Wondering where to eat during a Baden-Baden weekend getaway? We’re sharing our favorite Baden-Baden restaurants and cafes so that you can focus on the rest of your trip. And by focus, we mean hit the spas.
Located on the edge of the Black Forest and a short train from Strasbourg, Baden-Baden has been beckoning visitors for millennia.
Ancient Romans left their mark on the city centuries before Baden-Baden became a popular German spa destination. However, throughout much of the world, the city remained a bit of a secret getaway. Things changed in 2021 when the Black Forest city joined the UNESCO World Heritage List as a Great Spa Town of Europe.
Prior to our visit, we assumed that the spas would be great in Baden-Baden. After all, the city’s name loosely translates to Spa-Spa. Plus there’s the aforementioned UNESCO designation. We weren’t disappointed.
Our relaxing afternoon at Caracalla Spa was a trip highlight that has become legendary in our minds. The city’s other major spa, Friedrichsbad, offers a more immersive experience that includes a soap and brush massage and ends with hot tea. We’ll try that spa next time.
However, as we quickly learned, Baden-Baden is more than just a spa city.
This German hidden gem has public green spaces, world-class museums, a high-rolling casino in an ornate 19th century building and a funicular that ascends Merkur Mountain. We experienced all of these things and more during our weekend visit. It’s a miracle that we had time to eat.
Just kidding. Besides relaxing at the spa, eating was our favorite thing to do in Baden-Baden.
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Our Favorite Baden-Baden Restaurants and Cafes
While many travelers journey to Baden-Baden specifically to soak in restorative baths, savvy food travelers quickly realize that the Baden-Baden food scene deserves attention too. This is a city with two Michelin-starred restaurants (Le Jardin de France im Stahlbad and Maltes Hidden Kitchen) plus many more restaurants and cafes worthy of attention.
Some of best restaurants in Baden-Baden celebrate traditional German food while others dabble in international cuisine. Regardless of their menus, most Baden-Baden restaurants serve delightful Riesling wine produced in nearby Rebland.
Then there are Baden-Baden’s cafes which serve luscious German pastries and desserts. After a curative spa visit, who couldn’t use a rich slice of black forest cake?
Wirtshaus zur Geroldsauer Mühle
Located a couple miles from the city center, upscale tavern Geroldsauer Mühle has a market that sells fresh local products and a kitchen that cooks those same products. Its decor is both stylish and rustic with knotty wood walls and comfy pillows.
Provocative neo-realtistic wall art pulls it all together.
At first, we thought the decor was the draw at Wirtshaus zur Geroldsauer Mühle. Then we realized that the food’s great too
During our meal, we ate Weiswurste and pretzels as well as golf ball sized knodels. Those traditional foods are available year round and are great. However, the true gems during our meal were dishes like Smoked Trout Tartare and Lamb’s Lettuce Salad made with seasonal, local ingredients.
We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention our dessert which stood out for two reasons…
First, it was as big as our Daryl’s head and twice as delicious. Second, it was our first but not last time eating Kaiserschmarrn. The shredded pancake dessert named after Franz Joseph I is now one of our favorite German desserts except when we’re in Austria where it’s one of our favorite Austrian desserts.
Stop by Wirtshaus zur Geroldsauer Mühle’s beer garden for a brew or two if the weather is pleasant during your visit.
Wirtshaus zur Geroldsauer Mühle is located at Geroldsauer Straße 54, 76534 Baden-Baden, Germany.
Heine’s Wine & Dine
Heine’s Wine & Dine is special.
As its name suggests, this innovative Baden-Baden restaurant specializes in two of our favorite things – wine and food. But the restaurant excels at providing personable service too.
In other words, we felt both comfortable and welcome while we ate a parade of plates, each paired with a story and a curated glass of wine. By the end of our six-course meal, we were also pleasantly full.
While wine may take the first spot in the restaurant’s name, we’d argue that food plays a role that matches the red, white and sparkling liquids that flow freely.
Owner Michael Heine works closely with Chef Lucas Geiger to develop a new menu every fortnight based on the best available regional ingredients.
Served in combinations that range from three to six courses, these dishes celebrate local ingredients with both respect and creativity. Each can also be ordered on an à la carte basis.
Details added the finishing touch to our meal which started with a truffle arancini and ended with a plate of local artisan cheeses. Butter, flavored with mustard, thyme and honey, accompanied excellent locally baked bread. Nicely seared scallops were served with both celery cream and hazelnut foam.
