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We’re driving across Germany from Hamburg to Munich. What are the cultural and gastronomic must-sees?

Restaurant Bareiss has earned three Michelin stars.

You could drive from Hamburg to Munich in seven hours. But then you would miss out on all the pork knuckles, pumpernickel and apple wine.

Instead, consider a five-day journey beginning in the port city of Hamburg and carving your way south down to the Bavarian bastion of Munich.

Your guide along this journey: Prof. Ingo Scheuermann, who writes for German gastronomic journals such as Effilee. He suggests these satiating stops:

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Start in Hamburg: Get your bearings in this maritime city. Explore the harbour, the revamped warehouse district and its historic fish market. "From a culinary perspective, Christoph Ruffer at the Haerlin (restaurant-haerlin.de) in the Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten is the best pick in town, whereas one shouldn't miss a fresh and simple fish at the harbour," says Scheuermann. For a macro view, check out the Miniatur Wunderland (miniatur-wunderland.com), a railway model world gone wild.

Then head for Wolfsburg: Here, satisfy your inner gear geek on all things Volkswagen at a museum devoted to the brand (volkswagen-automuseum.de), and then feed your inner gastro geek at the Ritz Carlton's AQUA, where one of the best chefs in the world is at work. "Three-star chef Sven Elverfeld serves contemporary cuisine often presenting childhood memories or German traditional food in a modern way," Scheuermann says.

Take a side trip to Osnabrueck: Come for the cabbage. Stay for the beer. Scheuermann says Lower Saxony is renowned for its rustic cuisine, most importantly Grunkohl – green cabbage – served with boiled sausages and complimented by offerings from some famous breweries. Also here is Thomas Buhner's Restaurant La Vie (restaurant-lavie.de). "Buhner's style could be described as German avant garde, but this hardly does justice to his culinary imagination."

For a cultural digestif: Check out various exhibitions about the Peace of Westphalia and the artist museum, the Felix Nussbaum Haus, (osnabrueck.de), designed by Daniel Libeskind.

Black Forest stars: Forget the jelly laden dessert specialty – the Black Forest is another culinary draw, where you can spend the whole day and evening in Baiersbronn and environs; they seem to hand out Michelin stars like lebkuchen in these parts.

Two Michelin-adorned restaurants (three stars a piece) are the Schwarzwaldstube (traube-tonbach.de) in the Hotel Traube Tonbach, where Harald Wohlfahrt "serves his puristic interpretation of classic French cuisine," and the Restaurant Bareiss (bareiss.com), where Claus-Peter Lumpp cooks "at his best level ever," according to Sheuermann.

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Send your travel questions and suggestions to concierge@globeandmail.com.

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