Restaurant Schiffergesellschaft is not just a great restaurant where you can have a nice dinner. This place is a part of Lubeck’s old history. Built-in 1535 this is the true culture at its best. Be sure to make reservations because this place is really popular. We were lucky enough to enjoy dinner here and we loved it!
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Restaurant Schiffergesellschaft has a rich history
Each church had its own “drinking bar”. Restaurant Schiffergesellschaft was the drinking place for the seafarers. The name translates to “seafarers’ company”. Then, it was a bar for the people working at sea. Today, it’s a well-renowned restaurant that is a must for everyone that wants to enjoy a meal in an old historical place. Now visitors are allowed to sit wherever they want in the restaurant. However, that was not always the case.
When this place was a bar, the people were divided into groups and had to sit with their own. It had a lot to do with language – so that they could understand each other. For example, the captains that were going to sail to Riga had their own table. Where the kitchen is today, there used to be a “secret” meeting point for some of the captains.
More than just a restaurant
If you look at the restaurant from the outside, you will see that there’s a wall, supporting the beams and the building. A lot of the houses in Lubeck during the Hansa period had huge elevators inside them. This was so that they could transport food and things between the different levels of the house. Usually, the elevator would be placed in the middle of the room and it was attached to a bearing beam. But in the case of Restaurant Schiffergesellschaft, that wasn’t possible because they wanted to be able to eat and drink on the ground floor and there was no room for the elevator.
So, they installed the elevator from the outside instead and hoisted things up to the higher levels that way. The problem was that after a while, the building started to lean over from the heavy loading. To prevent that from happening, they placed the wall as extra support for the beams. Problem solved and everything could go back to normal.
Helping the poor by providing a place to sleep
How many restaurants can brag about providing poor people with a place to sleep? We don’t think that it’s that many. Restaurant Schiffergesellschaft had a cellar where they allowed the poor people to sleep. The cellar could hold up to 50 people and you could only stay for one night. You would go there, knock on the door and let them know that you were poor and that you needed a place to spend the night.
Today there are restaurants that offer free meals to the poor but I’ve yet to hear about a place that offers people to spend the night for free at a restaurant. Ok, that’s not the case here either today but I love the fact that they were so helpful of the poor people living in Lubeck. The only thing the poor people needed to do was to pray for the seafarers’. Today, they use the place to store wine and whiskey instead.
Our visit to the Restaurant Schiffergesellschaft
If you want to visit the restaurant, you will need to make a reservation. This is a very popular place so getting a table without making a reservation will be hard. When we arrived at the restaurant it was already pretty crowded. We were seated and straight away, we both started looking at the setting inside the restaurant.
You can easily see that the theme is “the sea”. There are miniature ships hanging from the ceiling and different things connected to the sea all over the restaurant. It’s super nice and I can’t help but fall in love with the big chandelier that is lighted with real candles. There are so many people here that it becomes really loud. This is not the restaurant’s fault – the visitors are way too loud and Mini and I have a hard time talking.
The menu at Restaurant Schiffergesellschaft
We get the menu and it’s huge. It’s made like a newspaper and there is a lot of the restaurant’s history and interesting facts that you can read while being here. And there is a lot of food to choose from. They have starters, soups, fish, meat, and pasta and there are several different dishes to choose from in each category. We see that the dishes are really big so we decide not to go for a starter and head straight for the main course.
Whatever you choose, you will be satisfied. I get the feeling that this place, whatever they serve is traditional home-cooked food. I went for the “Skippers Steakpot”. The pot is served with small rump steak, pork fillet, chicken breast on tomato-based vegetable ragout, mushrooms, bacon, and fried potatoes. It’s delicious and warming – just like comfort food.
Traditional home-cooked meals
Mini orders the “Ox filet strips” served with sherry apricots, rice, and a salad. Both our meals are really good. Mine is a perfect mix of different meats and Minis is also really good with the sweetness from the apricots. For dessert, I get the homemade marzipan icecream and Mini orders the “Skippers choice”, a dark chocolate mousse with pineapple.
Do we need to tell you that it is great?! One funny detail is that Minis mousse was attached to the plate with a piece of marzipan – That is just awesome?! After about 90 minutes we roll out of the restaurant. A great experience and a really nice place to visit during your stay in Lubeck.
Information about Restaurant Schiffergesellschaft
Address: Breite Str. 2, 23552 Lübeck.
Opening hours: Daily 10.00 – 24.00.
Website in English.
Check out some more great places in Lubeck where you can eat
We have been to all of them and can vouch for each and every one of them. Lubeck has so many nice restaurants and cafés to offer that it’s impossible to try them all out!
- Neue Rosterei – The best coffee in Lubeck
- Restaurant Miera – Italian restaurant and store where you can buy some cheese and wine to bring home
- The Newport Restaurant & Marina – Super fresh fish in an amazing environment.
More activities in Lubeck
- St Mary’s church and the churches of Lubeck
- (Travemunde) Magic of lights festival in Travemunde
- Gunter Grass House in Lubeck
- Niederegger Marzipan – A must visit while in Lubeck
- Things to do in Lubeck