After a fantastic day in Colmar, we continued our trip in Frankfurt. Our FlixBus ride to Frankfurt was relatively comfortable and extremely cheap. By the time we arrived in Frankfurt we had just enough time to head to the hotel, meet up with our mothers, and head to our dinner reservations at Im Herzen Afrikas. Unfortunately, given the lateness of our arrival we did not really get to explore Frankfurt. From what we saw of Frankfurt, however, it did not seem like it was much of a tourist destination. Frankfurt is the major financial center of Germany. That is how it felt. Very business like and little of that charm tourists seek. Our moms landed earlier in the morning and had some time to explore and they confirmed this assumption.
Im Herzen Afrikas
As I we were not spending more than a few hours in Frankfurt, I did minimal research on what to do and where to eat in Frankfurt. With a 6am train to Berlin, the plan was to get a quick dinner and then go to sleep. While figuring out where we going have dinner, Im Herzen Afrikas immediately caught my eye. It receives overwhelmingly positive reviews and is the number 3 restaurant in Frankfurt on tripadvisor. Most importantly it is Eritrean food. Eritrea is a country on the east coast of Africa. East of Sudan and north of Ethiopia. I never even heard of Eritrea, let alone tasted their food, but vacation is the perfect time to try new things. I was extremely excited.
It was a blistery February evening in Frankfurt as we made our way to Im Herzen Afrikas. Stepping into the restaurant, we were transported. We were warmed by the cozy and inviting vibe. We all took a moment to take in the brazen design complete with sand floors, patterned walls, and perfectly imperfect seating. It was like being in another world. Unless you are glancing out the window, its like you have left the city entirely.
I am not usually one who cares about ambiance and decor. Normally, all I care about is food, but the decor really and truly added to the experience.
Im Herzen Afrikas Menu
The name of this restaurant translates to in the heart of Africa. Between the ambiance and the menu, it lives up to the name. As it turns out, Eritrean food is very similar to Ethiopian food. This makes sense given the geographic location. I am sure there are slight differences between the two, but I am not experienced enough to pretend like I know. The menu is small consisting of 5 meat course options and 6 vegetarian options. I prefer restaurants with smaller menu. My thoughts are, if you can do good business with a small menu the food must be exceptional. Larger menus may have some good food, but the restaurants tend to be a master of none. The options here consist of meat and veggie courses cooked in flavorful sauces which you eat using your hands and injera.
Im Herzen Afrikas Food
While we considered the recommendation of ordering the family style mixed plate, a combination of all of their specialities, but this seemed rather large and we didn’t feel like we could finish it. Stephanie’s mom and I both ordered the Tzhada Kulwa. Beef Stewed in onions, served with injera and veggies.
Stephanie ordered the Dorho. Cooked chicken in spicy tomato sauce.
After much deliberation my mom landed on the Mixed vegetarian plate of Timtimo, Alicha & Hamli.
Im Herzen Afrika really lives up to to the hype. You are not provided silverware. At Im Herzen Africa, you eat with your hands. This adds to the experience. As you traditionally eat this style of food you tear off pieces of the injira and use that as your utensil to scoop up the food. Injera is a spongy sourdough flatbread. It is fantastic. While I have not had too much injera, Im Herzen Africa’s was particularly delicious. Its sourness was a bit stronger than most which is something I prefer. It sourneses helps balance out the spice of the food. The beef that I ordered was delicious. My food was well seasoned and flavorful. While I would have prefer a bit more spice to it, I did order the mild beef. Regardless I happily ate every bite of my dish.
Any regrets I had about ordering the mild dish quickly disappeared when I tasted Stephanie’s Spicy chicken dish. I like spicy, but I don’t have near the spice tolerance of Stephanie. She described the Dorho having a depth of flavor that had her going back for more, but the spice level made her under eyes dewy and her palette ablaze. It had her saying, “it hurts so good!”
Each component of my mom’s dish was delicious, but the Hamli was the star of the plate. With all three as strong contenders for the best, my mom won the dish of the evening.
Im Herzen Afrikas prices their food very reasonably. Given how in demand this restaurant is, you need a reservation, this is surprising. All meat main courses are 9€ while all veggie courses are 8.50€. A mixed plated is 12.50€. Between food and drinks our meal ran a total of 45.50€, about 11.35€ a person. Given the quality of the food, Im Herzen Afrikas is incredible value for money.
Im Herzen Afrikas rates among the best restaurants in Frankfurt and is well deserving of the praise. From the second you enter, you are transported to Africa, decor and the food are both spectacular. For less than 15€ /person Im Herzen Africans is a great option for a change of pace if you are in Frankfurt.