An afternoon on Loretto Street


An afternoon on Loretto Street

When the smell of freshly baked brownies or crispy bacon wafts toward you and you feel like friends even as strangers, you're out and about in Unterbilk 

What makes the plump life? That the insurance agent offers his services right next to the store for Mick Jagger and Bob Marley candles. That the kiosk, stocked to the ceiling with newspapers, magazines and tobacco, is not far from the delicatessen - and thus makes it clear that the heavy stuff of the (media) world coexists with the good life, in which a piece of cheese can cost five euros. And the dry cleaners have their permanent place just a few meters away from the bistro where the homemade pasta can be enjoyed with so much pleasure that even a few drops of tomato sauce sometimes end up on the light blue sweater. So how can the Lorettostraße in Unterbilk, one of the most popular meeting places among permanent and occasional Düsseldorfers, best be described in three adjectives? Let's try: down-to-earth, contemplative, bel(i)ebt. 

The tour we suggest starts at the "Fromagerie", i.e. on the right side of Lorettostraße, if you are coming from the direction of Bilker Allee or Neusser Straße.It leads once completely down until you reach the restaurant "Takumi". Walk back in the opposite direction to "Greentrees", from where you can see the Bilker Kirche. In this way, you can explore Lorettostrasse in about 60 minutes in a relaxed manner and with a stop or two. 

Fromagerie, Lorettostraße 43 

As much as our - and hopefully your - heart is attached to Düsseldorf: Sometimes wanderlust knows how to seduce us. The reasons why the suitcases end up staying in the basement are manifold, but they are no reason to give up. In Lorettostrasse, you can also get your money's worth if your taste buds are craving foreign flavors. At Armel Laas' "Fromagerie" you can taste Dutch koggetjes, buttery cookies with caramel that really melt in your mouth. Or you can get yourself a packet of famous Napoletanese coffee. Perhaps the Iberian ham will also be to your liking? And, don't forget, the name of the delicatessen announces it: cheese! Fans of the dairy product should kneel down in joy at the gigantic selection from Beaufort to Gouda to Mimolette and Tetedemoine.  

Chocolaterie Bittersweet & Edelweiss, Lorettostraße 41 

You probably already knew this, but it is said that there are people who fundamentally dislike the use of body scales. It's quite possible that some of them live on Lorettostrasse or are conspicuously often found in front of number 41. Because what Kathrin Lohaus offers in her chocolaterie Bittersüß & Edelweiß makes you doubt the invention of calorie counting: Hand-scooped chocolate bars with red pepper, pistachio or cookie are lined up with lovingly shaped chocolates of every flavor and pieces of Baumkuchen. An absolute recommendation, in addition to the last-mentioned pastries: the Nussecken, which accompany you into the sweetest dreams thanks to their thick layer of brittle base. For the holidays, such as Easter, you will also find a selection of special gift ideas such as mini chocolate eggs with raspberry and nougat fillings in XXS boxes. Speaking of holidays, Lohaus and her team asked themselves why Advent calendars are only available at Christmastime and designed a calendar with 24 doors that is available all year round. Under the motto "Treasure hunt in the Lorettoviertel", the area can be discovered by means of a picture hunt and while enjoying confectionery. 

You really want to stop after the first two attractions to try some of what you've just bought? No problem! Lorettostraße invites you to pause on the sidewalk because of its many houses decorated with stucco. Just find a spot under one of the shady trees and take in the action. It is quite possible that you will encounter the cries of one or the other parakeet, which like to fly around in the backyards and thus also stop by at ... 

Rosemarie Dohmen, Lorettostraße 33 

In her ceramic workshop, which you can already recognize from the street in the backyard, the artist makes, among other things, vases, teapots and cups. Her source of inspiration? In particular, the ceramics of Japan, which, in Dohmen's words, are characterized by "a clear language of form at rest within itself." Fired at 1000 degrees and later re-fired in sawdust, the result is an interplay of smooth, glazed surfaces and naked, grayish-black clay. If you'd like to try your hand at the wheel yourself: The Düsseldorf-born ceramic designer regularly offers courses, and they quickly reach full attendance. 

The atmosphere of the Lorettoviertel inspires not only creative people like Rosemarie Dohmen, but also many of the agencies, graphic designers, photographers and media professionals based here. One of the best examples can be found just one house away, with the ... 

The Heritage Post, Loretto Street 35 

 Are you looking for the best of the best for yourself, your partner, your father or your best buddy? Then do yourself a favor - and pick up the "Heritage Post"! For ten years now, the editorial team has been presenting exceptional men in portraits as well as products from manufactories; these are high-quality leather goods, shoes, jewelry or even vehicles. To make a long story short: the really beautiful things in life. These may not always be inexpensive, but they have a long life - and in case of doubt they will serve several generations. You can find a selection of goods, often from small, still unknown labels - and this brings us back to Lorettostraße - in the "General Store" of Heritage Post. The magazine's team also offers creative people the opportunity to exhibit on site. 

