Oktoberfest NJ: Best spots for German food & beer
Now is the time to celebrate Oktoberfest. The name might be deceiving to newbies, since the German-born celebration traditionally begins in September and wraps early in October.
Lucky for us, New Jersey has some great spots where the spirit lives on, year-round.
I've put together NJ's 13 best restaurants for authentic German food and drink from A to Z (Asbury's Festhalle to Zeppelin Hall, respectively)!
.... and in advance, Danke!
Asbury Festhalle and Biergarten (Monmouth County)
527 Lake Ave., Asbury Park
Asbury Festhalle & Biergarten features a 9,000 square foot outdoor rooftop Biergarten and 6,000 square foot indoor hall. There's classic German food- think wursts and schnitzels- plus 31 premium draft beers and over 60 in the bottle, including American craft selections.
Black Forest Inn (Sussex County)
249 Route 206, Stanhope
A landmark restaurant for north Jersey, three generations of the Aichem family are involved in the extensive German menus. The beer menu also is heavier on German selections for authentic pairings.
The Dutchman's Brauhaus (Ocean County)
2500 East Bay Avenue, Manahawkin
The Dutchman has weathered through storms at the Jersey Shore to celebrate its 64th season of Schmid family ownership. It offers lots of European style and renovations are underway. It also offers German food for special events, through Spice Catering.
Jagerstein Biergarten (Hunterdon County)
84 Route 46 East, Delaware, NJ
This Hunterdon County restaurant has all the German food standards and a real corner on freshness. Jagerstein has it's own farm, featuring free range livestock. There's also HB bier on tap, with lots of imports and domestic brews.
Kirker's is another longtime north Jersey favorite. It bills its sauerbraten as "award winning" and the menu offers it all - schnitzels, wursts, spatzel, bavarian pretzels and goulasch, potato dumplings. For 'picky' eaters in the crowd, Kirker's also makes a mean thin-crust pizza.
Mickey & Minnie's Inn (Atlantic County)
733 West White Horse Pike, Cologne
609-965-1877 (Closed Mondays)
Just five miles from Atlantic City airport, you'll find a 'little slice' of Europe. The menu includes Wienerschnitzel, plus twists like "Bretzelschnitzel", a pork chop encrusted with pretzel breadcrumbs. Aside from beer, there's an offering of German wines. For the 2016 Oktoberfest season, there's also a German Beer Tap Takeover.
Pilsenrhaus (Hudson County)
1422 Grand Street, Hoboken
The Haus & Biergarten offers authentic Austro-Hungarian food. A turn-of-the-century bier hall and adjoining, outdoor biergarten. As for drinks, there's over 20 premium drafts and 50 European and American craft beers by the bottle. Reservations are offered for parties of 20 or larger. Kids are welcome until 8 p.m.
Redd’s Biergarten (Essex County)
218 Market Street, Newark
This German Biergarten across from the Prudential Center offers 50 beers on-tap. The menu offers a cross-section of traditional German dishes and "American" fare like burgers and wraps. Plus, there's giant soft pretzels!
Rolf's has the German staples while also branching out into more American fare. It's a good crowd pleaser, for families or friends with Schnitzel lovers and those who'd rather have a burger.
Schneider's (Monmouth County)
801 Main St, Avon-By-The-Sea
The New Jersey family behind Schneider's has been serving up authentic German food for over 54 years. The spot is known for hearty German-Austrian-Hungarian dishes, but also offers family classics like steak, meatloaf, corned beef and more.
Sebastian’s Schnitzelhaus (Burlington County)
43 Fort Dix Street, Wrightstown
This Burlington County spot is a BYOB offering authentic German cuisine. So, no beers on tap, but you're free to bring your own for dinner. There's also a Sunday brunch, with pfannenkuchen (German Pancakes) and potato pancakes, German potato salad, bratwurst & sauerkraut and more.
Wurstbar (Hudson County)
516 Jersey Avenue, Jersey City
This is a new bar and restaurant in Jersey City, "serving fine sausages and a wide range of beers."
Zeppelin Hall Restaurant & Biergarten (Hudson County)
88 Liberty View Drive, Jersey City
This Jersey City biergarten has done brisk business since opening. It offers 144 beers on-tap and an extensive menu- gourmet grilled sausages, schnitzels, burgers, giant pretzels, vegetarian entrees and other hearty fare. There's community seating, with an outdoor area. Kids are welcome until 9 p.m.
Also for Oktoberfest 2016, there's the following NJ events:
Mountain Creek Oktoberfest (Saturday & Sunday, September 24 & 25)
Chester Lions Club 18th annual Oktoberfest (Saturday & Sunday, September 24 & 25)
Garden State Brewfest (Saturday, September 24)
German-American Society Oktoberfest (Sunday, September 25)
Historic Smithville Oktoberfest (Saturday & Sunday, October 1 & 2)
Leonia Oktoberfest (Saturday, October 1)
Our Lady of the Lake Oktoberfest (Saturday, October 8)
Morris Plains VFW Oktoberfest (Saturday, October 8)
Proud Jersey Girl Erin Vogt’s first reporting gig involved her Fisher Price tape recorder. As a wife and momma of two kiddies, she firmly believes that life’s too short to drink bad coffee. A fan of the beach, Dave Grohl and karma, in no particular order.