Oktoberfest might be one of our favorite holidays adopted from other lands. Because, you know, beer. With all the craft beer the city has to offer—we have plenty of fantastic beer bars and biergartens in L.A.—Oktoberfest gives us the opportunity to visit them as much as possible and welcome autum with a bratwurst in hand. Put on your leiderhosen, brush up on your oompah dancing and raise a stein to the festival that encourages us to drink our dinner. Prost!
The 10 best Oktoberfest events in L.A.
As the oldest Oktoberfest celebration in Southern California, Alpine Village has the almost two-month long party down to a science. There will be beer (Warsteiner from Germany, as well as local craft beers), food from Alpine (pork schnitzel sanwhich, anyone?), a market selling German sausages and baked goods and all the Bavarian singing and dancing you could ever want.
Home of the L.A. County Fair, the Fairplex turns into a German wonderland for Oktoberfest every Friday and Saturday evening from 6pm to midnight. Expect Bavarian music, beer and plenty of pretzels. Sink your teeth into bratwurst, knockwurst and sweet corn while knocking back authentic German suds at this 21+ event.
Swap out pretzels for dumplings at the returning Dumpling & Beer Fest at San Gabriel Mission Playhouse (320 S Mission Drive, San Gabriel). Your beer tasting wristband ($30) will get you unlimited craft beer from 6-10pm. Dumpling vendors and assorted food trucks will be on hand to sell food. Make sure to stick around for the festival's first-ever dumpling eating contest (if you can stomach it), as well as the competition for best and most original dumplings. Find out more information here.
For three weekends in a row starting September 30, the hip Venice gastropub is throwing a Bavarian celebration, complete with live music, lederhosens and finger-licking fare. Dive into a savory grilled link topped with temptations of your choosing and a side of double-fried Belgian fries. Sport your lederhosen, choose from a selection of German and Begian beers on draft, and hear the Munich Boom-Steiners perform live sets. For more information and tickets, click here.
Wear your lederhosen to this Mid-City West biergarten, where an extensive selection of German brews are served up alongside traditional German fare like schnitzel, sausages and homemade pretzels. While every first Saturday of the month is an Oktoberfest celebration, the restaurant extends and amps up its Bavarian bash during the end of September. Head to Wirsthaus on September 22 and 23 for plenty of beer, live music, free giveaways, stein-holding contests, and food and drink specials.
Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne's West Hollywood hot spot, Lucques, welcomes fall with an Oktoberfest-inspired Sunday evening on Sunday, September 24. Dishes will include winter squash, roasted apples, homemade sausages and sauerkraut. Regional beer and wine choices are available to pair with your $65 set menu. Festive attire is encouraged for what would seem to be a dinner delight for Angelenos craving crisp autumn days (even if the weather hasn't been cooperating).
Billing itself as "Orange County's biggest party since 1977," the Old World Oktoberfest promises all the beers, brats, babes and bands to make you feel like you're in Munich (though with better ocean views). There will be dancers, a Kinderfest for little ones and, every Sunday at 3pm, daschund races. Entry is free if you go on a Wednesday or Thursday when festivities run from 6:30 to 10:30pm. On Friday and Saturday, the party keeps going until 1am and a $10 to $25 cover is in effect. Sundays are family days, focused on the Kinderfest, with admission for $3 to $7 (children under the age of 5 are free).
Head to the mountains for annual Oktoberfest at Big Bear Lake, where you'll be able to clink steins every weekend from now until the end of October. Beer will be flowing, knockwursts will be cooked up and dirndls will be worn. The schedule includes numerous bands and performances and some lucky damsel will be named the Oktoberfest Queen when she wins the stein-hoisting contest.
If you're looking for a quieter alternative to the usual Oktoberfest, the Burbank Beer Festival might be your jam. This celebration will canvas several blocks of downtown Burbank, transforming San Fernando Boulevard into an outdoor street festival featuring more than 85 brews on tap from local and out-of-state craft breweries. Tickets for tasting sessions at noon or 4pm are $40-$45 and include a tasting glass and 3-ounce craft beer samples from more than 45 breweries. Admission to the street fair portion is free so the rest of the family can enjoy live music, vendors and more.