer mulled wine stands than in previous years. The stalls will be distributed over the Hauptmarkt, Lorenzer Platz, Schütt Island and Jakobsplatz.

Meanwhile, masks will have to be worn due to the high Covid numbers in Bavaria – and there will be 2G rules around the mulled wine stands, meaning unvaccinated people will not be served alcohol.

READ ALSO: State by state – Germany’s Covid rules for Christmas markets

Medieval Market and Christmas Market, Esslingen

The Medieval Market and Christmas Market in Esslingen, with its backdrop of medieval half-timbered houses, offers visitors a trip back in time, with traders and artisans showing off their goods from times gone by.

The stands show off the wares of pewterers, stonemasons, blacksmiths, broom makers and glass blowers, as well as some old-fashioned merchants selling fun themed goods like drinking horns and “potions” in bottles.

Extra info: This year the number of stands will be reduced from more than 200 to around 120 and the stage shows, torch parade and interactive activities will not be taking place.

View from above the historic Streizelmarkt in Dresden. Photo: picture alliance/dpa/dpa-Zentralbild | Robert Michael

Streizelmarkt, Dresden

No Christmas Market list would be complete without the Streizelmarkt – Germany’s oldest Christmas market in the “Florence on the Elbe”.

This market, which you will find in Dresden’s city centre, first took place in 1434, and since then it has acquired quite a reputation.

The ancient market is home to the tallest Christmas pyramid in the world, as well as the world’s largest nutcracker.

Amongst the dozens of traditional stands, visitors to this market must also try the Dresdner Christstollen: the famous fruit loaf that is baked according to a traditional recipe with chopped dried and candied fruits, nuts and spices and dusted with powdered sugar.

Visitors can also take a ride on the historic Ferris wheel and gaze down upon the lovingly decorated huts of the Striezelmarkt.

Extra info: This year there will be no stage program and the mountain parade has been cancelled.

Old Rixdorf Christmas Market, Berlin

Although not as well-known as some of Berlin’s other Christmas Markets, the Old Rixdorf Christmas market is a romantic and magical spot which is well worth a visit. In the south of city in Richardplatz, Neukölln the old village of Rixdorf was founded in1360.

This charming setting is home to historic buildings such as the Trinkhalle and the Alte Dorfschmiede, and is illuminated every year with kerosene lamps and fairy lights. The stalls and booths are run by charitable organizations and associations. There are homemade trifles and handicrafts, but also culinary delights such as fire meat, waffles, pea soup, and numerous varieties of mulled wine and punch.

Extra info: The Old Rixdorf Christmas Market will be following the 2G model, meaning that all visitors over the age of 12 will be required to be fully vaccinated or recovered from Covid-19.

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