Familie Jawanda vor ihrem Restaurant Haldi Spoon
At Haldi Spoon, the Jawandas like to sprinkle the dishes with turmeric by the spoonful. Photo: Sensorglück

Global flavours: international cuisine in Cologne

From taquerias to township vibes, Cologne will take you on a culinary journey around the world. Taste your way through the city - and the globe.

Spoonfuls of gold: Haldi Spoon Indian Street Food

Gastraum im Haldi Spoon
A vibrant mix in the decor and the menu. Photo: Sensorglück

As you take a seat in the Jawanda family’s “Indian living room”, it feels like you’ve popped over to the country of masalas and curries. There used to be a flour mill in this spot in Cologne’s Mülheim district but today it’s the “Indian gold” of turmeric (haldi) you’ll find sprinkled atop street-food classics such as palak, channa or butter – cooked by Mum. The more than 100 different combinations, with or without meat, come served with aromatic rice and naan. Customers love the naanizza – a fusion of pizza and naan, baked flat and served with a delicious topping and a sprinkling of cheese.

Dünnwalder Str. 49, 51063 Cologne, Tues to Sun 5pm to 9.30pm

South Africa is in Cologne: Shaka Zulu street-food restaurant

Eating out at Shaka Zulu is like taking a walk through the townships of South Africa, with their pulsating markets and brightly coloured sheds. All of the furniture is made from recycled materials. The street-food tapas – beef or veggie samosas, Brundi beans, banana fritters or Mozambique fish stew with tomato and coconut milk – come in large “for friends” bowls with rice or pap, a thick maize porridge. Exotic cocktails and typical South African spirits round off the food bar concept. If we’ve got you feeling hungry, why not try the “communal all-you-can-eat” menu where you can try all seven dishes plus two sides and a dessert?

Limburger Str. 29, 50672 Cologne, Mon to Thurs 5pm-10pm, Fri 5pm-11.30pm, Sat 5pm-midnight, Sun 5pm-9.30pm

Hand-rolled & to go: Tacos Los Carnales

Gastraum der Taqueria Los Carnales
Chairs as yellow as the corn in the tortillas: Taqueria Los Carnales Photo: Los Carnales

Huge fans of tortillas and other Mexican street-food specialities, brothers and cooking comrades Andrés and Adrian used to serve their tacos to go from a pink food truck before fulfilling their dream of their own taqueria. We recommend ordering the taquiza menu (available as a vegetarian option too) with a group of friends so you can try 16 tacos in one sitting while enjoying a cool Südstadt Pils beer and the view of the Rhine.

Taqueria Los Carnales, Agrippinawerft 30, 50678 Cologne, Weds–Sun from 5pm
Food Truck Los Carnales, Richard-Wagner-Str. 39 (next to Wohngemeinschaft), 50674 Cologne,

Thurs 5pm–10pm, Fri 5pm–11pm

Food for the soul: Down to Earth Noodles

Teigtaschen von Down to Earth Noodles
What filling might these dumplings be concealing? Photo: Florian Yeh

It’s always time for momos in Cologne’s Sülz neighbourhood. These small, steamed dumplings are part of Tibet’s welcoming culture – a “gesture” filled with tofu, pickled vegetables or meat, with which one welcomes friends. Guests dine at the beautifully grained, long wooden table in Leon and Teki’s compact dining area. The noodles and sha phaley (deep-fried yeast buns) are handmade too and there’s a house chili sauce to adjust the spiciness to your taste.

Berrenratherstr. 175, 50937 Cologne, Tues to Sun, 4pm-9pm

A caravan of flavours: Tigermilch Restaurant and Pisco Bar

Peruanische Küche im Tigermilch
Grab a seat and enjoy some Peruvian tapas with a pisco sour. Photo: Pascal Fassbender www.cropped.de

Peruvian cuisine is known for its delicate acidity and aromas. Situated between the South Pacific, Andes and Amazonas, Peru is the country that gave us pisco sour and ceviche. The latter is a wonderfully fresh-tasting fish dish that comes in dozens of versions and is cured in a lightly spiced lime marinade called leche de tigre. Tigermilch, which takes it name from the marinade, serves up a fusion of tastes and a mouth-watering assortment of re-interpreted traditional recipes. The menu of “Peruvian tapas”, intended for sampling and sharing, is like a caravan of flavours from across the globe, bringing the legacy of immigrants past and present to the table.

Brüsselerstr.12, 50674 Cologne, Tues to Thurs 6pm-11pm, Fri to Sat 6pm-1am, Sun 6pm-10pm

An ode to Naples: Caruso Pastabar

Pastabar Caruso
A home from home for lovers of pasta: Caruso Pastabar. Photo: Pastabar Caruso

Passionate hosts Anna and Marcello Caruso from Naples have teamed up with fellow Italian and chef, Emanuele Barbaro, to bring their special blend of sophistication to that pleasure-inducing food: pasta. They make their cappellacci, fettuccine and pappardelle fresh by hand every day, sometimes based on family recipes, sometimes freestyle but always using seasonal ingredients from here or Naples. At Caruso Pastabar in Cologne’s Agnesviertel district, the stage is set for a spectacular opera deliziosa.

Kasparstraße 19, 50670 Cologne, Mon to Sat 6pm-midnight, kitchen open 6pm-10pm

Franco-Asian sandwiches: 1980 Café and Banh Mi

Vietnam meets France at 1980 Café and Banh Mi between Neumarkt and Rudolfplatz. The menu features banh mi – French baguette with an aromatic Asian filling, a culinary relic from the colonial era. There’s a new set of creatively interpreted classics every week. The Vietnamese coffee comes steaming in glasses. With warm condensed milk or egg custard to sweeten it, it goes perfectly with a slice of chocolate cake or fruit tart. Tolix bistro chairs add an extra touch of style.

Bobstrasse 28, 50676 Cologne, Mon to Fri 12-10pm, kitchen open to 9.30pm, Sun and public holidays 12-7pm, kitchen open to 6.30pm

Prefer to chill high above the city rather than go on a culinary journey around the globe? We’ve got you covered.

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