A little piece of France in the middle of Cologne, proving not every crêpe is the same.
The crêperie Bande à Part, named after the movie by Jean-Luc Godard, is located in the Südstadt of Cologne. It is very easy to reach as the underground is right around the corner, just a 2 minute walk away. You might not guess at first sight, but the owner Nadia Rodic comes from Serbia. She and her husband came to Germany because of his sports career. Her husband’s dream didn’t come true, but that of her children – to have their own crêperie – did. Her sons, an actor and a director, were inspired by French movies. Her daughter loves French cuisine as well and remembers her childhood in Mainz where her mother already worked in a crêperie. They opened a restaurant in the countryside at first, but didn’t feel that country life was for them. And this is how they came to Cologne.
When I entered the crêperie on a Wednesday afternoon, I immediately felt welcome. The cosy atmosphere produced by antique furniture, old chandeliers and a bordeaux coloured wall made me feel at home. Being a French-inspired restaurant, the walls are covered in old movie posters and paintings and mirrors. I sat myself on an old renaissance-looking sofa, into which I nearly sank. The friendly owner, Mrs. Rodic, served us. Because we were the only customers, she was able to talk to us extensively. She was also very welcoming to the four-year-old girl in my group.
She brought us the menu, which was not extensive, but even so I had problems making up my mind. Everything sounded mouthwatering. They have everything from sweet crêpes to savoury galletes made from buckwheat. Apart from some standard variants which most people are used to, they also offer more unusual combinations like maple syrup and walnuts, or tomatoes, mozzarella and pesto. There is also a changing menu of the day as well to chose from. In the end I decided to go for a crêpe with caramelised apples and vanilla icecream. I chose a black tea to go along with it. As well as tea, the crêperie provides a lot of juices, lemonades, hot beverages and alcoholic drinks as well – something for everybody, but without the selection being overwhelming. As it was the early afternoon of a working day, it was not very full and the food came pretty fast.
Everything came artfully arranged with lots of other fruits such as kiwis, mangos and strawberries. These were intended as decoration, but they also complemented the crêpe in terms of flavour. The caramelised apples dissolved in the mouth, leaving behind a taste of wintery apple cakes with cinnamon. The cold of the icecream contrasted the heat of the apples in a pleasing way. In my opinion, the fresh ingredients and the spices were perfectly balanced. As we were eating, gentle music came from the loudspeakers above. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to eat all of my crêpe, even though it was really delicate. The little girl, who had eaten a crêpe with nutella, asked her mother right after finishing, with a mouth smudged with chocolate, what she would get for dessert. We all had a good laugh together with Mrs. Rodic.
The prices range from around 5 to 8 Euros for the food – excellent value not only the food, but for the atmosphere and the friendly service. If you are looking for a casual restaurant with delicious crêpes in a cosy atmosphere, Bande à Part is well worth a visit. Maybe the atmosphere would be even better in the evening, when the lights are on and more customers are there. As a little aside for women: the bathroom is equipped with everything you might need. I have never seen such a well-stocked toilet before. All in all I think this lovely crêperie is definitely worth a second visit. There are a lot of other dishes on my list to try out. Maybe I will decide on something savoury next time, so I can get a second one for dessert.