Want to check one of Germany's most famous restaurants off your list? Then visit Leipzig's Auerbachs Keller, set in the beautiful Mädler Passage in the heart of the city.
Dating back to the Middle Ages, it is one of the oldest restaurants in the country and was the favorite restaurant of Germany's most influential writer, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. He even included the pub’s wine cellar and the legend of Mephisto into his famous play, Faust.
In the dark and cozy vaulted cellar rooms, the homemade beef roulade with red cabbage and Saxon potatoes dumplings are the perfect comfort food for cold weather. Make sure to touch the foot of Goethe’s statue at the entrance of the restaurants for good luck. The restaurant is on the to-do list of most travelers, so make reservations.
Address: Grimmaische Straße 2-4, 04109 Leipzig
While Auerbachs Keller can seem a bit touristy, Thüringer Hof is a wonderful alternative. Lesser known, the down-to-earth restaurant is a favorite of locals and visitors alike.
The good old-fashioned German food already lured Martin Luther and German composer Johann Sebastian Bach in with traditional Thuringian and Franconian recipes that haven't changed much throughout the centuries. The menu includes regional specialties such as Thuringian potato soup with sausage, or marinated beef with raisin sauce and dumplings. For dessert, order Quarkkeulchen, pancakes made of mashed potatoes and quark cheese, served with vanilla ice cream and applesauce.
Address: Burgstraße 19, 04109 Leipzig
After a concert in the Gewandhaus, which is home to the oldest symphony orchestra in the world, head to the modern and airy restaurant Stadtpfeiffer, famous for its international gourmet cuisine combined with regional ingredients.
Service is impeccable and the sophisticated menu of the Michelin-starred restaurant changes with the season. It features delicacies such as venison with chestnut purée, scallops with Perigord truffles, bacon, and glazed red beets, warm chocolate cake with lavender ice cream and caramelized tangerines. Prices are above average, but guests agree that it is worth the money. Reservations are a must.
Address: Gewandhaus, Augustusplatz 8, 04109 Leipzig
If you are interested in trying some regional Saxon fare, this is the restaurant for you. Dating back to 1875 and set in a restored townhouse, Zille’s Tunnel is well-known for its Saxon dishes and beers.
Spread over different floors, you can dine in the cozy Bierstube with its vaulted ceilings and murals, or opt for the elegant Weinstube on the 2nd floor with its stellar wine selection.
For a true taste of Leipzig, don’t miss the dish called Leipziger Allerlei, a selection of young vegetables such as carrots, kohlrabi, cauliflower, and asparagus, with morel mushrooms, crayfish tails, and dumplings.
Address: Barfußgäßchen 9, 04109 Leipzig
Coffee Houses in Leipzig
Leipzig is home to many classic coffee houses, many of them hundreds of years old. Some of the most traditional (and beautiful) are:
Besides homemade cakes and Torten, make sure to try Leipziger Lerche (Lark of Leipzig), a sweet pastry filled with marzipan, nuts and a cherry.