With its small takeaway window and outdoor seating spilling out onto the Münsterplatz, the Hanswurst blended so seamlessly into the Christmas market in Aachen that we thought at first is was just another of the market’s many sausage stands. It was only on closer inspection that we discovered a smart-looking restaurant tucked behind the simple exterior, filled with diners enjoying platefuls of sausages served in a variety of ways. One glance at the colourful and extensive menu, featuring images of the many offerings, and we were sold.
Inside was buzzing with the chatter of groups of friends and families across communal tables. Orders were placed and collected at the counter in front of the open kitchen, where service was fast and friendly. I couldn’t go past the HANSburger, a burger made with a grilled “sausage wheel” in place of a meat patty – genius! Served with a side of HANSfrites, I washed it all down with a lemonade, which turned out to be the original Mirinda Orange, a long-forgotten childhood favourite of mine.
Hanswurst prides itself on its fresh and natural food preparation, producing all of their artisan sausages to traditional recipes. Their goal of offering diners with an insight into German gastronomy through “sausage culture” seems like a very sophisticated approach for such a simple meal in this casual dining setting. But with dishes as delicious as this, I’d say they have totally succeeded.
When I saw the giant sausage sitting on top of Hanswurst, it was like a beacon of hope for a carnivore like me. I’d been walking around the Aachen Christmas Markets all morning, and despite having sausage-sampling at the top of my list of things to do while in Germany, none of the market’s sausage stands appealed to me.
I followed the giant sausage sign to Hanswurst and discovered a menu offering sausage dishes in many forms. Presented with photos of every dish, it didn’t take me long to settle on one of the regional specialties, the HANSnürnberg: “Six on Kraut” with sweet mustard and horseradish served on the traditional tin plate.
The plate came out with six sausages perfectly golden and sitting on top of the biggest pile of sauerkraut I’ve ever seen. It literally covered more than half my plate, and I was excited to take on the challenge. I dipped the first sausage into the sweet mustard sauce and took a bite – juicy and delicious. With a mouthful of the sauerkraut it was the perfect balance of sour, sweet and savoury. I chopped and chewed and washed it all down with a mug of the Hansbraü house beer, which was also a pretty good drop. I was glad I had resisted all those other sausage stands. Hanswurst was unbelievably good – they should change the name to Hanswurst – The GREATEST Sausage Restaurant!
Hanswurst – Das Wurstrestaurant
Münsterplatz 6, 52062 Aachen