As the air begins to cool and the days begin to shorten, it is once again time for fall festivities. In honor of Oktoberfest, here are the top five restaurants in the area where one can find something a bit more traditional than the Pho at Saigon Market to go with their German beer.
Zum Schneider | 107 Avenue C, (212) 598-1098
This traditional German beer garden is the real thing. The staff is fluent in German and the founder is a native Bavarian who looked to recreate the atmosphere of his home. They have a dozen different German beers on tap, which pair perfectly with specialties such as the Schweinebraten, or roast pork, and several kinds of sausages. There are also plenty of vegetarian options, from the classic Reiberdatchi potato pancakes to the cheesy Käsespätzle, which you can request bacon-free while still enjoying the noodles and caramelized onions. Cash Only.
Der Kommissar | 559 5th Ave., Brooklyn, (718) 788-0789
A carefully curated menu sets Der Kommissar apart. A notable menu item is the Käsekrainer, a classic Viennese sausage that is stuffed with Swiss cheese and made from pork, beef, and bacon. They also serve a vegan sausage, and the pretzel and cheese platters should not be missed. There are eight German beers on tap with which to wash down a hearty meal. For dessert, nothing beats a Nutella pretzel. Credit cards accepted
Café Katja | 79 Orchard St., (212) 219-9545
The newly renovated Café Katja serves one of the best spatzle around. The traditional egg noodle dish is cheesy and decadent, without being too heavy. Katja’s Ruben and pork belly are popular menu items. In addition to the requisite beers, Cafe Katja also serves white wine flavored with edelweiss, a native German flower. The restaurant itself, with its exposed brick walls and candlelight, certainly generates large crowds during dinner hours. Credit cards accepted.
Edi & the Wolf | 102 Avenue C, (212) 598-1040
More upscale and also more innovative, Edi & the Wolf brings traditional Austrian and German cuisine into the 21st century. While purists may object, creative dishes such as wild mushroom and fava bean spatzle, as well as a a delicious flatbread with caramelized onions, crème fraiche and peaches make Edi & the Wolf worth a trip. For those on a budget, the brunch menu is more affordable and equally tasty. Credit cards accepted.
Korzo Haus | 178 E. 7th St. (between Avenue A and Avenue B)
While the small-plate dishes here — particularly the daily dumpling special — are excellent, this is mainly a burger joint with an Eastern European twist. The Slav burger comes with sauerkraut, caraway seeds, juniper berries and bryndza, a Polish cheese similar to feta. The house-made ketchup is made from beets, and instead of fries, one can order halusky: fried potato dumplings with bacon and cheese. Burger buns are made to order and can be grilled or fried.
Meghan Racklin is a contributing writer. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hester Street Fair returns for its fourth season, fresh with new vendors, such as Thai street food-serving Khaom Man Gai NY, Heart of Tea and popcorn master Pop Karma. Visit on a Saturday to sample popular lobster rolls from Luke’s Lobster and ice cream sandwiches from Melt Bakery.
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