We found ourselves spending a weekend in Alsace, in a small town called Niederbronn-les-Bains. Why go there? For three reasons: a travel voucher (thank you family & Bongo), the region's reputation for great food and wine and, well, the spa (what do you mean, this doesn't count as sports).
The upside: idyllic country landscape that is especially beautiful in autumn (the trees, the fields, the sheep). The downside: you pretty much see all the town has to offer in about half an hour (so we visited a few villages nearby). A cute mini farmers' market (every first Saturday of the month), the small shops with local food and wine, the cute empty little streets with flowers (French villages are into flower competitions) and the great restaurants. Yes, we visited plenty of those.
Alsace cuisine is a distinctive mixture of French and German influences. If you're thinking baguette and sausage, think again. We've had our share of tasting and here are the highlights.
Zuem Buerestuebel: a great local restaurant with excellent food and wine. We thoroughly enjoyed our lunch there, everything from starters to desserts. Apart from serving great food, their staff was very friendly.
Though Foursquare suggested L'Alexain as the best restaurant in town, we tried both and can honestly say that Zuem Buerestuebel wins by far in all categories.
Alsace is known for white wines, like Riesling and Gewurztraminer, usually served in unusually-shaped wine glasses.
Desserts - we found a great cake place in Wissembourg: chocolatier Rebert. Apart from great cakes (savoury and sweet), you will find a decent selection of teas and coffee. Spoiler alert: frequent switching between German and French seems to be quite common.
In Wissembourg we also found a nice farmers' market with a good selection of local products. But the highlight of our Alsace trip was Restaurant De L'Ange. It has been recommended by the Michelin guide four times and with good reason. Friendly atmosphere and people, amazing food and free appetisers & dessert were definitely enough to convince us.
If you need to choose one place to eat, then go there.
We had the local speciality salmon trout and a fish stew. Both were really amazing.
Next time in Alsace: more food, wine and cities. Any suggestions where to go?