MANNHEIM – a city that moves
Six creative men and women from Mannheim have given us
their insider tips
Six creative men and women from Mannheim have given us their insider tips – where to find the most delicious food, the best shopping and the coolest hang-outs.
Paul Sieferle is under way in the tour bus to perform with Max Giesinger. The bassist, bartender and entrepreneur came to Mannheim in 2009 to study at the Pop Academy. And since he is always on the lookout for something to do, in 2012 he opened the Hagestolz bar in Jungbusch, together with Abian Hammann and Phil Hötte. “We met while working at a pub and decided to open the bar we couldn’t find in Mannheim: one with a personal character. And so we did (almost) everything ourselves.”
In the beginning, many of the guests were friends and acquaintances: “There was a strong sense of identification and community, which contributed to the emergence of the Jungbusch district.” In 2015, he and Marco Sailer, who in the same year was named the best barber in Germany, opened Sieferle & Sailer: a “joint venture made up of bar and barbershop”. Where does this entrepreneur prefer to shop in Mannheim? Sieferle immediately mentions the Kurfürsten perfumery: “Products that put you in a good mood. That’s where I go with my mother when she comes to visit.” When buying shoes, you’ll find him in Pellegrini’s. For food, he heads to Paola and Pino at D.S. Lebensmittel with their Italian specialities. “When I’m in Mannheim, I go there every day: the espresso there is just wonderful.” If you want to experience Mannheim as sunset fades into the night, Paul Sieferle recommends the Café Flo by the water tower for an aperitif – “wine, champagne, everything is great”. After that, head to the restaurant Glück & Verstand – “they’re good friends of ours” – and the neighbourhood electro club Disco Zwei to end the night.
Floating on groove and sound clouds: in a new quintet line-up, Thomas Siffling’s current project “Flow” invites you to immerse yourself and take off. The album that came out of the project was released back in spring 2017.
“With the full sound provided by the quintet, I can sprinkle my salt and pepper into the soup whenever I want”, explains a delighted Siffling, who is now in the top rank of German jazz trumpeters.
There are also cross-connections to gastronomy. For the concept album “kitchen music” by the Thomas Siffling Trio, the iconic Stuttgart chef Vincent Klink developed the hearty “Siffling dumpling”. As a connoisseur and omnivore who has been living in Mannheim for over 20 years, Siffling enjoys the creative “bistronomy” of Dennis Maier at Emma Wolf, and the excellent cuisine of Marly in Speicher 7. “My wife and I love to eat lunch at Gregor Ruppenthal’s place.” The Casa della Pasta is his other lunch tip: “Everything homemade, two courses, very tasty.” And in the evening? Any time of the year, Siffling recommends Hagestolz and the Sieferle & Sailer bar in the Jungbusch district. In the summer months, he enjoys the view from the ROOF bar in the Radisson Blu Hotel or heads to the Speicher 7 bar to sit outside with a view of the Rhine. “My very best tip is to visit my new jazz club 'Ella & Louis' in Mannheim.”
Originally, she came here to sing. Today, she makes socks. Together with business partner Lucas Pulkert, Maria Pentschev is one half of the business duo behind the successful “von Jungfeld” label. Since 2013, they have been promoting the subject of tastefully clad men’s feet and causing a mighty furore in doing so. She doesn’t regret her time at the “Popakademie” in Mannheim, where she completed her bachelor’s degree as a singer-songwriter and then a master’s in music and creative industries. No regrets. On the contrary. “My studies were innovative, practical and decidedly entrepreneurial – this made them the ideal start-up support for our business.”
Her home base is the Jungbusch district. Local indulgence tips include the “Kombüse” for vegetarian food and “Glück & Verstand”. For nightlife, she recommends “Sieferle & Sailer” for high-quality drinks and “Disco Zwei”: “a cool underground, neon-free electro club – the opposite of mainstream.” Speaking of music, that’s still close to her heart, especially in analogue form. She enjoys browsing for vinyl in the record shop Come Back. For clothes, she appreciates the fashion expertise of engelhorn and the Pellegrini shoe shop.
In the Q 6 Q 7 complex, a “beautiful shopping landscape with gastronomy included”, she goes shopping for gifts. Thanks to the shopping robot in front of BUTIQ, this is even possible after closing time – “very convenient!” When she’s in the mood for something more peaceful, she has a favourite place in Mannheim: the “Neckarspitze” at night. “Looking down on the water, to your right the Neckarstadt district, to your left the lights of BASF. This is the industrial romance I love.”
