Bei Oma Kleinmann

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A delightful little restaurant that opened in 1949

Where can you still find a dessert that costs fifty cents in a restaurant today? At Bei Oma Kleinmann on Zülpicher Straße in Cologne. That’s because a culture of hospitality, a love of detail and conviviality are part of the tradition of this old-fashioned eatery in the midst of the lively Kwartier Latäng. With an outside covered with colourful graffiti and an interior full of wood panelling, wooden tables and walls covered with photos from previous decades, Bei Oma Kleinmann (At Grandma Kleinmann’s) is eclectic and feels like a relic from a past era.

Conviviality, togetherness and the Kölsch mindset have been celebrated here for more than 70 years. The restaurant was named after its owner, the cult landlady Oma Kleinmann, and her spirit still lives on here.

A menu starring schnitzel — of pork, veal, cheese or celeriac

At Oma Kleinmann’s you’ll find the kind of food you’d eat at your grandma’s table. There’s plenty to eat — hearty, simple home cooking with a focus on many grandchildren’s favourite dish: schnitzel.

Because modern grandchildren are fussy eaters, they can choose between four different kinds of schnitzel: pork, veal, and variants made with cheese or celeriac. Each one is served with a selection of sauces and toppings. As a result, carnivores, vegetarians, vegans and diners who enjoy experimenting can all have a wonderful meal together At Oma Kleinmann’s.

Leftovers to take home

If you can’t manage to finish one of the big portions, you’ll be given an Oma bag to take home so that you can make yourself a schnitzel sandwich, let’s say, the day after your visit.

Seasonal dishes on the weekly menu

In addition to the schnitzels along with favourite traditional side dishes such as fried potatoes, chips and salad, the changing weekly menu always include seasonal dishes.

The beverages on offer include the entire product range from Sünner as presented at the Brauwelt Köln — ranging from Kölsch beer to Kölsch soft drinks and Sünner spirits.

Quality is also part of the tradition

If you order a meat schnitzel, you can be sure it comes from humanely raised livestock with room to roam outdoors and good GMO-free feed from the Neuland association, which operates its own slaughterhouse and haulage firm.

At Oma Kleinmann’s: Should you reserve a table? That’s a good idea

This is a cult restaurant, and it’s very popular. If you make an online reservation weeks ahead of time, you’re sure to end your visit to Cologne on an authentically Kölsch note. Of course you can also simply take your chances, because the team always keeps a few tables free for spontaneous guests.

Oma Kleinmann: A goodhearted soul

After the Second World War, the woman for whom the restaurant is named, Paula Kleinmann, was widely known in Cologne as the “grandma of all the students” and beloved for her jokes and anecdotes, wise advice, secrets and abundant store of gossip.

For more than 50 years she tirelessly ran the restaurant on Zülpicher Straße, peeled 25 kilogrammes of potatoes every morning, wrote humorous speeches for Carnival, helped customers out when they were short of cash, made sandwiches, handed out unsold food for free after midnight, made room for her guests in her living room, and even at the age of 92 used a walker to make her way through the packed restaurant to wish her guests a good evening.

Oma Kleinmann: Photography

Even though it’s no longer possible for you to meet Paula Kleinmann in person, the many framed photos in the restaurant and the lavatory give you an impression of “Oma” and the vital, typically Kölsch sense of life — a mix of conviviality, cosmopolitan flair and a sense of responsibility — that has always prevailed here.

The history of the restaurant

The story of At Oma Kleinmann’s began in 1949, when Willi and Paula Kleinmann opened the doors of their pub, which was then still known as Zum Goldenen Krug (At the Golden Tankard). The couple lived in the rooms behind the bar. They soon started to offer hearty home cooking instead of the initially provided snacks — and At Oma Kleinmann’s soon became popular for its dishes of wild game, traditional roast goose dinners and stuffed pheasant. Their family helped out in the restaurant.

The pub was referred to as “Bei Oma Kleinmann” for decades, though the name did not become official until much later. In 2003 Ralf Kleinmann finally sold this traditional Kölsch restaurant to the Wolf and Küther-Jankovic families, who still operate this family firm today in line with its time-honoured traditions. Oma Kleinmann died in 2009 at the age of 95 — but her story still lives on today.

The online shop: Shirts, Kölsch, spirits and more in a care package

If you’ve dined at Oma Kleinmann’s and still haven’t had enough, you can go to the online shop and order sustainably produced clothing with a BOK print that stands for “Bei Oma Kleinmann”, bottled 20th-anniversary Kölsch and spirits, and other accessories from the current Oma team. But you can still only get the schnitzel in the restaurant — because of its size. You’ll certainly understand… 

Useful Information

Openings

Dayoff: Monday, Sunday

Eligibility

  • Bad Weather Offer

  • Suitable for any Weather

  • for individual guests

Social Media

Author

KölnTourismus GmbH
Kardinal-Höffner-Platz 1
50667 Köln

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