The small German town of Baiersbronn (only about 14,500 inhabitants) holds up very well compared to larger cities when it comes to its culinary scene. The Black Forest takes center stage, where chefs in town find fresh produce and herbs, putting an emphasis on fresh and sustainable food. The result: eight Michelin stars, with a ninth (at Hotel Schloss Eberstein) just outside of town in the Murg Valley.
Baiersbronn’s Michelin stars include:
- Schwarzwaldstube (three stars), headed by Harald Wohlfahrt, at Hotel Traube Tonbach
- Bareiss (three stars), headed by Claus Peter Lumpp, at Hotel Bareiss
- Schloßberg (two stars), headed by Jörg Sackmann, at Romantik Hotel Sackmann
- Werner’s Restaurant (one star), headed by Bernd Werner, at Hotel Schloss Eberstein in Gernsbach
The first two restaurants are located on five-star properties, while the last two both belong to four-star hotels.
While the Michelin stars are (obviously) a great reason to visit, perhaps the best reason is the “Gourmet Hikes.”
Dubbed “Culinary Hiking Heaven” (a play on its high concentration of Michelin stars), Baiersbronn specializes in guided nature walks, which teach visitors about the relationship between nature and nourishment. Guests can enjoy a menu from “Wild Plant Hosts,” restaurants and inns that use local, natural ingredients to prepare their dishes. The guides teach the hikers about the location and where to find certain plants (they even add some folklore into the mix); then they collect and prepare the food on the tour. Along the trail are four wooden terraces where hikers can relax, enjoy the view, and enjoy their food.
The hikes range in style from five-course menus to the “Hops and Malt” beer tour and the “Schnappstour” liquor hike. Every Friday there is a six-hour “Tasty Hiking” tour that includes a tour through the forest to the Settelei hiking cottage where guests enjoy a meal. There is even an app for hikers, making the planning much simpler. The guides has a comprehensive selection of trails, topographic maps, profiles or altitude, and lots of descriptions—it can even notify you when you’re near a plant you can collect and eat!
For travelers who prefer wine to beer or liquor, Eberstein Castle (less than an hour from Baiersbronn) is home to its own vineyards. After originally being built in 1272, the castle was purchased by private ownership in 2000 and reopened in 2005 (with the vineyards still being replanted). In 2012, Jürgen Decker and Ernst Möschle took over the Eberstein Winery. Travelers can enjoy Riesling, Spätburgunder, Weissburgunder, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot Friday through Sunday between 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. and on holidays.