Best Restaurants in Rothenburg:
Rothenburg may be a small village, but it is packed with many excellent places to eat. Among the best restaurants in Rothenburg you’ll find a unique mix of timeless Medieval cellars, traditional inns, classic taverns, and refined eateries offering an enjoyable range of cuisine. We love that almost all of the restaurants in Rothenburg are locally owned an operated which adds to the mom-n-pop feel of any dining experience. You feel the prideful passion put into the food as the restaurant work to satisfy your appetite and fill your belly with the warm feeling of “Gemütlichkeit” (German coziness).
Fine tuned over the centuries, Rothenburg’s food scene has a range of local delicacies mixed in with traditional Franconian, Bavarian, and even Swabian meals. There are also specialty Italian and Japanese restaurants in town, but you won’t find any chains like McDonald’s or Starbucks in this authentic village. We cover many of the must try foods and local flare in our guide below and hope you enjoy visiting the best restaurants in Rothenburg.
Related Article: Top 10 Hotels In Rothenburg
Food & Dining Tips For Rothenburg:
1. Must Try Local Food Items:
About The Local Food: With a mix of Franconian, Bavarian, and Swabian cuisine, Rothenburg has a lot of excellent dining options you need to try while you’re here. Unlike other touristy places in Europe, you won’t find global chains in the heart of the village as it’s filled with eateries run by local residents. Many of the restaurant owners live in the attached inn guesthouses and it feels like you are being invited into their homes to eat.
The pride of ownership comes out in the food as well as Rothenburg has a lot of local signature foods you should try. Out of all the main dishes in Rothenburg, we highly recommend trying Schwenkbraten (pork medallions) and spätzle (dumpling noodles) smothered in delicious mushroom gravy.
Four other classic meal options include Sauerbraten (tender braised beef slices) in a rich sauce served with Blaukraut (red cabbage) and Knödle (potato dumpling); Schweinsbraten (Pork Roast) with potato salad; thin Fränkische Bratwurst (since 1573) with sauerkraut; and Wienerschnitzel (flatten, bread, & fried veal) with french fries, but it can also be pork (Schweineschnitzel). There are also numerous wild game dishes with our favorite among them is the local goulash soup and any meal deserves Apfelstrudel (apple strudel) with ice cream.
The Schneeball pastry (snowball in English) is the most iconic food item in Rothenburg and dates back to the 1700s. Either glazed or covered in powdered sugar, these baseball-sized round treats can be found and numerous confectionery shops that litter Rothenburg. Although most variations of the Schneeball taste like a dry cookie, they are a great novelty item to try.
There are over a dozen shops selling Schneeballs in Rothenburg, but we prefer Walter Friedel Bakery (Marktplatz #8, website) which has tons of options and has been in business since 1882. You can also get delicious sausages at the local butcher shop (Obere Schmiedgasse #18) to make your own late-night snack to pair with local Franconian wine and cheese (Käse).
Seasonally you can get the famous White Asparagus in Rothenburg from mid-April through to June 24th which is the Nativity of John the Baptist (Johannistag). Later in the year, Franconian Carp are in season from September to April allowing you to find more fresh fish options than during the rest of the year. Many of the other seasonal items can be found at Rothenburg’s numerous festivals, including the historic Christmas Market (more info). We cover the Christmas Market foods in our festival guide, but the most famous outside of the sweets and gluhwein are the 18-inch-long (half-meter) hot dog in a bun known as a Franconian Fire Sausage (Fränkische Feuerwurst).
2. Late Night Food Options:
About The Late Night Food Options: While it is common to have a later dinner in Rothenburg, the kitchens in almost all of the restaurants will close between 10-11pm as the town drifts into drowsy slumber. If you push it too tight to closing time then your only dinning option may be take out at Tobingo Döner Kabobs just off the main square (Hafengasse 2, until 10pm), Cafe Michelangelo (Rödergasse #36, until 11:30pm) or at Eiscafé Pizzeria (Herrngasse 8, until 11:45pm).
Once the restaurants close for the evening there will be almost no options to get food as you won’t find any vending machines in this pristine village. The only real option for a late night snack in Rothenburg will be the Esso Gas Station which is a 10 minute walk outside of town. Because of this limitation, night owls may want to stock up on snacks, fruit, and drinks at the tiny market in the heart of Rothenburg near Marcus Tower (Rödergasse 6) during the day. Your late night and evening options will be even more limited on Mondays or in January when a few of the restaurants seasonal close for the month.
