When thinking about “Frankfurt,” most people immediately picture the city’s banks, skyscrapers and airport. But the city on the Main River – which just happens to be one of Europe’s wealthiest and most productive metropolises – also boasts a very high quality of life. Culture, nightlife, food & drink – Frankfurt has so many hotspots to discover.
Frankfurt really is a city of art. There are roughly 60 museums and exhibition centers waiting just for you. One of the (no longer truly) insider tips is the Kunstverein Familie Montez. This collective of artists, art lovers and students organizes exhibitions, concerts and small-scale theater productions under the twin arches of the renovated Honsellbrücke in Frankfurt’s Ostend. Previous exhibitions have showcased the works of Max Weinberg, Jens-Ole Remmers, Guido Zimmermann and the world-renowned photographer Annie Leibovitz.
Art aficionados will appreciate the wide range of world famous artists and works on display at the Schirn, one of Europe’s most famous exhibition centers. Themed exhibitions and extensive solo retrospectives of artists such as Wassily Kandinsky, Edvard Munch, Jeff Koons and Yoko Ono have attracted a great deal of national and international attention for this gallery in Frankfurt’s historic center. And if you visit the Schirn before the end of June 2017 you’ll be able to savor a breathtaking solo exhibition of cryptic works from the Belgian surrealist René Magritte.
After so much culture, visitors are sure to appreciate Frankfurt’s wide range of culinary hotspots offering something for every conceivable taste. The Stanley Diamond restaurant has dedicated itself to upscale traditional fare in Frankfurt’s railway station district. The menu may not be extensive, but sophisticated interpretations of traditional dishes such as boiled fillet of beef and lamb chops, combined with the atmosphere of wellbeing created by comfortable chairs and white tablecloths, lend the whole dining experience a homely feeling – it’s almost as if you are eating exclusive cuisine in your grandma’s dining room.
Those who appreciate high quality wine along with their food will find exactly what they are looking for at Heimat. The extensive wine list and the sommelier’s outstanding knowledge have elevated this 1950s restaurant, built in the style of a pavilion, to one of Frankfurt’s true highlights. The menu is highly focused, the quality of the international seasonal dishes is outstanding, and the service is excellent. All of which has established Heimat as a culinary home from home for many appreciative diners.
If desserts, pastries and cakes are more your style, the Café im Liebieghaus is just the ticket. On the Sachsenhausen stretch of the Main’s main embankment, within the Museum Alter Plastik, the sheltered garden is the perfect spot to enjoy the café’s mouthwatering homemade cakes and tarts. The outside world simply melts away here, in one of the most relaxing spots in Frankfurt.
Frankfurt also has a number of hotspots to round off your evening in style. The Rote Bar is one of the classics on the Frankfurt bar scene. It is a slightly clandestine, dimly lit establishment, where excellent drinks are served in a quiet, intimate atmosphere. Drinks such as Absinthe – authentically served from Absinthe fountains – are among the items on offer here on the Mainkaiufer. And, if you want to get into the Rote Bar, you’ll need to ring the bell – and be prepared to be turned away if you haven’t reserved a table.
The Parlour, in Frankfurt’s city center, is another bar that doesn’t make it easy for its guests. After knocking on the window of an inconspicuous residential and commercial building, you’ll have to wait until there is space at the bar. The Parlour has dispensed with a fixed drinks’ menu, instead preferring to make its syrups in-house. The dark interior and comfortable bar stools are reminiscent of an American, prohibition-era speakeasy. With its amazingly delicious cocktails, The Parlour is one of the stars of Frankfurt’s bar scene.
Then there’s the Showmanship, which has developed a unique concept. This pop-up bar in Alt-Sachsenhausen is only open once per week, and only serves organic wines. The first natural wine bar in Frankfurt serves wines that have enjoyed an extended fermentation process sourced primarily from German and French vineyards. Incidentally, this wine bar is run by the people behind the Stanley Diamond restaurant – with The Showmanship, they have certainly conquered their next niche market.
When it comes to shopping, the Main metropolis also boasts plenty of highlights. At Pulse & Vogue, in the rail station district, discerning fashionistas can pick from the latest collections by Black Lily, Gestuz, Filippa K, POPcph and By Malene Birger. There is also hand-crafted jewelry from Chaingang, and some amazing accessories. Pulse & Vogue has become one of Frankfurt’s leading concept stores for progressive fashion labels, and has received numerous awards from fashion magazines such as Elle and Vogue.
Frankfurt’s shopping hotspots would not be complete without the showroom of the German espadrille label, Mimika. And not only because of the range of shoes on offer, but also because of the store’s design. The store in Frankfurt’s historic center is conceived as a townhouse, and spreads across three storeys. Floor-to-ceiling mirrors, ever-changing art, cacti and a mint-green 1950’s-style sofa create a feel-good atmosphere while you try on the handmade leather espadrilles, wedges, loafers and boots.
And what’s the one thing nobody should ever go without in the Main metropolis? Frankfurt’s most popular drink – apple wine. One of the best places to buy apple wine is at JB’s in Sachsenhausen – Frankfurt’s oldest apple wine store. JB’s only sells craft apple wines made with apples from local meadow orchards. In addition to the apple wines, the store’s owner, Jens Becker, also sells apple spirits, apple prosecco, apple vinegar and sparkling apple wines and cuvées, and provides craft wine makers with a valuable sales outlet – as well as providing apple wine connoisseurs with unforgettable taste sensations.
Photos and photo credits:
Cover: Skyline Frankfurt © Fotolia
01: Schirn Kunstalle © Schirn Kunstalle Frankfurt
02: Stanley Diamond © Steve Herud
03: The Parlour © Artevadana
04: Apfelweinhandlung Jens Becker © Jens Becker