Get Out Your Lederhosen: German Bars and Beer Halls Celebrate Oktoberfest in NYC

Get Out Your Lederhosen: German Bars and Beer Halls Celebrate Oktoberfest in NYC

September—leaves fall from trees, kids flood the streets daily at 3 PM, and thirsty adults start getting a serious taste for beer. Enter Oktoberfest, which, luckily, people do not only honor and celebrate in Germany. A decently sized list of German beer halls exists in New York, and we’ve picked out a few that are worth checking out this late September/early October for some hearty brews (not to mention the currywurst). If you were hoping to see some lederhosen, you will not be disappointed.

Radegast Hall & Biergarten: The raucous environment of this Williamsburg beer hall presents the perfect space to execute its big plans for this year’s Oktoberfest. From beer tastings (think Schneider Edel Weiss and Hofstetten Original Hockzeitsbier) to keg tappings and, of course, a tuba, the celebrations begin on September 16 and run until October 4 (with tastings taking place each Tuesday in between). The Biergarten also plans to offer pig roasts, in case the music and libations weren’t enough of a draw. (113 N 3rd St., Brooklyn; 718-963-3973)

Zum Schneider: During the first two weekends of October, Zum Schneider is setting up a beer tent on the East River at 23rd Street. It’s $25 for general admission, but you get to keep your own beer stein from the event (called a “Masskrug” in German). If you attend, you can expect large pretzels and a stellar selection of wheat ales and lagers, like the award-winning Traunsteiner Helles. (107 Ave. C; 212-598-1098)

Paulaner Brauhaus & Restaurant: Also a brewery, this place is beautiful. Complete with long, wooden tables and shiny brewing equipment, the atmosphere still doesn’t beat the food (the strudel is definitely in New York’s top ten). To ring in Oktoberfest, Paulaner will host a party on September 20 featuring Wienerschnitzel and pork knuckle. Seasonal beers at the restaurant/brewery come from in-house, customized fermentation tanks and range from a Hefeweizen to a Munich Dark. (265-267 Bowery; 212-780-0300)

Reichenbach Hall: Bartenders here wear a German-inspired blue and white checkered uniform, which is almost enough of a draw if you like a little (read: lot of) kitsch in your beer halls. Reichenbach counts 14 German beers on tap, and among them, a grapefruit Hefeweizen. Of course, there’s also sauerkraut and spaetzle served in large portions, and a usually lively crowd that makes bringing large groups of friends totally appropriate. (5 West 37th St.; 212-302-7744)

Wechsler’s: If you’re looking for less of a production (and a cheaper option), Wechsler’s offers solid Curry- and Bratwurst along with a beer selection a lot bigger than the tiny restaurant would suggest. Bottles (including four types of Weihenstephaner) range from $5 to $8, which is the exact same price range as the food. The cheapest draft beer, Reissdorf Kolsch, goes for just $3. The casual environment is a nice break from Wechsler’s more festive German counterparts this Oktober. (120 1st Ave.; 212-253-2222)

Heidelberg: This longtime establishment in Manhattan’s Yorkville (aka, “Germantown”) includes lederhosen-wearing servers and lots of traditional edibles. People tend to rave about the potatoes (prepared in various ways, from salad to pancakes), but the beer selection deserves praise, as well. Budweiser and Coors Light count as the only domestic bottles served, which is still too many in our opinion, but otherwise, the beer menu features a slew of German names, including Paulaner. (1648 2nd Ave.; 212-628-2332)

The KBH: Another German beer hall marked by long, wooden tables, The KBH in Park Slope brings patrons to Cologne, complete with the city’s coat of arms displayed on the walls. A Bavarian pretzel with a side of Nutella proves an interesting but tasty after dinner treat, and the draft beer collection easily avoids the lesser American versions that often plague large, busy bars. Most popular among them are the Bayreuther Landbier Dunkel Lager and the Radeberger Pilsner. (84 St. Marks Pl., Brooklyn; 347-227-7238)

Photo via Zum Schneider


Tags: Beer, Festival, Food
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