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Top 5 bars in… Frankfurt

While Frankfurt has a reputation of being something of a stuffy business city, dig a little deeper and you’ll find exciting bars and restaurants aplenty, all offering creative takes on favourite drinks. James Lawrence investigates.

SB presents the top 5 bars in Frankfurt, Germany

At first glance, Frankfurt is terminally buttoned-up and possesses nothing like the counter-culture of Berlin. Glistening with glass, steel and concrete skyscrapers, the city is Germany’s economic powerhouse and the land of Armani suits.

Yet lurking beneath this corporate demeanor lies an unexpectedly charming city, brimming with cultural, culinary and hedonistic diversions that are bolstered by a large international student population. Anyone who has spent an evening in the city’s vibrant Altstadt (old town) will testify to that.

Indeed, in an allegedly prosaic, workaholic city, there is much to enjoy. Nightlife spans traditional apple-wine taverns – many of which are also great places to eat – to raucous pubs and chic cocktail bars, the latter category giving trendy Hamburg a serious run for its money.

In recent years, the city has absorbed a great deal of talent, as German bartenders continue to return home in their droves after stints abroad. The net result is that the city is now bursting with creative concoctions; some can be found in plush five-star hotels, while others lurk in Manhattan-style speakeasies and cosy dens of iniquity.

However, the best way to discover Frankfurt’s soul and these exciting diversions is to head away from the high-rises and explore the roads less travelled. Of course, plenty of options exist throughout the city, but surely the most rewarding nights out are to be found in the Altstadt, or the cobbled streets of Alt-Sachsenhausen, particularly around Kleine Rittergasse.

Warmer temperatures bring yet more diversions – in summer, open-top boat bars line up along the banks of the Main river, full of locals hell-bent on having a good time. They realised long ago what visitors often miss – Frankfurt may be rich and prosperous, but boring? Never.

Click through the following pages to discover the top five bars in Frankfurt, Germany.

The Parlour

Zwingergasse 6
Situated in Frankfurt’s Innenstadt lies a gem of a bar, and one largely undiscovered by tourists. Dark wood, soft lighting and hip, talented young bartenders set the scene – it’s like being in a friend’s cosy living room. A fantastic cocktail list, with a strong emphasis on herbs and natural ingredients, similarly does not fail to impress. Try the Blue Lilac – botanical dark rum, lavender, yuzu, coriander, blueberry, lemon, and tonic – if you only have time for one.

Jimmy’s Bar

Friedrich-Ebert-Anlage 40
Effortlessly chic, Jimmy’s Bar is surely Frankfurt’s most glamorous address. It possesses a timeless quality, offering an intimate and luxurious space where regulars and tourists meet nightly to enjoy a multitude of cocktails, rare Champagnes and fine wines, complemented by the most polished, pampering service in Frankfurt. The original and the best.

Harry’s New York Bar

Walther-von-Cronberg-Platz 1
If Jimmy’s has any competition, then this is it. There are few better places to start an evening than sipping a cocktail at Harry’s, a stunning destination housed inside one of the city’s best hotels – Lindner Hotel & Residence Main Plaza. Let effortlessly charming servers guide you towards some of the finest cocktails around, expertly mixed by Harry’s award-winning bartenders.

Rote Bar

Mainkai 7
One of the city’s trendiest destinations, Rote’s subdued red lighting, illuminated polka-dot bar and talented mixologists ensure that a great night is had by all. Particularly those searching for more than a cocktail, as Rote does possess a certain louche quality, making it all the more appealing in a city full of bankers and buttoned-up suits.

Luna Bar

Stiftstraße 6
Luna Bar is especially charming – who can resist expertly mixed Mojitos, the striking design and laid back vibe? The attentive service is no less impressive, ensuring that Luna Bar is a firm favourite with first-date couples, friends and those searching for an intimate evening.

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