Day 2. A culinary tour of Hamburg

After a good night’s sleep in my lovely room at the Scandic Hamburg Emporio I enjoyed breakfast along the corridor in the hotel’s ‘Living Room’ which is for the exclusive use of guests staying on the upper two floors of the hotel.

Living Room, Scandic Hamburg Emporio
Living Room Scandic Hamburg Emporio
Living Room, Scandic Hamburg Emporio
Living Room, Scandic Hamburg Emporio

Here I enjoyed a selection of cold cuts of meat, mackerel and smoked salmon accompanied with some delicious dark rye bread and a glass of fizz.  After two cappuccinos and an irresistible maple twist pastry I felt energised and ready to join a culinary tour of the city.

Isemarkt, Hamburg
Isemarkt, Hamburg

To experience the first of the morning’s gastronomic delights, we took the U-Bahn the short distance to Eppendorfer Baum to take a stroll through the Isemarkt.  This wonderful market is located beneath the railway bridge providing shelter on rainy days.  It’s a foodies paradise and attracts large numbers each Tuesday and Friday morning who come to stock up on their fresh, regional produce.

Sampling pumpkin bread at Isemarkt, Hamburg
Sampling pumpkin bread under the railway bridge at Isemarkt

The Isemarkt extends for a staggering 1 km with around 200 stall holders lining the route offering fresh fruit, vegetables, flowers, fish, cheese, bread and organic produce, all beautifully presented on their stands.  We paused to sample some local cheese including the semi-hard Holsteiner Tilsiter flavoured with caraway and the more pungent Harzer.

Isemarkt, Hamburg - varieties of mushroom for sale
A vast array of mushrooms on sale on one of the stalls

Dotted between the food stalls were several cute coffee vans, organic smoothie and juice bars and cake and pastry stalls so we were thoroughly spoilt for choice for our morning coffees.

One of the coffee stalls at Isemarkt, Hamburg
One of the cute coffee stalls

My favourite stall had to be the mushroom retailer as I have never seen such an array of mushrooms anywhere like it before.  The market is open until 2.00 p.m. so if you find yourself in Hamburg on either a Tuesday or Friday morning then I’d recommend popping along to pick up some delicacies and to soak up the atmosphere.  It’s also a perfect opportunity to explore the upscale Eppendorf neighbourhood as it’s one of the city’s most desirable suburbs with its beautiful architecture and interesting small shops.

Landungsbrücken, Hamburg
Landungsbrücken, Hamburg

Leaving there, we hopped back on the U-Bahn to the riverside district of Landungsbrücken where I’d enjoyed a delicious fish sandwich for lunch the previous day.  Tomas, our guide led us up a flight of steps to a viewing platform close to the underground station and our efforts were rewarded with spectacular views of the historic waterfront and buildings.

Landungsbrücken, Hamburg
Landungsbrücken, Hamburg

The Elbe promenade is a bustling area popular with both locals and tourists and home to two museum ships and lots of small cafes and bars all offering the local fish sandwich speciality.

One of the ferries crossing the Elbe, Hamburg
The ferry we took across the river

From Pier 3 we boarded Ferry 62 across the Elbe to the Fischmarkt in St.Pauli.  Riding one of Hamburg’s seven ferry lines is a fun and inexpensive way to view the city landmarks from the perspective of the water as it’s included in public transport day tickets (more information here).

On board the harbour ferry, Hamburg
On board the ferry, passing the port cranes

A huge fish market attracting thousands of people takes place on the banks of the river in front of the Fischmarkt Hall each Sunday morning but you need to be an early riser as it runs from 5.00 – 9.30 a.m. in summer with a two hour later start during the winter months.  The historic Fish Market Hall is now utilised as a dance hall.

Fischmarkt Hall, Hamburg
Fischmarkt Hall, Hamburg

Our walking tour continued along the Grosse Elbstrasse with views of the many ships and harbour cranes.  Hamburg port is known as the ‘Gateway to the World’ as it’s the largest seaport in Germany and the third biggest in Europe.  All the way along this stretch of the Elbe are fish wholesalers who prepare the catch for the city’s  fish restaurants.

Tomas Kaiser, Hamburg Tour Guide
Tomas Kaiser, Hamburg Tour Guide

So, it was opportune that our walking tour ended on the doorstep of the Fischereihafen Restaurant, Hamburg’s most famous fish restaurant.  Taking a guided tour with Tomas Kaiser had been splendid as he introduced us to the city giving us an overview of Hamburg’s maritime history as a free trade port and taking us to some interesting places that we would have been unlikely to have found by ourselves.

