Introduction to Frankfurt’s “Apfelweinkneipen”
Frankfurt has a large number of traditional apple wine taverns, so called “Apfelweinkneipen”.
The apple wine culture has been playing an important role in the city’s social life for hundreds of years.
In these taverns you sit on communal benches, eat hearty local food and drink sour and tart German apple wine.
Typically, there is only one apple wine – the house apple wine available, in some cases made on the premise.
What is “Apfelwein” ?
Apfelwein is the German word for cider, which is regionally known as “Ebbelwoi”. It is mainly produced and consumed in the state of Hesse in central Germany. Frankfurt is the capital of apple wine.
It is served in a specific Apfelwein jug called “Bembel”. It is like a beer pitcher and usually shared among a group of people.
The wine is made from pressed apples, fermented with yeast to produce an alcoholic drink with around 6% abv. Traditionally, it is not bubbly.
Today, over 60 large and small commercial apple-wineries exist in Hesse, producing 40 million liters annually.
While traditionalists would drink Apfelwein pure, many Germans like to mix it with various other beverages, especially outside of Frankfurt.
Some add sparking mineral water to get a “Sauergespritzte”, some others prefer to mix it with soda like 7 Up or Sprite to make a “Süßgespritzte”.
Top 3 “Apfelweinkneipen” in Frankfurt
Many of the best-known Apfelweinkneipen are concentrated in Sachsenhausen, but others are dotted all over the city.
1. Adolf Wagner
Phone: +49 69 612565
Website: apfelwein-wagner.com With an international crowd, it is an institution in the city. Established in 1931 and still owned by the same family.
2. Apfelwein Solzer
A popular place in the northern suburb with a great outdoor seating area.
3. Apfelwein Fichtekränzi
Phone: +49 69 612778
One of the oldest Apfelwein taverns in Frankfurt. More popular by locals than tourists.
The food that is served in Apfelweinkneipen is hearty, relatively cheap and comes in big portions.
Here are some dishes that you will find in every establishment.
100% smoked pork sausages. Typical accompaniments are mustard, bread, horseradish and potato salad.
Frankfurter Grüne Soße
A cold green sauce made of 7 different herbs. Usually served with meat dishes (like Schnitzel) or boiled eggs and potatoes.
Handkäs mit Musik
A cheese made of sour milk, prepared by marinating the ripe cheese in oil, vinegar, cumin seeds and onions. Served with bread.
Smoked pork chops that are braised in sauerkraut or meat broth and served with mashed potatoes and sauerkraut.
Camembert cheese mashed, then mixed with butter, egg and onion. Often further flavored with paprika and pepper, and served with farmers bread.
Ochsenbrust or Rinderbrust
Beef brisket served with either Grüne Soße or horseradish sauce, boiled potatoes and eggs.
Apfelweinkneipen also serve other traditional German dishes that are not only known in Frankfurt and Hesse. Schnitzel, pork knuckle, cold cuts platter and meat loafs can be found on most menus in addition to the regional dishes.