Below is a list of my (and my friends’) favorite restaurants in Heidelberg and a brief (emphasis on brief) description of them.
Vetter’s : An old brewery, famous for once having the world’s strongest beer (Vetter’s 33). Vetter’s is a great, though not cheap, restaurant in Heidelberg for traditional German cuisine. I ate here a couple of times and throughly enjoyed the food.
Hans im Glück : An inexpensive burger chain. The Heidelberg location has amazing burgers, definitely the best I had during my time in Europe. My vegetarian friend from England absolutely loved the veggie burgers and brought everyone who visited her to it (they all loved it too).
Schnitzelbank : Traditional food. I have never eaten here but it was recommended to me by a Russian girl I was friends with who ate here several times. It’s also pretty highly rated and popular (and relatively inexpensive).
Soban : An authentic Korean restaurant by the castle. I ate here at the end of my stay when a Korean girl I was friends with brought me and I wish I had eaten there so much sooner. Everyone I knew who had eaten there recommended it to me, but I was nervous to try it, since I had never tried Korean food before. The food I had there was some of the best I’ve ever had and I’ve been craving it since.
Gundel : A bakery right in Uniplatz serving traditional German pastries, bread, sandwiches and coffee. I loved the pastries here and in any of my classes nearby you’d see students carrying a pastries bag or cup of coffee from here in their hands.
Yufkas Kebap : Not really a restaurant in the traditional sense. Yufkas served the best döner (shaved meat served as a sandwich or with fries mostly). I loved it so much that after pretty much any night out you’d find me here buying a döner box or on any sunday when I’d run out of food.
*** There are a few cultural differences to be found in restaurants in Germany compared to the US. First, most of the time you’ll just go and sit wherever you want in a restaurant (as long as that table isn’t reserved) without waiting to be seated. Second, you’ll often have to flag the waiter/waitress down to ask for the check or for another drink etc. They don’t really keep checking in on you like waiters and waitresses in the US do. Third, if there are empty spaces at the end of a bench or table at a restaurant people will often to ask to sit with you at the table, especially if you are sitting outside. Also you don’t have to tip the obligated 20% in Germany, often people just round up to the nearest euro, anything more is less of an obligation and more of a personal choice.
Below are photos of a Vetter’s 33 (the famous beer) and a Döner box (looks kind of gross here but honestly so delicious).