best breakfast, best brunch
Brunch or breakfast – it’s all a matter of definition and, because many cafés in Frankfurt don’t open until 10am I think both labels are fine.
The first thing to say is that there are a lot of cafes in Frankfurt that offer some fairly standard options of eggs (a variety of styles including omelettes are usually available) or a combination plate with meat, smoked fish or cheese and usually some jam or honey, as well as a mixed basket of bread; you often also get a small fruit salad. I find most of these breakfasts dull – the components are rarely particularly interesting or high quality. So, when sharing my favourite breakfast spots, I’m looking for places that offer something above and beyond this.
| Hanauer Landstraße 82 | Ostend |
The coffee at Aniis is great but actually what I love most is their homemade chai, which is served in beautiful metal pots and, when you peek inside, is packed full of whole spices which add a wonderful depth of flavour to this spiced tea. Food is north African-inspired and I particularly love the mixed plate which includes spicy sausages, hummus, olives, feta cheese etc. If you’re planning a weekend brunch or lunch visit, book ahead as this little café gets busy. My top tip is to book a late morning slot so that both the breakfast and lunch menus are available!
Badias Schirn Café Bar Restaurant
| Schirn Kunsthalle, Römerberg 6a | Innenstadt |
Tucked away in the Neue Aldstdt (new old-town) and connected to the Schirn art gallery, this is one of my favourite brunch spots in Frankfurt. The menu is large and Israeli-inspired - I particularly love the shakshuka variations, which can all be customised with avocado, merguez and/or fried chicken. If you prefer something sweet the fluffy pancakes are also delicious. Badias is also particularly good if you need a venue that can cope with a large group.
| Zeil 1 | Innenstadt |
Café Maingold’s breakfast menu is similar to those I have already labelled as being a bit boring, but it makes the cut because I love the outside space it has, which is on the edge of a small park so you are surrounded by flowering plants and trees. I also like the sharing platter they do, which is massive (they say it serves 2 but I think 3 is more accurate!), and helpful if you have particularly hungry mouths to feed. Breakfast is only offered on Sundays and public holidays and you need to book to guarantee a table.
| Münchener Straße 18 | Bahnhofsviertel |
Named after a Chicago gangster, this was one of the first places I found and loved in Frankfurt, not least for its friendly service. I used to come here every two or three weeks for brunch. I’d start with a coffee while David got his haircut at one of the many Turkish barber shops on this street and then, when he arrived, I’d usually order one of their pastrami sandwiches - I like the Rueben, a large is big enough to share if you’re so inclined. If you’re veggie they do a great mushroom sandwich. The fries are good as are their salads. Mid-week they have a good value lunch menu; this is also a bar and is a buzzing place in the evening.
Oosten and Walden
| Oosten | Mayfarthstraße 4 | Ostend |
| Walden | Kleiner Hirschgraben 7 | Innenstadt |
Oosten and Walden are sister restaurants and have very similar menus which offer a huge range of breakfast platters, many of which are themed – for example the Scandinavian plate will include a variety of smoked fish, whereas the Italian plate will include a mix of salamis and the Greek plate will include feta and olives. Oosten is in the east and sits alongside the Main River near the new ECB – it has large windows so there are lovely views out, plus, in the summer, there are many outdoor tables. Outdoor seating is also available at Walden, which is in the city centre, tucked around the corner from Goethe House. If Walden is full then nearby Roseli Cafe, which also has a mix of indoor and outdoor seating, would be my choice.