Over the past few months, I have popped on a healthy 5kg, wining and dining my way around the fairy tale city of Muenster. Whilst, inevitably, one is faced with a plethora of schnitzel, meat (Fleisch) potato (Kartoffel) and cheese (Kaese) whenever one flips open their menu – we are, after all, in Germany – Muenster also boasts an impressively diverse range of international cuisines. Something that is rather important to this (spoilt) Sydney-sider.
*I will continue adding to this as I gorge my way through the city.
Technically a ‘Portugese’ restaurant, Calor has great traditional North Rhine-Westphalia food as well. Cosy with a great atmosphere, very friendly waitstaff and affordable, tasty food, it is always full of regulars. A plate sized schnitzel and mountain of pommes frites will only set you back 7 euro – and you’ll get bread, olives and aoili to start.
Gasthaus Leve, Alter Steinweg 37
After a schnitzel the size of your head? Some seriously good rotkohl? All the carnations of potato fathomable? Gasthaus Leve serves up typical North Rhine-Westphalian restaurant on weathered wooden tables and whenever you are served up typical North Rhine-Westphalian cuisine, you will be unable to move for a long period of time. The portions are huge, the food Moorish and the atmosphere oh so cosy.
Thien Kim, Koenigspassage
Cheap, good Asian food is par for the course in Sydney, which is why you hear many of us loudly demanding where the sushi or Thai is, whenever we leave our sunny home shores. I’m yet to sample Muenster’s sushi, but I am well acquainted with the noodles of Thien Kim. Fusing a few Asian cuisines together, they have an excellent 7.20 euro menu which includes a spring roll, a big noodle dish and a beer/soft drink.
Além Mar, Hammerstrasse
A fantastic, small Portugese restaurant which saw my demise at the hands of baked goats cheese with berries. The prices are heading a little more north than one might like for a casual dinner, but the food is sensational. The wine list is an added bonus.
Roadstop, Schiffahrter Damm 315
For the American in us all who loves a giant burger and fries. The Roadstop is a big, American style diner with big, American style plates of food. Need I say more. Yes … I will add that there is a Monster Muenster Burger that weighs a tonne and will give you a mild heart attack with every bite. But if you eat it all, it’s yours for free, which is a saing of 30 euro. Hello.
Cafe Med, Hafenweg 26
Sitting right by the harbour (a renovated, industrial-chic part of Muenster to which the locals flock when the sun shines) Café Med sis quite big, quite loud and serves up very tasty pizzas too big for their plates and too big for my stomach. Fortunately, they box up what you can’t eat and it will feed you for a week. The prices are perfectly reasonable and the customary aioli with bread (which I am discovering Germans have a fetish for) is perfectly delicious.
The burrito binge is a common theme in my travels. Every so often I get stung by this immense need to eat Mexican. No guacamole is safe. I can hear margaritas singing my name. Enchilada, a chain (of the upper market variety) is good enough for a quick fix and serve actual nachos (not corn chips and a curious spicy dip, the snack you will be commonly served if you order nachos in Germany). But what makes Enchilada a worthwhile evening is the happy hour during which all cocktails (and it’s an extensive menu) are half price. Very generously sized, 3.30 euro mojitos? I’ll take it.
Kleiner Kiepenkerl, Spiekerhof 47
Another fine example of classic NRW cuisine, Kleiner Kiepenkerl is for those after hearty, generously sized meals that feature the staples of the German diet; potatoes, sauerkraut, meat, cheese and bread. The cosy interior is as traditionally NRW as the food and it is guaranteed you will leave Kleiner Kiepenkerl pleasantly warm and sleepy and, most importantly, satt (full.)
Gasthaus Stuhlmacher, Prinzipalmarkt
On the topic of rustic, traditional NRW fare, Steelmaker (chair maker) is a classic. Having been a part of Muenster’s iconic Prinzipalmarkt for 120 years, the resutarant with its five, differently styled rooms, is steeped in tradition. The food (comprising of the staples) is delicious and the wine list quite comprehensive. And it’s not just the tourists who come here to be a part of Muenster’s history – the locals come in for a drink (which in Germany is never just one) and sit at the round tables for hours, downing their schnapps and beer.
La Cantina, Tibusstrasse
With a distinctly ‘hidden,, underground’ feel to it – the restaurant is down a narrow staircase and lit by candles – La Cantina has the menu to back up the vibe. From its antipasto (which you will inevitably end up ordering more of) to its traditional, satisfying pasta, this is seriously good Italian food in the heart of North Rhine-Westphalia. Do not wear tight pants to this restaurant.