Although Munich’s annual Oktoberfest traditionally starts in September, anytime in Indiana is the perfect time to celebrate the changing seasons with hefty steins of beer and hearty German cuisine. Get an authentic taste of old-world dishes at some of these old-school German restaurants throughout the state:
The Rathskeller, Indianapolis
Housed in the handsome historic Athenaeum building, the Rathskeller evokes the feel of a Bavarian beer hall. The multi-use facility includes the restaurant, the Kellerbar, event space and an outdoor biergarten with a bandshell to accommodate live music performances. The menu highlights German specialties like sauerbraten, rouladen and a wurst sampler platter, and the bread basket includes soft pretzels with the spiciest mustard in town.
Heidelberg Haus, Indianapolis
This combination restaurant/gift shop on Indy’s east side packs a big punch of German food and culture. Inside, customers can browse a kitschy treasure trove of collectibles, knick-knacks, chocolates, beer steins and imported grocery products. Thanks to its bakery arm, Heidelberg Haus also makes a great “kaffeeklatsch” destination for a cup of coffee and delectable German pastries.
German roots run deep in southern Indiana, and hungry customers have been road-tripping to this landmark Jasper eatery for goulash, veal and pork schnitzel, and smoky kassler rippchen chops since 1961. Wash your dinner down with some classic German beer, wine or schnapps, and enjoy the sweet sounds of the glockenspiel that chimes from the clock tower every 30 minutes.
Brau Haus, Oldenburg
The “Village of Spires,” Oldenburg is famous for its fried chicken and its German heritage. The Brau Haus keeps both traditions alive with chicken baskets and dinners alongside an array of German-inspired dishes like sauerkraut balls, potato salad, red cabbage, schnitzel sliders and potato pancakes.
Weiss Gasthaus, South Bend
Settle into the cozy dining room furnished in true German style and feast on genuine-article sauerbraten, sausages, schnitzel, sauerkraut and spaetzle made from family recipes. The nicely curated beer list demonstrates careful vetting, and the brunch menu showcases satisfying breakfast fare with a German spin.
Gerst Haus, Evansville
Bringing Bavarian flavor to Evansville since 1955, the Gerst Haus is known for its brats, schnitzel, pork knuckle, Reuben sandwiches and frosty fishbowl goblets of draught beer. Save a little room to cap off your meal with a decadent slice of German chocolate cake or homemade apple strudel with a scoop of ice cream.
Schwatzer’s German Restaurant, Seymour
This brand-new eatery aims to please Seymour diners with some creative spins on traditional dishes like German pierogi, Reuben egg rolls and sauerbraten brisket with Stein Club memberships open to adults over 21.