It was easy for me to fall in love with Frankfurt. Despite its negative reputation among many expats (and yeah, I wouldn’t want to pay hotel prices there either—it’s a trade fair city and and banking city and prices can be quite high), I have always had a soft spot in my heart for what Germans sometimes refer to as Germany’s New York. Why? Plain and simple: it was the first European city in which I lived, my first home outside of United States borders. And now, after almost five years away, it looks like I’ll be moving back.
It was love that brought me to Mainz, and now, together with my husband and our new baby, we’ll be going back to the place where my whole German adventure began. I never would have guessed it: my husband has always been one of Frankfurt’s detractors and I personally thought our next move would involve going further out into the country and not back into the big city. But, unexpected or not, I am excited about the move. Frankfurt really is a great city, so today I thought I’d put together a top ten of my favorite pieces of it. If you ever find yourself there, particularly if you find yourself disliking it, then I recommend giving one or two of them a try before you write it off for good.
5. A fantastic array of restaurants. The thing I come back to again and again when contemplating our upcoming move back to Frankfurt is all the delicious food we will be able to eat in restaurants. My favorite pizza. (Da Cimino on Adalbertstr.) Amazing Vietnamese. (Quan Van on Eckenheimer Landstr.) African cuisine served to you laying down (Im Herzen Afrikas on Gutleutstraße.) The list goes on and on.
4. Interesting graffiti. Mainz has got nothing in comparison. And though Frankfurt may not live up to Berlin’s street art scene, there is still a lot to keep your eyes busy when you go for a stroll around town. For some people a negative, but for me a big plus.
3. A great flea market. Every Saturday morning you can stroll along the Main River and browse the wares of hundreds of dealers, both professional and private.
2. The best falafel I’ve ever eaten. And I have eaten a lot of falafel. This tiny kiosk-style falafel stand offers a falafel that will blow your taste buds. But don’t take my word for it, go check it out yourself. Though I’ve lumped together a number of restaurants in my first bullet, this one is so good it deserves its own. You can find it a few blocks up Oeder Weg from Eschenheimer Tor.
1. The best English-language book store in the region. I am a big reader, so this one scores big points with me. Sure, there are tons of smaller book stores with an English-language selection, but the most comprehensive that I have found is a part of the Hugendubel’s on Hauptwache. Swoon.
Have you ever been to Frankfurt? What do you love about it?