Hamburg – A great city for food on the go!

German breakfast buffet iStock_000039732694SmallAway from home, the buffet breakfast is compelling; it’s easy, stress free but dangerous. After years of practice, I generally leave the dining room having consumed triple the calories eaten at home.  This type of indulgence can’t continue if one wants to remain the same weight!  

One solution in Hamburg is the quality venues serving food on the go.  The main railway station, the Hamburg Hauptbahnhof, has a particularly pleasant range of cafes, bars and takeaway kiosks. Smaller stations are also well supplied, cafes and kiosks are plentiful throughout the city, many offering healthy food.

 The Benefits of Food On the Go

    • Business travel often means eating alone, restaurants can be awkward, kiosks with seating, make us part of the bustle
    • Meals can be smaller. Restaurant portion sizes are hard to control, if we over eat, it effects our sense of well-being
    • Meals can be quick, tucked into the schedule while getting from A to B.
    • Or we can take time, catch up on emails, read a newspaper, and blend into the backgroundGerman Pastry Berliner iStock_000044446998Small
    • There are no set meal times, we eat when it suits us
    • The variety of cuisine is huge: local specialities, international fare and the ubiquitous junk food

Hamburg is rich in opportunities to eat nutritious food, especially whilst out and about.

Typical Foods on Offer to start the day:

Massive German pastries, around 300kcal each, I tried one, too stodgy to be worth the kcals. Try instead: 

    • Tubs of yoghurt with berries or muesli topping, 170kcal, a much better choice
    • Fresh fruit juices and smoothiesSmoothie made with strawberries and bananas isolated on white background
    • Chopped fruit and fruit salad 70kcal a cup

On Sunday, many locals head to the fish market (Fischmarkt) for fresh grocery shopping, and breakfast. The fish trading happens at the crack of dawn, but breakfast continues later into the morning and is an amazing experience.

DUCK;MEAT;HOLIDASY;LUNCHMy friend enjoyed the Bismarck roll, which contained pickled herring with horseradish; the fried fish, in bread with mayo and salad, was more popular, but I couldn’t embrace these exotic breakfast options and stuck to a safe, tasty waffle.

At 9am some revellers were still enjoying their Saturday night out, but they weren’t the only ones drinking beer with breakfast and enjoying the music from a live band. More sedate folk, like me, stuck to the cheap yet very decent house coffee.

Lunch Time and Beyond: the Bad and the Much Better 

  • Curry, sushi, noodles – every kind of international fare is available, so choose according to your taste but keep an eye out for the lower fat options.flammkuchen iStock_000016571081Small
  • Granary rolls filled with ham, cheese and salad; fresh, tasty and quite nutritious
  • Tubs of pre-prepared salad, pleasant but uninspiring
  • My favourite’s Flammkuchen, wafer thin flat bread traditionally baked with sour cream, red onions and bacon, or try the more modern recipes with smoked salmon and capers or sun blush tomatoes and rocket. The traditional recipe is about only 400 – 500 calories per serving.

Hamburg is an easy city to navigate, and the bonus of dining in casual eateries is the opportunity to mingle with the locals. On the way back to the hotel, I wrapped up the day at the Hauptbahnhof, where Police were breaking their shift with a serving of chicken curry, the office workers were having a beer on their way home, while shoppers enjoyed their kaffee und kuchen (coffee and cake) – yum! So much variety to tempt you as you go about your business…

Guten Appetit!

© Extravitality 2014


Author: Carol Sadler PhD
Carol is a Nutrition Consultant. She counsels in diet and lifestyle change at Surrey Cardiovascular Clinic where clients have been referred by the clinic cardiologists. Prior to this Carol worked in private practice in Dubai for nine years, where she had various media engagements including Emirates Radio 2 Lifestyle Show monthly ‘phone-in’ on nutrition topics; Gulf News Friday Magazine (weekend supplement) monthly nutrition letter answered; City7 TV appearances on Breakfast Television and Lifestyle Show commenting on nutrition topics. Contributions to local magazines, and organizations, eg Rheumatoid Arthritis Group, Grazia Magazine, Living in the Gulf magazine. She continues to write nutrition articles and blogs, recently writing for Reader’s Digest, and HASTE Academy heart health charity and provides talks on diet issues. Carol is a member of The Nutrition Society, a Registered Nutritionist at the Association for Nutrition, Registration No. 912 and a member of SENSE (self employed consultant Nutritionists group for professional development).

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