With 23 Michelin Stars and Local Producers, Stuttgart Reveals its
Depth as a Food and Wine Destination
Stuttgart, the capital of the German federal state of Baden- Württemberg in the southwest of Germany, is emerging as a culinary destination. This cultural and delicious city is stocked with 23 Michelin stars but more important are the regional culinary traditions, wine producers and food companies that have been around for years and set the stage for Stuttgart’s tasty presentation today. #tastystuttgart highlights the delectable experiences, restaurants, food and wines that Stuttgart has to offer. Join us in this whirlwind tour of Stuttgart’s delectable culinary region and experience.
Of SouthWest Germany’s 85 Michelin-starred restaurants, 23 of them are located in and around the capital city of Stuttgart and eight of them in the capital itself. Only two hours from Frankfurt and three hours from Paris, the city of Stuttgart is easy to get to by train or plane. The Stuttgarters’ embrace of the high tech of the future is equal to their love of tradition and local culture and is just as evident in the factories of Mercedes and Porsche as it is in the restaurants and kitchens of the region.
The first stop on your culinary tour of Stuttgart is the Wielandshöhe Restaurant on the Alte Weinsteige (the old wine road). Not only is this a Stuttgart gourmet institution led by one of the city’s most popular chefs but it also gives you a beautiful view of the city. The Wielandshöhe is considered a traditional establishment, but Chef Klink’s cooking is state-of-the-art: “We deliberately do not modernize our dishes, but rather aim for authenticity and goodness, not for flashy effects.” This self-image, eschewing ostentation and “plate tattoos,” is a modesty appreciated by Stuttgarters. In 1978, Vincent Klink, who grew up near Stuttgart, earned a Michelin Star, which he still holds to this day.
Chef Klink suggests that the second stop on your gourmet tour is Feinkost Böhm as THE place to go for all gourmets. Since 1889, the delicatessen has been producing specialty foods and it has a long tradition in the heart of Stuttgart. Located just around the corner from the modern art museum close to the Market Square and Palace Square, it is a perfect jumping off point for your second, third and fourth stops: the over 100-year old Market Hall, the Palace Square and the Schiller Square where you will find culinary experiences all year long.
Stuttgart’s Market Square is a historical site which dates back to the year 1304, and it is typically a hive of activity during the week. On Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday mornings many of Stuttgart’s inhabitants pick up their shopping lists and head for Stuttgart’s Marketplace and Schiller Square for delicious local products. In late August, the square is dressed with bowers as it plays host to over 350 wine purveyors and 500 different wines from the region. At Christmas time, the square is abuzz with shoppers going from one beautifully decorated cabin to another for charming gifts and decorations.
Next door, the Palace Square is the heart of the city and you will get a special treat if you are visiting this September when the Stuttgart Beer Festival will be celebrating its 200-year jubilee. From 26th September to 3rd October, in the middle of the Palace Square, people will commemorate the festival’s founding by King Wilhelm I of Württemberg and his wife, Queen Katharina. The “historical Festival” will have nostalgic fairground rides and showmen in the tradition of the 19th and 20th centuries. Parallel to this, the popular Stuttgart Beer Festival will of course be held as usual on the Cannstatter Wasen fairground, where Stuttgart’s large breweries keep the beer flowing freely in the festival marquees.www.cannstatter-volksfest.de
The Palace Square is where you will find the Stuttgart legendary beer maker: Dinkelacker. Synonymous with the city’s reputation for hospitality and conviviality, Carls Brauhaus is home to Stuttgart’s famous Dinkelacker beers. Alongside typical Swabian specialities, the pub’s wide-ranging menu offers a number of German and international dishes. A visit is rounded off with the beer specialties from the family brewery. www.stuttgart-tourist.de/tastystuttgart
Another home-grown Stuttgart institution is the coffee manufacturer Hochland Coffee Roaster Hunzelman. Started in 1920 in Stuttgart, this company remains in family hands and has grown and diversified into producing delicious chocolates and sweets and packaging coffee for all of Germany. With a charming café over looking the small palace square, Hochland is a must-stop for a morning or afternoon coffee break. Not far from the city center, the company offers tours of its coffee roasting factory.
The fifth stop on your tour is 15 minutes from Stuttgart’s city center on the S train in the half-timbered town of Esslingen. This is one of the most charming cities in all of Germany with houses crowded around cobblestoned streets and squares. At the center of it all is the award-winning sparkling wine producer of Kessler. Once the advisor to France’s Veuve Cliquot, Kessler returned to his native roots all those years ago and started his own sparkling wine cellar. To this day, Kessler offers tours of its exquisite cellar, tastings in the old house and an always popular sparkling wine bar. http://www.kessler-sekt.de
The sixth stop is the wine hills that encircle the city.Wine has been grown in the region since around 300 A.D. Still to this day, the city’s municipal vineyards cover an area of some 60 acres – more than in any other German metropolis. In the 19th century steps and paths were built order to cultivate Stuttgart’s steep terraces more efficiently – the famous “Stäffele” (steps). During the wine months, the locals go out to the Besen, or broom pubs. These are the temporary wine bars run by Swabian vintners, where you can enjoy wine and food for 16 weeks each year. A broom at the door shows that the tavern is open for business. Throughout the year there are wine walking tours, Segway tours, the Museum of Viniculture and seasonal festivals for gourmets on the go.
The seventh and eighth stops on your whirlwind weekend tour is the chocolate town of Waldenbruch, only 20 minutes from Stuttgart. This is where they make the famous Ritter Sport, the square, fit-in-your-pocket chocolate bar created back in 1912. Visit the store to taste and buy a wide range of flavors. For adults, there is the company’s totally hip art gallery (Museum Ritter) and kids get the chocolate exhibition and workshop! www.ritter-sport.de/en_US/Visiting/If you are visiting during the Christmas season, then it is highly recommended to drive just one hour south from Ritter to the charming university town of Tübingen where the chocolate market, Chocol’Art, presents an extraordinary display of artisanry with objects made of chocolate that look as if they were real. www.chocolart.de/english-info/
The ninth, tenth and eleventh stops on your culinary weekend tour include insider tips from the top culinary experts. For example, Gutbrodstraße 1 is the address for a little enclave for the great art of patisserie called “tarte & törtchen;” the beloved TV Tower has the Panorama Café way up high and Leonardt’s Restaurant at the bottom; at Ludwigsburg Palace, you can have coffee with the duke in full costume and a full tour of the castle in English. And, you can visit the world’s only airport restaurant with one Michelin star, top air, at the Stuttgart Airport. A perfect ending to your weekend whirl! www.restaurant-top-air.de