The home of German apple wine, or Apfelwein, Frankfurt is famous for its traditional cider taverns. However, those seeking something a little more sophisticated will be rewarded here, too. From experimental bars serving premium spirits to underground speakeasies specialising in craft cocktails, there’s something to suit every mood, if you know where to look. Follow us into the city’s drinking dens, cocktail lounges and German taverns as we tour five of our favourite bars in Frankfurt.
JFK Bar at Villa Kennedy is every bit as masterful as the president it was named after. In the comfort of a classic and welcoming lounge, guests sip on premium malt whiskies, cognacs and cocktails from an extensive menu of over 120 drinks. The presidential theme is carried across the bar’s classic and original cocktails, honouring US presidents, world leaders, first ladies and celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe with an inventive selection of dedicated drinks. Live music provided by the house pianist also helps to set the mood for a relaxing evening.
The Kinly Bar
If you’re looking for somewhere to escape from the modern world, The Kinly Bar will take you back in time to a place where simplicity is vital and taxidermy is in vogue. Located in a cellar below the reaches of mobile networks, this cosy bar is reminiscent of a classic speakeasy. Accessed by a nondescript door next to a street-level motel, the underground bar is a must-see, if you can find it. While the interiors are simple, when it comes to the cocktails, it’s all about presentation. Each drink is served in a characteristic glass, a coconut or even a box filled with smoke, and fresh ice is chiselled off an ice block in front of you. The Kinly Bar certainly wins prizes for dramatic effect.
One of the best bars in Frankfurt, The Parlour is an exclusive, experimental cocktail bar in the centre of the city. Designed to resemble a comfortable living room, the venue is homely and intimate, with dark leather chesterfield sofas and wooden furniture. Behind the bar, mixologists shake up a concoction of beautifully presented speciality cocktails, many mixed with homemade syrups. As there’s no obvious sign indicating that you’ve arrived at The Parlour, ask our concierge for some detailed directions before setting out on your treasure hunt.
At this elegant city centre venue, guests can rediscover an array of long-forgotten favourites such as the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club Cocktail featuring Barbados Rum, Falernum, Triple Sec and lime juice, or the Boulevardier, made with Bourbon, Red Vermouth and Campari. As well as resurrecting the classics, Sullivan also offers a variety of gin, rum, whisky, tequila, vodka and Champagne-based cocktails and wholesome bar snacks to soak up the powerful concoctions.
But what would a trip to Frankfurt be without at least stopping in at a traditional German tavern? Apple wine is a local specialty in Frankfurt and sampling the city’s most famous libation is a right of passage for visitors. Lorsbacher Thal tavern is a worthy place to start your tasting tour, serving some of the city’s best apple wine, as well as hosting dedicated tastings and events for connoisseurs and novices alike.
With so many great bars in Frankfurt, start the evening with dinner at Villa Kennedy’s Gusto, an authentic Italian restaurant in the heart of the city.
Image credits: cover image © The Parlour. The Kinly Bar © The Kinly Bar. JFK Bar © Rocco Forte Hotels.