Best Resturants In Rothenburg:
1. To Hell Tavern (Zur Höll):
About Zur Höll Tavern: To Hell Tavern (Zur Höll) is our favorite restaurant in town and is located inside the oldest home in Rothenburg with a foundation dating back to the 900s AS. Known for its cozy atmosphere along with an excellent menu of Bavarian and Franconian dishes, To Hell Tavern is one of the best places to experience Medieval Rothenburg.
The name ‘Zur Höll’ comes from the Middle Ages when nearby buildings were part of the Saint John’s Monastery (established in 1200). Since the monks wanted to be separated from the general public to avoid temptation, a large part of the lane was covered with a wooden roof and was closed to non-monks. The roof made the alley very dark, so it gained the nickname Hell Alley which carried over to the restaurant in modern times.
The old-world interior is best highlighted by the Medieval cellar dining area hidden in the back of the restaurant. This cave-like cellar is not only romantic, but also has historic details incorporated in it. The best element is the 8-foot-long kiln blower which now serves as the table, since the cellar was once used as a blacksmith forge in late-Medieval times.
We highly suggest getting reservations in advance if you plan on eating dinner at the To Hell Tavern as it is very popular and has limited seating. Although only open for dinner in the Winter months, during the rest of the year this restaurant can be an excellent place to have lunch while following our Rothenburg City Wall Walking Tour (more info).
Zur Höll Hours: Summer Sunday-Thursday 10am-9pm; Friday & Saturday 10am-11pm. Christmas Market Daily 5pm-10pm. Winter Monday-Saturday 5pm-10pm; closed Sundays. Restaurant Reservation Requests: email@example.com. Restaurant Website: (HERE).
Related Video: Tour Of Zur Höll Restaurant
2. Imperial Kitchen Master Hotel (Reichsküchenmeister):
About The Imperial Kitchen Master: The centrally located Imperial Kitchen Master is a place we always try to dine at during a visit to Rothenburg as the food is soooo good. Most of the food is local Franconian delicacies and we really appreciate their attention to detail with each dish. The restaurant is located inside a historic Medieval mansion with a couple different dining areas including their main hall, a vintage tavern room, and a sprawling outdoor patio. In addition to the patio, unique elements include their romantic private dining areas and the rustic Wine Bar (Weinstube Löchle) which is open late for night caps.
Regardless of the season, the patio is the main thing that draws us back to the Imperial Kitchen Master time after time. True beer gardens are difficult to find in Rothenburg, but this one has excellent views of Saint James Church and is shaded by stunning trees. The patio serves as the perfect place to rest your feet in the heart of town and its a bonus that it also happens to be one of the best restaurants in Rothenburg. During the Rothenburg Christmas Market (more info), the patio becomes extra magical as it is turned into an outdoor glühwein garden served warm mulled wine.
The Imperial Kitchen Master Hotel & Restaurant sit inside a historic noble home which was built by the Brodsorg family in the 1100s. Later the home was converted into an Inn where the future Emperor Ferdinand I stayed while visiting in 1540 followed by a stay by Emperor Charles V in 1546. The Inn operated as Café Köppel in the 1800s, was one of the few buildings inside the original city walls to be damaged by WW2 bombings in 1945, and has served as restaurant & hotel since 1948. We have found the hotel rooms to be much larger than typical hotels in Europe and we especially love the calming Relaxation Spa in the cellar.
Featured On: Old Town Rothenburg Walking Tour.
3. Old Franconian Wine Bar (Altfraenkische Weinstube):
About The Old Wine Bar: With a facade covered in vines, The Old Wine Bar sits inside a home from the 1300s and is the maybe the coziest restaurant interior in Rothenburg. With exposed half-timber beams the charming ambiance will let you known you’ve come to the right place as it feels like a true Medieval tavern. We especially love the candle lit tables and open wood fireplace which heighten the mood.
The old-world atmosphere sets the tone, but the tasty food brings the experience full circle. The Old Wine Bar has great drinks and specializes in local dishes like the house favorite called Schweinelendchen mit Preiselbeeren und Salat (pork tenderloins with cranberries and a salad). Their mushrooms and potato soup are quite delicious as well.
It is common for visitors to challenge locals at the Stammtisch (Regular’s table) to games of chess and on Wednesday evenings Rothenburg’s English Conversation Club welcomes guests to help them practice their language skills. Over the years, many locals have told us that The Old Wine Bar is their favorite place in town and it is definitely one of the best restaurants in Rothenburg.
