I am lucky enough to have a gorgeous German god-daughter who lives in Hamburg, a veritable honey pot for foodies if ever there was one.
The last time I visited that city she treated me to a whole day of culinary delights, mostly around Harvestehude, an elegant area near the Außenalster lake. Later I added a couple of additional venues I’d discovered when exploring solo. Here’s my list of places for any one interested in food and drink to investigate.
The highlight of the day was definitely the coffee roastery. This shop had legions of different types of coffee lining the walls, all roasted on the premises and all available to smell and consider. I was drawn initially to one enticingly called ‘dark angel’, but the helpful and knowledgeable shopkeeper advised (based on my smoky whisky preferences) ‘black devil’ which proved an excellent choice.
The address is Kafferösterei Burg 252, Eppendorfer Weg – there’s no website.
We’d visited two or three shops and we felt we needed reviving. This was the place to do it. It’s an old-fashioned, traditional patisserie with an incredible array of cakes. We chose the sour cherry cheesecake, and devoured it greedily (even sharing it felt wonderfully naughty) on the premises.
This shop offers a huge array of ready-made and made to order salts and seasonings. I bought the pommes frites salz and discovered that it goes wonderfully on sweet corn. But you can also have seasoning made up for a friend and labelled with your friend’s name – makes an usual and thoughtful present.
Eppendorfer Baum 43. 20249 Hamburg (040) 46 07 26 76 and there’s an on-line shop
The novel concept of this shop is a ‘walk-in cook book’. Each table (there were about twelve in the branch I visited) offers a recipe and the ingredients you need to make it measured out into quantities specific to the recipe. The result is that you buy small quantities – a tablespoon of soy sauce for example – and you pay much more. Ideal for very rich and lazy students; intriguing but idea but not very practical!
The shop and concept design is good – simple and clean, and you can order a light lunch.
High-end butchers – great selection of meat and charcuterie. Their speciality is dry aged beef.
Amazing display of fresh fish. This is where my friends get their Christmas lobster from.
The raison d’être of this shop is to sell food and drink made in Germany. They have a fantastic selection of gin including Monkey 47 Schwartzwald dry gin which is made from 47 ingredients sourced from the Black Forest – ingredients including cranberries, spruce sprouts, elderberries, sloes, blackberries… and more. There are three branches in Hamburg, and the two I visited (I’m nothing if not thorough) also offered coffee or a light lunch.
The bakery is just famous for people who are interested in good quality, organic food (ie without any chemical ingredients to make it look or last better- it’s just natural bread). The bread pictured is a typical German sourdough-wholegrain bread. “Germans eat that sort of bread all day” commented my guide. The ingrediants are; rye flour (45%), wheat flour (30%), whole rye flour (25%), sour dough, baking yeast, sea salt, water.
A lovely café for a bite in summer on the shores of the Alster lake. Conveniently right beside the lake steamer stop. Food not memorable.
This spice museum is down by the old docks – the architecture is interesting for itself. But the museum is small and a bit moth-eaten (most of the spices no longer have much smell). Take a dictionary.
I discovered this haven on escaping from a huge trade exhibition. Koch Kontor has a good, ecclectic range of cook books and a very welcoming café where they offer homemade soup (I chose red lentil and spinach – post to follow), and pastries and cakes.