Many of the rough-hewn oak tables here have initials carved into them, a legacy of the thousands who have visited Heidelberg's most famous old tavern. Mark Twain, Marilyn Monroe, and John Wayne may have left their mark—they all ate here, and Twain's photo is on one of the memorabilia-covered walls. Wash down simple fare, such as goulash soup and bratwurst, or heartier dishes like Tellerfleisch (boiled beef) or Swabian maultaschen (meat filled raviolis)
with regional German wines or local Heidelberg beer. The "Red Ox" has been run by the Spengel family for more than 170 years. Come early to get a good seat, and stay late for the piano player and gemeutlichkeit (easy-going friendliness).