Eating out is a significant part of Luxembourg culture. It is common to take long a lunch, even on workdays, and then to meet with friends or family later for wine and dinner that consists of multiple courses. Luxembourg has some excellent restaurants, including upscale ones that offer gourmet fare and smaller local restaurants and cafes. Here’s a short guide to eating out, a must-have for new expats who want to explore the culinary delights of Luxembourg.
Luxembourg cuisine has central European influences and bears some similarities to French and German cooking.Dishes that are found in many other countries are available here too, but may seem unfamiliar to travellers because of their distinct Luxembourgish names. Some traditional recipes include Judd mat Gaardebounen – smoked pork collar with broad beans and a thick creamy gravy; Kachkéis – soft melted cheese served with bread; Fierkelsrëppchen – grilled spareribs; and Quetschentaart – an open fruit tart with plums. Something you must try when in Luxembourg is Gromperekichelcher, which are crisp potato fritters with onions and parsley. You are bound to find these at markets and fairs, and they make for a delicious snack, especially in winter.
Land of good spirits
The region of Moselle in Luxembourg has a long history of wine-making and produces mainly dry white wine and sparkling wine. Every wine made in Luxembourg bears the Marque Nationale, which carries its origin and level of quality. Beer, mainly lager, is very popular too in Luxembourg. There are three main breweries and a few smaller ones that locally produce beer. Interview is a popular pub amongst Europeans, with its dark wood interiors and vintage light fixtures. There is also Café des Artists, in Grund, which features live piano music on most weeknights. Across the road, and a bit louder than the others, is Scott’s Pub, which tends to get especially boisterous when there are sports on. The Urban, in the old town, is known for its pub food and is a particular favorite amongst expats.
Restaurants in Luxembourg serve almost every type of international cuisine, ranging from African, Asian, Middle Eastern and the different types of European fare, such as French, Italian, German and Portuguese. Restaurants are usually open from 6 pm to late at night. They tend to be closed on one day of the week, and hence it’s a good idea to check with them before dropping in. Many make it a point to reserve a table on a Friday or Saturday night as a way to sit back and relax at the end of the workweek. Most restaurants have comprehensive wine lists, and if you’re not too sure what to pick, go with the house wine, as these are usually good choices. All restaurants, big or small, are known to maintain a high quality of food. Some popular restaurants include:
• Clairefontaine – Located near the center of the old town, this elegant Michelin star restaurant offers some good French wines and is known for specialties such as venison and foie gras with truffles, and roast lobster with asparagus and almonds.
• L’Agath – With an impressive seven-course menu on offer and an equally impressive list of wines, L’Agath is situated about 3 kilometers from the city center and is definitely worth a visit.
• Au Quai de la Gare – This restaurant has gained considerable popularity for its reasonably priced food and simple preparations made with quality local ingredients.
• Cantine Mousel – If you would like to sample some hearty Luxembourg specialties such as wild boar and veal escalope with accompaniments of noodles and dumplings, Cantine Mousel is the place for you. The Mousel lager is known to be one of the best beers in Luxembourg.
• Chez Bacano – Located at Rue de Clausen, Chez Bacano is popular for its huge flambé prawns with shredded garlic that go well with fresh flavored wine that is specially shipped in from Portugal daily.
Other great places to eat out include Kamakura in the Grund area, which features traditional Japanese cuisine. Just across from it is Mosconi, a fine dining establishment specializing in Italian dishes. With a more modest budget, you can still enjoy top-quality food at Wäistuff Restaurant. Here you can sample kniddelen, which are soft dumplings served with an assortment of rich sauces.