Editor’s Note: As restrictions on gastronomy are being lifted post-lockdown, Dirk Pohlers, a tour guide in Leipzig, shares with us five of his favorite bars. It’s meant both to support local businesses during this tough time and to come back to one of Leipzig’s truly outstanding qualities – our Kneipenkultur. So that you can easily find these spots and be prepared for their hygiene measures, we also added the current opening status as per Facebook updates (4 out of 5 were open at the time of this writing), and a Google Maps/address list of all the bars mentioned. Enjoy!
Leipzig was always linked to its history as a trade city for me: a city that is open and always in exchange. Together with its manageable size and all the canals and lakes close by, it seemed very attractive to me to return here after spending time abroad. Discovering the best new and old places to eat, drink and enjoy the day has since been one of my favorite hobbies.
After a long time of social isolation and staying home, everybody is now looking forward for bars and restaurants to reopen. Here are my top five hidden gems of Leipzig’s bar scene for you to check out.
For everybody wanting to experience some true East German atmosphere, Frau Krause in Connewitz is the place to go. The term “Gastro Pub” can be taken literally here – a pub style bar with a few very classic (East German) dishes and nibbles. Locals enjoy their “Hausbier” here, draft beer fresh from the tap. In the winter, guests gather inside of what looks like a corner bar some good 30 years ago, with all its patina. In the summer, the beer garden across the road is pulling people in from around the neighborhood.
Heiter bis Wolkig is the name of the cafe and bar that is part of the old Plagwitz train station grounds called “Bürgerbahnhof Plagwitz.” The name refers to the initiative that led to the development of the area, and the cafe is designed as a place for people to come together, away from busy streets, with neighbors and visitors alike. Plenty of DIY furniture and lots of space allow you to unwind and enjoy coffee, cake and drinks, all of which are fair trade and regional. If you wish to bring your kids, they will be delighted: a large playground, also provided by the initiative, is located just next to the cafe.
Just in the middle of Karl-Heine-Straße, Rudi lures in its guests with an unpretentious sign by a big window. Nothing can go wrong when your drink is prepared right in front of your eyes on the bar counter of this modern and stylish place. It all started here with just a Whiskey Sour in 2014 but the menu has grown significantly since. You can find your favorite “Sour” here, of course, as well as a number of all-time classics.
Status: OPEN – from 9 pm
Right at the northern start of the endless Zchochersche Straße, Liqwe bar is a local favorite founded by three students. Drink a pint of wheat beer for three euros and immerse yourself in the arty decor of this cozy place. Delicious cocktails for a fiver are also at your fingertips as well as homemade shots like the Mexikaner, which is basically a variation on the flavors of a Bloody Mary. This place is tiny, but I can’t help but love it.
For the ones closer to the center, this little bar lies just a stone’s throw away east from all the hustle and butle in Leipzig’s inner city. The bar calls itself “The home of Punk ‘n’ Roll,” and deservedly so. Members of bands such as The Smiths and The Sex Pistols have played small gigs here. Frequent live concerts are accompanied by a focus on hoppy drinks. Hey, Ho, …
By Dirk Pohlers
Finally, here is the whole list of bars in one handy Google Map, in case you are planning a pub crawl or just want to quickly check for the one closest to you. And check out Dirk’s Leipzig Free Walking Tours to support him! He is gearing up to start again this summer after a long hiatus (he moved away and came back).