Those who prefer upscale dining will find numerous options in Quedlinburg. However, for fast, cheap eats, head to the Steinbrücke, a small street immediately off the Marktplatz, where a variety of restaurants offers pleasant, if not stellar, culinary options. At #7, Olli's Bistro is a cafeteria complete with trays. Choose á la carte from a choice of goulash, dumplings, Spätzle, cutlets and other entrées and side dishes. Plan on spending €4-8 per person.
Although Pasta Mia at #23 Steinbrücke features more expensive choices, inventive pizzas and pasta dishes range from only €3-5.
At #18, Hassler Fisch Schnell Imbiss offers a variety of takeout fish creations such as fish sandwiches, breaded cutlets and pickled fish for about €2-5.
Zur Goldenen Sonne
Some of the most peaceful dining in Quedlinburg is on the sunny terrace of Zur Sonne. Even during cool, damp weather, a retractable canvas roof and gas heaters help maintain comfort. It's comfortably casual, set atop small stones cobbled together to form a mosaic of the sun. A flurry of flowers surrounds an old millstone in the center, and vines and roses drape across wooden trellises. Servers are young, attentive and friendly.
The cuisine is distinctly regional, with an emphasis on vegetarian and fish dishes, like trout with red cabbage and a vegetable-and-cheese platter with bread. The soups stand out: Oberharzwildgulasch, with tender venison pieces sweetened by red cabbage; Quedinlinburger bean soup topped with watercress; and a rich, hearty and savory barley soup with Black Forest ham and carrots.
Two can dine well for €22-29 for lunch, €28-35 for dinner.
Contact: Hotel Zur Goldenen Sonne, Steinweg 11, D-06484 Quedlinburg, tel +49/3946 96 25-0.
Rating: Quality 12/20, Value 14/20
Quedlinburg's Ratskeller doesn't get high points for ambiance, at least until they dim the lights. Only the vaulted ceilings inject a sense of history. However, the somewhat sterile setting is more than offset by friendly service, a limited but superb wine list, and reasonably priced and well-prepared dishes.
Guests will find a heavy focus on meat entrées like pork hock with sauerkraut, lamb cutlets with banana sauce and raisin-almond rice, and duck breast stuffed with pineapple, red cabbage and wild berries. Vegetarians won't starve, and fish eaters will love the salmon with hollandaise sauce, noodles and asparagus. Without wine, dinner for two will range from €14-22, lunch is somewhat less.
Contact: Gaststätte Ratskeller, Marktkirchhof 1, D-06484 Quedlinburg, tel +49/3946 2768
Rating: Quality 13/20, Value 14/20
The setting alone is worth a visit to the restaurant at the Hotel Theophano. Indeed, many guests spend hours in the quiet candlelight with only fine wine and exotic cheeses for nourishment. The setting is sublime in this medieval cellar, the rich history captured in every ancient stone and brick. Nooks in this one-time storage area lend privacy, and flickering candles a sense of intimacy. (In good weather, dining is also possible under the stars in the courtyard.)
The menu takes German fare to exotic levels. Appetizers may include salami of venison with olives, baked Münster cheese wrapped in pastry with fried apples, or arugula with roasted rabbit, cherry tomatoes and pine nuts. Under the category of "Substantial Starters/Light Main Courses," the current menu offers smoked salmon crêpes with sour cream and red caviar, turkey liver sautéed with fresh mushrooms in balsamic vinegar, and pumpkin risotto. Larger appetites may want dishes like roast venison served with savory vegetables and potatoes au gratin. Some guests make a special trip just for the desserts, like sweet pumpkin strudel with vanilla flavored whipped cream, espresso with homemade French praline, and white chocolate mousse with elderberry sauce.
Two persons with light appetites can enjoy the setting and a pleasant dinner for €32-40, without beverages, while more complete dining satisfaction might cost as much as €80 per couple.
Contact: Hotel Theophano Markt 13/14, D-06484 Quedlinburg, tel +49/3946 96 30-0.
Rating: Quality 17/20, Value 18/20
Restaurant Am Brühl
One huge room in an old stable has become the Hotel Am Brühl's restaurant. There is a high brick and beamed ceiling with barrel-roll vaults and the floor is square, polished terra-cotta pavers. There are substantial wooden tables and chairs and the white stucco walls are decorated with interesting art and antiques. It is a fine room to be in, though a little noisy. The menu is mainly traditional dishes and you won't go far wrong with familiar selections such as Kalbsleber (calves liver) and Geschnetzeltes (chopped veal in cream sauce), but overall the food doesn't quite equal the room's charm.
Rating: Quality 13/20, Value: 14/20