Hamburg: Local tips for exploring the cool Schanze and Karo districts
Hallo Frau Nachbar is a popular monthly flea market in Karo featuring local artists, designers and chefs.
If, like us, you’re looking to avoid chain stores and restaurants when visiting Hamburg, the Karolinen- and Schanzenvierteln—or as they’re known to locals, Karo and Schanze—are the city’s answer to your prayers. Nearly every shop, cafe and restaurant is owner-operated; Here you’ll meet the designers and chefs behind the products themselves.
You’ll find a wide and colorful range of items on offer, from fashion, design and secondhand shops, as well as everyday necessities and luxuries, that you simply can’t buy anywhere else.
To get a feel for this up and coming district, we asked three Hamburg residents to share their tips for visiting this very cool neighborhood.
Annete Rufeger’s boutique offers locally designed fashions in a stylish setting.
Annette Rufeger has been selling clothing designs under her own label in the Schanze since 1997. A large portion of her fashions are made right in Hamburg in her studio; when she’s not there, you can talk to the designer herself at her retail location at Bartelstrasse 2.
• Tasty lunch: Polokantine is my dear neighbor on Bartelstrasse, and serves up the tastiest lunch in the entire Schanze. Katja Ledebrink makes everything from the freshest ingredients: casseroles, a different pasta dish everyday and slow food with seasonal vegetables that please vegetarians and meat eaters alike. Her salads are unbelievably diverse and creatively assembled. Simply fantastic! (Bartelsstraße 26)
• Espresso bar: Juwelier is a comfortable specialty food shop and cafe. I especially love their espresso bar that serves homemade schnittchen (sandwiches), delicious coffee and homemade treats that can be taken away or even packaged as a gift. The restaurant, open evenings, is just as delicious—but due to its small size, reservations are recommended. (Weidenallee 27/29)
• Retro frames: Six Million Glasses is my hot tip for eyewear! This retro-styled shop invites you in to try on their stylish and well-made frames. It’s possible to lose track of time while testing various pairs of glasses from across the decades. The owners are brothers with a true passion for their business. I regularly borrow glasses for my fashion shoots from them! (Schulterblatt 3)
Anna Golightly is a must-visit shop along Marktstrasse.
Anna Jakob runs Anna Golightly, a design and accessories store featuring handmade and one-of-a-kind articles. Especially eye-catching are items such as pillows made from colorful textiles, including a number of vintage prints. Her shop just celebrated its eighth birthday at Marktstrasse 147 .
• Italian food: Guests at Cento Lire are warmly welcomed by their host Antonio. Delicious, fresh Italian food is served in a perfect Mediterranean ambiance, both indoors or out. Reservations are recommended on weekend nights and during convention weeks, and always plan to pay in cash! (Karolinenstrasse 12)
• Organic cafe: De zmarten Panter is a popular neighborhood cafe serving snacks, cakes, sandwiches and good coffee. Their entire menu is organic and their staff is especially friendly. All orders are placed at and retrieved from the counter—come early on sunny days to score a people-watching seat on the beloved wooden benches out front. (Marktstrasse 3)
• Unique gifts: Gisela Aguire’s Kunsthaltestelle offers a rich selection of gifts and items for daily use, from the artful to the kitschy, from jewelry to housewares and decorations. Her shop displays a large number of unique prints and the last Friday of every month hosts an exhibition opening for various local artists. (Marktstrasse 147)
Hallo Frau Nachbar is a monthly flea market with art, food, fashion and more.
Dannie Quilitzsch is a sustainability and communications consultant and an organizer of the monthly Hallo Frau Nachbar Market. Bringing together artists, producers and independent marketeers from the district, the market offers regional home- and handmade items as well as delicious gastronomical offerings from local culinary specialists. Neighbors enjoy gathering in the Schanze-Höfe the first Sunday of every month, with live music and special programming for children guaranteeing young and old alike forget themselves and simply soak up the atmosphere. (Lagerstrasse 30a)
• Watch out for Sunday: The Karo district is an enduring Hamburg favorite of mine. There are so many little boutiques, cute cafes and comfy bars to fall into! However, be aware that on Sundays most shops are closed, so plan accordingly.
• Casual meals and cakes: Even when I’m just running a quick errand in the Marktstrasse, I cannot help but stop for some delicious cake at Gretchens Villa. At lunchtime, Gretchen serves a small selection of delicious, freshly-prepared meals, making this a great place to meet for a business or casual lunch. It’s not unusual to find me here on weekends, wiling the day away with my girlfriends over a fantastic breakfast. (Marktstrasse 142)
• Fashionistas: Immediately next door is a stop for every trend hunter: Anna Angelina Wolfers has her finger on the pulse of fashion, stocking GOLDIG with the hottest clothes and accessories of the moment. This sweet little store is full of finds—if not for you, then surely for your best friend—but beware that popular sizes sell out quickly, making this the kind of place you’ll want to pop into regularly to check out (and snap up!) the new selection. Every few weeks, Anna organizes a girls’ clothing flea market here, and the store’s annual parties are legendary. To see what’s happening during your visit, take a gander at GOLDIG’s Facebook page. (Marktstrasse 143)