Wedged between three culinary giants: France, Germany and Belgium; tiny Luxembourg can pride itself on an impressive line-up of exclusive restaurants. Many serve predominantly French cuisine, but excellent regional and international menus are on the rise. Local delicacies are seasonal and include fish and pork, sauerkraut, Thüringer sausages, local potato pancakes and apple-based dishes, all accompanied by local wines from the Moselle valley. We explore ten of Luxembourg’s best cultural restaurants.
Tucked away in a courtyard attached to Luxembourg’s premier Theatre des Capucins, Art Café visibly owes much to its artistic neighbor. Plush, red velvet curtains and a lonely stage allude to the theater’s golden era, while the intricate, handmade costumes that now decorate the walls are symbols, ghosts of the actors who once donned them. Art Café’s quirky style, comfy sofas and intimate atmosphere make it the ideal place to unwind with a cup of tea or coffee, and in summer, the vast terrace opens up onto the nearby theater’s artist entrance.
This top-rated restaurant offering French cuisine can be found right in the heart of the upper part of the city. Over the years, Clairefontaine has become a real institution in Luxembourg, its atmosphere carrying an elegant feel perfect for special occasions. Besides the Gourmand Menu, tasting menus and à la carte are available, offering first-class options of lobster, snails and frog legs. All dishes are served with a creative flair.
This excellent restaurant opened its doors in 2008 in the city centre, with easy access to Luxembourg’s main tourist attractions. The menu features the great classics from French and Luxembourg cuisine. While Le Sud’s elegant surroundings are warm and welcoming with a well-stocked bar and panoramic terrace accessible by a glass lift. The terrace offers great views for those warm summer days spent tasting wines and enjoying delicious delicacies outside. For true connoisseurs, the menu boasts a great selection of wines and cigars.
This Michelin-starred restaurant is all about great flavors. Ma Langue Sourit offers an inspired dining experience and also the chance to take part in a Saturday cookery class with three-course lunch included. The exciting lunch and evening menus feature dishes inspired by French cuisine, with a twist. The menu changes on a weekly basis, using local and organic products whenever possible. The warm and simple décor and intriguing selection of paintings that decorate the walls, lend Ma Langue Sourit a unique feel that effortlessly combines friendliness and class.
Luxembourg might be paradise for the gourmand traveller, but it certainly does not cater to vegetarians or vegans. This excellent café located in the National Museum of Art and History offers an all you can eat salad bar with fresh, organic produce sourced from local farms, as well as pasta with a variety of sauces and vegetarian wraps. The Green Art Café is a great option for a healthy lunch, combined with a visit to the museum or a stroll around town. In summer, lunch can be enjoyed on the sunny outdoor terrace.
In some countries, the best restaurants are often found in hotels – and Aqua is no exception. Located in the Meliá Luxembourg hotel, Aqua is the definition of classic simplicity, highly appreciated for its excellent service, relaxed atmosphere and quality food. The Mediterranean menu is clearly inspired by Spanish cuisine and ingredients, combining a lightness of presentation with rich ur arrangements. The outside terrace offers an unmatched view of the Place de l’Europe along with a pleasant atmosphere on a warm summer evening.
A Japanese haven in the heart of European Luxembourg, Kamakura sets the standard for Oriental inspiration. With its minimalist interior and no-fuss atmosphere, Kamakura is renowned for elegantly presented fresh meat and fish dishes. Both traditional and innovative fusion entries grace the menu, a mix of melt-in-the-mouth sushi and tempura alongside entirely original concoctions. Referred to as Luxembourg’s top Japanese eatery, Kamakura is popular with the Japanese expat community and has even published a book on Japanese cuisine and customs.
This fusion restaurant can be found in Strassen, to the north-west of Luxembourg City, and offers an interesting selection of light, flavorsome and affordable dishes. Two6Two, led by Head Chef Julien Elles, has been featured in the Michelin and Gault et Millau guides for its eclectic take on classic culinary delights. The French and Luxembourg dishes that define the menu are at once traditional and innovative, always accompanied by reasonably priced local wines. Patrons can enjoy their sophisticated meals in a contemporary lounge-style environment on the first floor, above the equally inviting SMETS design shop.
At first glance, this restaurant might not seem special, but it is an unmissable treat for those on the lookout for good-value local cuisine and prepared to make the journey to Berchem Haut, around 10km south of Luxembourg City. The rustic Meckenheck, nestled in a renovated farm building, breathes local flair in a relaxed atmosphere. Prices are excellent for a venue that only uses local quality products for their seasonal specialties, including home-made foie gras and fruit tarts. Meckenheck is a delightful destination for those seeking to sample Luxembourg’s food culture in an unaffected and authentiic setting.
This lovely family-run restaurant serving French cuisine can be found in Bascharage, a village some 20km west of Luxembourg City. Le Pigeonnier features changing seasonal menus and uses only locally sourced produce. Succulent meat dishes, including veal, beef and pigeon, are served with a marked creative flair, guaranteeing to surprise and delight even the most exacting of tastes. The cozy, stone-clad walls and warm interior lend a homely feeling to each meal. Surrounded by a well-kept garden, Le Pigeonnier is definitely worth a stop en route to France or Belgium.