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Who's up for a little culinary excursion to Frankfurt's Speckgürtel? Our offer: 11 traditional village inns that are no further than 20 kilometers from Frankfurt - and for whom Handkäs, Grüne Soße and good cider are a matter of honor:
A warning beforehand: On weekends, this wonderfully green inn is not a place for people looking for solitude and silence: The inn, located between Bad Soden and Frankfurt in a cozy half-timbered setting directly on the Liederbach, is too popular. But that is already the only minus point. The Handkäs is just as much a part of the offer here as the delicious apple wine - the young operators of the Red mill show local patriotism with their menu. And the Tafelspitz (boiled beef) with green sauce is said to be excellent ... They also have a sense of humor here: If you come with children, you can also order "I don't like anything" on the "For the little guests" menu - no one takes offense at the emergency option for little defiant heads here. Our additional tip: In sunny weather, there's no better place to sit than under the trees on the idyllic terrace.
So modern he is then already, the new host of the inn To the green tree in Bad Soden-Altenhain. Admittedly, he has refrained from changing the authentic furnishings of his restaurant, which was first mentioned in a document in 1712 and designed in the style of the 1970s. But anyone who wants to get a picture of his restaurant can do so quite smoothly on Instagram. And what do you see there: Owner Maximilian Reul in person, pouring the homemade cider with a Bembel in his hand. Other confidence-building measures: Some visual impressions of his solid menu, which is based on regional influences. From "Green sauce with 4 eggs" to "Handkäs with music", everything is there that the Hessian expects from a local traditional restaurant. The fact that in good times parties can be celebrated and theater performances given again in the large hall with stage is another plus for the Grüner Baum on the southern slope of the Taunus.
Its location alone is idyllic. The Restaurant Pflasterschisser is located in the old town of Eppstein, a small town at the gates of Frankfurt, which is a popular attraction due to its castle above the town and the nationally known castle festival. The fact that the Pflasterschisser also resides in the oldest half-timbered house in the entire Main-Taunus district - built in 1459! - should be pleased its visitors, such patina guarantees nevertheless comfortable charm in medieval ambience. Who asks, is cleared up locally by the personnel also patiently over the origin of the unusual name: It has to do with the fact that the Eppsteiner already built long before their neighbor villages paved roads ... In the Pflasterschisser a house-man-regional map is at the start, which offers from the Handkäs up to the Kesselgulasch or the famous Saumagen courts, which one finds in this quality in modern restaurants only rarely. And, with an amused smile, we also add a joker: The Pflasterschisser serves "Toast Hawaii". Oh yeah!
"Everything around the hessian culinary arts" has the Eschborner Restaurant cider miller on the kitchen flag written, or more simply: It revolves here around "good food in Hesse!" That's why most of the ingredients of the dishes on the restaurant's menu also come from selected producers from the region. In addition to the Tafelspitz with Frankfurt Green Sauce and fried potatoes, we recommend the ribs with sauerkraut and mashed potatoes or the Hessen Schnitzel right away. But don't worry: The Apfelwein Müller also offers enough alternatives for people with less local patriotic cravings. Which brings us to the name and the highlight of the restaurant: the cider. The restaurant's website lists fifteen different names for the local beverage and informs its guests that it naturally only serves products from local meadow orchards, all of which come from the Herberth wine press in Kronberg. Our tip: Try the fancy apple brandy ...
The atmosphere here, which has been in the family for seven generations, is something you can't deny. Restaurant Bommersheim let: Whether the fireplace is crackling in winter or the elaborately staged inner courtyard is buzzing in summer, because you feel like you're on a short Mediterranean vacation under palm trees, vines and fragrant lemon and orange trees - the oldest establishment in Eschborn-Niederhöchstadt, which opened back in 1810, is a magnet for guests from the entire surrounding area for good reasons. In addition to the stylishly designed backdrop of the inn, it is first and foremost the fine and thoroughly ambitious "local cuisine" that brings Hessian specialties to the plate here in just as refined and sophisticated a manner as national dishes. The ingredients are as far as possible from regional producers. A special feature: specials such as a goose dinner, a Swiss evening or a Bavarian evening are always interspersed in the Bommersheim, true to the motto of the house: "True happiness is homemade!"
Nature is the best designer. The Bender brothers may have thought so, too, when they founded the tradition-rich Taunus Inn in Kelkheim already in the seventh generation. They cultivate over 1,300 apple trees on their land for their products and, of course, only serve home-pressed cider in their inn. In summer, the Benders compete with their "Apfelland" and the "Schäfer-Jakobs Apfelland" tavern, which was founded in 2009. When the weather is nice, hundreds of day-trippers sit on green meadows under the Benders' apple trees and feast on, surprise surprise, apple pie, apple juice or apple cider, depending on their hunger and mood. The menu in this seasonal tavern is rather small. It serves as an appetizer, so to speak, for the excellent menu in the Gasthaus Zum Taunus itself. "Culinary delights from four centuries" are served here, above all the regional recipes of "Grandma Anna", who wields the culinary scepter here. We are particularly pleased that even the good old potato pancakes made to Anna's recipe are on the menu.