The Old Wine Bar is very popular with both locals and tourist so you will want to get a reservation ahead of time if possible as seating is limited. We have also had some luck popping in during the day or right when they open for dinner and still getting a table. This historic home also offers six overnight guest rooms which are among the best value stays in Rothenburg. Although the restaurant is only open to the public for dinner, overnight guests are also able to get breakfast here.
Restaurant Address: Klosterhof #7. Restaurant Website: 6pm-10:30pm. Reservations: firstname.lastname@example.org. Restaurant Website: (Here).
4. Hotel Eisenhut:
About The Hotel Eisenhut: Best known as one of the top places to stay in town (more info), Hotel Eisenhut is also one of the best restaurants in Rothenburg. The food Eisenhut has the perfect balance between value for your money and excellent quality. Just like the hotel which is spread across 4 neighboring Medieval mansions, Eisenhut’s restaurant is also spread across a unique set of rooms. They has a delightful piano bar area that is perfect for drinking coffee with a piece of cake, a greenhouse-like sun room, a large multi-level outdoor beer garden, and a historic inner courtyard where you can get the best breakfast in Rothenburg.
The breakfast has dozens of hearty options laid out in a buffet style inside the exposed timber inner courtyard that adds to the atmosphere. From scrambled eggs, waffles, french toast, and bacon, you’ll find tons of “Western” breakfast options that can sometimes be hard to find in Germany. Eisenhut’s breakfast also has a wide range of cold cut meats (including salomon), fruit, breads, cereal, and yogurt to go along with juices, mimosas, and rich tableside coffee.
Located on Herrngasse, Rothenburg’s most prestigious lane, you’ll feel the old-world elegance at Eisenhut. This lane was home to the wealthiest Patrician families including the Winterbach’s who have produced numerous Rothenburg mayors have lived at Herrngasse #3 since 1759. In 1890, the family (Georg Eisenhut) opened a wine tavern in the home which grew into an interconnected multi-mansion hotel. Today you will find a large Eisenhut (pronounced eye-zin-hoot) or Iron Hat marking the entrance to this wonderful hotel & restaurant.
Other great breakfast options include the Blue Terrace at the The Golden Stag Hotel (website), the luscious garden at the Herrnschlösschen Hotel (website), or the nostalgic Café Einzigartig (website). Like with Eisenhut, you will want a breakfast reservation by phone or email at any of these restaurants. If you are simply looking for a great place to have a morning coffee then we would suggest the library-like lobby of the The Gothic House Hotel (website) which is only steps away from Hotel Eisenhut.
Restaurant Address: Herrngasse 3-5/7. Dining Hours: Breakfast 6:30-10:30am; Lunch Noon-2:30pm; Snacks & Coffee 2:30-5pm; Dinner 6:30-9:30pm; Late Night Snacks 9:30-11pm. Reservation Requests: email@example.com or +49 9861 7050. Website: (Here).
Featured On: Best Hotels In Rothenburg
5. The Bell Hotel & Winery (Glocke Weingut):
About The Bell Restaurant: Sitting along Rothenburg’s romantic Plönlein Corner, the Bell (Glocke) Hotel & Restaurant is the best place in town to grab a tasty glass of Franconian wine. The brightly colored blue property is owned by the Thürauf family who also runs Rothenburg’s wine vineyard. In addition to the winery and current hotel, the family has been in the hospitality industry in Rothenburg since 1898. The wrought iron bell (glocke) sign hanging from the hotel is because this property was formerly part of the Hospital of Saint John the Baptist in as early as 1122.
We love staying at the Bell Hotel because of its location on Plönlein Corner, but even if you aren’t a guest, you can join in on wine tastings and tours of the vineyard. If you aren’t able to fit in a vineyard tour after visiting the Glocke Restaurant, you can still see it from above at the alleyway next to Saint John’s Church on your walk back to central Rothenburg. There is even a footpath that runs along the outside of the city wall by the vineyard that connects to the large Castle Garden park.
Restaurant Hours: Monday-Saturday 11am-9pm; Sunday 11am-2pm. Address: Plönlein 1. Vineyard Tour Inquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org. Website: (Here).
6. Vito Restaurant:
About Vito Restaurant: You’ll find really well prepared dishes at Vito Restaurant that goes well beyond basic pizza and pasta. This is the place to go for the best Italian food in town and it has become a favorite eatery among tourists and locals alike. The wonderful dishes at Vito Restaurant are also a great way to take a break from heavy German food. You may even be surprised to find their wide range of desserts and fun mixed drinks.
