All human big festivities across cultures and religions have a common denominator, and most times the true protagonist of the party: food. And this is because gathering to eat together is, without a doubt, the most ancient of traditions. KLU is proud of having a very international community, which means we get to know and eat more international food! This of course creates some real experts in the field of “stuffing your mouth with deliciousness”. Inspired by KLU colleagues and students and based on their recommendations, we gather in this article a nice list of international foods that you cannot miss to try out in Hamburg. As our colleague and foodie expert Nicole would say “since we have to eat to survive, we may as well enjoy the ride”.
The real Dim Sum experience – Chinese
When a restaurant of any foreign cuisine is packed with people from the region, you know it’s going to be the real deal. This is the case of Herr He, a restaurant close to the Central Station where you can find some of the best dim sum, with the true dim sum experience. You’ll hear the people talking in mandarin and sharing dim sum brought in bamboo baskets. Some of them are so cute!
Korean BBQ before the party – Korean
When going around St. Pauli getting some Korean food may be the last thing that comes to mind, but actually, this can be a great starting point for your party night later on around the Reeperbahn. Han-Mi hosts an amazing Korean BBQ that is a must for meat lovers. The experience is wonderful, you cook the meat on a small stovetop at the table, and they serve you plenty of side dishes to complete your meal. If your vibe with Korean food is more Korean fried chicken, we can recommend going to Kimchi Guys, but be ready to wait. It takes a while.
Slow-cooked tastes much better – Japanese
Patience is definitely one of the traits of Japanese cooks since top ramen takes hours to be cooked. This is exactly what MOMO offers. This restaurant in the Schanze area proudly shows on its menu the “Tonkotsu”, a traditional pork ramen, cooked for 48 hours. Their lunch menu is also pretty affordable and they have vegan options, as yummy as the pork one. Oh! And let’s not forget their matcha dessert!
Top cuisine on a humble plate – Indian
No one needs a fancy presentation when the food is just sooo good! This is what happens in Badshah Restaurant, one of the favorite places among our Indian students. Affordable, perfect location (near Central Station), and absolutely delicious. Do not expect fanciness though. The place is small and will serve your food in an aluminum tray. But oh, mama, your belly’s review won’t disappoint. We recommend you get the “chicken curry thali”. If you want something more fancy and trendy, Authentikka is the hype and has also very good food (make a reservation!). Other options are Goa, really close to KLU and with a great and affordable lunch menu; and Mahadosa, the best place for South Indian food, swears our alumnus Veekshith.
Eating like a Persian king – Persian
The Persian community is big in Hamburg and with them comes their stunning specialties. I’m yet to ever achieve the perfect rice that they serve with their food. For this type of cuisine, you are to plan a visit to Qasr. Its elegant decoration and the flavorful dishes will make you repeat for sure. If you are more of a “grill” person, the Kebap Kubedeh (lamb skewers) is for you. We also can recommend their stews, for example, the Gheymeh Bademjan. Their dishes come always with a small side of herbs, which are meant for you to chew on to clear your mouth once you are done with your food. Although, honestly, they are a great extra garnishment too. Since they follow muslin tradition, don’t expect much alcohol there, but you can try their Dough, a traditional yogurt-based drink.
Warming up body and soul – Italian
On the other side of the spectrum when it comes to spicing up the drink menu we have Luigi’s, one favorite of many students in the city, not only KLU ones! This Italian restaurant located in the Portuguese neighborhood has won the heart of Hamburg’s youth thanks to its festive atmosphere. It’s loud, fun, full of colors, the food is great, the waiters are your pals… What else can you ask for? They are well known for two fun facts: serving pizzas shaped like a heart and inviting you to some shots at the end of the dinner. They will even leave the bottle of liquor on the table so you can refill a couple more shots.
The good crepe – French
If instead of party mood what you want is to impress a date, Ti-Breizh Haus der Bretagne is a great option. They bring the best of Breton cuisine to Hamburg. At Ti-Breizh you can experience real crepes (and not those typical from food trucks and fairs), and also galettes, a dish typical from Bretagne similar to a crepe but made with a different type of wheat, and equally as delicious. The restaurant is also located in the Deichstrasse, a really cute street in a really cute area, perfect for a romantic walk afterward (or a solitary one, enjoying the little pleasures of life).
The African vibe – Ghanaian
When it comes to African food, Jollof (traditional rice dish) and plantain are basics to have tried, made the traditional way. In this sense, the quality of Ghana Aba Abrokyire is outstanding. They have a couple of locations in the city, but we actually would suggest you to ask for a delivery, which tends to be better. The only gamble is that depending on how busy they are the food can take a while, but if your patience can resist it, your mouth will be rewarded.
Love for ceviche – Peruvian
If you want to practice your Spanish and learn a couple of new terms, we suggest you ask at Ollita peruana for their Spanish menu. On the menu, you will find small explanations of ingredients that are basic for Peruvian cuisine, such as ají, cancha, or choclo. And since you are there, it couldn’t hurt to get some of the best ceviche in Hamburg, right? We recommend the classic one. For those who are not so much into fish, there’s also delicious meat. Try the “lomo saltado” and thank us later.
“Como en casa” (Just like at home) – Mexican
We close this tour of international flavors with the last stop. This one can make hot the coldest night of Hamburg’s winter. If you want to experience the real taste of Mexico, swing by La Casita and order a quesadilla. Well, order anything, because it is all delicious! Of course, you’ll be able to add chili to it and set your mouth on fire. We’re sure that, besides the spicy, the tears will be of joy.
Bonus tip: dessert, a whole tour of cakes
Although the dessert menu would give us a good dozen of articles (so many mouth-watering sweet spots in Hamburg!), we cannot leave you without a good tip to find your guilty pleasure. For this, one of our KLU family members has done all the research for you, both in Hamburg and around, and has put together this fabulous Instagram account: Hofcafe tour mit Karen. The captions are in German but, let’s be honest, who reads the text when you have such cakes in front of your eyes? Guten appetit!