The cheap Frankfurt eats – a simple guide

Jan 17, 2019 | Recommendations | 0 comments

…trying not to get your hopes up

Now before I start, I just do not really want to get your hopes up. Frankfurt is NOT cheap in any way. It is considered to be one of the typical consultants city where people take the train everyday to work here, but not live here.

There is a certain standard maintained in this city, and restaurants tend to be quite nice, clean and expensive. Eating out is some sort of fashion here – as a lot of people, from what I have seen from the local lunch eateries, tend to eat out.

Lunch time during the week is almost always overcrowded in the central area (so basically, Alte Oper, Westend, Bockenheimer, Hauptwache, Hauptbahnhof and whatever is in the vicinity). During dinner time, you can get a table, unless it is Friday or Saturday. Sunday is a church day in Germany – and almost nothing is open except the fast food chains and the toristy restaurants.


  • general things to know
  • how to be really cheap
  • cheap places to eat

What to try

Before I start, there are three main things that you need to try in Frankfurt, except the frankfurter sausage: apfelwein, Grüne Soße and Handkäse.


This is a sort of cider, a little tart but typical of the region. Now a lot of Germans drink beer, but the later is not so great in Frankfurt. Unlike Bavaria or the hipster selections of Berlin, here you do not get much, but you get apfelwein plenty. Do not get me wrong, Germany is a beer place, wherever you go there is plenty of beer and plenty of selection. So if you were an outsider like me, you would be amazed – but once you talk to people that have spent some time here – they will put you down easily.

Back to apfelwein. You can have it in three ways: regular – so nothing added, with sparkling water or sweet, with a little bit of sprite. Depending on your taste, if you have never had it before, try the sweet version – as it is more normal.

Grüne Soße (green sauce)

Fairly straight forward – a herbal sauce that it is used for meats or eggs or potatoes. It is interesting and quite flavorful.


It’s a type of cheese, smells like old socks, they like it here (as they like the stinky cheeses in general). Based on that – if you walk in a supermarket and get a strong smell of rotten food, it’s the cheese area. I bought it once, slinked up my fridge – so for the love of what’s holy, please have it in the restaurants only. Give it a try as it has a very strong full flavor.


I know I said three, but there is a special type of sausage for every holiday here. I like them, but humbly, I cannot identify the flavor. Maybe you can! Something to bear in mind – they are served in a small bread with ketchup or Senf(mustard). Why they do not serve them with something else is beyond me though…

Out of all three(four), try the apfelwein, it is a personal favorite of mine.

Cheap Eats


They are my favorite. Supermarkets in Frankfurt tend to be huge with an immense selection of products, great prices, and a warm food area. At every REWE that I have been in, they had rotisserie chickens, meatballs, a salad station, roast beef and more. Prices are cheap and the quality is very decent. For drink keep in mind that you will be charged a recycling fee. So a 99 cent redbull will cost you 1.24, and after you drink it, return it to get the 25 cents back.

Sundays all of them are closed except the two supermarkets at the airport.

Fast food chains

Almost any fast food chain imaginable is here and they are open 7 days a week. If you are in Frankfurt for a day, and that day is Sunday, then these are almost the only places that you can actually eat something.

Doner Places

Like everywhere you will get cheap fast food here, somewhat decent, Have not really been amazed by anyone here, but if there is nothing else that fancies you, give them a try

Happy Hour

A lot of restaurants practice happy hour incentives. Considering that this is a working city, almost any restaurant is full during lunch and dinner time. Completely free at any other part of the day. Make sure to check them out!

Kleinmarkthalle and  other weekly markets

There is this general obsession with markets in Germany. The one that I would recommend is Kleinmarkthalle which happens every Saturday. It is in a very central location and it has everything from local food to try, actual markets and when the weather is good, usually live music and a lot of wine and apfelwein in the back with some music. Konstablerwache u-bahn station turns in a market on Saturdays as well. Similar concept as Kleinmarkthalle, maybe a little cheaper.

Something to be noted is the Christmas market as well – which happens every December in Frankfurt (and everywhere in Germany). This is such a big deal here that people do Christmas market tours in different German cities. The food that you would expect here is typical German, but somewhat not really expensive.

Restaurants that I recommend

These recommendations are all around the business area of the city – an area I tend to explore everyday. I am sure that are plenty of other places, but these are the ones I have explored.


For nice burgers I like Burgerschmiede (Bockenheimer Landstraße 9, 60325 Frankfurt am Main). It is a small place, with a small kitchen but with delicious burgers.

Out of a chain – Five Guys are my favourite (Zeil 127, 60313 Frankfurt am Main).


In terms of Sushi places ,Superkato is my all time ffavorite(Kornmarkt 3, 60311 Frankfurt am Main). On lunch ,there is always a line, but you do not really wait a lot. Prices are cheap and the sushi is DELICIOUS.

On regards to Japanese Ramen, Takumi is definitely my favorite (Mendelssohnstraße 44, 60325 Frankfurt am Main)


For local cuisine, highly recommend Mutter Ernst (Alte Rothofstraße 12, 60313 Frankfurt am Main). During Friday lunch they have a special Frikadelle(just a big fried meatball/burger) with fried egg and a side of potato salad – which is highly recommended.


For thai – I personally like ASIA thai Food (Freiherr-vom-Stein-Straße 22, 60323 Frankfurt am Main) – but I mainly like this because it is cheap, portions are massive, food is delicious and it is close to work.


Regarding sweets, to be brutally honest, I have tried a couple of places but I still do not really like them. Cheesecakes are weird, chocolate cakes are interesting but nothing too fancy – nothing is really sweet enough for me! But as I said, still exploring.

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