Regensburg is a culinary destination for Bavaria and beyond. The city's relative wealth helps fuel the restaurant scene, as does the presence of so many downtown residents. Perhaps because tourism is still building, travelers will find prices much lower than in comparable establishments in major cities. Visitors who time their trips can enjoy regional dishes that take advantage of the tender asparagus (spring) and wild mushrooms (late summer) that dominate the city's restaurants.
Bischofshof Restaurant am Dom
The Bischofshof Restaurant am Dom extends the reputation of its hotel with professional and cordial service, a peaceful setting and reasonable prices. In fact, given its deserved gourmet reputation, the restaurant is a downright bargain.
The extensive menu changes often and consists of a number of regional dishes, like roast pork knuckle with dumplings and cabbage salad; venison with horseradish, creamed vegetables and steamed potatoes; and medallions of veal with Spätzle and salad. Even with an appetizer such as fresh tomatoes and mozzarella with basil and a dessert like peach Melba, a three-course dinner can come in under $33 (Fixed-price meals are hearty but as inexpensive as $14.
Wine by the bottle can double the cost of dinner, although the prices are quite reasonable for quality wines like Regensburger Landwein Müller and Wüzburger Stein. Beer comes from the original brewery of the bishop (more than 350 years old).
Contact: Restaurant Bischofshof am Dom, Krauterer Markt 3, D-93047 Regensburg, tel. +49/0941/59086.
Rating: Quality 16/20, Value 18/20
Since it's hidden at the end of an alley off the Haidplatz, most of the clientèle at the Dicker Mann is local. The restaurant fills the first floor of an old house with tables spread through sprawling rooms. With the turn-of-the-century Empire furniture, old paintings on the walls, and dried flowers on each table, one gets the sense of dining at grandmother's. Perhaps because of the homelike setting, its not the place for a quick meal. Service was unrushed, but few guests seem to be in any hurry.
Bavarian specialties dominate the menu. A typical dinner: rich potato soup, tender slices of veal served with wild mushrooms in an onion cream sauce, and apple strudel served warm, swimming in vanilla sauce, dusted with confectioners sugar and cinnamon. Cost: about $23. For about $12, a lighter appetite can get a Brotzeitbrett, a substantial wooden platter with potato/pickle salad, fresh tomatoes, coarse bread, and slices of ham, roast beef and chicken.
Contact: Dicker Mann, Krebsgasse 6, D-93047 Regensburg, tel. +49/0941/57570.
Rating: Quality 13/20, Value 14/20
Nine centuries ago, workers on the Steinerne Brücke received their meals at a riverside kitchen. That same kitchen - the Historische Wurstküche—serves up more than 100,000 Regensburger Bratwurst each day to locals and visitors. On a sunny day, guests can wait an hour or more to sit elbow-to-elbow on slat benches. When the weather doesn't cooperate, the kitchen building itself offers several tables of indoor seating but smoke permeates every fiber of clothing. The Danube overflows its banks almost annually—to clean out the kitchen, Regenburgers joke—and signs nearly to the ceiling mark the dates and levels of especially cleansing floods.
Outside, waiters weave their way through rows of trestle tables, take orders, and race to the grill, where white-bonneted cooks tend to the charcoal and to the finger-sized sausages: turning them, serving them, adding new ones. Like assembly-line workers, the waiters hold out plates for the right count of sausages followed by ladles of fresh sauerkraut and sweet mustard and race back to drop off orders and pick up new ones. With the river, bridge and Old City as backdrops, its lunch theater at its best. You'll get your fill for about $10.
Contact: Historische Wurstkche, Thundorferstrasse 3, Regensburg 93047, +49/0941/59098. No credit cards.
Rating: Quality 6/20, Value 18/20
If it's mid-morning, get to Uli's before the line starts - although that may be well before opening time on Saturdays. It's a Regensburg institution—or perhaps addiction. The nondescript shop lies at the base of a seven-story patrician house built in 1260. Inside, only one dish is being prepared: steamed dough with vanilla sauce. One size and one price, about $5, fit all. During any visit to Regensburg, a trip to Uli's is required - and may result in return visits. Yes, they're that good. (Closed Sunday and Monday.)
Contact: Uli's Dampfnudelküche, Am Watmarkt 4, D-93047 Regensburg, tel. +49/0941/53297