The Bay Area’s 5 best German restaurants and beer gardens

The communal tables of the beer garden and the back dining room photographed at Schroeder's restaurant in San Francisco, Calif., on Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014. The century old German beer hall in the Financial District still has all its Bavarian charm, but has been updated to be fresh and current. The areas can be separated by a curtain. (Dan Honda/Bay Area News Group)

Bratwurst, brewskis and giant pretzels? Yes, please! The last decade’s proliferation of Oktoberfests and beer gardens in California has us wallowing in schnitzel-and-spaetzle heaven these days. Here are five of our favorites, starting with the venerable Schroeder’s, which is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year.

Schroeder’s, San Francisco

This iconic German restaurant in San Francisco’s Financial District first opened its doors in 1893, but it’s since had a $1 million redo. In the hands of Andy Chun and Jan Wiginton, of Press Club fame, the renovation kept Schroeder’s 19th-century Bavarian glory and gemütlichkeit — from Bavarian beer hall steins and communal tables to Wiener schnitzel and spaetzle — but added a modern rustic air and a California-inspired German menu that elevates Oktoberfest fare with seasonal ingredients. It’s sensational.

Schroeder’s restaurant retains all its Bavarian charm. (Bay Area News Group file) Bay Area News Group File

The restaurant is celebrating its 125th birthday, by the way, with a “BrewHaHa” ($49) on May 19 with all-you-can-eat food and drink, beer hall games and music by Polkalicious.

Details: 240 Front St., San Francisco;

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follow us on Flipboard.Wursthall, San Mateo

The crowds began flocking on the very first day that J. Kenji López-Alt, the James Beard award-winning food guru, opened his Wursthall restaurant and bierhaus this winter. And it’s no wonder. Silicon Valley meets German beer hall in this airy space. Strings of Edison-style lights hang above the long beer-hall tables. You won’t find decorative beer steins or Bavarian landscapes here. But you will find some incredible food, from the chicken schnitzel that’s brined first in sauerkraut, to the house potato salad that accompanies eight different kinds of sausages, handcrafted to Wursthall’s specs by Los Altos’ Dittmer’s.

Details: 310 Baldwin Ave., San Mateo;

Speisekammer, Alameda

Each September, this cozy German restaurant turns Alameda’s Lincoln Avenue into an expansive Oktoberfest biergarten, with seating for 1,500. Dirndled women dance, lederhosen-clad men raise beer steins and oompah bands play, as the intoxicating scent of grilled sausages and pork steaks wafts from the restaurant’s outdoor grills. But you don’t have to wait for fall to enjoy schnitzel, sauerbraten and sausages at this delicious spot, which serves German fare all year.

Details: 2424 Lincoln Ave., Alameda:

Ludwig’s German Table, San Jose
The biergarten at Ludwig’s German Table in San Jose can fill up quickly on weekend evenings. (Sal Pizarro/Bay Area News Group) Sal Pizarro/Bay Area News Group

Two years ago, this German restaurant reinvigorated Germania Hall, an 1890s Victorian and longtime home for the Germania Verein social club. Now the ground floor has been transformed into an intimate dining area and the courtyard offers a vibrant and very social biergarten. Don’t miss the schnitzels, the Jaeger Pommes and the sausages, which hail from Dittmer’s.

Details: 261 N. Second St., San Jose;

Brotzeit Lokal Boathaus & Biergarten, Oakland

Who could possibly resist a beer garden AND …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Lifestyle


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