After a two-year hiatus, the wine world is getting ready, once again, to descend upon Düsseldorf for another edition of ProWein, the industry’s biggest trade fair.
If many visitors are tempted to dismiss the capital city of North Rhine-Westphalia as a boring industrial hub, the fact is that Düsseldorf is home to a vibrant fashion and art scene, in turn supporting really interesting (although often under the radar) cultural, dining and entertainment venues.
Wine and food lovers have a lot to explore and discover beyond the famous traditional breweries, from Michelin-starred restaurants by way of cool wine bars and outstanding Japanese eateries.
An important thing to keep in mind: during major trade fairs, not least ProWein, the most sought-after places, such as the below, tend to get fully booked pretty fast. So choose wisely and act fast.
Wine Bars and Restaurants
Choose from more than 1,000 wines on the list, carefully curated by owner Michael Spreckelmeyer, including rare vintages and intriguing discoveries. This is one of the best places to drink in town and the French and Italian-inspired cuisine doesn’t disappoint either. Michael’s partner Alexandra is a chef patissière, so make sure you try the desserts too.
Weißenburgstrasse 19, 40476 Düsseldorf
With its charming brick wall, this old ice cellar narrow, cosy and characterful. The wine list features lesser-known names, with a focus on organic and biodynamic producers.
Eiskellerberg 1-3, 40213 Düsseldorf
The Saittà family run a little Italian wine and food empire in the Oberkassel neighbourhood, across the river from the Altstadt. Your first stop is Prinzinger by Saittà (Leostr. 1a), an old pub turned into a stylish restaurant. Further up the Luegallee towards Barbarossaplatz you will find Salumeria Saittà (Barbarossaplatz 2), Piazza Saittà (Barbarossaplatz 3), which offers pizza napoletana made according to a 200-year old recipe, and SaittàVini (Luegallee 79). A bit off the main route – which features many more interesting bars and restaurants – is the old Osteria Saittà (Alt-Niederkassel 32), where food and wine imports begun decades ago.
A tiny place full of life. Be ready to take a seat at a communal table and meet like-minded wine lovers. The wine choice, featuring mostly German and French wines, is not extensive but is very well curated. The menu also offers a small but very creative selection of dishes.
Moltkestraße 122, Düsseldorf
A converted old factory building, in a picturesque backyard, is the home of Spoerl, where modern European cuisine is served in the restaurant and the beer garden, alongside a small but well-formed wine list.
Tussmannstraße 70, Düsseldorf
One of the city’s Michelin-starred institutions, in the heart of the bustling port neighbourhood (MedienHafen) now an important creative and artistic hub. Internationally inspired, yet classical, menu and wine list.
Kaistr. 16 · 40221 Düsseldorf-Medienhafen
Great things in little Japan
Unbeknownst to most, Düsseldorf has one of the biggest Japanese communities in Europe. You will soon discover this by walking the streets around Immermannstraße and Klosterstraße. The neighbourhood, a stone’s throw away from the main train station, is a true ‘little Japan’ with all kinds of shops, from bakeries to designer clothing, stationery and, of course, restaurants. Most of them keep a reliable, classical style and you can safely make your way in.
But Düsseldorf’s Japanese food culture has its pinnacle at Nagaya (Klosterstraße 42), a Michelin-starred icon with European flare. At its little sibling, Yoshi (Kreuzstr. 17) chef Yoshizumi Nagaya offers more traditional kaiseki menus which have granted him yet another Michelin star!