Fischereihafen Restaurant, Hamburg
Fischereihafen Restaurant

Having said goodbye to Tomas we went inside the restaurant for lunch.  It’s a traditional restaurant with its elegant dining rooms having large windows overlooking the harbour.  With attentive service and seated at a window table with a starched tablecloth and matching napkins it was all so lovely.

Lunch at Fischereihafen Restaurant, Hamburg
Our delicious lunch

We shared a selection of seafood starters including fried calamari, sushi and prawns and the local meat speciality of Labskaus which tasted rather like corned beef hash.

My fish being filleted at the Fischereihafen Restaurant Hamburg
Watching my fish being expertly filleted

My North Sea sole meunière fried in butter and served with a cucumber salad was filleted at the table for me and so delicious that it melted in my mouth and I savoured every forkful.  We rounded off our lunch with coffee and small cakes having enjoyed the freshest of fish, expertly prepared in the comfort of the beautiful restaurant.

Barkassen-Meyer Big Harbour Cruise, Hamburg
On the Big Harbour Cruise

Afterwards, we caught the ferry back to Landungsbrücken where we were just in time to take the 3.00 p.m. Barkassen-Meyer harbour cruise aboard one of the spacious cruise boats.  For most of the trip we sat out on the upper deck to admire views of the historic Speicherstadt warehouse district, the bustling container port with its huge cargo ships and the stunning Elbphilharmonie Concert Hall.

Elbphilharmonie Concert Hall, Hamburg
Elbphilharmonie Concert Hall, Hamburg

Later on, we moved indoors and warmed up with cups of coffee still having good views from the the saloon windows.  The live commentary was only in German but this did not detract from our enjoyment too much.

On board the Big Harbour Cruise, Hamburg
Seated in the comfortable saloon

Back at the hotel, I popped down to the sauna for a relaxing half hour before getting ready to go out to dinner, this time to Heimatjuwel, a small, intimate restaurant in the Eimsbüttel district of the city.  We were shown to a table in a cosy alcove and over aperitifs perused the menu.

Dinner at Heimatjuwel, Hamburg
Dinner at Heimatjuwel

The menu had options for mains and desserts with the other courses chosen by the chef.  I opted for onglet of Holsteiner beef for my main course and Sea Buckthorn with chocolate and dill for dessert.  The quality of the food was excellent with a good balance of texture and flavour on each course.  It was pleasing that the chef took time to come out of the kitchen to explain each dish as it was served.  The presentation of each of the artfully plated dishes was superb and I can’t imagine it being very long until this Michelin listed restaurant receives a coveted star.  At €69 for a dinner of this standard, the restaurant offers excellent value for money.

The Baby Goat House, Hamburg
The Baby Goat House, Hamburg

On leaving there, we ended our evening with a round of drinks at The Baby Goat, a craft brewery in the Grindelhof district of the city.  We’d arrived late on a Friday evening when the pub was buzzing with activity and finding the last available table enjoyed flights of their refreshing light beers, all with goat themed names such as ‘silly billy’ and ‘shave it off’.

Craft beers at The Baby Goat House, Hamburg
Craft beers at The Baby Goat House, Hamburg

The background music was cheerful, classic pop and a lovely end to a fun-filled day in Hamburg.

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42 thoughts on “Day 2. A culinary tour of Hamburg

  1. ThingsHelenLoves

    I love that you spent some time in Eppendorf, that was one of my favourite places for a stroll in Hamburg. We visited a park there and read that the city had installed a pump in the pond so that the swans from the river have an ice-free place to swim in the winter. I thought that was so lovely!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Germany often gets a bad rap for food, I find. Which feels unfair, certainly judging by my experiences in the country. Hamburg certainly looks like it has a fine culinary landscape. A solid market scene and a very swanky lunch at Heimatjuwel. The fish looked particularly good.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The Isemarkt sounds like a great place to take a stroll – sampling cheese and to enjoy something to drink (and to see all those different mushrooms) … yes, that’s perfect to start one’s morning like this! And of course your ferry ride and harbour cruise – as previously mentioned, a great way to explore a city. But wow, your food … it looks really delicious! I love how your fish are filleted (they make it look so easy). And to end off the day with a few German beers – just great!
    Thanks Marion, I love your culinary tour!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Gorgeous! I’ve never been to Hamburg, but I hope to go someday! It’s interesting to see a lot more seafood here than in the rest of the country; I guess given that the city is by the water, there’s a lot more seafood to be consumed! Looking forward to more adventures from Hamburg on another extended weekend break from you. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. We have quite a lot of different mushrooms growing in the Latvian forest which are available for human consumption, but I have never seen such interesting ones anywhere like in your photo from the market in Hamburg, Marion. Thanks for sharing and have a good day 🙂 Aiva xx

    Liked by 1 person

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