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“Best German Food in Chicago”
Review of Chicago Brauhaus

Chicago Brauhaus
Ranked #705 of 10,074 Restaurants in Chicago
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$1 - US$20
Cuisines: American, German
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Child-friendly
Dining options: Lunch, After-hours, Reservations
Description: Welcome to the Chicago Brauhaus For over 40 years we have been serving up good cheer in Chicago's Lincoln Square Neighborhood. We offer a friendly Bavarian atmosphere where friends and family of all ages can enjoy a good meal, a stein of cold beer and dance along to the sounds of the world famous Brauhaus Trio. It is always Oktoberfest at the Chicago Brauhaus. We hope to see you soon! Your Hosts Harry and Guenter Kempf
Reviewed 26 June 2014

Until recent years, Chicago always had three great German restaurants: Chicago Brauhaus, Zum Deutchen Eck, and Berghoff.

The years and economy have changed this. Zum Deutchen Eck is gone. The Berghoff family nearly ran their restaurant out of business then wisely scaled it back to survive. The Chicago Brauhaus has not changed one bit since it opened its doors decades ago.

The former two grew too pretentious and expensive. They fell victim to their own arrogance and the economy. The Brauhaus' business model was simple and thrived. Serve great tasting German food, from traditional recipes, in a friendly environment. This great dining hall is plain, clean, well managed, fun, has a dance floor and often live German music.

The wait is short and everyone is talkative, friendly, and in a good mood. This place is a slice of the real Germany, in the USA, not an American restaurant trying to be a white-linen version of this plain, simple, delicious fare.

I personally recommend the smoked kassler rippchen, hasenpfeffer, any sausage dish, sauerkraut, and spaetzle. The beer is great, the atmosphere cheerful, service fast but not annoying and you just may find yourself dancing with one of your table mates.

I have eaten here all my life, at least 3 times per year and often more. I was in the place decades ago when Germany won the World Cup and everything was suddenly "on the house". Try it. You will have fun and you will see why this place has outlasted all the others.

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1  Thank Pietro S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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99 - 103 of 164 reviews

Reviewed 20 June 2014

If you love brats, if you love beer, if you love live music, if you love all things German - this is the place to be. The Chicago Brauhaus has been in the Lincoln Square neighborhood for decades and it will continue to be so. It is owned by the same two brothers who opened the restaurant’s doors on day one. Most nights you can find one of these men keeping tabs on the business that obviously is their baby. They and their customers needn’t worry. Their staff is excellent. Friendly and warm, they go out of their way to see that you enjoy yourself. If you watch them, you’ll get tired. They never stop moving and seem to glide around on invisible skates.

Every night there is music and the small dance floor is filled with couple of all ages who thrill to the music. You can find couples in their eighties and some who haven’t reached a handful of years yet together. Children are welcome and so are those who want a traditional sit down dining room feeling.

There are about a dozen different traditional brat dishes and many others all moderately priced. If you want a beer there are many on tap and still more that you can get in a bottle. If you order the boot there are two sizes and the large is as big as a grown man’s head and longer than his head to his neck. It is the restaurant’s specialty. I don’t drink and just looking at them makes me feel drunk. To those who do, this surely is paradise.

I went a few years ago on my birthday and they came out with a giant piece of strudel for me, complete with a candle. It was the best strudel I’d ever had and it was 100% homemade. The band even sang happy birthday to me and were joined by the staff and the rest of the restaurant customers. All this for a stranger who came in unannounced, it made the day perfect.

I highly recommend the Chicago Brauhaus. It is a destination not to be missed. They’ve been interviewed on national television and their storefront has been used as a backdrop for several Hollywood movies. So step inside and have a boot of beer, a brat dish and some strudel and see what all the wonderful fuss is about.

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Thank Tinythefrog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 June 2014

I wanted to try this place because of the triple d show. It was fine. The meal was generous. Schnitzel and sauerkraut, liver dumpling soup and excellent fried potatoes. Live music was hokey but entertaining and the place was full. Give it a try!

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Thank Thun1957
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 June 2014

I had to be in Chicago on business for one week in April of this year, so my wife and I have decided to dine at restaurants we have not had the pleasure to eat at in the past, when visiting Chicago.
I am sure, just like me, other food enthusiasts have seen the Food Network show, Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. One of the restaurants the show has visited was the Chicago Brauhaus in the Lincoln Square Neighborhood of the city, so for our first night dinner that was the restaurant for us.
If your hotel is on the river, which in this case ours was, getting to the Lincoln Square area is a little bit of haul. It is about a 20 minute taxi ride, but if you prefer, you can take the subway or as it is called the EL (Elevated) by the locals, using the Brown Line and getting off at the Western Avenue station.
Being a neighborhood, off the beaten path restaurant, I figured we do not need reservations. Sure enough, we had no problem getting a table. My wife and I were both looking forward to this dinner since we do not have too many chances to eat at an authentic German restaurant close to us.
I have looked at the menu prior to leaving the hotel, so we had an idea as to what we wanted for dinner. Still, looking at the menu, I was considering changing my selection, but at the end, we both went with our first choices.
For the two of us, the first selection was unanimous; we had to start with a bowl of Leberknodel Suppe, Liver Dumpling soup. One word comes to mind, Delicious. The dumpling was tender; the soup itself had a wonderful flavor of meat and vegetables.
For the main course my wife had selected Rindsroulade, Beef roulade with spatzle and red cabbage and I went with another traditional German favorite, Sauerbraten, braised, marinated beef with spatzle and red cabbage. If you do not know, Spatzle is a small dumpling, consisting of dough poached in boiling water. Like the soup, both of our dinners were excellent. We have both sampled each other’s dinners also and the flavors brought back memories of trips to the German countryside. There was only one little problem with our dinners. We have both ordered spatzle with our meat and we have both received potato dumplings instead. Normally, I would have said something to the waitress, but in this case I went with what they have served us, since the potato dumpling was very good also. For dessert we both selected Apple Strudel, a good choice to finish a perfect meal. In addition to the spatzle incident, about the only negative thing I can say about the food is that there was not enough of it. Although delicious, I felt that for the $6.95 soup, the $17.95 Rouladen and $17.95 Marinated beef we should have had more of what to eat on our plates. However, I must add that the amount of food we have received at the Brauhaus was similar to what you can expect when you eat in Europe at a restaurant. Hmmm….maybe I am just used to the portion size we get at some other restaurants in the US.
The service itself was prompt and courteous, but at times our tall blonde waitress seemed to be cold as ice. I can only assume that she was having a bad day and the rest of the time she actually smiles at her customers.
All the while we were enjoying our dinner; the restaurant also had live music to entertain us. Two elderly gentlemen, German I suspect, were singing their hearts out. A little dated material, but we loved it. In conclusion, the food is good, the service was ok. If you are in Chicago for a number of days, I would recommend trying the Chicago Brauhaus if you want to experience authentic German food. However, if you are only in Chicago for one night, do not waist your money.

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Thank onlydelta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 May 2014 via mobile

I wouldn't want to eat here everyday (not much in the way of vegetables), but the music and raucous attitude were contagious! I did enjoy the meatloaf and German potatoes. The beer drinkers in the group liked the selection of beer on tap. When people started dancing around the restaurant a good time was had by all.

My only complaints were that the restrooms were down a flight of stairs and there were lots of people crammed into the space (but I guess that helped the camaraderie).

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Thank Laurie K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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