Those details might not mean a lot on their own. Combined with excellent service, however, they added up to a wonderful dining experience.
Sit at the bar and order from the restaurant’s snack menu if you’re short on time or don’t score a reservation.
Heine’s Wine & Dine is located at Merkurstraße 3, 76530 Baden-Baden, Germany.
A wirtshaus in Germany is happy place where comfort food and beer live in perfect harmony. It’s similar to a tavern or pub with a special benefit – excellent German beers flowing from the taps.
Visiting a typical wirtshaus is a must in Baden-Baden. We accomplished this food goal when we took a scenic walk and ate lunch at Wirtshaus Molkenkur, a local favorite that dates back to 1827.
In many ways, reading the Wirtshaus Molkenkur menu is like reading a list of German food favorites. And, since prices are reasonable, it’s a great place to sample traditional cuisine without breaking the bank.
Narrowing the menu’s options and staying in theme, Daryl ordered Wildschweinbratwurst, a bratwurst made with wild boar meat and served with red apple cabbage and potato salad. Mindi opted for Sauerbraten plated with cranberries, seasonal vegetables and homemade spätzle. Both were solid.
While ordering beer is typical at any German wirtshaus, opting for wine or other German drinks is more than acceptable too. During our lunch, Mindi ordered a Köstritzer Dunkel and Daryl ordered a glass of Grauburgunder Trocken.
Not only did this approach make us both happy, but it also made our wallets happy. The two local drinks were priced at 3.40€ and 3.80€ respectively at the time of our visit.
Don’t skip Wirtshaus Molkenkur if you’re not a meat eater. The wirtshaus has menu options fit for vegetarians and vegans.
Wirtshaus Molkenkur Baden-Baden is located at Quettigstraße 19 Restaurant, 76530 Baden-Baden, Germany.
People ride the Mekurbergbahn, a funicular railway, to the top of Baden-Baden’s Merkur mountain for various reasons. The main reason is for the opportunity to view a spectacular panoramic view from 668 meters (approximately 2,192 feet) above the city. Other reasons include hiking and paragliding.
For food travelers, an additional reason is to dine at Restaurant Merkurstüble.
Restaurant Merkurstüble offers a mountain-top dining experience for those who spend 3.50€ for a funicular ticket (6€ roundtrip). Located next to the Mekurbergbahn station, the restaurant’s location can’t be beat. Its menu includes a range of options from simple soups and salads all the way to dessert.
We popped into Restaurant Merkurstüble for a late afternoon break from the drafty mountaintop chill. Tempted by dessert options that included six different cakes at the time of our visit, we ultimately ordered warming Goulaschsuppe (i.e. goulash soup). By the time we reached the bottom of our bowls, we felt toasty both inside and out.
The last funicular departs at 10pm. Plan your departure accordingly.
Restaurant Merkurstüble is located at Merkuriusberg 5, 76530 Baden-Baden, Germany.
Wochenmärkte (Weekly Markets)
Visiting local markets is a great thing for food travelers to do in European cities. Baden-Baden is no exception.
Local producers come to Baden-Baden’s markets to sell artisan cheese, fruits and vegetables as well as soap, baskets and other non-edible crafts. Wandering through the stalls is fun, especially when you stop to make a small purchase or two.
These markets are also great spots to eat lunch. In fact, markets may be the best place to find cheap eats in Baden-Baden.
Typical market lunch items include Schnitzel, Bratwurst and Curryrwurst – each of which pairs well with fried potatoes. If you’re daring, you can even eat a meatball sandwich topped with Currywurst sauce.
Order Glühwein if you visit a Baden-Baden market during mulled wine season. The spiced drink will warm you up and make you smile.
Baden-Baden has multiple markets. We visited and ate lunch at the market located at Lichtentaler Straße 24-26, 76530 Baden-Baden, Germany.
Café König reigns supreme in Baden-Baden and not just due to its kingly name. As the city’s oldest cafe, open for more than two centuries, it’s a place where locals go to see and be seen. It’s also a lush spot to sip coffee and indulge in decadently delicious desserts.
Sure, you could go to Café König and eat dishes like soup, salad and quiche, but where’s the fun in that? This is a cafe where ordering sweet treats is practically required.
Rumor has it that Franz Liszt and Leo Tolstoy both visited Café König back in the day. We can’t confirm this rumor since Liszt died in 1886 and Tolstoy died in 1910.
