Support our mission
Die Alte Kanzlei in Stuttgart has a wide-ranging menu with lots of local specialties. This power food bowl of roasted beets, pureed sweet potato and other healthy ingredients may have been the ideal choice of dish to order during the coronavirus outbreak.

Die Alte Kanzlei in Stuttgart has a wide-ranging menu with lots of local specialties. This power food bowl of roasted beets, pureed sweet potato and other healthy ingredients may have been the ideal choice of dish to order during the coronavirus outbreak. (John Vandiver/Stars and Stripes)

Die Alte Kanzlei in Stuttgart has a wide-ranging menu with lots of local specialties. This power food bowl of roasted beets, pureed sweet potato and other healthy ingredients may have been the ideal choice of dish to order during the coronavirus outbreak.

Die Alte Kanzlei in Stuttgart has a wide-ranging menu with lots of local specialties. This power food bowl of roasted beets, pureed sweet potato and other healthy ingredients may have been the ideal choice of dish to order during the coronavirus outbreak. (John Vandiver/Stars and Stripes)

Die Alte Kanzlei in Stuttgart was completely empty on March 17, 2020 because of concerns about the coronavirus. One day later, Stuttgart ordered all eateries in the city to close their doors indefinitely. Alte Kanzlei is offering to bring its cuisine and wines to customers' homes during the shutdown.

Die Alte Kanzlei in Stuttgart was completely empty on March 17, 2020 because of concerns about the coronavirus. One day later, Stuttgart ordered all eateries in the city to close their doors indefinitely. Alte Kanzlei is offering to bring its cuisine and wines to customers' homes during the shutdown. (John Vandiver/Stars and Stripes)

I’ve long had a distaste for the comparatively cramped dining arrangements at many of Stuttgart’s restaurants.

But on a recent visit downtown, there was a welcome sight at one of the city’s busiest eateries: No customers. An upshot of the coronavirus emergency is that personal space, even at places known for their bustle, is in healthy supply. The downside of venturing out: maybe that bite of food was sneezed on by a stranger in the kitchen. But we have to keep the faith and believe that restaurants are telling their staff to stay home at the slightest sign of illness. You kind of hope they’d do that anyway, virus or not.

Nonetheless, I tamped down my anxiety and went to Die Alte Kanzlei, a Stuttgart culinary institution in the center of town. The restaurant has about 50 tables outside that look upon Stuttgart’s lovely Schillerplatz. For that and other obvious reasons, I chose to eat al fresco.

It was a little after 11 a.m., so I figured I’d have breakfast. But the waitress told me I was minutes too late. A pity, since Alte Kanzlei has some of the best breakfast offerings in town. The a la carte menu includes things like scrambled egg with salmon or a breakfast tray with salami, ham, slices of cheese, cream cheese, melon and three rolls with butter, or you can get French, Swiss, or regional German breakfasts, or a shareable breakfast with at least two of everything and optional sparkling wine.

The rest of the menu also has lots of options, including regional specialties like maultaschen — filled pasta pillows that are sometimes described as the German answer to pierogie — and spaetzle noodles. But I went with a warm bowl of power food — roasted beets, pureed sweet potatoes, quinoa, a kind of ratatouille relish and a topping of pumpkin seeds and oil. It was an immune system booster that turned out to be delicious.

Meals at Alte Kanzlei range from five to 20 euros. The atmosphere indoors is relaxed with high ceilings and table arrangements that are tolerably spaced, even in normal times.

As I paid my bill, I wished the waitress luck and health in these trying times. She said everything would probably be back to normal in a month.

Hours later, Stuttgart announced all restaurants, and pretty much everything else in town, would be closed until mid-June.

So, like many other eating establishments around Germany, Alte Kanzlei has become inventive and is offering to bring its popular wine tastings and food pairings into your home. For 49 euros per person for a minimum of four people, restaurant owner Dennis Shipley will bring six French, Italian or regional German wines and an assortment of finger foods to your house for you and your guests to try. The evening, including Shipley’s commentaries, lasts roughly 2.5 hours — the same time as a relaxed evening out.

Hopefully, that inventiveness and Alte Kanzlei’s sterling reputation will allow it to ride out the coronavirus crisis.

vandiver.john@stripes.com Twitter: @john_vandiver

Location: Schillerplatz 5a

Hours: Closed until further notice but normally Monday-Friday, 9:30 a.m.- 6 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m.- 6 p.m.

English menu: Yes

Prices: From 5 euros to 20 euros

Information: Online: alte-kanzlei-stuttgart.de

For the Wine Tasting at Home, buy gift tokens online at alte-kanzlei-stuttgart.de/produkt/wein-tasting-at-home and then send an email to info@alte-kanzlei-stuttgart.de


Stripes in 7



around the web


Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign-up to receive a daily email of today’s top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign up