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Photography by Manfred Wegener

A taste of my neighbourhood...

|   People

…Südstadt — Hans Mörtter is pastor of the Lutherkirche

Spirituality and food are two sides of the same coin. I always notice that the conversations are a lot deeper in good restaurants. Eating together makes us more mindful and grateful. For me personally, it makes me feel part of something. Having said that, I’m not someone who sits down to eat breakfast. I fall out of bed and hit the ground running! All I need is a good cappuccino like the ones at Café Sur (Metzer Str. 39). The owners come from Argentina, but the place also has a real Cologne vibe to it and I always end up chatting to someone. People tend to be very sociable in the Südstadt — the “south of the city” — and don’t just stay within their own four walls. When I’m out and about on the busy Severinstrasse shopping street, I always stop to chat. I buy my fruit and vegetables from Obs un Jemös (Severinstr. 26), which sells regional produce. Their little walnuts taste a lot better than the expensive imported ones. We still have real bakeries here in the Südstadt — not the mass-produced chemical rubbish you often find elsewhere. There have been quite a few changes along Elsassstrasse: Johann Schäfer (Elsassstr. 6), a modern brewery, sells its own beer and high-quality food. Their savoy cabbage is to die for! Opposite that is Épicerie Boucherie (Elsassstr. 3), a small restaurant where I go for quiche — sometimes they have wonderful coq au vin too. And Phaedra (Elsassstr. 30) serves up Mediterranean cuisine at its best. If you’re in the mood for pizza, I highly recommend 485 Grad (Bonner Str. 34). The Südstadt has evolved into a feel-good neighbourhood where the culture of good food is being rediscovered. Of course, gentrification is also an issue here. Some people move here and think that just because they’ve bought an expensive apartment, they can lay down the rules and call for the bars to close and everything to go quiet from 10 pm. But most people move here because they love the vibrant flair. The Südstadt has a rich tradition of community, solidarity and diversity. And as pastor of the Lutherkirche church, I will do my utmost to keep it that way!