In terms of atmosphere, tradition, and revelry, the best places to eat in Cologne are the Brauerei. And hence, the first thing you should eat in Cologne is traditional Rhineland food. Overall, service is pretty good in the Brauerei. However, don’t expect good service in Cologne.
It’s just not their forte. When you’ve had your fill of German food, go find the Turkish restaurants. Cologne has a sizeable Turkish community, and lucky for all of us, there’s great Turkish food in the city, especially on Keupstrasse.
Himmel un Äd – translates as “heaven (or sky) and earth”. The main ingredients are apples (from the sky) and potatoes (from the earth), as well as black pudding and apple sauce.
Sauerbraten – translates as “sour roast.” Sauerbraten is made by marinating a beef roast in a sour-sweet marinade for 2 to 3 days before browning it. Next, the meat simmers in the marinade for several hours, which makes it very tender.
Halve Hahn – translates as “half a chicken.” This is somewhat of a joke, as there is no chicken in this dish. Halve Hahn is simply a rye roll, halved and topped with Gouda cheese. Mustard, pickles and onions are generally served on the side.
Reibekuchen (also called Kartoffelpuffer) – translates as “grated cakes.” It’s essentially a deeply fried potato pancakes made with potatoes, onions and eggs. It’s popular to eat these on the street at Christmas markets, fairs and sports events. They’re delicious, but don’t over do it. You’ll die.
Flammkuchen – Alsatian pizza. Thin rectangular dough topped with various vegetables, cheeses and meats (no tomato sauce).
Rinderroulade – a meat dish which consists of bacon and onions, wrapped in a thin slice of beef, and then cooked. The meat is characteristically tender and soft. The dish is presented with usually 1-2 side dishes and gravy over the meat.
Kölsch beer – Sorry, you don’t have another choice.