Anthony Bourdain in Germany:
The Complete Country Guide

There’s an important question I love to ask people when I meet them: if you could enjoy just one cuisine of food for the rest of your life, what would it be? For me, the answer is simple: Korean food and German is a close second.

Most people are surprised by my answer, as these two types of cuisine could not be more different. But German food holds a special place in my heart and stomach; I love sausages in their many flavors and compositions, the myriad of ways one can cook a potato, and the expectation that every great meal comes with a serving of beer and gemütlichkeit, a term that refers to geniality and friendliness in a special way that Germans have perfected.

Anthony Bourdain in Germany Hero

Anthony Bourdain visited Germany a few times during his television career; once to Cologne and Dusseldorf and twice to Berlin. Many people are surprised to learn he didn’t explore this large European country more, though I’d like to think it was on the ‘someday’ list we all have that he unfortunately never got to finish.

If you’re planning a trip to Germany, or just curious about Tony’s thoughts on foods like currywurst and schnitzel, this post is a great starting point. Below you’ll find a breakdown of the three German cities Bourdain visited, plus links to dive deeper into any that whet your appetite. Ready to explore the delicious dishes and fascinating flavors of Germany? Let’s do it – and, before I forget as Tony did many times, prost!

Berlin

Anthony Bourdain in Berlin Hero

It’s perhaps unsurprising that Berlin was Bourdain’s most-visited German destination. The capital city has a lot to offer that overlaps with Tony’s interests: welcoming people, fascinating history, and a captivating arts scene. He explores these themes during the two episodes he filmed there, as well as one other important one: delicious German food.

If you want to follow Tony’s footsteps through the once-divided city, here’s where to go:

Be sure to also review my guide to Berlin which includes more detail on what he ate at each place – and his favorite German food (which he enjoyed during each episode).

Cologne

Anthony Bourdain in Cologne Hero

The other German city that Bourdain visited during his many travels is Köln, or Cologne in the Anglicized version. Cologne was near and dear to Tony, though he only visited one time on-screen; he appreciated its hardiness, the industrial edge to its architectural beauty, and the welcoming nature of the people who call the city home. To me, his descriptions of Cologne and the way it was presented on screen are very similar to how he spoke about Glasgow, Scotland, another favorite destination.

Here’s the full list of restaurants Bourdain visited in Cologne that are still open today:

If you want more details on what he ate at and thought of each place, be sure to review my entire Cologne guide.

Dusseldorf

Anthony Bourdain in Germany - Dusseldorf

As part of filming his Cologne episode, Anthony Bourdain also made a trip to Dusseldorf; this is nice since it gives travelers one extra spot to visit while exploring Germany.

While in Dusseldorf, Tony eats at one place: Uerige Obergärige Hausbrauerei. What makes this visit special is that it gives him a chance to try the beer common in Dusseldorf – Altbier – and compare it with Cologne-style beer, Kölsch. He also enjoys a meal of pickled eggs, cabbage and mettwurst (kale sausage), and spicy pork goulash with rye bread.

I don’t have a separate guide for this German city as this is the only restaurant Bourdain visited in Dusseldorf, but it’s worth adding to your list if you plan to follow in the footsteps of Anthony Bourdain in Germany to every place he visited.

What about Munich?!

Many people are curious: did Anthony Bourdain visit Munich? Did he ever attend Oktoberfest? What about the region of Bavaria?

Unfortunately, based on his shows and my research, I can’t find any evidence that Anthony Bourdain visited Munich or attended Oktoberfest; it’s one of the many surprising places Tony never visited. While festivals of drunken tourists weren’t exactly his style, I’d like to think that Tony was well aware of Bavaria’s unique culture and cuisine and would have visited at some point in his life – if not for his death in 2018.

Nevertheless, if you’re visiting Munich or attending Oktoberfest, you can still copy Tony’s travel style, seeking out street food and unique eats where you find them. (There are also awesome currywurst stalls on the Oktoberfest grounds, similar to what he ate in Berlin!)

Have any other questions about planning a trip to copy Anthony Bourdain in Germany? Let me know in the comments below!

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    Valerie is a travel writer currently based in Cleveland, but her favorite destinations are Alaska, London, and Jordan – only one of which Bourdain ever visited! You can find her writing on Lonely Planet, Forbes, and her travel blog, Valerie & Valise.

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