I know many people follow my travel blog because I write a lot of restaurant reviews. Bill and I really like trying new places and I enjoy writing about them, if only to stay out of trouble and keep busy. However, if I’m honest, sometimes the food in and around Stuttgart can seem a little… canned. I don’t mean that the food is literally canned. I mean sometimes it seems like there are only a few kinds of restaurants and they all serve the same things. A person can enjoy only so many schnitzels before it’s just not fun anymore.
Let’s be real. If you want German, Italian, or Greek food, you will have no problem finding it. You will also not have a problem getting your hands on doner kebab, pizza, burgers (of middling quality) or Chinese food, although the Chinese food here may not be like what you’re used to in the States.
What if you want something different?
Stuttgart and its environs actually do have a pretty good range of ethnic cuisine. It’s just that it seems like finding those different cuisines can seem challenging. Today’s post is yet another one of my ever popular aggregate write ups based on prior experiences. It’s not intended to be a list of all of the great ethnic restaurants in the area. Here are just a few to whet your appetite… and I’ll save the rest for the next time I’m inspired and/or bored.
As usual, these are not ranked in any particular order. Search the blog if you want to read more or see pictures. The first link in each description leads to the official Facebook page or Web site for each establishment.
Patrick’s Stop Jamaican Imbiss & Take Away– Jamaican food
Spicy Jamaican Jerk chicken served with rice and peas, fried plantains, and kraut. This is a treat if you’re a fan of zing in your food. Patrick’s has daily specials that change… everything from curried goat to ox tail! They also have a vegetarian selection.
Special thanks to my soon to be departing friend, Rick, who encouraged me to try Patrick’s Stop a couple of years ago. At that time, Patrick’s Stop was located in Böblingen. Patrick’s Stop has since moved to Hechinger Strasse 14 in Stuttgart. I have not been by since the move, but I did visit twice before the restaurant left Böblingen. I was left with a great impression of the food, which is not like anything else I’ve had in these parts. The owner is from Jamaica, so the food is very authentic. I particularly loved their version of fried chicken, while Bill liked their Jamaican Jerk chicken. Although the fried chicken is offered daily, other specialties aren’t. You should consult their Facebook page to see what’s being offered as well as when they will be open. I believe they’re on vacation right now until April 9th.
Grüner Baum– French food
We live just a few miles from Tailfingen, which is a little hamlet south of Herrenberg. There isn’t much to Tailfingen, except a really cool French inspired restaurant called Grüner Baum. I don’t think I have ever seen this place not busy. It’s a very popular restaurant, for good reason. The food is fresh, delicious, and delightfully different. They have crepes made with both sweet and savory fillings, as well as killer chocolate mousse. There’s also a nice outdoor area for when the weather is good which also has a sandbox for kids to play in. We’re long overdue for another visit to this restaurant, but because it can get crowded and parking can be scarce, it’s a good idea to call ahead first.
Above is the delicious Pozole Rojo, served with a tortilla chip and fresh guacamole. Below are the spicy enchiladas with green sauce! This was a hit with Bill, who considers himself a Texan. He had a big smile on his face after this meal.
I’ve heard it said that there is no decent Mexican food in Stuttgart. I will agree that it can be very difficult to satisfy your cravings for Tex Mex food in particular. However, if you’re willing to drive to Fellbach (or are lucky enough to live near there), you can get a pretty good Mexican fix at El Mero Mexicano. The owners of this restaurant are actually from Mexico, so they know what they’re doing. You won’t find any weird German style Mexican flavors here. Nope… they serve guacamole that doesn’t look like green slime and tastes of fresh avocados, lime juice, and garlic. I am not an expert on Mexican food, but this is the best I’ve had in these parts. I just wish we lived closer so we can enjoy it more often.
Shashlik– basically marinated, grilled pork and vegetables. This was delicious!
Khachapouri– pastry filled with mild cheese, hot from the oven. Next to it is a spinach dip made with walnuts and pomegranates.
This next entry is admittedly of a place I’ve just recently experienced for the first time. Bill and I went to Tshito-Gwrito last weekend on a tip that was shared in the Stuttgart food and wine lovers Facebook group. I used to live in the Republic of Armenia, which is just south of the Republic of Georgia, so the food served at this charming eatery was familiar to me. Let me just say, it was such a treat to enjoy something so different last weekend. The food at Tshito-Gwrito is very fresh, beautifully presented, and tastes amazing. We didn’t have a single thing we didn’t love. Best of all, it was not like any other meal we’ve had in Stuttgart. If you love wine, I especially encourage you to visit. Georgian wine is fantastic, but it’s not always easy to find around these parts. You can try a glass or a bottle at Tshito-Gwrito. This restaurant is located in downtown Stuttgart, but isn’t too convenient to public transportation.
This beautiful shrimp salad was being offered as a special on the day we visited. Bill went with a more traditionally Russian choice of stuffed peppers.
We found Samowar last summer, again on a tip from Stuttgart food and wine lovers. This little Russian gem is located in Weil der Stadt and serves up delicious Russian treats. They have Russian beers, Georgian wine, Armenian brandy, and very cute Russian decor. I was so impressed by the love and care that went into everything that came out of the kitchen. Once again… we’re due for another visit.
Doro Wat– basically chicken stew. This was served with injeera bread, which is kind of a soft, moist, sour bread used for picking up and eating East African food. Bill enjoyed ostrich when we visited, which he declared excellent. Afterwards, we had Ethiopian coffee.
On the outskirts of Tübingen, there’s an excellent Ethiopian restaurant called Afrika Bar, which offers authentic food. The Stuttgart area actually does boast a few good African restaurants. We also like Jambo in Ludwigsburg, but it’s a little bit easier for us to get to Afrika Bar in Tübingen because it’s closer to us. Also, when we visited Afrika Bar, we noticed that everything on the menu was available, which isn’t always the case at Jambo. If you are a coffee drinker and have time, I highly recommend trying the Ethiopian style coffee. It’s a real treat on many levels!
Alright then… this list of six should be a good start for newcomers to the Stuttgart area. I will probably be writing a sequel, since I’ve already found a couple of other places I’m ready to try. Someday, I will make it to an Indian restaurant in these parts, just so I can branch out a bit. I’ve also recently discovered another Russian restaurant I want to try, plus there are a few places that could have made this list and were left off because of space considerations. In any case, I hope this post is helpful for anyone who’s a little sick of the usual spread. You may have to travel a bit to get to these places, but I can speak from personal experience that none on this list have ever disappointed us so far.