Friday 3 October | 2014
Flea markets are fun, eccentric little hubs where culture and history meet retro style. Finding something unique and adorable for little money is always so satisfying, and at the curious Cologne flea market you have great chances of success.
Later you can wander beyond the city gates to Cologne’s stylish Mittelstraße, where Café Rico awaits.
The tables are full, the lounge music lively, and waiters are rushing around trying to be in several places at once. The atmosphere here is addictive, and keeps the locals coming back regularly to this main street institution. Worth reserving is the corner table, which includes cosy autumn supplies such as a lamp, oversize cushions and a panoramic view of Cologne waking up.
One thing Café Rico does spectacularly well is hot chocolate. Order the Chocolate a La Taza (€3.90) which is made with real Valrhona chocolate – it is blissfully rich without being too sweet, and is served to piping hot perfection. The cappuccino however is a little disappointing, being too weak and almost watery. Nobody cares though with that rocking hot chocolate on the table.
Serving sizes at Café Rico are really generous, with the eggs natur (€4.50) being a challenge to finish. They are just cooked through and lightly salted too, which is a winning formula for decent scrambled eggs.
The muesli with fresh fruit and yoghurt (€4.90) feels healthy, with its untoasted natural flakes, plain yoghurt and traditional fruit mix. It’s fine, but more something you would throw together yourself in the morning. There is also a larger version (€7.50) but it’s hard to imagine the regular size being too small.
Strammer Moritz (€6.70) is a novelty we haven’t seen before: a slice of dark wholegrain (vollkorn) bread decked with ham, cheese and two fried eggs. The traditional Saxon strammer sandwich has a colourful history, and is celebrated at Café Rico with a few different variations.
Time to put your leisurely Sunday morning Sudoku aside, and figure out a more useful mathematical riddle – like how many cakes are in this cabinet. You can start with the raspberry torte, and seasonal plum torte. Then there is the apple cheesecake, Sacher torte, and vanilla marzipan cake, not forgetting the lemon yoghurt cream cake. A total of 16 divine creations to discover, and you can bet they are all delicious.
These two we couldn’t resist. The Swiss chocolate cake (€3.90) is knockout combination of dark chocolate mousse on chocolate sponge, while the pear and vanilla crumble (€3.90) is packed with fruit, sweet vanilla custard and buttery crumble topping. And yes, they are worth every calorie.
Cake and hot chocolate nirvana.
Plan your visit with a sneak peak at menu: