Die Quadriga, Berlin (tel. 030/214050; www.brandenburger-hof.com): Critics hail this gastronomic wonder in the Hotel Brandenburger Hof as Berlin's finest dining choice. Celebrated for its modern Continental cuisine, it's where the president of Germany takes his favorite guests when he wants to "show off." While seated in a 1904 chair designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, you can enjoy food that is, in a word, sublime.
Essigbrätlein, Nürnberg (tel. 0911/225131): Food critics single this out as the best dining spot in Nürnberg, and we heartily agree. Its upscale Franconian and Continental cuisine is reason enough to visit the city.
Weinhaus Zum Stachel, Würzburg (tel. 0931/52770; www.weinhaus-stachel.de): This is the oldest (ca. 1413) wine house in a town loaded with them. Food is good, portions are copious, the wine flows, and everyone has a wonderful time. This is old-time Deutschland at its most appealing.
Tantris, Munich (tel. 089/3619590; www.tantris.de): Savvy German food critics have honored Tantris's Hans Haas as the country's top chef. He definitely serves some of the finest and most innovative food in Bavaria.
Hanse Stube, Cologne (tel. 0221/2701; www.excelsiorhotelernst.com): Located in a landmark hotel, this restaurant lies on the same square as the fabled Rhineland cathedral. French cuisine in Cologne doesn't get any better than this -- the chefs have a prodigious talent for preparing food using only the finest and freshest ingredients.
Victorian Restaurant, Düsseldorf (tel. 0211/865500; www.restaurant-victorian.de): Regulars know what a treasure they have in this restaurant: Market-fresh ingredients and a steady hand in the kitchen produce award-winning traditional and modern food.
Waldhotel Sonnora, outside Bernkastel-Kues (tel. 06578/406; www.hotel-sonnora.de): In the Mosel Valley, the Waldhotel Sonnora is one of the most justifiably acclaimed restaurants in the country. Be sure to make a reservation as far in advance as possible and prepare yourself for a gastronomic adventure in Continental cuisine. Herr Thieltges, the chef, told us, "We don't just serve dishes -- rather, culinary masterpieces." We agree.
Fischereihafen Restaurant, Altona, near Hamburg (tel. 040/381816; www.fischereihafenrestaurant.de): Patrons from Tina Turner to Helmut Kohl have pronounced the food here delightful. From a window seat, you can overlook the boats that might have hauled in your sole, eel, turbot, herring, or flounder from the seas that day.
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