Columbus has long been influenced by German culture, most notably through 18th century German immigrants who established a neighborhood south of downtown in what has become known as German Village. Today, Columbus Oktoberfest and other German-themed events draw big crowds. This heritage extends to the culinary realm as well, so today you’ll find both traditional and contemporary German restaurants across the city.
Located in the heart of German Village, Alpine shares its space with the Spanish tapas joint El Lugar. They serve lunch, dinner and brunch, with a focus of course, on German classics: Bavarian pretzels, potato pancakes, käsespätzle, schnitzel, leberkäse. Alpine is known for their raclette; Instagram-worthy melted cheese that is presented tableside and scraped over a dish of your choosing.
The brand new Gemüt Biergarten was recently brought to life in a historic building in Olde Towne East at Oak Street and Parsons Avenue. The structure originally served as a fire station, then was the Columbus Music Hall for many years. The stunning new space is a already a favorite hangout to enjoy house beers like their Alfheim hefeweizen and Woden’s Hunt dunkel, paired with a menu of käsespätzle, jagerwurst, schnitzel (include a vegan schnitzel), pork chops, potato salad.
True to its name, Wurst und Bier serves plenty of sausages and beer. On their menu you’ll find everything from Bavarian meatloaf to Nuernberger sausages, raclette cheese to schnitzel, plus currywurst – all paired with a selection of more than 30 German beers on draft or in the bottle.
Schmidt’s has long been a culinary destination and a mainstay of German Village, starting first as a meat-packing house in 1886. Still family-run, Schmidt’s now operates a full restaurant, catering business and food truck (their stall at the Ohio State Fair is a popular stop every year). Generations of guests have gathered to enjoy currywurst, sauerkraut-bratwurst balls, schnitzel, sauerbraten – not to mention their signature Bahama Mama sausages and jumbo cream puffs.
Although Plank’s in German Village offers mostly American tastes on their menu, they offer an outdoor biergarten to dig into bratwurst and wiener schnitzel with pints of Ohio craft beers.
Valter’s pub shares its space in a century-old home with the Columbus Maennerchor, the country’s oldest continually running German men’s singing chorus. When the Maennerchor, which was founded in 1848, moved to their current location, they invited Valter Veliu to open a pub in it. Stop by for giant mugs of beer, Bavarian pretzels, sauerkraut balls, sausage, schnitzel and more. Visit Tuesday nights and you’ll hear the choir practicing!
The long-running Mozart’s has brought a taste of Austria to Columbus for over two decades. The family-run restaurant and bakery is located in a 1930's building in Clintonville/Beechwold, and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner – plus a popular afternoon tea. Signature tastes include six varieties of schnitzel (including sandwiches and breakfast versions), ham and gorgonzola spätzle and other dishes. Be sure to stop by the bakery for Black Forest tortes, Bavarian apple tarts, strudel, lebkuchen and other beautiful treats.
Modeled on the Hofbrauhaus in Munich, this American chain features a massive outpost in Grandview. The indoor and outdoor spaces offer plenty of room to gather at the long beer hall tables for liters of beer and dishes of schnitzel, Bavarian pretzels, potato pancakes, schweinebraten, weisswurst, strudel and other staples. House beers are brewed on site, and include a lager, dunkel, hefeweizen and monthly specialties.