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Health & Wellbeing


Potatoes and veggis

The hefty regional kitchen was never designed to please calorie counters. The traditional local diet in Düsseldorf includes much meat, especially pork, thick sauces, potatoes and vegetables. However, late spring sees the arrival of locally grown healthy and light white Asparagus, Spargel, on the markets.

When in season, Rhenish mussels, Muscheln rheinischer Art, prove highly popular. They are cooked with vegetables in white wine and served with typical German black bread, Schwarzbrot. Another dish is black pudding, either with onions, Flöns mit Öl, or roasted with mashed potatoes and applesauce, Himmel und Ähd. The names are in the Rhineland dialect.

As for fast food, Imbiss, the term might have its roots in North America of the eighteen hundreds but the hamburger originates from a recipe of ground beef-steak-bread combination that immigrants brought from Hamburg. Germans have also been eating fast food for an eternity.


Traditionally made from ground veal and pork and flavoured with salt, white pepper and paprika,  That’s Frankfurter or simmered sausage, Bockwurst. Other spices, such as chives and parsley, are also often added in Germany. Thicker but smaller in length than a Frankfurter, this classic is warmed in hot water and often served with potato salad and always with mustard.


The classic. A Bratwurst, grilled sausage, is fried, has less veal than pork and it is usually served with a slice of toast or a small bread roll and mustard.


A Bratwurst is sliced and doused with ketchup and curry powder, usually not too sharp. Sometimes, someone may order a very colloquial Mantaplatte, which means chips or fries with mayonnaise, ketchup and a curried sausage, Currywurst.

Pommes Frites

Potatoes are deep fried and eaten as chips or fries in several ways: Pommes Weiss with Mayo, mayonnaise; Pommes Rot are with Ketchup, tomato ketchup; Pommes Weiss Rot are served with both mayonnaise and tomato ketchup. Fries are never served with vinegar or brown sauce.

Döner Kebab

In short, Döner, doner kebab, is a dish brought by many Turks that has enraptured and captured Germany. Meat is sliced off a rotating spit of lamb, Schaf, veal, Kalbfleisch,  beef, Rind, or chicken, Hähnchen, that is grilled. A Döner is accompanied by a piece of Turkish bread filled with raw onions, salad, coleslaw, tomatoes, cucumbers and either a sharp, Scharf, or garlic, Knoblauch, sauce.


Meat patties, known also as a Bulette, of many recipes consist mostly of ground meat, breadcrumbs, spices and onions and it is a flat ball-shape. Quality varies enormously.

Halbes Hähnchen

This is normally purchased at a take away stand or snack bar where the chickens are roasted on spits already well spiced with paprika and salt and sliced in half before being served.


Boneless, breadcrumbed cutlet, Schnitzel, is mostly served with salad and fries, which comes in several variations: Jäger, hunter Schnitzel is pork with a dark sauce normally consisting of gravy, cream and mushrooms; Zigeuner, gypsy, Schnitzel is pork with a spicy reddish sauce with paprika and onions; Schnitzel Wiener Art, Viennese style, is a crumbed pork cutlet while the original Wiener Schnitzel is created using veal. Both are served without sauce but with a quarter of lemon.

By Vincent Green, Jun 28 2020

Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture

Rochusstrasse 1
52123 Bonn

+49 228 242 526 27

Artist performing on carpet


Art venues and museums in Düsseldorf regularly present selections of their fine pieces in well arranged exhibitions. Regular exhibits also include fascinating or rare works from across the globe with loaned art and artefacts.

Written text on paper


We stand in a foreign culture finding ourselves pointing, gesticulating and hoping to be understood. Germans mostly speak at least some English. However, some expats relocating to Düsseldorf may wish to carry a few basic but helpful words with them for use in awkward moments.


Original language movies are popular among expats in Düsseldorf. Films are frequently screened in English at a variety of cinemas in original with subtitles, known as OmU or Original mit Untertitel and without, portrayed as OV or Original Version. 

Sandy beach, water and 2 women


To the surprise of newly arrived expats, some sections of the Rhine in Düsseldorf offer numerous beaches on both banks. The fine sand and shingle are ideal for walking, playing, relaxing and picnicking. Especially on warm and sunny summer days, people flock to enjoy the river. 

Socialising in Düsseldorf

Staying in touch and getting together with others living in a similar situation can be important. Expat groups in social media are highly valuable sources for connecting. Socialising in Düsseldorf can include events, international clubs or heading for a popular spot to meet international residents.