DIE NEUN | A culinary trip around the world in Frankfurt 

One of the things I most love about Frankfurt is the medley of languages you hear when you’re out and about. That gives away the fact that an astonishing number of nationalities from every continent across the globe call this city home. This diversity makes its presence felt on the food scene as well, and really, what nicer way to explore a culture than to taste its food and learn about its culinary traditions. So, if you’re game, here are some of the city’s restaurants that take you and your taste buds for a trip around the globe, no passport required. Bon voyage and bon appetit!

Foto: Johanna Christner

1 | Saravanaa Bhavan: South Indian fast food

Whilst it hard to generalise what “South Indian food” is, you’ll find some of the most popular delicacies here — served hot, fresh and very authentic. Order the paper roast dosa, either plain or ‘masala’ (filled with a handful of spiced potatoes) and feel your jaw drop as the waiter brings your plate over — at about a metre long, it is quite impressive. It’s paper thin, though, and goes down very well with a freshly brewed milky South Indian coffee, served home-style in small steel tumblers.

Kaiserstraße 68 | 60329 Frankfurt

Foto: @re_sol

2 | Tibet Ama: Tibetan

The star of the menu at this warm, unpretentious restaurant is Thukpa, traditional noodles that are handmade in a long, labour-intensive process. The hard work results in noodles that are delicious and have an extraordinary texture — slightly elastic and a tiny bit chewy. Enjoy them in large bowls of steaming soup, or topped with delicious sauces. The momos —  stuffed little dough parcels steamed to perfection — are also sublime. Generous portions ensure you’ll roll out with a warm, full belly.

Wiesenstr. 52 | 60385 Frankfurt

Foto: J’epoca

3 | J’epoca: Japanese

As Frankfurt’s first sake bar, J’epoca is a great introduction to the culture of Japanese rice wine. The menu boasts a wide range of sakes, all imported from Japan, and the accompanying food menu offers delicious warm and cold dishes, all which celebrate flavour and texture. Many are served tapas-style, making them perfect for sharing. The emphasis on aesthetic shines through, from the subtle, refined interiors to the ceramics. A carefully curated shop space offers exclusive sake and sake ware for purchase.

Fritschengäßchen 5 | 60594 Frankfurt

Foto: @enzo.qp

4 | Mr Lee: Korean

At Mr Lee’s, you sit down to authentic Korean food, served family style. The menu is long, and the dishes delicious, each full of flavour and nuance — with a kick of spice where required. Watch your table fill up with the eight banchan (side dishes made with different ingredients, of which kimchi is just one) that are served with your meal — dig in with your (metal) chopsticks and take your time savouring each bite.

Gutleutstraße 153 | 60327 Frankfurt

Foto: Shaga Farahani

5 | BKK Thai Street food

Styled to transport you to a Thai street-food market, this compact restaurant with its bright, plastic stools and metal-topped tables is filled with activity and the scent of delicious food being freshly prepared. The menu isn’t at all standard — don’t expect the usual curries here — and there’s lots to explore. Bold flavours and interesting ingredients rub shoulders with some old favourites, so come hungry and curious

Oeder Weg 14 | 60318 Frankfurt 

Foto: La Cevi

6 | La Cevi: Peruvian 

A national dish with its own national holiday — that’s ceviche for you. If you’d like to know what the hype is all about, La Cevi would be a good place to start. Two love stories and a long, hard journey later, the dream of bringing fantastic ceviche to Frankfurt has come true: Each plate is a work of art and an explosion of flavour. Should cold, marinated fish fail to impress, there are plenty of other Peruvian delicacies to choose from. Don’t forget the pisco sour!

Weberstraße 84 | 60318 Frankfurt

Foto: Caravan

7 | Caravan: Uzbeki

Uzbekistan’s cuisine has been influenced both by its position at the crossroad of the Great Silk Road between Asia and Europe as well as its rich harvests and warm climate. The menu is filled with fragrant, delicately spiced dishes and the palate is wide: start with a salad, move on to savoury soups, and finish with grilled meats and noodle and rice dishes. Definitely sit at the dastarkhan, the traditional low table whose seats are draped with carpets, and arrive hungry.  

Wöllstädter Strasse 11 | 60385 Frankfurt

Foto: Phoenix Tea House

8 | Phoenix Tea House: Vietnamese 

This little jewel of a cafe is a treasure with its warm vibe and an extensive list of teas. The little nook tucked away into the back of the store offers a respite from the busy street outside, where you can enjoy a light, homemade Vietnamese lunch or one of the delicious sweets on display. Take your time with a book or a friend, and stop by the flower store next door for a truly original bouquet.

Friedberger Landstrasse 82 | 60316 Frankfurt

Foto: @j0n3s86

9 | Kuli Alma: Israeli

Bold flavours and fresh ingredients come together in dishes that are both creative and delicious, all the more so given that Kuli Alma is a vegan restaurant. This is food perfect for sharing, for spending time chatting and laughing over. Make sure to go hungry, the portions are generous and you’ll want to try a few things!

Zum Jungen Straße 10 | 60320 Frankfurt

Stil hungry?