Our blog posts may include affiliate links. These affiliate links don't cost you anything, but we might earn a few Euros if you decide to purchase something from one of our recommended website partners. Thank you for your support to help keep this platform up and running!

Even though our Düsseldorf restaurants have been encouraging ordering food for delivery as a popular option during COVID-19 times, restaurants have officially opened again!

If there’s one thing we’ve learned about the food scene here over the last couple of months, it’s that the way to view the food scene and Düsseldorf restaurants have changed. 

Basically, cooking has become a form of recreation and relaxation, and ordering in has become the substitute for a nice night out.

Most people already have their ‘go-to’ places to order a delicious meal delivered home, but as many of you have likely heard, restaurant bans are slowing easing up and we are now officially able to dine at restaurants across NRW. 

While this is great news… before we all go running for the doors of our Düsseldorf restaurants, we should all sit back and understand what the future may be like for the food scene in Düsseldorf post-Corona and what measures we need to take as a community to stay safe.


What will the future food scene look like?

Well, it’s hard to tell. No one really knows what will happen next.

If all goes well, the bans will continue to be lifted and we will all be able to go back to our favorite restaurants with our friends and family without the need to wear a mask. However, we could also spiral back and fall into a second wave of infections. Either way, we need to be prepared and do the best that we can to help prevent any more COVID-19 cases from happening, while also supporting our local restaurants that are all excited to be officially back in business!


So how do you do that? 

Well, since we’re now officially allowed to go enjoy restaurants again, that’s an option, as long as we’re following the hygiene measures put in place by the state. We can also choose to continue to support our local restaurants by ordering for pick up or delivery. And of course, if you’d rather stay in and indulge in some home cooking experiences, you can support some of our local restaurants like nineOfive who offer a #stayathome #bakeathome menu of raw ingredients and cooking instructions so you can bake the same delicious pizzas and pasta at home.

Here are a few tips on how to master the art of ordering in during COVID-19, home cooking, and how to prepare before choosing to go to your favorite restaurant for a night out. 


When going out to Düsseldorf restaurants, make sure you’re following all hygiene rules set out by the state

If you haven’t been following the news recently, here are some of the rules you will need to follow in order to embrace the local restaurant scene again in NRW:

  • You are only able to sit at a table with one other family who all live in the same household
  • You must keep a minimum distance of 1.5 meters from other people who are not at your table
  • If you have signs or symptoms of a cold or illness, do not enter the restaurant (indoor or outdoor)
  • You will need to provide the restaurant with the contact details of the respective persons at your table, the restaurant may also write down the duration of your stay for safety measures (this follows GDPR rules and regulations and will be destroyed by restaurant owners after 4 weeks have passed) *MAKE SURE YOU FILL THESE FORMS OUT ENTIRELY TO AVOID PENALTIES FOR YOU AND THE RESTAURANT*
  • You must wear a mask when choosing to sit inside a restaurant. You are able to remove the mask once you are sitting at your table, but are required to put it back on again when standing up, leaving the table, going to the washroom, etc.

If you do not follow these rules, there will not only be hefty fines for you involved, but this may also result in a shut down of your favorite restaurants. 


When going out to a restaurant, have respect for others in addition to the hygiene rules set out by the state

  • Try to make a reservation ahead of time so that the restaurant knows how many people to expect (this may be mandatory). These two apps are likely going to become very helpful for you in the coming months: BookATable and OpenTable
  • Wash your hands upon entering and leaving the restaurant (this may also be a mandatory procedure requested by the restaurant staff)
  • Wear a mask where possible – in addition to the rules set out by the state, it also helps to wear a mask even when you’re not legally required to. For example, if you’re sitting inside and waiting for your food to come, try and keep your mask on out of respect for others around you.


When ordering in, consider only ordering within your neighborhood

When ordering in, think geographically when you really miss that one restaurant you go to for special occasions, or that delicious place you visit every week, or even that place where you order that one specific dish you devour every time; think about how that meal will survive the delivery experience before you order it, especially if you’re ordering from Lieferando (as their food delivery comes by bike)! You don’t want to be disappointed about your favorite dish not being the perfect temperature or arriving a little soggy.

Ultimately one should try to think more locally, around your specific neighborhood. From the list of your favorite places to eat, the ones that are closer to you are most likely the ones that won’t disappoint your dining experience.


When ordering in, don’t forget to tip the employee delivering your meal

Despite COVID-19, there are hundreds of delivery service employees still working around the clock to bring you your favorite restaurant meals home. It is a kind gesture to be able to give them a nice tip as a thank you for their front-line commitment to keeping us all sane and happy.


When opting for home cooking, presentation is key (for that restaurant ambiance)

When cooking at home, presentation is key. Cooking at home has become a pastime more than a necessary task. If you are doing a lot of ‘home office’, or you have kids and often get stressed about preparing your meals, or you have a lot of time on your hands and have decided to make intricate recipes, now is the time for you to not hold back on your meal presentation. Make it special!

You can decorate your plate with a simple garnish, be creative while pouring your sauce on top of your meal, light some candles, or get the restaurant ambiance with a small floral arrangement.

The key is to create an atmosphere and to enjoy your dining experience to the fullest.

And who knows? The occasion might become Instagram worthy. Posting a shot of your dinner is a great way to connect with those we can’t see right now.


When opting for home cooking, let cooking shows inspire you

When feeling uninspired, tune in to cooking shows. A lovely way to find cooking inspiration is by watching one of the many on-demand cooking shows!

There are so many options: cooking competitions, chefs discovering new things, whole families cooking together… The list goes on! There is something for everyone, and they’re actually fun to watch. Besides, if you have already watched every show on Netflix or Amazon Prime and re-watched all of your favorite movies, a cooking show might be a surprising new genre you didn’t know you’d love.

The important thing to remember though is that now is not the time to be tough on yourself.

In times like these, one has to enjoy the little things in life. If you like to focus on a very balanced diet, go for it! But if you feel like you need more doses of comfort food than before, indulge! We all have to accept this exceptional period and deal with it in the best way possible for our own mental health. We will all get back to our ideal weight when we can live our lives a little closer to our normal routine. Right now, just enjoy yourself and make the best of it!

New to Germany? Join our Welcome Program! Want to join our author team? Send us an emailJoin our Life in Düsseldorf | Expats & Locals Community group and register for our newsletter (packed with the hottest events, seasonal activities, upcoming job opportunities and more)!