Six open-air eateries for a holiday experience to remember

Six open-air eateries for a holiday experience to remember 

Everybody take a breath! 

Summer is here and allows you to take a break on the terraces, courtyards and sidewalks of outdoor gastronomy. We've got six places to go for delicious downtime for you from country inns to neighborhood locations, from countryside views to see-and-be-seen. Whether quiet or bustling, cozy or authentic, whether octopus, stuffed eggplant or Tafelspitz - here is something for everyone.         


The view is one of the most fantastic in Düsseldorf, and some of you may already have been impressed by it as visitors of the legendary, unfortunately no longer existing Open Source Festival. The racecourse grandstand, from which you could overlook not only the Main Stage but also the adjacent racecourse and the rich vegetation behind it during the festival, is within sight of the Grafengrün. Not only does the restaurant have a formidable terrace, it also boasts a bottle bar on a green lawn - but first things first. First of all, Grafengrün is a family-run sports restaurant. But in addition to the golfers of the neighboring club, who also have their own clubhouse, day trippers of all kinds appreciate the ambience. Lush green meadows, behind them a stand of old trees - at Grafengrün you can dream yourself into an English county. Those who stop here after a walk in the Grafenberg or Aaper forest will also appreciate the regional, sometimes somewhat hearty dishes, and in fine weather you can also enjoy the sunset in one of the deck chairs of the ground-level bottle bar.           

Country house Freemann  

Another excursion destination, this time in the very north of Düsseldorf: At Landhaus Freemann, near the Schwarzbach and Kalkum Castle, the couple Uta and Ciro Colella serve international cuisine, in the preparation of which the harvest from their own garden plays a not inconsiderable role: Fruit, especially berries, herbs and various vegetables grow on a former sheep pasture within sight of the country inn. This is also an event location. In the shade of old trees, rustic tables and chairs can seat up to 400 people. Beer garden fans like to meet here for a cool drink or order a dish from the varied menu. From boiled beef with bouillon vegetables, potatoes and fresh horseradish to roasted octopus with paprika sugo, homemade pasta, capers, parsley and olives to a selection of dry-aged steaks, it's all here. Ciro Colella has had a hand in Monkey's Island and Malkasten and knows what he's doing. 

So Re  

Lindenplatz in the heart of Flingern is a neighborhood meeting place and urban oasis. For a good 15 years, Nooij held the fort here, providing the square with an outdoor restaurant that was popular not only in the neighborhood. Other restaurants followed suit, and now, since the beginning of May, So Re has taken over the helm in the former premises of Nooji or its successor. The location bears the name Bar in its title, and indeed cocktails are also mixed in the simple but stylish interior, as well as non-alcoholic drinks such as a super-refreshing tarragon lemonade. But the real departure from the tried-and-true lies in the culinary orientation: So Re offers Georgian cuisine and thus a menu that is probably still little familiar to most, but is definitely worth exploring. This applies to the home-pickled appetizer vegetables or the eggplants stuffed with walnut paste, as well as to the various Georgian stews and, of course, the classic khachapuri, baked dough patties with cheese in different variations. Excellent Georgian wines are served with them.


For a break from everyday life, many need nature. But the real summer-in-the-city feeling only comes when, after a sun-drenched day, you can still feel the warm asphalt underneath you for half the night. Because that's the case, here's our Flingern tip for balmy hours No. 2: the Wyno. Until last year, Olaf Koelker's wine bar was located in Pempelfort, but the lease expired there. Today, the circumstances are a bit more complicated, but now two have found each other, who understand something similar under quality. Or rather three, because the premises on Birkenstraße, into which Wyno has now moved, are shared with Bulle Bistro, run by the city-famous Bulle Bakery, which in turn has the same backyard as the art spot Sammlung Philara and was also allowed to move into the latter's location, a former glass factory, with its bistro. Complicated? No, not at all. On the backyard terrace with a view of old, overgrown railroad tracks, you can enjoy the sun and Bulle delicacies such as homemade cream bread during the day, and when the day comes to an end, you can enjoy one of the biodynamic wines that Olaf Koelker both serves and sells. A perfect match! 

Schillings in the playhouse 

A portion of truffle fries with honey mustard mayo, plus a cool drink - and a view of the courtyard garden. Sounds like time out with a high feel-good factor, and that's exactly what it is. Schillings im Schauspielhaus opened in December 2019, and it's not just the cool modernity of the interior, for which Ingenhoven Architects is responsible, that ensures the restaurant doesn't have much in common with a conventional theater café. The food fits, too. There is a lunch menu, an afternoon menu and an evening menu. The menu includes classics of upscale German cuisine, interpreted in a variety of ways. But the best thing is the terrace. It offers 27 tables, lots of sun and just this cozy, almost meditative view of the baroque courtyard garden, which once again makes you realize what a wonderful city you actually live in. And should it be too meditative for your taste, you can, of course, precede or follow your visit to the Schilling with a visit to the theater.  

Bar Olio 

No summer without Olio. And that doesn't just apply metaphorically, because it's hard to imagine that the old brick building on the site of the former Derendorf freight station was ever without a bar. The former railroad depot with its correspondingly rough exterior has retained its charm, or so wicked tongues might think, but that wouldn't make much sense. On the one hand, it's the unpretentious atmosphere that has made this place one of Düsseldorf's nightlife spots ever since, and on the other hand, the cuisine is simply to die for. "Spaghetti Vongole (without Parmesan)," that's exactly what it says here on the chalkboard - there's no printed menu - and exactly what it means. Steak tartare Aller-Retour, octopus accompanied by Iberico ham, chorizo, potatoes and broad beans, or red cabbage and ginger salad with half-baked teriyaki salmon - the Olio is not bound to any national cuisine, but remains true to itself and its own tradition. This is probably the reason why the bar, which is known to be much more than this, is one of the favorite places of all those who appreciate good food as well as a good atmosphere. By the way, there are no reservations, which is another of Olio's principles. So what? Waiting for a seat at one of the simple folding tables on the "Olio terrace" is simply worth it. 

Title image: Düsseldorf Tourism

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