I’ve been working pretty hard on my thesis these days, so I haven’t had a lot of time to cook new things and share ideas.  Most of my meals have been simple and I’ve been taking advantage of the fresh spring vegetables and early berries.

Now that I am approaching the last months of my stay here in Heidelberg, I’ve become acutely aware of how much I am going to miss this place, especially my good friends.  Over the years, this city has really nestled itself into my heart.

I wanted to share with you some of favourite Heidelberg culinary highlights.  If you ever plan a trip it might be helpful and, for my Heidelberg friends, please add your own favourites to the comments.  I am sure I will miss more than a few!  They appear in no particular order and mostly just reflect where I spend most of my time and money.

1. Bread: While Heidelberg certainly has no lack of amazing bakeries where you can buy fresh rolls every morning, my favourite is Mahlzahn.  They have wonderful dense, whole, grain breads.  They also have delicious treats like rhubarb cake and spelt cookies.  The staff are very friendly and if you forgot your wallet they just put it on your tab (this has happened to me more than once).  They have several outlets in Heidelberg including a brand new one that opened in Rohrbach.  I believe they are still giving out freebies at the new one to celebrate the opening.

2. Schnitzel: I am afraid I can’t list one favourite here, because there are at least two fantastic places to get Schnitzel.  In the Altstadt, there is Schnitzelbank, which also has a wonderful assortment of wines and a very cozy interior.  If you love garlic than  have the garlic schnitzel, but be warned there must be at least 14 cloves on that puppy.  In the Weststadt there is Schwarzer Peter, which serves up an excellent Jägerschnitzel.  An added bonus is that the rest of their menu is extremely good as well and the place is perfect to watch a sport match or just hang out over beers.

3. Afternoon Cafes:  Here my absolute favourite is Cafe Rossi.  Whether in doors or out the setting is perfect and the tea and coffee list is extensive.  They also serve excellent food.  If you are need of an internet connection, then Walfisch is the place to go.

4. Night Cafes:  The two best options here are Orange and P11 (aka Cafe am Römerkreis).  Both tend to fill up quickly though.  While Orange, is more of a cozy quiet spot, P11 is a little more packed and is a typical pre-drinking spot.

5. Markets:  While the Altstadt has a huge market on Saturdays, I rarely make it out there because the Rohrbach market from 9-12:00 suits me fine.  They have cheese, fresh produce, a turkey raiser and flowers.  Once in a while the fish monger will also make an appearance, but you can’t count on him.

6. Spices:  If you are looking for a certain spice, herb or chili, the place to go is L’Epicerie.  They have a tremendous variety as well as oils, vinegars and mustards.  I always spend lots when I go there.

7. Wine: My favourite wine shop is Jacques’ Wein Depot.  They have all their bottles out and you can try as many wines as you like.  The staff are friendly and can offer you a great value bottle.  They often have special events and if you join the customer club you get deals and special offers.  I’ve also won a bottle of wine from them.  To drink wine out, there is lovely French place in Neuenheim called D’Aix en Provence that is superb.  They offer small 0,1L and large 0,2L litre glasses.

8. Chocolate: Heidelberg has quite a few excellent chocolate shops, but my favourite is St. Anna’s.  The shop really feels like a scene out of the movie “Chocolat”.  It also offers ice cream and hot chocolate.  One of my personal favourites is the chocolate salami, which looks exactly like salami, but is in fact chocolate and hazelnuts.

9. Cheese: Excellent feta (and olives) can be purchased at a Turkish grocery store right close to the Tram stop Weststadt/Südstadt (sorry no link for this one).  If you have time to go out to Nuβloch, you can find a local goat farm with excellent cheese.

10. Food Shops:  If you are looking for a certain kind of flour, an uncommon vegetable or something suited for dietary restrictions, then the place to go is Füllhorn.  While, this organic (aka bio) grocery is very expensive, it offers a variety of excellent products as well as local meat, fish and dairy products.  If you are looking for “Asian” ingredients like cilantro, kaffir lime leaves, etc then have a look at Tiger & Dragon.

I hope you will have chance to try some of these places if you haven’t already!  I know I will miss them very much.  And now back to writing my thesis…