The atmosphere at Vito Restaurant is always very inviting and they even have live music some evenings. You will likely need a reservation in the evening, but we love that this restaurant is open late with the kitchen until 10pm and the bar until Midnight or later. Another popular Italian place in town is Cafe Michelangelo which is detailed later in this best restaurants in Rothenburg guide, but it is a little more touristy.
Restaurant Address: Georgengasse #2. Restaurant Hours: Tuesday-Thursday 5-10pm (bar until Midnight); Friday & Saturday 5-10pm (bar until 1am); Closed Sundays & Mondays. Reservation Requests: (Here). Restaurant Website: (Here).
About The Monastery Dining Room: Wedged between the Castle Garden and the Franciscan Church, the Kloster Stüble was built as a large farmhouse in 1534. Although more stately than your average farmhouse, it continued to operate as such until it was converted into an inn during the 1900s. Over the decades, the Monastery Dining Room has been not only one of the best restaurants in Rothenburg, but is also one of the best hotels. The hotel side of the Kloster Stüble is unique for Rothenburg as it has a wide mix of small affordable single person rooms up to large family suites.
Price: 50-200€ a night. Hotel Address: Herrngasse 21. Hotel Website: (Here).
8. Japan Restaurant LOUVRE:
About The Japan Restaurant LOUVRE: To say that Rothenburg is popular with Japanese tourists would be an understatement and because of that the village now has a very authentic Japanese restaurant. Many visitors often say that the LOUVRE has the best Japanese food and sushi they have ever had. Having been to Japan ourselves a number of times, we have to admit that the sushi and Asian fusion options at the LOUVRE are actually very good. Most cities that are 10 times the size of Rothenburg aren’t lucky enough to have sushi options that are anything close to as good as this restaurant.
The only hestiation we have is that if you happen to be from Japan and are only in Rothenburg for a day, then you should try to get outside the box and sample some local foods as well. That being said, however, for anyone touring Germany that is already on their tenth serving of Schnitzel, the fresh flavors at the LOUVRE are a welcome wakeup call for your tastebuds.
Restaurant Address: Klingengasse #15. Restaurant Hours: Wednesday-Sunday 11:30am-2pm & 6-9pm; Closed most Mondays & Tuesdays. Restaurant Facebook Page: (Here).
9. Council Room (Ratsstube):
About The Ratsstube: Located in the middle of Rothenburg’s main square, the Ratsstube Restaurant is often swamped with tour bus groups between 11:30am-1pm, but during the slower times of the day it is a great place to eat. You can feel the stateliness as you enter the Ratsstube which hosted the King of Denmark Christian I as a guest in in 1474. The food isn’t very memorable, but the Medieval atmosphere makes up for it.
The Ratsstube’s main hall is a Gothic-style vaulted ceiling room complete with a mini-version of Market Square’s animated Drink Master clock. Near the clock a set of steps leads down to a hidden stone cellar dining room that most tourists don’t even know about. This timeless room decorated with vintage murals and knights armor that adds to the ambiance. While the Medieval cellar inside To Hell Tavern (Zur Höll) only holds around 8 guests, the cellar at Ratsstube has many tables and can seat up to 90 people in addition to the 150 people upstairs.
The same owners also own the Eiscafé Pizzeria (Herrngasse 8, website) which is a great budget option that is open until 11:45pm at night. The food at their second restaurant is okay, but if you want a bit higher quality Italian food near the Ratsstube then definitely visit Vitos which is also on our top ten best restaurants in Rothenburg list.
Restaurant Address: Marktplatz #6. Restaurant Hours: Daily 9am-10pm; closed in January. Restaurant Website: (Here).
10. The Master Builder’s House (Baumeisterhaus):
About The Master Builder’s House: Inside the most beautiful home in Rothenburg which was completed in 1596 by the local master builder and famous stonemason Leonard Weidmann. His former lavish mansion is now a restaurant 180 seats with split between the main hunting-themed hall and half in the old patrician inner courtyard. The food is hearty but overall is decent, but the main reason you will want to dine at The Master Builder’s House is for the lovely architecture of the historic building itself. It is easy to spot this wonderful mansion thanks to its splendid facade covered in statues of the seven virtues and the seven vices.
The 3-story-tall inner courtyard with exposed half-timber beams is one of the most impressive spaces in all of Rothenburg. The restaurant is definatley worth stop at least for a quick coffee and dessert to see the interior even if you want to eat your full meal elsewhere. In Medieval times, most noble mansions were laid out around a vast central courtyard and it is a real treat to be able to see one so well-preserved and prestigious. We especially love the vintage murals ringing the lower level of the courtyard inside The Master Builder’s House. The mural show master stone cutters at work along with romantic depictions of noble life and family crests.
