Düsseldorf’s local heroes: These places are worth the wait

Düsseldorf’s local heroes: These places are worth the wait

Get in line and feel the anticipation build

Outside some businesses in Düsseldorf, queues will form every day without fail to the point where it feels like a scene from the Hollywood classic Groundhog Day. No matter when in the day the yearning for fresh bread, a steaming bowl of soup or a new jumper overcomes you and directs your feet to one of these local heroes, you can be sure that someone else has had the same idea. Nonetheless, we say: Join the queue! The joy you will find at your local bakery or fashion boutique is worth the wait. And if you notice a queue outside a shop you’ve never been to, why not get in line? If hundreds of people are willing to wait for whatever they have to offer, surely there must be something to it!

Birdie & Co.

Now available in three locations across the district of Pempelfort (Marc-Chagall-Strasse 108, Bagelstrasse 130 and Mittelstrasse 6), this deli is an absolute Düsseldorf favourite. If you catch the enticing scent of freshly brewed coffee or toasted bagels while out and about in the area, this is most likely where it comes from. Birdie & Co.’s delicious fare does attract large crowds, including customers that would probably be willing to camp out in the street overnight to get their fix. But with a little luck, you may be able to catch a moment when their café in Bagelstrasse, for example, is not beleaguered by people more or less pressing their noses against the shop window. And in any case, you can’t blame them for doing it, because the window display would break the resolve of even the most committed calorie-counter. We highly recommend the apple porridge with cinnamon and walnuts, the home-made hummus and the tahini bars – what a treat! Also good to know: The Birdies & Co. cafés are open 365 days a year. So if you don’t fancy a long wait, maybe pop in on Christmas Eve in the afternoon!


Launching a new clothing label in a fashion hotspot like Düsseldorf is certainly not a walk in the park. But if you pull it off, the city fashionistas – brandishing their credit cards – will come running! The boutique of street style label LFDY (Live Fast Die Young) at Ackerstrasse 15 is a case in point. As you approach the store, you will see a throng of shoppers laden with tops, socks and more coming towards you. Many don’t even bother with the changing rooms. They’ve come to buy. If the piece you’ve been eyeing up is there on the shelf, it’s best to bag it before it inevitably sells out. Back in the streets of Düsseldorf-Flingern, you can see fans of the label exchanging appreciative nods as they pass fellow LFDY wearers. After all, the time spent queueing to get into the store is a great opportunity to strike up new friendships with like-minded people and plan future shopping trips to other LFDY stores in cities such as Hamburg, Cologne or Amsterdam.

Café Hüftgold

A visit to Düsseldorf-Flingern without a refreshment stop at Hüftgold? Inconceivable for many, and rightly so. The café is located on the corner of Ackerstrasse (house number 113), making it very hard to avoid for anyone who doesn’t have a very good reason (cutting down on sugar, counting calories, on a health trip …). Otherwise, just get yourself in there! You’ve got to treat yourself every once in a while and that’s what this place is all about. There is a dedicated cake counter for takeaway customers – do we need to say more? On a Saturday or Sunday afternoon (or, of course, any other day of the week if you can), grab a table and have a quiet sit by yourself, listening to the hubbub around you, or bring a friend and discuss the highs and lows of your week. A mug of hot chocolate with a generous whipped cream topping can fix all sorts of ills, except maybe for those induced by plundering the lavish buffet of marble cakes, chocolate cheesecakes, streusel and other feats of baking. We suspect it is no coincidence that the cake counter is positioned in full view of the big shop window!


Rustic French bread, onion tarts, plum cakes and truly divine pastries are just some of the reasons why this bakery in central Düsseldorf is almost guaranteed to sport a queue of at least a dozen customers. Sometimes, the line of young and old, male and female eagerly waiting to enter this piece of culinary heaven virtually seems to run into the hundreds. On a Saturday, the chances of getting your hands on a loaf of bread from what is certainly one of Düsseldorf’s most popular bakeries are about the same as those of winning a medium-sized lottery jackpot. Don’t believe it? Next time you look outside and see torrential rain, hail, snow or gale-force winds, go and check out the Hinkel branches on Hohe Strasse 31 and Mittelstrasse 25 – you’ll be surprised! But as soon as you bite into one of their fresh crusty rolls, you too will recognise that it has been worth every minute of your wait. And since you’ve been so incredibly patient and committed, you might as well reward yourself with a bag of their Printen gingerbread. And a loaf of raisin bread. And one of those little almond-topped marzipan sponge cakes. And any number of other delicious bakes.


We believe that, when it comes to the quality of a restaurant, two simple indicators trump a ton of five-star online reviews every time: The first is a personal recommendation from friends, and the other is the very obvious clue of a queue at the door. In Düsseldorf’s Little Tokyo district, the level of queueing for restaurants can be truly mind-boggling. And while they say that nothing is certain except death and taxes, the probability of having to queue for Takumi 1st at Immermannstrasse 28 comes very close. If you are keen to secure a table to sample some of the best ramen in Germany, you’re probably well-advised to start queueing after breakfast. The restaurant, which now has sister venues in cities such as Rotterdam, Barcelona, Brussels, Milan and Vienna, will take your experience of Japanese flavours to the next level.

Das Cøffe

Das Cøffe, at the intersection of Benrather Strasse (house number 6b) and Carlsplatz, is a true place of pilgrimage for coffee aficionados. Fortunately, this corner café – set up in a former apothecary shop – offers outdoor seats to make the wait a little more bearable. And their coffee really is divine. It is served at that sweet spot where it is neither so hot as to burn the roof of your mouth, nor is it so tepid that you’d feel inclined to check for ice cubes in your cup. And the beans are roasted just right, giving the coffee an incredible flavour profile. Whether you’re after some latte art, an oat milk fix, an espresso frappuccino, or a plain and simple but sensationally good espresso – you can get it here, and a nice chat with the team on top.

Title image: Düsseldorf Tourism

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