My Best Dining Experiences in Strasbourg, France

A recent email from a couple I met in Strasbourg, France last year reminded me of one of my most unforgettable trips to date. Whilst I have already written about my awesome trip to the magical city of Strasbourg and the fairytale village of Colmar, I have yet to write about the restaurants that I visited in Strasbourg. 

Strasbourg (the capital of Alsace) is located at the border of Germany, therefore their cuisine is a combination of French and German. I have been to France a few times but I never had food like the food I had in Strasbourg. Alsatian cuisine is unique, hearty and generous. During our stay, I was eating out during daytime on my own, then J would join me for an early dinner after his conference. I stuffed myself with meat, bread and potatoes, with the occasional treat to our favourite ice cream place close to our hotel. I would definitely consider Strasbourg as one of the places that I would go back to for food, alongside New Zealand and Italy

1.  Le Clou - 3 Rue du Chaudron 
-  Apparently, anyone who travels to Alsace must eat at a "Winstub".  Basically, a Winstub is a traditional pub serving authentic Alsatian cuisine. It was the first thing that we did on our arrival to Strasbourg. We didn't have any restaurant in mind, so we wandered around Grand Ile and came across Le Clou, which is located in a rather romantic narrow alley. The restaurant just opened at that time so we had the pleasure to be seated where we wanted to seat. Le Clou gave us the standard of restaurant service in Strasbourg. The staff was very nice and obliging.

As I don't always have escargot when I go to France, I made sure that I had it in Strasbourg. It was not that cheap at €13.50 for six pieces, but it was delicious. Then for my mains, I opted for the very soft and satisfying traditional knuckle of ham wadele (€19.90). J on the other hand, had the onion soup (€8.70) and the authentic Brotwurst with Sauerkraut (€15.90). The serving was very generous and the food all in all, was very flavourful. I was very happy to have had our first meal at Le Clou.

2. Le Tire-Bouchon- 5 Rue des Tailleurs de Pierre
- J and I had the shock of our lives when our food was served at Le Tire-Bouchon. We both ordered their specialty dish without realising that one order was enough for two. The Baeckeoffe mit Drei Sorten Fleisch (€20.90) which basically means a casserole with three types of meat (lamb, pork, beef) and potatoes was apparently cooked for 8 hours. It was perfectly cooked to say the least and it tasted brilliantly. Although I didn't finish the whole dish as it was too much, I made sure that I ate all the meat particularly the pig's foot.:) The restaurant is located close to the Strasbourg Cathedral, so it is quite touristy in the area. However, I didn't feel that the restaurant was a tourist-trap. If anything, it was authentic and traditional. Definitely a good place to dine in whilst in Strasbourg.

3. Maison Kammerzell- 16 Place de la Cathedrale 
- Located next to the Strasbourg Cathedral, you might think that this restaurant is a tourist trap, and you are probably right. I went to the restaurant the day before my birthday to try their most raved Choucroute aux trois Poissons (3-sort fish €25.90). Although people have complained about the rude and slow service, I didn't experience it at all, hence the restaurant is on my list. The salmon, smoked cod and trout (I believe) was served on a Sauerkraut. It was buttery and truly delicious.

4. Au Pont Corbeau- 21 Quai Saint-Nicholas
- I cannot recall how we found this restaurant but I have a clear recollection of the flank of beef (€18.20)that I had for the mains. I have had bad experiences with well done steaks in the past, so I now normally ask for medium rare. The flank of beef was perfectly pink, juicy and tender. The serving was very generous for the price to be honest. It was served with pan-friend potatoes and salad. J went for the beef mignon (the price escapes me) which he also enjoyed. 

5. Le Petit Glacier-  3 Rue Austerlitz Proche de la Place du Corbeau 
- We visited this dessert place a few times whilst in Strasbourg and each visit was such a pleasant treat. I mean, how could you not possibly enjoy really amazing desserts? To be honest, I prefer simple desserts. However, I couldn't resist the over the top desserts at Le Petit Glacier. My choice of dessert was the very refreshing La Hawaï (€10.50) which was beautifully presented, so it was difficult for me to start eating it. Hehe. Basically, it is a collection of exotic fruits with passion fruit and mango sorbet, coconut ice cream and mango whipped cream. It sounds a lot but trust me, it is just enough for one. Well, if you eat a lot like me. Meanwhile, J's favourite was the La Chocolatiere (€9.30) - a mountain of vanilla and chocolate ice cream, cold chocolate, whipped cream and chocolate sauce. It was heavenly! 

6. Bristot Coco- 8 Rue de Ecurie
- We went to dinner here on the eve of my birthday. I came from Colmar that day and J finished his conference on time, so we had an early dinner. It was good timing actually because the restaurant was not even open when we arrived. Although we had to wait for a few minutes,  it also only meant that we could choose wherever we wanted to be seated. So, always our best choice- al fresco! The British lady who served us was friendly and chatty. The food was served in a timely manner. The quality of food was definitely good. We had a three-course meal and each meal was very satisfying to say the least. For starter, we shared a burratina with nuts and cherry (€10). For the mains, I had the very tender Entrecôte de Veau (€28). To be honest, we would have been fine with two courses, however their dessert menu was very appealing so we had the fondant au chocolat (€10). It was the best way to end our dinner experience at Bristot Coco.

7.  1741- 22 Quai des Bateliers 
- My birthday lunch in 1741 was an unforgettable one, and it remains one of the best birthday celebrations ever- more so because I had lunch on my own. It was the only second time that I actually dined in a restaurant alone on my birthday. The first time was unplanned. My then friend basically stood me up. We are no longer seeing each other if you're wondering if we are still friends. Haha.  Anyway, back to my 1741 story. I have been to many French restaurants before, but I never felt so intimidated as I did when I entered the elegant restaurant, mainly because I was alone. But I felt a lot better once I was seated. 

I was given a table in a quiet room as I requested, with only 3 tables set up for 5 guests. I was given the middle table which was an added bonus. Once seated, I was offered a small stool to put my bag on- a first restaurant experience. The food was not mind blowing, but it was excellent nonetheless. I had their 5-course meal for €105, without drinks. The whole experience made it totally worth it. The service was very professional and attentive. The company was warm and friendly. Unfortunately, the other guests only spoke French, so it was difficult to make conversation. They attempted to speak to me in English, as I did to them in French (with the few words I learnt from my previous travels to France). In the end, we used google translate.  

What made this birthday lunch extra special was the couple I met at the restaurant. After I blew my birthday cake, the couple bought me a small glass of Marc d' Alsace Gewurtztraminer, which apparently is a popular drink in Alsace. I drank it reluctantly, but I finished the glass.  Then as we were leaving, the lady handed me their business card and asked me to call them so I could have coffee with them at their house. It was so unfortunate that I didn't have any more time to see them again. However, I sent them a thank you card before we left Strasbourg and wrote my email address on the card. A few days later when I was back in London, I received an email from them. We have not stopped emailing each other since. They are actually the reasons why I am writing this blog right now.

8. Pierre Bois Et Feu- 6 Rue du Bain-aux-Roses
- J chose this restaurant for my birthday dinner, and he made a very good choice. It was a different experience altogether as I had my first flat iron steak- literally. And when I say literally, my steak was actually cooked using a charcoal flat iron box. It was very fascinating to watch the whole thing as I have never seen such a thing in my life. The whole experience was memorable. We approximately paid €35 per person which was not too bad.

9. Le Purgatoire- 34 Rue de Zurich
- Yet, another first in my food adventure. To be honest, I didn't expect my food to come in a tin can, but I tell you, it was the best canned food I ever had. I wanted to take some home but the waiter was not very accommodating, so I didn't take the courage to ask if they were selling them. It was so delicious and really cheap!

10. Caffe-Gelateria- 11 Place de la Cathédrale
- Everyday for a week, I was going to this cafe in front of the Strasbourg Cathedral to get my morning coffee. I would sit there for an hour or so, just people watching. Tourists flooded the area to visit the Cathedral at 0900 sharp. By this time, I have been to the church (they open at 0800)already so I didn't have to queue up. It was a good spot to enjoy the beauty of the intricately designed gothic cathedral.

With the current situation that we are in, I am unsure as to when we can safely travel again. In fact, I have no plans on travelling at all this year, except for one important travel I have to make once the travel bans are lifted. Until then, all I can do is relive the memories we have made before the world was turned upside down by the pandemic. Until then, we must stay safe.

TIN x

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