For all its hustle and bustle, the area is like a picturesque village high street. Huge old lime trees line the broad pavements, cars rumble slowly over the cobblestones, and old buildings wear their pretty pastel tones like subtle make-up. When my family comes to visit, Leonhardtstraße is often one of our favourite starting points: ambling along, enjoying excellent food, stopping for a coffee, or inspecting the small shop window displays. It’s such a perfect place, practically secluded – and yet Kantstraße and Kaiser-Friedrich-Straße are only a stone’s throw away. My stroll begins at Amtsgerichtsplatz on Holtzendorffstraße. From there, I turn left onto Leonhardtstraße and leave the magnificent baroque building of the District Court behind me.
1. Goldschmiede Judith Semper
The eye-catching display window with its shimmering jewels entices many passer-bys to stop for a second. Although the prices are way beyond my student budget, I still like to look at the individual works of art in the window. Which piece would suit me best? I feel a bit like Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's.
2. Soups and stuffed piadinas
Italian cuisine with a difference: the freshly prepared flat breads called piadinas are filled with a variety of delicious ingredients. Although the piadinas are quite filling, I still like to order a soup as an appetiser. By the way: if you are in a hurry, you can order the soup to go. A nice alternative to fast food.
3. Feines aus Österreich
A shop full of delicacies from Austria, with shelves full of confectionery, coffee, and other treats. A wide selection of cheese, ham and sausage specialities can be found in the refrigerated display cases and "Schmankerl" are served at lunchtime. These are traditional, almost exclusively home-made dishes such as apricot dumplings or Leberkässemmel, a kind of meatloaf served on a roll. If you love savoury food, you’re definitely in the right place!
4. Makrönchen Manufaktur Charlottenburg
With its bold lilac tones, pretty little plants, and lovingly decorated interior, this café instantly caught my eye when it opened in 2015. The macaroons here come in a wide variety of colours and flavours – and are all handmade! Alongside the other sweet temptations, you will also find savoury quiches and fantastic seasonal beverages. Because of the wide variety on offer, I usually try something new, but I particularly like the peppermint tea made from fresh mint. Accompanied by a macaroon, or two... or three.
5. Broken English
A few Union Jack flags adorn the room, modern English porcelain stands in the cabinets and many other bits and bobs from England make you feel like browsing. The adjoining room is full of English delicacies. Anyone looking for a gift for a friend, neighbour or family is guaranteed to strike it lucky here. I, personally, am an absolute fan!
6. A paradise for lovers of jewellery and beads
Bonitaperla is the perfect place for jewellery lovers. Not only does it sell glass beads, accessories, fashion jewellery and Danish accessories, it also makes its own jewellery in the adjoining workshop. What’s more, visitors can make their own jewellery. I myself have not tried it, but I think the idea I think is brilliant.
7. Natural food
I quickly nip into the kostbar health-food shop to buy a few things. I don’t buy organic food every day, but I still allow myself the luxury every now and then. Fresh fruit and vegetables, bread, rolls, sweets... you really can get everything here.
8. Something sweet
The little Café Doppio Pazzo is always worth a visit. The extremely varied and creative selection of cakes, muffins, and tarts regularly tickle my sweet tooth. I love to sit outside with a café au lait and feel the afternoon sun on my face.
Stuttgarter Platz starts at the end of Leonhardtstraße. The area used to be a red light district but you wouldn’t know it today. You’ll find lots of restaurants on the corner. The mighty trees make it a picturesque place and on the opposite side there’s a huge playground full of noisy kids. My tip: The street festival on Leonhardtstraße is a small highlight in my neighbourhood. All the shops get involved, set up stands outside and invite you to browse and sample their wares. The exuberant atmosphere is infectious! What else is there? There’s a small supermarket, a bakery, fashion stores (second hand, designer & children's fashion), even more lovely restaurants (Italian, Spanish, etc.), a small Moroccan decoration shop, a well-stocked book shop, and a chic furniture designer.