Germany is known for its love of beer, so it comes as no surprise that the nation is home to a number of cool venues that specialise in craft beer. Not a beer fan? Not to worry, as many of the country’s bars stand out for their expertly mixed cocktails. Our team has scoured the nation from Berlin to Frankfurt, Hamburg to Munich, to bring you the definitive guide to the coolest bars, pubs and breweries in Germany
Beer has long been an important part of German culture and the country is one of the world’s top producers and consumers of the beverage, as well as a leading exporter. Needless to say, the nation’s pubs, bars and beer halls are of the highest order, whether you’re looking to sample a traditional brew or discover the new wave of craft beer producers being established across the country.
Germany’s leading bars have more to offer than beer, however, with many boasting a wealth of excellent wines, spirits and, of course, perfectly mixed cocktails. From an Asian-inspired bar and restaurant in Frankfurt to an innovative cocktail specialist in Cologne, our selection of some of Germany’s best bars will have you savouring every sip.
The interior design of Asian-inspired bar and restaurant Zenzakan uses dark wood, gold-leaf detailing and subdued lighting to luxurious effect. Many of the house drinks are based around sake (Japanese rice wine) with authentic wooden sake barrels making a striking feature. The food menu includes an extensive selection of sushi, tempura and charcoal-grilled meats and seafood. Enjoy a glass of chilled fizz in the relaxing Geisha Room, where privacy and comfort are key.
Zenzakan, Taunusanlage 15, 60325 Frankfurt, +49 (0)69 9708 6908
Altes Mädchen (‘old girl’) takes its name from a song about Hamburg by 1950s singer Freddy Quinn. While its name may nod to the past, this lively bar and restaurant is centred on the emerging craft beer industry. Just down the road is the Ratshernn brewery, which supplies Altes Mädchen with an incredible variety of excellent beers. In addition, about 60 international craft beers are also offered, sourced from across the world and chosen for their unique taste and great quality. The venue serves the kind of food that goes best with beer: think pulled-pork sandwiches, juicy burgers and steaks. Staff members are on hand to pair each dish with the perfect beer.
Altes Mädchen, Lagerstrasse 28B, 20357 Hamburg, +49 (0)40 8000 77750
With award-winning mixologist Stephan Hinz at the helm, it’s no surprise that Little Link is renowned as one of Cologne’s most exciting cocktail bars. Everything here is out of the ordinary, from the flavour combinations to the state-of-the-art kitchen technology used to create the drinks. The menu changes seasonally but the ethos remains the same: expect the unexpected. Think cocktails inspired by Cajun cuisine or currywurst. The expert staff are, of course, also well versed in the art of the classic cocktail and we recommend the margarita. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone, though – the combinations may seem unusual but the results are wonderful. Where else are you likely to drink a mix of gin and goat’s cheese cordial?
Little Link, Maastrichter Strasse 20, 50672 Cologne, +49 (0)162 783 3366
James T Hunt
You might not be familiar with the names Sascha Arnold, Niels Jäger and Steffen Werner yet, but these three men are certainly making their mark in Munich. The friends, who have known each other for over 20 years, run a variety of venues in the city, including a nightclub, a café, a hotel and an organic juice bar. They also own James T Hunt, a small and stylish cocktail bar that offers great cocktails and an amazing ambiance. Staff use an extensive array of liquors, which line the wall behind the bar, to create perfectly mixed classics – we recommend the mojito and the old fashioned – as well as seasonal twists on old favourites, such as the sweet but sharp raspberry margarita. This is where Munich’s most stylish citizens hang out, so be sure to pay a visit.
James T Hunt, Schellingstrasse 32, 80799 Munich, +49 (0)89 2737 3038
Located in the Friedrichshain district of Berlin, Home Bar aims to live up to its name by making customers feel instantly welcome and at ease. Inspired by classic British pubs, the décor features comfortable sofas and chairs, warm wood tones and retro touches. The focus here is on craft beer and the bar offers a great selection of brands from around the world. The wine and cocktail menus are also impressive, with something to suit every taste. Home Bar often plays host to live music, quizzes and DJs, so every visit is likely to offer something different.
Home Bar, Neue Bahnhofstrasse 23, 10245 Berlin, +49 (0)176 8037 3676