Food and Drink in Dusseldorf
Eateries abound both in the Altstadt and MedienHafen districts (which are only a short walk away from each other), so when it's time for a meal, look around, read a few menus and follow your inclinations. General opening hours are noon until 2 p.m. for lunch and 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. for dinner; many restaurants serve food from noon until 11 p.m..
Rhenish specialities include Flonz (also called Blutwurst or black pudding) and a thick pea soup, known in Dusseldorf as Ahzezupp. Another staple is "Halver Hahn, no chicken" -- a robust cheese studded with caraway seeds and onion and eaten with Roggelchen (small rye bread rolls). Wash it down with Altbier.
Hearty German food and beer: Hausbrauerei Zum Schlussel is an Old Town brewery that serves one beer, Original Schlussel, from wooden barrels, at roughly 2 euros a glass. Soak it up with traditional snacks like Frikadelle (a hot meal patty served with mustard), or tuck into something more substantial, like Speckpfannkuchen (fried bacon pancake served with salad). Brewery tours are also available -- at 8 euros, including two glasses of beer -- and must be booked in advance. (Bolkerstrasse 41-47, 40213; +49 211 828 9550; open 10 a.m. to midnight Sunday to Thursday, 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday, closed Mondays)
Stylish surroundings: Set in MedienHafen, the one-starred Michelin Berens am Kai is bright and airy with glass walls, great harbor views and a varied menu. It offers a tasting menu at lunch. (Kaistrasse 16; +49 211 300 6750; open noon to 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday to Friday and 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, closed Sundays)
For a great steak: Gehry's bar, restaurant and nightclub in MedienHafen is the place to go for a big juicy steak. Apparently, it has a special machine, developed in the U.S. that heat-seals the meat to keep it extra succulent. (Neuer Zollhof 3; +49 211 1579 9373; open 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday to Thursday, 10 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday, closed Sundays)
Best Cocktail in Dusseldorf
Altbier, known to residents as "Alt", is a type of rich, dark beer that originated in Dusseldorf. Made from several varieties of hops and barley, it ranges in color from amber to copper to deep brown, depending in how much malt it contains.
A headier brew is Killepitsch, a powerful liqueur made from a blend of more than 90 herbs, fruits and spices. Blood red and syrupy in texture, it's best consumed with a mixer and -- at 42 percent alcohol by volume -- in moderation. But it is reputed to be an excellent digestif and to have medicinal qualities (maybe it's just that after a few sips of this stuff, you'll feel no pain).
Don't Miss in Dusseldorf
Konigsallee: Take a stroll along Konigsallee -- known as the Ko by Dusseldorf's residents. Its fabulous designer emporiums make it the place to visit for serious shoppers.
Hofgarten: Dusseldorf's main park and site of the Schloss Jagerhof Palace, the Hofgarten is a magnificent example of 18th century Rococo architecture. Reproduced after the destruction of World War II, the palace holds the Goethe Museum, a display of the writer's works spread over 10 showrooms. (Jacobistrasse 2, Altstadt; +49 211 899 6262; open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday to Friday, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, closed Mondays; free)
MedienHafen: Stroll around MedienHafen, which features buildings by internationally famous architects like Frank O. Gehry, David Chipperfield and Claude Vasconi. This is a good place to lunch, too, with its many trendy restaurants and cafes.
Altstadt: Dusseldorf's famous Altstadt (Old Town), which is small but very atmospheric, with unusual shops and lively bars, is a highlight of the city.
Beer Safari: Take a beer safari and become an "Altbier-expert" within two hours. Tours from the Schlossturm entrance of the main railway station visit five microbreweries for tastings of all their creations. Commentaries are in German and English, and tickets -- available at tourist offices -- cost 22.50 euros. (Depart 6 p.m. Wednesday to Friday, 3:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Saturday and 3:30 p.m. Sunday)
Schloss Benrath: Gaze at the glories of Schloss Benrath (Benrath Palace), a gorgeous 18th century Rococo structure with pretty gardens. It sits about 9 kilometers south of Dusseldorf city center and is reachable in 30 to 45 minutes by tram (No. 701). (Benrather Schlossallee 100-106; +49 211 899 3832; open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday to Sunday; different charges for entering different parts of the palace, generally 5 euros)
Rhein Tower: Take in the views from the Rhein Tower in MedienHafen. You can simply whizz up to the top by elevator or make a meal of the experience in the tower's Top 180 restaurant, which serves lunch from noon to 2:30 p.m., afternoon tea from 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. and dinner from 6:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. (Stromstrasse 20, 40221; +49 211 863 2000; open 10 a.m. to midnight Sunday to Thursday, 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday; 5 euros adults, 4 euros 13- to 18-year-olds, 3 euros younger than 12)