According to an old German proverb, ‘The way to the heart is through the stomach.’ If that’s true, you can confidently fall head over heels in love with our region, because it offers a veritable cornucopia of delicacies for those who love good food and drink.
Coffee is just one example: the first cafe opened its doors in Braunschweig’s Breite Straße back in 1714. The Heimbs coffee roaster was founded in 1880 and exports its coffee around the world today. A dedicated roasting process was developed in cooperation with the Braunschweig University of Technology in 1954 and continues to define the characteristic, full flavour of Heimbs coffee to this day – this is a tasty example of how important innovations can arise from cooperation between research and industry.
The art of brewing is deeply rooted in the region’s history as well and reaches back to the Middle Ages. Brunswick Mum (Braunschweiger Mumme), likely the region’s first export hit, is world famous: thanks to its special recipe, it had a long shelf life for the time and was shipped around the world in the early modern era – all the way to the Caribbean! And it’s still available in Braunschweig today. World-famous Duckstein beer comes from Helmstedt, Härke beer from Peine and Wittinger from Gifhorn. Wolters, Feldschlösschen and Schadt’s brew delicious ‘barley juice’ in Braunschweig – and thanks to Stebner, Mad Duke and others, Wolfenbüttel is home to new producers who are focusing not just on classic beer specialities, but also the craft beers that are so popular today. You can even take brewing courses in Königslutter or enjoy unique specialty beers served by beer sommelier Frank Wulke.
But those who prefer their tipple high-proof will feel at home in the region as well: Wolfenbüttel’s Jägermeister is of course world-renowned and can be found on the drink lists of prestigious barkeeps and mixologists. However, Borgmann also produces the finest herb liqueurs. Klosterbrennerei Wöltingerode, a distillery in a monastery, produces an exquisite gin, which was successfully introduced at the 2017 International Green Week in Berlin. And Esbecker’s strawberry and cherry wine, which is known and appreciated beyond the region, comes from Schöningen. Strong, fruity drinks can be found in Helmstedt – Weizenbrennerei & Likörmanufaktur Dieckmann produces grain spirits in three different strengths and an attractive selection of herb liqueurs and fruit brandies ranging from baked apple, to cherry, to cinnamon plum. And we can’t forget Brennerei Sülfelder in Wolfsburg, of course, which has been producing spirits since 1706 and offers more than 25 different liqueurs as well as grain spirits and fruit brandies today.
Tasty snacks and treats for meat lovers – or vegetarians…
Once you’ve got your beer and schnapps, you’re not far from potato crisps: Lorenz Snack-World, one of the leading manufacturers, has been producing salty snacks and sweet biscuits for every taste in Hankensbüttel since 1972. Snack lovers can save money in the factory outlet shop where bargain packs, factory seconds and special sizes are available at reduced prices.
Meat lovers also get their money’s worth in the region. Harzer Rote Höhenvieh cattle aren’t just one of the oldest breeds of livestock, their meat is valued by connoisseurs for its full-bodied flavour – and it’s available from the region’s organic farms and butcher shops. Lüddekes Hofladen, a farm shop in Peine, produces unique specialty meat products, including chocolate Mettwurst (a spreadable smoked meat product) and ground pork pralines. Heideschinken ham, smoked sausage and Mettwurst from the region around Gifhorn and Braunschweig are known and popular across Germany – especially Bregenwurst, a raw or lightly smoked ground pork sausage that is commonly served with kale. Volkswagen Currywurst, a sausage originally served in the company’s own cafeteria, comes from Wolfsburg and is now available from supermarkets and butchers as well. Speaking of which: the sauces from the Pepper-King factory in Ilsede are the perfect complement to sausage and grilled meat.
Vegetarians can enjoy an incomparable selection of farms in the region, where fresh foods, many of which are certified organic, can be purchased directly on site. A full selection of fruits and vegetables is available here, and you can also pick your own in some cases. Kale grown in the region is especially tasty, and so is the asparagus –the Südheide area is a veritable asparagus paradise in particular with numerous large and small asparagus farms. By the way, if you’re craving fresh milk, you can get it straight from the tap at Milchtankstelle Loose in Warberg, 24 hours a day. Just bring coins and your own container.
So far we’ve been talking about savoury fare, but the region’s specialties include sweets, cakes and baked goods as well: homemade ice cream from Eiscafé Bernauer in Peine, Bienenstich and Lebkuchen cakes from Braunschweig, Wolfsburg’s Baumkuchen made on a spit, Hallerkuchen from Schöningen and the legendary ‘Uhlen und Apen’ sweet cakes that have their origin in an amusing tale about Till Eulenspiegel are good examples of delicacies that go especially well with coffee and tea. Plus a square of chocolate from the Rausch factory in Peine – delicious!
Treat yourself to a meal out
For those who aren’t in the mood for cooking, the region has thousands of restaurants and cafes – from small, cosy coffee shops to star-studded restaurants. Thirty-two restaurants on the renowned Gerolsteiner list of the best restaurants are found in the region alone. And the Aqua Restaurant in Wolfsburg is one of only ten three-star restaurants in all of Germany. Aside from traditional and contemporary restaurants, the region also has a well-developed slow food scene, including for example Rodelhaus in Braunlage and Harzer Speisekammer in Clausthal-Zellerfeld. The region is at its most beautiful in spring and summer: more than 10,000 outdoor cafe and restaurant seats can be found in Braunschweig’s city centre alone during the warmer months. Restaurants near the water, such as Strandwolf in Wolfenbüttel and Cafe del Lago in Salzgitter, have a special ambiance.
One thing is for sure: the region is unbeatable when it comes to enjoying food and drink, and there’s something for everyone here!