Stuttgart water is excellent, but for slightly stronger libations, search out the local wines. For centuries wine was the region's most important industry, and there are vineyards everywhere, even interspersed among the car factories and next to the rail station downtown. The main varietals are Trollinger and Reisling, and the nearby village of Uhlbach boasts a small winery museum.

The easiest way to sample the local hooch is in one of Stuttgart's numerous cozy wine pubs, accompanied by a few hearty Swabian dishes. We visited several, detailed elsewhere on this site in the restaurant reviews, but unfortunately missed the most celebrated Weinstube Zur Kiste (Kanalstrasse 2, tel. +49/0711/244 002).
Open Mon.-Fri. dinner only, 5pm-midnight, Sat. 11:30am-midnight.
Main courses cost €15; €4.80 for wines by the glass.)

Also very appealing were Amadeus (Charlottenplatz 17) and Zum Paulaner (Calwer Strasse 45, tel. +49/711/224 150.) For beer, you can't go wrong at Calwer-Eck-Braü, Stuttgart's oldest brewery tavern. Unfiltered, unpasteurized, bottom-fermented beer made according to a medieval recipe is served with enormous skillet dishes in a polished, turn-of-the-century wood-paneled room with leaded glass windows (Calwer Strasse 31, tel. +49/0711/222 4944-0) —by Lydia Itoi