Ehrenfeld is arguably Cologne’s hippest quarter and home to some of the city’s best nightlife, including cocktail bars. And the best thing about them is that they’re all within walking distance from one another. If you want to find the best gin and tonic in Ehrenfeld, start at Bar Zwei and follow our list along Venloer Straße.
Bar, Cocktail Bar, German, Pub Grub, Wine, Beer, Cocktails, $$$
Bar Zwei | Courtesy of Bar Zwei
After opening in summer 2017, Bar Zwei has shot to the top of Ehrenfeld’s most popular cocktail bars. The grown-up concept combines a classy atmosphere with delicious cocktails. For the owner, making cocktails is a craft, and you can taste and see that. Each drink passes off as an artistic synthesis of the best ingredients and thoughtful decoration.
Cocktail Bar, Cocktails, German, Wine, Beer, Pub Grub, $$$
Stapel.Bar | Courtesy of Stapel.Bar
Stapel.Bar only recently opened on the Helios grounds, an industrial area overseen by Ehrenfeld’s landmark lighthouse. The industrial charm of the outside is reflected inside as well. Bare brick walls meet furniture timbered from euro-palettes and minimalist lighting. On the menu are favourite cocktails and Gaffel Kölsch, and events include occasional music sets from local artists.
Bar, Cocktail Bar, Cocktails, German, Wine, Beer, $$$
Rubinrot | Courtesy of Rubinrot
True to its name, which translates to ruby red, the Rubinrot interior is dipped in a moody red light. The seating options are a mix of bar stools, narrow benches and lounge sofas in the back room. The list of cocktails is extensive; the bar staff is knowledgeable, and the drinks are potent. If you want to learn more about how to mix great drinks, you can join one of their cocktail courses.
Klub Berlin pays tribute to the 1920s with all of its glitz and glamour. The list of spirits is long – the bar has more than 50 gins on offer alone – and the barkeepers create drinks in 1920s fashion as well as modern cocktails. The entertainment programme ranges from big band concerts to burlesque dance.
Buddha statues, posters of India’s Shiva goddess, painted skulls, tapestries and artificial flowers decorate the walls and ceiling of Königsblut and create a whimsically morbid yet cosy atmosphere. Candles and red lights illuminate the interior; people sit on stools or slouch on the cushioned benches, and the barkeepers create everyone’s favourite cocktails.
The Bär, right next door to Königsblut, proves that exotic gin cocktails and tostadas go well together. Ehrenfeld locals find a second home in the living room-like atmosphere of comfy armchairs, sofas and oak furniture, and after a night of drinks, they come back for brunch on Sundays. On Wednesday evenings, gin tastings are on the agenda.
Framed pictures of Fidel Castro, Che Guevara and Havana hang from the walls, and Buena Vista Social Club bursts from the speakers – almost transporting you to the Caribbean. The impressive Cubana Bar menu lists more than 80 cocktails. If you have difficulties taking a pick, the attentive staff will help.