Where to eat and drink in Essen, Germany
Last updated: May 2023
Essen is the ninth largest city of Germany. Essen is located in the center 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 worth 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.
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 (100% gluten-free)
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.
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. Also they have a location in Dusseldorf.
Mediterranean delicacies and the specialties of Arabic cuisine. Experience the flair of the Orient, relax and enjoy the oriental feel-good ambience. All main dishes from the tajine are gluten-free. The dishes containing gluten and/or lactose are clearly marked on the menu.
For starter there’s only few options gluten free available. We had the “Munasalé” eggplant in tomato sauce with chickpeas, onions and garlic and the grilled halloumi cheese with dried tomatoes and olives. For main we had lamb and plum tajine with onions, potatoes and almonds, and cod fillets and shrimp tajine with sweet potato, carrots, garlic and tomatoes. All tajines on the menu are free of gluten and lactose. The tajines were served with rice on the side.
Address: Alfredstraße nº56, Essen, Germany.
Lønni – Die Bio-Eismanufaktur
The gluten-free cakes from “Backbrüder” are also served in this ice cream parlor. Besides, all their ice cream is gluten-free. Unfortunately no gluten-free cones available. I had chocolate and strawberry-cheesecake flavor. There was not much understanding of cross-contamination at first, however after some explanation the staff used a clean spoon and scooped from untouched ice cream in the back.
Address: Gutenbergstraße nº72, Essen, Germany.
Gluten free Essen – Recommendations
Underneath I have listed some restaurants which I haven’t visited yet, but are on my list! I got these reco’s from gluten-free friends, family and followers. Please note – always contact the restaurant, bakery, ice cream parlor or shop yourself to see if they can meet your dietary needs, if there’s an understanding of cross-contamination and if they are open.
If you’ve visited any of the restaurants, or if you have another tip, feel free to write about it in the comments!
- BLOCK HOUSE: steakhouse in Essen with attentive service, tender steaks and tasty sides. Gluten und lactose free options available. Address: Kennedypl. nº1, Essen, Germany.
- Buena Vida: Spanish tapas restaurant located in Essen Werden. Make a reservation and request gluten-free bread. Many options for gluten-free tapas. Address: Laupendahler Landstraße nº11, Essen, Germany.
- Cookie jar: Cookie jar is a unique café with a cozy living room atmosphere. The café offers low-sugar, vegan and also gluten-free pastries. Address: Girardetstraße nº2, Essen, Germany.
- Soulfood Society: there are a few gluten-free options available at Soulfood Society. Address: Rüttenscheider Str. nº47, Essen, Germany.
- Spizzenzeit: Gluten-free pasta available at this Italian restaurant located in Essen Werden. Address: Brückstraße nº27, Essen, Germany.
- Ristorante Acquario: Italian cuisine wit gluten-free pasta available on request. Address: Kaiser-Wilhelm-Platz nº5, Essen, Germany.
- Lekka Low Carb Kitchen: Low carb, without sugar and without wheat. Every Friday has its own food theme, for example burger, schnitzel or pizza. Upcoming offer can be viewed on their website. Also, make sure to check their opening times as they may vary! Address: Duisburger Str. nº20, Essen, Germany.
- Snack ‘n’ Roll: Gluten-free burgers on request, make sure to call in advance! Also they have loaded fries on their menu with several gluten-free toppings. Address: Rellinghauser Str. nº173, Essen, Germany.
- Restaurant Namaste: The dishes containing gluten are clearly marked on the menu. A whole range of gluten-free curries are available at this authentic Nepalese cuisine. Address: Rellinghauser Str. nº177, Essen, Germany.
- Curry Masala (take away): Curry Masala has a selection of gluten-free dishes. Natural ingredients and always freshly prepared. Great for take away.
- Essen Rüttenscheid – Address: Rüttenscheider Str. nº38, Essen, Germany.
- Essen Frohnhausen – Address: Margaretenstr. nº71, Essen, Germany.
- finefine (take away): on the finefine website, you can easily filter salads, bowls, pasta and stir-fry dishes for gluten-free variants. Address: Bismarckstraße nº63-65, Essen, Germany.
- Pottsalat (take away): delivery service for healthy food. At the website you can easily filter for gluten-free and other dietary restrictions. There are multiple options for gluten-free salads and bowls. Address: Bismarckstraße nº5, Essen, Germany.
- sattgrün: vegan restaurant with plenty of gluten-free options on the menu. Address: Rathenaustraße nº2, Essen, Germany.
I cannot guarantee that all restaurants and stores listed above are 100% free of gluten. Always check with the restaurant for cross-contamination and whether there is an understanding for celiac disease sufferers.