Scoffers claim that the large influx in the Gimbach farm in earlier times was mainly connected with the nearby chapel - built in 1709. Pope Clement XI had allegedly promised his flock that they would be absolved of all sins in exchange for a visit to the Kelkheim chapel. Thus, the cheerful Catholics once liked to combine a visit to the chapel with one to the tavern at Hof Gimbach. The chapel no longer exists. But the Hof Gimbach is still buzzing. No one has to look far for the reasons for the great success of the Hof Gimbach inn, which is beautifully situated in the countryside. The cuisine - regional and fresh - is convincing all along the line, accompanied by apples from the farm's own fruit trees, apple juice and cider are pressed in-house. In addition to the dishes on the select evening menu, many different pies, tarts and sheet cakes are served in the idyllic beer garden under gnarled trees, all homemade. And even concrete route suggestions for a digestive walk between meals are made on the farm's website. Our tip: Thursday is "Schinderhannes" day - there is always a rich buffet set up from 6 pm - reservations recommended.
It does have its advantages when a restaurant like the Forest inn Bürgelstollen lies in the middle of the forest. Sometimes the local hunter comes by and delivers what he has freshly shot. Ergo: The Bürgelstollen, idyllically situated in the forest above Kronberg, is known among connoisseurs for its game specialties. Offers however - that only to the reassurance for Frankfurt excursionists, who want to connect a forest migration with the benefit of hessian specialities - also Handkäs, green sauce or specialities as for instance fresh veal kidneys with potato mash. These delicacies are served in the cozy, rustic ambience of the inn or on the terrace in the greenery, and recently a large winter garden has also become part of the ensemble. Bonus: From the Waldgasthaus, located on a hill above the Waldschwimmbad, you have a wonderful view all the way to Frankfurt and, on a good day, even as far as the Odenwald!
The inn "To the vineyard"in Kronberg not only looks like a traditional inn should look, with its dark wooden walls and historical photos on the wall. It also knows how to continue to maintain the social functions that such an inn had in times past. The "Red Sofa", for example, is an accessory to the interior of the inn that serves more than purely decorative purposes: At regular intervals, Kronberg personalities take a seat on the red sofa to chat about their eventful lives. The inn as the center of the village, that is the idea. Of course, this also includes good, in this case home-style cooking, which ranges from schnitzel with green sauce to savoy cabbage roulade with mashed potatoes to Hesseschnitzel with bacon sauce, solid home-style cooking. The "Weinberg" has been run for 200 years with a flair for the details of warm-hearted hospitality by the same family - which was also kind enough to translate the menu, originally written in Hessian, into High German. You never know who else will drop by.
The traditional cider belongs to a traditional company like the Rudolph Inn in Liederbach is simply part of it. "Even tourists should definitely try it - whether pure, sour or sweetly spritzed", says the Batz family, who have been running the Rudolph Inn for generations, on their homepage. Especially since daughter Nora has probably also created a very special approach to Äppelwoi, apart from the fact that they naturally also press it themselves in the business: Nora Batz was Frankfurt's wine queen from 2011 to 2015! Of course, that's an obligation. In the pretty half-timbered house in the historic center of Liederbach, great importance is attached to quality, sustainability, freshness and regionality: The menu convinces with its variety, but also a noticeable reference to the homeland, as a small excerpt proves. We recommend the Hessian Vesper platter with pork knuckle, spare ribs, bratwurst and beef on sauerkraut. For those who don't like it quite so mighty: Hessian tapas are also served. What is that? Well, hand cheese, bung cheese and eggs with green sauce. There are really no questions left unanswered.
"A simple, pretty, honest and always good-humored restaurant" wants the Market woman at least that's what the operators say in their self-disclosure. And indeed, even the first impression of this fine place in Oberursel confirms three out of four of these ambitions. The green-turquoise nameplate of the restaurant alone looks unusually modern and eye-catching, a look inside the taproom shows colorful flowers, many colorful furnishing details and wonderfully plushy-puffy armchairs in front of lined-up Äppelwoi-Bembeln on the wall. This restaurant is unique, with monthly live concerts on the 13th of each month ("Wilde 13") as well as culinary evenings. Speaking of which: What can the kitchen do? A first clue is provided by the fact that the Marktweib wants to offer "local cuisine", characterized by freshness, regional ingredients and tasteful refinement. Motto: Cooked with heart. But what? Well: The vegan cauliflower-lentil curry should also taste meat eaters, with the sage meatball with celery mashed potatoes and braised pointed cabbage it becomes clear at the latest: In one respect the operators of the Marktweibes have underplayed. Their restaurant may be pretty, honest and good-humored, but plain, no, plain it definitely is not. And that's good news.
By train comfortably and without traffic jams to Frankfurt: Plan arrival.
Cover photo: Whatever dish you choose, apple wine almost always goes with it © Hessen Tourismus
Hiking through quiet low mountain ranges, old beech forests or orchards, paddling on the Lahn, looking at the most beautiful medieval half-timbered houses and soaking up the atmosphere of historic spas - Hessen makes romantic souls happy all around. But gourmets also get their money's worth on wine hikes, in Hessian butcher shops and with "Handkäs mit Musik", a pickled cheese. Reasons for a Vacation in Hesse there are enough!
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