Aachen is located on the borders of Belgium and the Netherlands and is one of Germany’s most historic cities; once the preferred residence of Charlemagne himself. Its lively restaurant scene ranges from regional to international cuisines. We list the 10 best dining spots to discover.
Am Knipp is not only one of the oldest restaurants in Aachen, dating back to 1698, it is also one of the most popular. Its decorations represent the rural German culture of the region with wooden booths and dimmed lights setting the perfect ambience to enjoy one of the local Riesling wines or an authentic German beer. During the summer months the adjoining beer garden allows the visitor to enjoy the mild climate and the setting sun. The menu is dominated by the regional cuisine with hearty German dishes.
La Becasse is widely considered the top gourmet restaurant in Aachen. Its classical ambience and stylishly decorated dining room are in perfect symbiosis with the high-quality but unpretentious dishes. The one-star Michelin restaurant serves traditional French cuisine and retains the simplicity of well-prepared food while losing none of the flavor.
The scenic Schloß Schönau is a water castle and restaurant located just outside of Aachen and rewards the traveller with an enchanting, almost fairy-tale like atmosphere. The adjoining lake is ideal for a pre- or post-dining experience and not surprisingly the scene for many weddings. The historic dining room welcomes visitors with chandeliers and white tablecloths. Schönau serves regional as well as French cuisine with seasonal products. With a range of over 200 wines and a well-trained staff, the restaurant lives up to its impressive exterior while retaining a laid-back and cordial atmosphere.
Estor only recently opened its doors, but has already made a name for itself in Aachen and the surrounding area. The renowned chef Jan Estor-Freyaldenhoven combines the tasty spices of France with the freshness of Thai cuisine and while this might sound questionable to some, he succeeds on every level. With its innovation of popular classics that also retain a certain simplicity, Estor’s cuisine has been key to his speedy rise to fame. The wine menu represents local vendors as do many of the restaurant’s dishes.
Rawad Akl serves up some tasty dishes from his home country, Lebanon and offers a unique dining experience within Aachen’s more regionally dominated restaurant scene. The small restaurant is often packed, which comes as no surprise once you sink your teeth into the perfectly spiced meat. The restaurant also offers a variety of vegetarian options. The dark wooden furniture and oriental decoration create a sense of exoticness in the middle of Aachen’s rural centre too.
The hip restaurant is the culinary playground of Justus Kleineidam and a stylish contribution to Aachen’s restaurant scene. The restaurant sticks to textbook simplicity with polished black counters and sparse decorations, and the menu has been limited to a few lovingly prepared dishes, which change on a daily basis. Justus K seeks to make vegetarian dishes just as exciting as their meat or fish alternatives and constantly seeks to surprise and please the visitor.
Paparazzi‘s cuisine reflects the owner’s Sicilian roots and seeks to bring a taste of Italian cooking to the Aachener population. The fresh ingredients and preparation are incredibly tasty, especially the home-made pasta. The restaurant’s interior is laid-back and modern with selected Italian features and a stylish wine bar. Friendly service and a cordial atmosphere make Paparazzi an ideal spot for a relaxed dinner or a few glasses of wine. Unlike other Italian restaurants, this place offers truly authentic cuisine without taking itself too seriously, and is considered by many to be the best Italian in Aachen.
Gare du Nord is located in the city’s northern railway station and was brought to life by its two owners, a civil engineer and a chef. Its unique history is not only reflected in its traditional, yet modern interior but also in its laid-back atmosphere. The short menu varies according to seasonal products and offers a truly fantastic eating experience with a focus on quality products, fresh from the market. The service is friendly and accommodating, especially with regard to vegetarian requests. Gare du Nord’s flair and food make it one of the most authentic restaurants in Aachen.
The charming bistro and café has only recently opened its doors in Aachen’s centre and is an absolute must for vegetarians, with one of the best meat-free dish selections in the city. The restaurant’s organic style with its white tables, colorful chairs and the bright green moss wall creates the perfect setting to enjoy the fresh and seasonal dishes. Visitors can choose daily specialities from the blackboard or from a set menu that also includes fresh meats and fish. The cuisine reflects a well-nuanced fusion of Asian and Western influences, which satisfies a variety of tastes.
St. Benedikt is considered one of the most important culinary institutions in Aachen and has been run by the Kreus family for generations. The mixture of classic dishes with a contemporary touch have recently earnt it its first Michellin star. While serving sophisticated cuisine, the restaurant never forgets its regional roots and French influences. St. Benedikt boasts a particularly impressive wine selection with some high-quality bottles. Maximilian Kreus, who has taken over from his parents as the manager has brought a breath of fresh air to the restaurant through its renovation of the interior and the menu. Under his leadership St. Benedikt continues to thrive and spoil its visitors with culinary delights.