It’s best to first check out the cakes on display at the front of the cafe as soon as you arrive. Doing so led us straight to the cafe’s signature Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte (a.k.a black forest cake). We picked out additional sweets to sample and also ordered Kaffe Kirsch coffee drinks with Black Forest kirsch and whipped cream to wash it all down.
Now owned by Volker Gmeiner, a prolific German pastry chef who owns multiple cafes in Germany and Japan, Café König ranks as the best Baden-Baden cafe as well as one of the best cafes in Germany. Will it be your favorite Baden-Baden cafe too? The only way to know if to try it for yourself.
Order afternoon tea if you want to sample of selection of sweet and savory treats at Café König.
Café König is located at Lichtentaler Straße 12, 76530 Baden-Baden, Germany.
It makes perfect sense that sacks of coffee line the shelves at Kaffeesack since the cafe’s name literally translates to coffee sack. But Kaffeestack isn’t solely a coffee store. It’s also Baden-Baden’s first specialty coffee cafe.
Open since 2014, Kaffeesack roasts arabica and robusta beans sourced from countries like Brazil, Honduras and Kenya in a former brewery located in Achern, just 18 kilometers (approximately 11 miles) southwest of Baden-Baden. Its baristas use modern coffee equipment including AeroPress and V60 to craft flat whites and other coffee drinks in the city.
Kaffeesack is located on Hirschstraße which translates to Hirsch Street. Since our last name is Hirsch, it was clearly a sign, not that we needed one. Since we always seek specialty coffee, known as third wave coffee in the US, our visit was a no-brainer.
Sadly, we had to wait two days for our visit since Kaffeesack is closed on Sundays and Mondays. Our Tuesday visit was worth the wait as were the much needed flat whites that we ordered like clockwork.
Kaffeehaus roasts its coffee in small batches using a drum-roasting method. But coffee is just part of this Baden-Baden coffee house’s story. Open since 2018, the popular cafe also serves tea sourced from Copenhagen and cakes baked on site.
Addtionally, at night, owner Malte Kuhn transforms the cafe into an upscale restaurant called Malte’s Hidden Kitchen. It’s a cute spot that’s easy to find despite the name. However, you might have difficulty finding the kitchen since it’s located behind a sliding wall. The inspectors at Michelin didn’t have any such difficulties since they awarded the restaurant a star in 2022.
Stock up on candy to enjoy now or later when you stop by Kaffeehaus for a coffee break.
Kaffeehaus is located at Gernsbacher Straße 24, 76530 Baden-Baden, Germany.
Conditorei Cafe Beek
Conditori Cafe Beek, open since 1885, caught our eyes when we walked spotted it on our way to the Caracalla Spa. It was merely a matter of hours before we returned to check out the pretty pastries hiding behind the historic cafe’s window.
Dazzled by the shop’s many confections, we settled on a Mandelhornchen shaped like a horseshoe and topped with almonds. Not sure if we ordered wisely, our fears were allayed as soon as took our first bites and discovered that the pastry was filled with marzipan. Winning!
Linger on Conditori Cafe Beek’s outdoor terrace if you visit Baden-Baden between April and October.
Conditorei Cafe Bee is located at Gernsbacher Straße 44, 76530 Baden-Baden, Germany.
Baden-Baden Restaurant FAQs
You’ll want to eat traditional German dishes like Schnitzel, Bratwurst and Sauerbraten at least once when you dine at Baden-Baden restaurants.
Baden-Baden restaurants range from cheap eats to fine dining. Prices range accordingly.
No. Tipping is optional in Germany.
Anthony Bourdain never filmed an episode of The Layover, No Reservations of Parts Unknown in Baden-Baden.
People typically eat dinner between 7pm and 9pm in Baden-Baden.
Yes. Reservations are necessary for Baden-Baden’s better restaurants.
Things To Do in Baden-Baden
There’s plenty to do in Baden-Baden beyond the city’s spas and restaurants. Check out the following activities if you want the full Baden-Baden experience:
About the Authors
Daryl & Mindi Hirsch
Saveur Magazine’s BEST TRAVEL BLOG award winners Daryl and Mindi Hirsch share their culinary travel experiences and recipes on the 2foodtrippers website and YouTube. The married Food and Travel content creators live in Lisbon, Portugal.
We thank Baden-Baden Kur & Tourismus GmbH for assisting us during our visit to Baden-Baden.
We update our articles regularly. Some updates are major while others are minor link changes and spelling corrections. Let us know if you see anything that needs to be updated in this article.
Original Publication Date: July 22, 2022