Can you fall head over heels in love with a city? Of course you can! After all, they say the quickest way to the heart is through the stomach... and when it comes to the art of culinary seduction, the Hanseatic city of Hamburg is a genuine femme fatale.
Typical Hamburg cuisine is, of course, centred around fish and seafood – ranging from the traditional to the extravagant. Hanseatic traders have been slurping mouthwatering molluscs at Cölln's oyster house for centuries, and the ever popular Fischereihafen restaurant on the riverbank is well worth a visit too.
If there were an Oscars ceremony for the fine art of cooking, some of Hamburg's restaurants would certainly need an acceptance speech ready, because nine of the city's finest establishments are currently decorated with Michelin stars – a couple of them even went straight to two stars. This illustrious pair are the famous Hotel Louis C. Jacob, whose magnificent lime tree terrace overlooks the Elbe, and the Haerlin Restaurant at the Fairmont Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten on the Inner Alster, where gourmet cuisine is served in an exceptionally elegant setting. A Michelin star also shines brightly over Le Canard Nouveau on the Elbchaussee, acclaimed for its mediterranean dishes with a hint of Arabian Nights, and over Piment, which serves classic French cuisine with a Moroccan twist in the heart of the chic Eppendorf quarter.
The Bullerei, where German celebrity chef Tim Mälzer conjures up first-class dishes, comes highly recommended as well. And it's not just the menu that makes it unique; the setting is one of a kind too. The restaurant is housed in a lovingly restored cattle hall in Hamburg's former meatpacking district. For a laid-back atmosphere and good food, dine beneath the imposing art nouveau vaults of Café Paris. Or why not try Vlet in the historical warehouse district or the relaxed maritime setting of Riverkasematten on the Elbe with its canvas-sail parasols and open fire.