Leipzig on a budget: 7 hidden culinary gems

Leipzig is an honest, down to earth and very ‘gemütlich’ city, but it’s also the largest city of Eastern Germany after Berlin. So it’s easy to get lost in the abundance of choices when it comes to discovering great places to eat. Here are 7 affordable hidden gems, spread around the city. Veggie approved!

If you’ve never been to Leipzig and you have no idea how to picture the city, think of it as Berlin when it comes to art, culture, green spaces and young newcomers, but without the queues, the awkward hypes and the ridicu­lously high cost of living. There are several districts and neighborhoods in Leipzig that offer great culinary treats. Some of the best finds are tucked away between industrial monuments in different corners of town. Like these!

1. La Chocolaterie: a slice of French heaven


Two French pastry artists, Isabelle and Alexandra are stealing the show with their chocolate treats at La Chocolaterie, in the northwest corner of central Leipzig. Think pralines, macaroons, fish-shaped chocolates, chocolate truffles, chocolate cakes, homemade marmalade, sorbets and so on. Tip: Soups, quiche and salads at noon!

www.la-chocolaterie.de – Waldstraße 12

2. Fleischerei: sweets in an art-deco interior


Just a 3 minute walk from La Chocolaterie you’ll find Fleischerei. Despite the name (Fleischerei means butcher’s shop in German) the only meat related thing you’ll see here is a cow staring down at you from the art-deco ceiling. This little romantic café serves good coffee and all kinds of homemade sweets: different cakes (carrot cakes, lemon tarts, cheese cakes), cookies and muffins. Tip: Veggie and vegan options included!

Fleischerei on Facebook – Jahnallee 23

3. La Locanda: lunch with a view


Fancy some Italian food with a German twist? La Locanda is the place to be for a nice mediterranean lunch. The Italian style pasta and oven-baked pizza’s are the house specialty but there are seasonal offers too, like mussels. Tip: Try to get a table outside: the terrace has a lovely view of the Friedenskirche.

www.la-locanda.com – Gohliser Straße 42

4. Kaffeeshop/Bar Italiano: espresso bellissimo


In the east of town there’s another Italian place, but here it’s all about espresso. The Bar Italiano is right on the Johannis Square and it’s not just about tasting, you can buy all kinds of Italian specialties here too. Even cheese! Tip: while you’re sipping your espresso, have a croissant filled with cream or try one of the paninis.

Bar Italiano on Facebook  – Johannisplatz 17

5. BesserEsser: healthy and new


Regional and seasonal, simple and smart. Those are the keywords for the BesserEsser cafe that opened in October 2014. BesserEsser (‘better eater’) is situated inside NaTo, the cultural centre slash cinema in the south of the city. Two young and passionate chefs (Felix Neuke & Thorsten Hammermüller) serve healthy meals : nine large and small dishes along with a few specials of the day. From vegetable soups to a bread plate, risotto, potato rösti and knödel.  Tip: soup of the day on Sundays!

www.nato-leipzig.de – Karl-Liebknecht-Straße 46

6. Vleischerei: Vegan/Veggie bistro & Späti


Vleischerei – not to be confused with Fleischerei – is what you’d call the veggie answer to döner shops. The Vegan/Vegetarian bistro is the place to be for meatless fast food. The bistro is open till late (hence the amusing name ‘späti’ – Spät means late in German), so perfect for affordable late night veggie snacks – a winning combination! Tip: have a ‘vöner’, a veggie döner.

www.vleischerei.de  – Zschochersche Straße 23

 7. BarCelona: late night tapas


Tapas in Leizpig? Sure, even after midnight! In the theatre district you’ll find BarCelona (get the wordplay?), a Spanish tapas bar. The menu is limited but varied enough,  from olive plates to pickled tomatoes, aioli dip and hummus. Perfect for a small bite after you went dancing at the superhip Täubchenthal or saw a show at LOFFT. Open till 1 am! Tip: the bar is located right in the heart of a busy pub and bar area, so if you don’t immediately find what you’re looking for, you won’t have come all the down here in vain.

Gottschedstraße 12

You’ll find all of the above and many more hotspots at Hidden Leipzig, a fun website that reveals all of the city’s secrets: www.verborgenes-leipzig.de (also in English). Opening hours, descriptions, pictures and locations, it’s all there!

A= 1, B= 2 etc. Click to enlarge

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