Where to eat and drink in Essen, Germany

Last updated: December 2020

Essen is the ninth largest city of Germany. Essen is located in the centre of the Ruhr area, one of the largest urban areas in Europe. Some of the best places to Visits in Essen are the museum Folkwang, the Zollverein Coal Mine Industrial Complex, Villa Hügel and the Essen Cathedral Treasury. Also the Kettwig Historical District and Werden Old Town is wort a visits. Looking for some nature? Then make sure to visit the Baldeneysee or the beautiful Grugapark. Essen is well known for its shopping opportunities. There is the big Limbecker Platz mall and in winter the International Christmas Market is a must visit.



Mongo’s Restaurant

At Mongo’s you can eat à la carte or choose for the all you can eat buffet (Total or Select). With the all-you-can-eat classic Mongo’s TOTAL (26,90€) you can try and combine endlessly. For each course, choose one of the homemade Mongo´s marinades. All marinades are gluten-free and free of glutamate. There is really something for everyone’s taste. Then choose the ingredients for your individual dish at the buffet, the Mongo’s Food Market. The food market offers around 30 types of vegetables and mushrooms, various types of meat and fish, selected seafood as well as Asian noodles and spices. There are also regularly changing seasonal products such as asparagus or reindeer. Basmati and wild rice mix is included and you can order refills as much as you like. With Mongo’s SELECT (2,99€ per 100 gram) you only pay for what you have selected. Mongo’s only calculates what you have in your bowl. For this, each of your compositions is weighed before grilling and without the marinades. Like with the Mongo’s Total option you can go to the food market as often as you like.

Mongo’s is very allergen friendly. I have visited the restaurants in Essen and Bochum. The service was in both locations very friendly, helpful and quick. As soon as I told the waiter I cannot eat gluten I got a special plate stating it has to be fried separate in the kitchen in a clean pan, instead of at the grill in front.

We choose for the all-you-can-eat buffet. I have tried multiple marinades, among other things the Malay Satay, Chilli garlic, Mongo’s Ocean and the Thai red curry marinade. The MUTMACHA Riesling wine fitted well to the Asian-oriented food.

  • The Malay Satay is vegan and just a bit spicy. The sauce is inspired by the Far Eastern street kitchens and contains peanut paste, caramel & lemon, slightly aggravated by chillies. It is a creamy marinade and fits perfect with white meat.
  • The Chilli garlic is vegan and very spicy. The marinade contains fresh chillies, peppers and garlic as well as dark soy sauce. It fits perfect with dark meat, but also goes well with vegetables and fish.
  • The Mongo’s Ocean marinade is vegetarian. It is the highlight for everything that comes out of the water. Sesame oil, sesame seeds and orange juice are the basic ingredients of the Mongo´s Ocean sauce. Chives, a little red chilli and a hint of cream make this marinade a top companion to fish and seafood.
  • The Thai Red Curry sauce is vegan and very spicy. The sharpness of the red curry paste combines well with coconut. Lemongrass and tomato paste give the final kick. This marinade is an all-rounder and fits to everything the food market has to offer.

Mongo’s Restaurant is a chain and is located in Bochum, Dortmund, Duisburg, Düsseldorf, Essen, Köln, München and Münster.

Bochum: You will find Mongo’s Restaurant on Massenberg Str. nº9, Bochum, Germany.

Essen: You will find Mongo’s Restaurant on Altendorfer Str. nº3A, Essen, Germany.


Backbrüder in Essen-Rellinghausen is a 100% gluten-free bakery that opened in 2020. It has it’s focus on organic, regional and high quality products. The seating area inside is beautifully designed and really inviting. Also, in the summer season a large outdoor area (out in the back, nice and quiet – without traffic noise) will be set up.

In addition, the store also sells delicious Lønni ice cream, although not quite as many varieties as in the main store, Eiscafé Lønni in Essen Süd (Gutenbergstraße nº72, Essen, Germany).

Because I’m not used to a 100% gluten-free selection, let alone in a bakery, it took me a while to decide. Among other thing I tried:

  • Hanfbrot: this hemp bread optically just looked like a regular glutenous bread. The price for this 700 gram loaf was around 7,00 euros. It tasted good but was a bit on the salty side for me. But maybe that’s just because I actually never had a gluten-free bread loaf from a dedicated gluten-free bakery (or a normal one neither).
  • Chocolate mousse cake: this little sweet treat was creamy and chocolate heaven. The bottom was made of a thin pastry and in the middle a chocolate “bomb” was hidden.
  • Apple cinnamon tartlet: the base of this tartlet, made of nuts and chocolate was quite firm yet not crumbly or dry. It was filled with a delicious apple-cinnamon compote and topped with a berry-cream.

The price is quite high, but the products were very tasty and absolutely of high quality. Besides gluten free, everything is as organic and regional as possible.

You will find Backbrüder on Rellinghauser Straße nº286, Essen, Germany.


  • Marijke

    November 7, 2020 at 20:45

    I usually eat at Maredo (in Essen and other cities) there are at least 2 locations in the city center. They have a special menu with all the allergens (Allergenen Karte), not sure if it’s available in English at least in German.

    For a quick bite you can try Nordsee, they have gluten free options. My experience is that if they are unsure about the food that was already prepared they prepare it especially for you.

    1. Gluten-free Kitchen

      November 8, 2020 at 13:19

      Hi Marijke,
      Thanks for your comment and the tips! I will definitely go an check it out. 🙂

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