SouthWest Germany’s capital city of Stuttgart, is home to some of the best meals, wine, and local produce in all of Germany. The combination of starred restaurants, traditional Swabian food complemented by the local production of wine, beer, chocolates and delicious food creates a paradise for people interested in food and good eating.
Delicious Wines and Food in Stuttgart
This delicious atmosphere is enhanced by the high density of museums, opera and ballet, festivals, great shops, and interesting day trips to close-by castles and medieval villages.
Gourmet to Traditional
With a total of 85 Michelin stars, the state of Baden-Württemberg is no stranger to excellent fare. The Stuttgart Region alone has no fewer than 21 starred restaurants, seven of them in the state capital alone: Zauberlehrling, Hupperts, Délice, Speisemeisterei, Wielandshöhe, 5, Ritzi Gourmet and brand-new Hegel Eins. These restaurants are not only producing delicious meals but in unusually beautiful environments and design contexts from the avant-garde and contemporary to elegant baroque castles.
Not starred but no less excellent is Swabia’s regional cuisine. A few examples of the local fare are said to represent Swabian frugality in its nicest form: the day’s leftovers end up in the stockpot or hidden inside pasta dough. They include Maultaschen (filled pasta) and Gaisburger Marsch (hotpot). Linsen mit Spätzle (lentils with noodles) can be found everywhere in the Stuttgart Region; and together with Rostbraten (fried steak), Kartoffelsalat (potato salad), Kässpätzle (cheesy noodles) and Ofenschlupfer (bread pudding), they are the most popular Swabian dishes.
Not So Well-known
Not so well known is the Filderspitzkraut. This tasty variety of pointed white cabbage has been grown outside Stuttgart for centuries and is protected by the European Union. You will find these fields on the way to the charming medieval town of Esslingen, the home of the sparkling wine cellar of Kessler, which was started in 1826, and is now Germany oldest sparkling wine producer. Also not so well known is that at the beginning of the 20th century, Stuttgart was known as a “chocolate city.” Today, Ritter Sport is thriving with its famous rectangular chocolate bar in hundreds of flavors.
Wine Culture is Old and New
By the 16th century Stuttgart was already one of the largest wine-growing communities in the Holy Roman Empire. Today, it is livelier than ever with some of the young vintners earning top awards for their bottles. The younger wine growers from the Stuttgart Region – some of them in the second or third generation – have brought a breath of fresh air to the viniculture scene. Also, under the state’s directive, the wine growers are coming out with the first organic wine this year.
Stuttgart’s city center is nestled in a valley with its vineyards stretching right into the heart of the city on steep terraces connected by paths and flights of steps known as “Stäffele” (“steps”). Traditional wine bars or the temporary broom taverns run by wine growers are a special way to enjoy the atmosphere and try the local wines. To show they’re open for business, the broom taverns (Besen) hang a broom (Besen) at the door. Only the vintners’ own wines can be served there.
The wines owe their excellent quality to the first-class soil, the favorable climate, and the expertise that has accumulated over the centuries. The well sign-posted “Stuttgart Wine Trail” is conceived as a circular walk, and invites you to discover the wonderful slopes, idyllic spots, scenic lookouts through the vineyards. The broader “Württemberg Wine Trails” comprise the Württemberg Wine Cycle Trail, the Württemberg Wine Route and the Württemberg Wine Hiking Trail, presenting various different routes and sections. www.weinwege-wuerttemberg.de).
The Center of it All: Stuttgart’s Market hall
Stuttgart is not a large city so it is easy to get around and enjoy the various restaurants and local eateries. At the center of the food scene is the famous market hall (Markthalle), reputed to be one of Germany’s finest market halls. Stuttgart’s Markthalle was built in Jugendstil design in 1914 and is a large airy building with a curved roof. It is full of epicurean delights and stylish, attractive household furnishings and garden equipment. There are 33 stalls on the ground floor offering local produce as well as food from many different countries, including Italy, Greece, Hungary, Iran, Turkey, France and Spain, to name but a few.
Getting to Stuttgart: Planes, Trains and Automobile
Stuttgart is just a few hours or less by direct train or car ride from Frankfurt (1,5 hours), Paris (3,15 hours), and Zürich (4 hours). It is the hub of a very accessible network of train and automobile routes. The Stuttgart Airport is a pleasant experience, and there is also a direct flight from Atlanta. Once you are in Stuttgart, you can use your StuttCard for all of the public transportation including the buses and the regional trains that will take you within minutes into the wine hills or Ludwigsburg and Esslingen.