“Creating open space, closing gaps, providing suggestions, dreaming and thinking ahead” – this is how Daria Holme describes her motivation to implement ground-breaking projects such as EinTanzHaus, which opened in September 2017. “It’s all about doing, without thinking too much about what can go wrong.”
With her partner, dancer and choreographer Eric Trottier, she founded the EinTanzHaus association and created a new centre for contemporary dance in the building of the former Trinity Church. The two partners share in the artistic and organisational direction.
“We are everything in one”, says the graphic designer, who studied at the Gerrit Rietveld Art Academy in Amsterdam. “Where art stops and design begins is a border I don’t recognise.” She has already won various prizes for her self-published “Kindertseitung”.
Her top Mannheim tips? “I currently spend a lot of time in the Neckarstadt-West district”, she explains. “The Einraumhaus and the Kiosk on the Neumarkt initiatives have totally enriched the area.” She is also a regular at the pizzeria Salerno across from the EintanzHaus. As a Neckarstadt resident, she can often be found in the Adria, which is THE neighbourhood meeting place. She recommends the Langer too: “a funky mix of fashion, furniture, art shop and café.” Daria buys her food in Edith’s Stadthofladen on the Alter Messplatz and – “also highly recommended” – in the Italian grocery store D.S. She doesn’t have much time left over for clothes shopping. “But I can never resist looking into Sasas vintage, with fashion from the 1930s onwards.” When it comes to literature, Bücher Bender is her preferred destination, “a stylish bookstore with tradition and personal service.”
“Our cuisine plays with aromas, often from Asia, which we incorporate into our creations. We want to surprise our guests with every course.” Tristan Brandt, head chef at Opus V in Mannheim, loves the unexpected while remaining focused on the essentials. He has consistently reduced the menu in the engelhorn flagship restaurant to three main ingredients, which are as imaginative as they are ingeniously combined and composed.
His cuisine is “experimental, modern and no-frills”, says Germany’s youngest two-star chef. A characteristic dish is “sweet and sour cod, salty-spicy”. He got to know and love Chinese cuisine in Shanghai. While working on the MS Europa cruise ship, he deepened his knowledge through working with numerous Asian chefs.
When Tristan Brandt is not cooking for himself, he likes to go to a good Italian. The Bella Napoli in Mannheim-Neuostheim is his favourite, but he also enjoys the authentic Austrian cuisine of the Pinzgauer Stub’n. He buys fresh food for his own needs at the Mannheim weekly market, because “there you can find the best and most unusual foods in the whole city”.
Brandt is also experimental when it comes to ice cream. His favourite flavour, pear with Parmesan, was created by the great ice cream master Dario Fontanella in his ice cream factory. Here, as is well known, spaghetti ice cream was also invented – another of Brandt’s favourites.
The chef runs four other restaurants and three bars in the engelhorn fashion house in addition to Opus V. He enjoys spending his rare moments of free time at the water tower: “With the beautiful architecture and all the greenery, this is my favourite place to relax in Mannheim.”
Dennis Maier's “Bistronomy” bears the name of his grandmother, Emma Wolf, and was awarded its first Michelin star in 2017. Maier, who won his first Michelin star at the Sra Bua in Frankfurt, personally presides over the kitchen of the coolly designed 30-seat restaurant, which offers a “compact, lively, small menu with high-quality dishes”.
He is also in charge of all things culinary in street food and home cooking for the “Stullenküche” bread and sandwich bar in the Q 6 Q 7 complex. “So far, this is unique in Germany: a high-quality catering concept in a modern shopping mall.”
For anyone looking for a present for someone else or even for themself, he recommends the delicatessen concept store “Schnaps & Liebe”, integrated into “Die Küche”, with its regional specialities, wine and spirits.
“Another cool idea is enjoying a massage in the Salzgrotte (salt grotto). The building is inconspicuous from the outside, but inside it is pure relaxation.”
If you’re short of time, his tip is Supan’s - “Mannheim’s most authentic Thai restaurant” – and for all lovers of Japanese cuisine, he recommends the Tokyo sushi bar and restaurant. “And I really like the honest, delicious, lovingly cooked cuisine of the Pinzgauer Stub’n.”
His tips for the hip Jungbusch district are “Maria” and the bar-barber combination Sieferle & Sailer. When he’s ready to take a break outside the city, he heads for the nearby Käfertal Forest: “That’s where I played when I was a kid. With a miniature golf course and a game reserve, the Karlstern in the Käfertal Forest is the ideal destination for excursions with the whole family.”