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Ratskeller, Speyer, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany,

Speyer: typically German in the Ratskeller

Normally, my passable handling of conversant German gets me far enough in a snack-joint (Imbiss) for a Döner or the gut-busting Dönerteller. On the infrequent occasion I’m inside a restaurant, it’ll be local German fare, much of which I’ve become accustomed while travelling within Germany since 2002.

The town or city hall in every city, town, or village is often accompanied by its own “Ratskeller” (Cellar) serving wine, beer, and food in an underground tavern. At the Speyer Ratskeller, a cold and wet Friday night is in full swing, the place packed with city residents filling all available tables and seats. My host apologizes for the wait, and I reply that it’s no problem. She suggests wine while I wait: definitely not a problem.

I squeeze into a table with eight other people, as large tables in places like these are communal. I greet the people in German, but I don’t say much more, because I feel like I’m butting in what clearly is a family outing. But I’m feeling good after having downed a glass of house red. I’m primed for a second glass of red, and I’m ready to eat.

Ratskeller, Speyer, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany,

I order something typically German and familiar: pork steak in pepper mushroom cream sauce, served with noodles and vegetables. Before I finish my main, the people at my table get up and leave; I bid them all a good evening and happy weekend in German. A meat, carb, and red wine combo requires something sweet to end the meal. I ask for fried apples with ice cream, and some hot green tea to help cleanse the palate.

Ratskeller, Speyer, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany,

​Kalbsrückensteak mit Rahmpilzsoße und Nudeln (pork steak in pepper mushroom cream sauce)

Ratskeller, Speyer, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany,

​Apfelbeignets mit Eis (apple beignets with ice cream)

I’m satisfied with my dinner experience, because
•   of the atmosphere that’s German and familiar,
•   of the food that’s German and familiar, and
•   of my warm full belly which relaxes me completely despite the noise.

Ratskeller, Speyer, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany, fotoeins.comRatskeller, Speyer, Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany,

Back outside after 10pm, it’s quiet on the streets in this city of 50-thousand. The rain-slicked cobblestones glisten under the lamps, and in the distance the medieval Romanesque cathedral is bathed in golden light, providing the last visual of the day.

Thanks to Speyer Tourism and Romantic Germany for their advice and support. I made the photos above on 20 November 2015. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotopress at as

6 Responses to “Speyer: typically German in the Ratskeller”

    • fotoeins

      I learned to love these kinds of places, especially when smoking was finally banned. I know about the ubiquity of the humble potato, but as I’m partial to rice, I don’t always love the humble potato. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    • CrazyChineseFamily

      I am not the biggest potato fan either any longer, ever since I fell in love with noodles in China but at the Kartoffel Keller they surely know what to do with them 🙂


    • fotoeins

      Hahahahah, I’m sure many welcomed you to the “East” side with “savory noodle education.” I have a fond memory of hanging out with a friend in Hamburg Sternschanze: while I ordered Döner, they got a big stuffed baked potato at Kumpir König. I understand that one can get meat with their potatoes, but I would be tempted to order “Einmal dazu Fleisch und Soße, ohne Kartoffel.” 😝

      Liked by 1 person

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