Wein Dünker – The Friendliest Wine Cellar in Frankfurt, Germany

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Bornheim is a residential area in the north of Frankfurt. A 15 minutes train ride from the city center will take you to Berger Strasse of Bornheim, a major street with many authentic German restaurants serving some of the most delicious local dishes from Handkäs (a Frankfurt specialty cheese) to Ebbelwei (apple wine). I will leave the amazing food on Berger Strasse for another post, here I want to tell you about my experience at the Wein Dünker on Berger Strasse.

The Wein Dünker is a wine cellar turned wine bar. Our friend called it the “cave”, and he was spot on. Going down the stairs, we reached a large, old wooden door. As we passed through the door, we arrived at what appeared to be a small cave. The structure inside the cave is totally original without any touch-ups or renovations. Visible is the evidence of time with torn ceilings and slightly uneven floors, but the unpolished decay only added to its beauty and authenticity. There are photos of friends and customers from decades ago hanging on the wall; the bar counter is in the center of the room, and on both sides are tables filled with locals, even on a Monday night.

My companion and I definitely looked different from the locals, but we are quite used to being the only strangers in a foreign place. As we looked up to the handwritten wine list on the wall and wondering what we should order, a middle-aged German man who is very tall with wide shoulders came and spoke to us in heavily accented English:”Your first time here? You know what to order?” He must have noticed the hesitation on our faces, immediately he said:”Come with me! Let me show you everything about German wineries!” We followed him to another room and stopped in front of a map, he pointed to the map and explained to us the specialties of the famous German wineries while his friends made fun of him in the back (apparently everyone is a regular here), then he took us back to the cave, and ordered us white wine (maybe because I mentioned Riesling), with the wine in hand, he then raised his glass and showed us how he judges a good wine.

We ended up drinking and talking a lot with these amazingly open and friendly strangers! I didn’t even know what wine I was tasting after a while, it just kept coming and I didn’t mind because they tasted really good. By the end of the night, we tried to say goodbye many times to no avail. Just when we thought we were all cleared to go, the owner came up to us and gave us another glass of complimentary wine. Let me tell you, it was really hard getting out of there!

We were literally in shock at how hospitable and friendly these locals were and we couldn’t stop talking about them the entire way home. They were the nicest strangers we’ve ever met in our history of traveling. Our French friend who took us there said he loves Frankfurt people, for the many times he has been there, people have always been very friendly and accommodating with him. So were we lucky or were people just nice? I choose to believe the later.

If you are in Frankfurt and want to drink amazing German wine, in a cave, with no pretense but friendly locals, you MUST go to the Wein Dünker! Plus there are many good restaurants around, which makes it a perfect place to relax after your meal!

Wein Dünker: Berger Str. 265, Frankfurt. Tel.: 069 45 19 93


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