Restaurant Address: Obere Schmiedgasse #3. Restaurant Hours: Daily 10am-9pm. Restaurant Website: (Here).
Featured On: Free Rothenburg Walking Tour
Honorable Mention Hotels:
About Villa Mittermeier: Run by the Mittermerer family, modern concept kitchen is a breath of fresh air for such a small village. The menu is very creative and you’ll feel more like you are casual dining in New York or Paris than in Rothenburg. The culinary exprience at Villa Mittermerer consistents of your choice between 3, 5, or 7 menu items at a set rate and is very enjoyable. The pricing may be a bit higher than other restaurants in Rothenburg, but it is unique, delicous, and free of the tourist hoards you may find in the center of town.
The owners also run a connected hotel and a neighboring mansion with botique vacation apartment rents called Alter Ego. You can find these aparments on our list of the top hotels in Rothenburg (HERE) and they are equally as well polished as the family’s restaurant is.
Restaurant Address: Vorm Würzburger Tor #7. Restaurant Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 6-10:30pm; Closed Sunday & Monday. Restaurant Website: (Here).
12. Cafe Unique (Einzigartig):
About Cafe Unique: As you enter the Cafe Unique (Einzigartig) the name totally makes sense as the shabby chic vibe is definitely unique for Rothenburg. The entire place with fill with vintage artwork, flea market furniture, and the food is quite amazing.
This funky cafe is our second favorite place in Rothenburg to get breakfast and if you are staying in town two nights we’d eat at Eisenhut one morning and here the next. Like Eisenhut, you will want to make a reservation for breakfast as even locals come here in the morning. The sense of nostalgia you’ll get along with a fully belly at Cafe Unique makes it one of the best restaurants in Rothenburg.
Other places we like to get coffee in Rothenburg include library-like lobby of the The Gothic House Hotel (Herrngasse 13) and the BrotHaus Café im Schlachthof (Schlachthofstraße 37) near the train station although they also have a smaller location in the heart of town (Hafengasse 24).
Cafe Address: Galgengasse #33. Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 9am-8pm; Sunday 10am-8pm;Closed Mondays. Website: (Here).
About The Landwehr-Bräu am Turm: With a prime location, the Landwehr-Bräu am Turm is better known for its beer than its food. It is also a restaurant that caters a little more toward locals than tourists since it is only open for dinner after many of the tour buses are long gone. We found the food to be a little fast food-like and the service to be a little subpar, but the beer was indeed very tasty.
Restaurant Address: Spitalgasse #1. Restaurant Hours: Tuesday-Friday 5-11pm; Saturday & Sunday 3-11pm; Closed Mondays. Restaurant Website: (Here).
About Restauarnt Michelangelo: Located near the iconic Röder Gate, Cafe Michelangelo is the most popular restaurant in Rothenburg with the TripAdvisor crowd. The restaurant offers a wide range of tasty Italian classics and is well known for its handmade pasta. While we happen to like the vibe and food at Vito Restaurant a little more, but Cafe Michelangelo is still a great place to eat it is open late at night.
Restaurant Address: Rödergasse #36. Restaurant Hours: Daily 11am-11:30pm. Restaurant Website: (Here).
About The Drink Master Restaurant: Located on the main street in called Herrngasse, the Drink Master Restaurant (Meistertrunk) sits inside the renown Castle Garden Palace Hotel (Burg Gartenpalais). The Castle Garden Palace was original built as a mansion for the wealthy patrician family Bezold in the Middle Ages and has retrained most of its old-world charm.
We especially love the Rose Garden inside the inner courtyard with feels like a private luscious retreat. Weather it is for a full meal or simply a coffee or beer, the Rose Garden is a great place to relax. The main restaurant at the hotel is also pretty good and they specialize in local Franconian and neighborly Swabian cuisine.
Restauarnt Address: Herrngasse #26. Hours: Daily 11am-9pm. Website: (Here).
16. Old Cellar Restaurant (Alter Keller):
About The Old Cellar: The Old Cellar is a great family-run guest house which is widely considered the best place in Rothenburg to get a steak. There is some outdoor seating, but we prefer the half-timber interior which makes you feel like you are stepping back in time. You should note that dining hours are limited and steaks are served only during dinner.
Restaurant Address: Alter Keller #8. Restaurant Hours: Wednesday to Sunday from 11:30am-2pm & 5:30-9pm; Closed Monday & Tuesday. Restaurant Website: (Here).