Six German restaurants
For beer, dumplings, beer, sausages and beer.
Wed Dec 7 2011
Photograph: Martha Williams
Chicago Brauhaus Lincoln Square may have lost many of the Germans who settled there over the first half of the 20th century, but this bastion of oompah fun, baron-sized beers and heaping platters of carb-tastic classics remains. The lederhosen-clad Brauhaus Trio performs nightly, packing the raucous dining hall with duos who ditch their rouladen (thin beef rolled with bacon, onions and pickles) to jump up and dance zwiefacher-style (think polka with quick turns). 4732 N Lincoln Ave (773-784-4444). El: Brown to Western. Bus: 11, 49, 49B, 81. Lunch, dinner (closed Tue). Average main course: $14.
Edelweiss It may look as if the owners of this restaurant just put up the holiday glitz, but the strands of white lights and greenery are up year-round, adding to the festive feel of the cozy space. Meat and potatoes fill the menu, with the best bet being the combo platter of smoked pork chop, roasted pork loin, bratwurst, rouladen, griddled potatoes and spaetzle. The thin, flavorful veal cuts with perfect, crispy breading are great with your pick of nearly two dozen German beers. 7650 W Irving Park Rd, Norridge (708-452-6040). Bus: 80, Pace 326. Lunch, dinner. Average main course: $17.
Glunz Bavarian Haus Before you get schnitzel-faced at this friendly German restaurant, sample the dozen or so ales and lagers on tap. The cute, German-accented waitresses are happy to make ale and lager recommendations between doling out soft pretzels with mustard and platters of sausages, cheese, pickles and olives. Stick-to-your-ribs dishes include tender sauerbraten (red wine–braised beef) served with cheesy spaetzle dotted with marjoram and onions. Before you roll out the door, try the housemade Sacher torte or apple strudel. 4128 N Lincoln Ave (773-472-4287). El: Brown to Irving Park. Bus: 11, 80. Lunch (Fri, Sat), dinner (Tue–Sun) (closed Mon). Average main course: $16.
Laschet’s Inn If you were to wander in off the street, you might think this gem is little more than a charming German pub. It is, and it has been since ’71, but since ’91 it’s also been one of the best spots in town for rouladen. The German comfort-food staple is served with tasty brown gravy, sweet braised cabbage and perfect, fluffy spaetzle dumplings. Try other authentic offerings like hackepeter (rich, fresh steak tartare on rye with capers and onions) and Wiener schnitzel (pounded-thin veal breaded and fried crispy). The gratis fruit schnapps is a perfect ending to the meal. 2119 W Irving Park Rd (773-478-7915). El: Brown to Irving Park. Bus: 11, 50, 80. Lunch, dinner (closed Mon). Average main course: $14.
Mirabell The cozy side room and larger dinner hall are the kind of authentic setups you usually associate with tourist brochures. But there’s nothing contrived about the food; a carnivore’s delight, the menu features tremendous sauerbraten, an outstanding sausage sampler and some of the best goulash in the English-speaking world. Mirabell may be best known for its bar—featuring a staggering array of heady German beers—but the restaurant shouldn’t be overlooked. 3454 W Addison St (773-463-1962). El: Blue to Addison. Bus: 82, 152. Lunch, dinner. Average main course: $18.
Resi’s Bierstube From the shingled roof to the oompah music, this North Side fave is the place to get your Teutonic eat on. Many trundle in for the extensive collection of German beer (and who doesn’t want to hoist a stein of Weihenstephaner?), but the food is sehr gut, too. The butter-soft smoked Thuringer sausage has a great mellow taste, while the Sheboygan brat makes a delicious mess with mustard and a heaping pile of sauerkraut. Try the hearty rahmschnitzel, a breaded pork loin swimming in mushroom gravy. 2034 W Irving Park Rd (773-472-1749). El: Brown to Irving Park. Bus: 11, 50, 80. Dinner. Average main course: $13.