I moved to Cologne from my native France 17 years ago. And for 12 of those I’ve been living in Ehrenfeld, where I run my store Le Pop Lingerie on Geisselstrasse. During that time, I haven’t just become an Ehrenfeld resident, but a true local patriot! And I have to admit that I rarely step outside my neighbourhood — it’s like my own little town! Ehrenfeld’s beauty is hidden in the details — you can soak up its unique spirit and good vibes on the street simply by chatting to the people here. It isn’t a place you can just visit briefly and then tick off your list. That might work elsewhere, but not here.
From a culinary perspective, this part of Cologne offers a lot of variety. We don’t really want for anything here. Apart from perhaps a good ramen place. On the way to my store in the mornings, I like to stop by Café Fridolin (Venloer Str. 425), a wonderfully laid-back spot. Although the area itself isn’t what you’d call typically attractive, there’s a certain charm to it. Ehrenfeld has loads of great cafés where you can sit cosily inside in the winter and enjoy the sunshine al fresco in the summer. One of my favourite places to eat is Saudade (Wahlenstr. 2), a little Portuguese wine tavern — gambas and vinho verde are all I need to have a good evening! When night falls, I do like a lot of the pubs and bars that Ehrenfeld has to offer but always end up going back to the same place: Die Hängenden Gärten von Ehrenfeld (Vogelsanger Str. 140), literally “the hanging gardens of Ehrenfeld”, is where I feel most at home, also because they regularly put on little concerts. But if you really want to get to know this part of the city, just take a leisurely stroll down Venloer Strasse and go with the flow. Either with an ice cream in your hand from the Eisdielerin (Venloer Str. 402) or a beer from the kiosk. Or preferably both! For me, that’s Ehrenfeld!