Fine German Food, and Much More
When someone says “The Heidelberg”, they may be thinking of very different things. That’s because the Heidelberg has three floors, offering a very different experience on each! Upstairs is Club Above, and downstairs is the Rathskeller. But the main floor – whether you call it “The Alpine Dining Room” or “The Heidelberg” – is where you’ll find the establishment that has been serving fine German food in Ann Arbor since 1961.
Balancing Tradition & Evolution
A lot has changed in the fifty years since the Heidelberg first opened its doors, but when the current owners took over the restaurant more than a decade ago, they were committed to maintaining certain elements of “the ‘berg”, as it is often called by regulars and locals. When the dining room was given a refresh several years ago, the biggest changes were actually more like restoration than remodeling. A key element of that refresh was exposing and restoring the murals on the wall, and restoring the finishes on a lot of woodwork to keep the comfortable rustic vibe, while refreshing the room at the same time.
The Menu – Traditional German, Neue Deutsche, and Continental
The concept of “balancing tradition and evolution” has proven much more challenging when it comes to the food; the stereotypical perception of German food is all about “heartiness”, and simply offering salads makes some people suspect a German restaurant’s authenticity! We still offer the same classic Bavarian-style dishes, with the same recipes that we’ve used for years, but we continue to experiment with continental favorites from other cuisines (yes, there’s even a quesadilla on the menu), and more recently, we’re expanding the German selections with contemporary German cuisine, loosely referred to as “Neue Deutsche”.
What is this “Neue Deutsche” of Which You Speak?
A little known fact is that what we typically think of as German food is really just Bavarian country food. Germany has a diverse seasonal climate, and is bordered by countries that are known for some of the finest culinary experiences in the world. Over the last few years – thanks to some innovative German chefs – this diversity is finally being recognized abroad. For the first time ever, Germany has a multitude of restaurants that have received three-start ratings from Michelin. This, after years of appearing at the bottom of of these lists.
We will continue to bring you those Bavarian favorites, but stay tuned for some healthy, seasonal, locally sourced, and authentic German dishes.