Keep going, there's still plenty to see! Passing several owner-operated fashion stores with a wide selection of clothing, decorations and books, the smell of freshly baked pancakes lures you down the street before you stand in front of an eatery decorated in yellow. Welcome to the ... 

Seven Sundays, Lorettostraße 7 

What should we say? Reserved, reserved, reserved! Because little seems more popular, especially on weekends, than Seven Sundays! Whether you're one of those people who gets up before the sun or doesn't function until the afternoon after a night of partying, this breakfast spot will keep you going all day long with fluffy pancakes, fresh juices and finely sizzled bacon on toast. As you can see, everyone from vegans to meat fans will find their favorite dish, and even in winter jacket weather or midsummer heat, hardy people will sit down on the terrace if there's no room inside. 

Speaking of short nights, if a quick hop in the shower had to suffice and your hair still doesn't want it like you do, stop by ... 

Captain's Barber Shop, Lorettostraße 5 

Of course, hair and beard can be cut with the machine, and that in minutes. But: The care of your own body can sometimes be equivalent to a wellness treatment, and so we recommend a visit to the Captain's Barber Shop. As with so many hairdressers and barbers, the same applies here: The person treating you quickly turns out to be the perfect conversational partner for life's big and small questions. Sit back and let the pros have a go with brush, shaving foam and knife, just like it was standard in the good old days. According to the store's Instagram profile, even top athletes are said to have their hair done here.  

We continue with a bite to eat at Takumi (Lorettostraße 2), a branch of the popular Japanese restaurant in Düsseldorf. If you're in the mood for something sweet afterwards (and who would blame you), be sure to step into the ... 

Big-B The Brownie Bakery, Lorettostraße 6 

Quit when you're at your best? Very difficult, once you take a bite of the brownies from "Big-B". You'd be hard-pressed to find a more moist chocolate batter, and when it's studded with peanuts and banana chunks or infused with the subtle aroma of espresso, there's no stopping you - and no turning back. Once you've tried it, we reckon there's a good chance you'll keep coming back to this new place of longing. What makes it special: Owner Moritz Külgen, who honed his craft in California, Colorado and New Zealand, among other places, also sells his specialty in dough form. With the so-called Brookie rolls, you can easily bake up the brownie at home. 

If you need to go up a size, don't miss a visit to Stewardress (Lorettostraße 8), located in the backyard. You'll find a huge selection of secondhand clothes, including many designer pieces. Maybe you'll find the perfect outfit for your next date or a visit from distant relatives, for whom you'll find something a few doors down. 

Romantic Lab, Lorettostraße 32 

A hostess gift for the great cousin who's finally coming back to Düsseldorf? A small gift for a friend who brings you chicken soup when you have a cough? Presents are always needed, and naturally those that come from the heart - and suit the person - make a big impression. The team of the "Romantiklabor" manufactures the suitable products, among other things towels, pillowcases or dishes with sayings, which describe your presentee or elicit a smile from them. For example, how about the sheet "Exchange workplace for room with sea view"? Or - if you can't manage to break out the three big words yet, but still don't want to hide your feelings any longer - the napkin "Dinner for the One"? Our favorite: the flower vase printed with the inscription "Fresh from the Mack".  

With one or the other bulging shopping bag, your tour slowly comes to an end - but not before the lavishly decorated store windows of the following store invite you to a spontaneous visit. 

What Women Want, Lorettostraße 38 

Candles in the shape of diamonds, shiny gold creoles, cuddly soft sweaters - and many products with local color: At What Women Want you'll find hip and yet unknown labels for every budget. What do you want to decorate your home with? Maybe a coffee service with drawn bathers swimming in it? Or should the cell phone cables, if necessary, at least have a color gradient? Or the steamer that makes your blouses slick should appear in old pink? Invest a few euros in friendship bracelets, perfumes, cosmetics or cards for weddings, birthdays and births. The "Loretto Love" mug is sure to end up in our shopping cart. 

Greentrees, Loretto Street 54 

Admittedly: We probably thought about this discovery tour with a hole in our stomachs, because the final port of call once again leads to a - bistro! But leaving Greentrees on the left is really not an option, especially since the sweet and salty sins may now be followed by a healthy conclusion. After at least 10,000 steps, sesame teriyaki vegetables with rice noodles and a fresh smoothie round off the excursion. Inspired by the vegan and vegetarian cuisine of Australia, owner Henrik van Bonn thus makes his favorite dishes those of the Düsseldorf public. And because it tastes really sensationally fresh, the "Tropical Trip" bowl with mango, pineapple, orange and baobab, among others, is allowed to join the trip home. A little midnight snack never hurt anyone. 

Title image: Düsseldorf Tourism

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