C1 restaurant in Stuttgart is just good, old-fashioned Korean food

The dakgalbi - chicken served with a spicy sauce - at Stuttgart's newest Korean restaurant, C1, delivers spicy heat to the palate, but probably nothing like you'd get in Seoul.


By JOHN VANDIVER | Stars and Stripes | Published: January 7, 2021

With coronavirus cases climbing fast in early November and a second lockdown looming in Germany, there was no time to lose to try the newest Korean restaurant in Stuttgart.

C1, located on the city’s north side near Killesberg park, opened in the early fall, in space once occupied by a fish restaurant. It’s unclear why the restaurant is called C1.

Opening in the midst of a pandemic that has crushed many businesses made me wonder if C1’s days were already numbered. So right before “lockdown light” closed restaurants for a second time, we booked a table to test its offerings. I figured it could be a first and last chance to do so.

Luckily, we had a reservation, because every table was filled. And for good reason.

The menu at C1 features only Korean staples like Kimchi stew, bibimbap — a rice dish with mixed veggies, beef, egg and red pepper paste — and various meat-based entrees flavored with Korean red pepper sauce called gochujang.

That’s unlike many of the other Korean restaurants that have sprouted in Stuttgart in recent years. One of the oldest ones — Eat Drink, Man Woman — has a much bigger menu that also includes Thai and Chinese dishes, which German customers are probably more familiar with.

But part of C1’s charm is that it doesn’t stray from its Korean roots. I ordered a kimchi pancake served with soy sauce for an appetizer and dakgalbi — bite-sized chicken pieces in a spicy sauce, served with a side of rice — as my main course. It was savory and brought the heat, although probably slightly less than what you’d get in Seoul.

The service was friendly, albeit slightly slower than expected. That’s probably because it’s a husband-and-wife operation without extra staff. The wife comes from South Korea, where her family ran a restaurant, according to writeups in the local press.

Prices were slightly high, I found, considering that what you get at C1 is basically good, old-fashioned homestyle cooking. But the restaurant is still worth a visit, given how hard it can be to find good Korean food in Germany.

C1 also offers takeout service, which means you can get your Korean food fix while the coronavirus continues to upend normal life.

Twitter: @john_vandiver

Location: 217 Birkenwaldstrasse, 70191 Stuttgart

Hours: Adjusted hours for takeout during lockdown: Tuesday-Sunday, 11:30 a.m.- 2:30 p.m.; 5 p.m.- 8 p.m.

Prices: Main courses range between 12 and 14 euros (around $13-$15).

Information: To place a takeout order or reserve a table when there’s no more lockdown, call 0711 38060419. Orders can also be placed online at c1stuttgart.com/order-online.

C1, a new Korean restaurant in Stuttgart, offers takeout service Tuesday to Sunday.