If you were asked to name your favourite type of food, what would rank highly on the list? Indian, Chinese, Italian? How about German?
German cuisine is often overlooked by foodies and, indeed, anyone who likes to eat out regularly, but it is actually incredibly varied and very tasty. In fact, it’s well worth a try if you’re bored of the same old dishes you usually sample of an evening in pubs and restaurants.
Fortunately, anyone in or around London is spoilt for choice when it comes to this type of food and drink, thanks to the capital city’s large German population that began introducing dishes and opening eateries in the latter part of the 20th century.
However, if you’re not sure where to go for the very best German fare, let’s take a look at some of our favourite restaurants, bakeries and takeout joints in London. Here’s our top ten.
1. Bavarian Beerhouse
We’re already cheating a little here because the Bavarian Beerhouse has two properties in London: one on Old Street and the other in Tower Hill. However, they’re two sides of the same coin and offer delicious food such as goulash, fancy pretzels and (of course) sausages, alongside an extensive drinks menu to wash them all down. Do take a look at the 1.5-litre Krombacher Steifel, which is served up in a glass boot.
2. Octoberfest Pub
If you’ve always wanted to go to Oktoberfest but have never had the chance, then this establishment in Fulham is for you. More of a destination for a night out than a sophisticated meal, it offers up an array of German beers against a backdrop of Bavarian live music and football on the big screen. Well worth a look if you’ve got a party to plan in the near future.
Blink and you might miss it, as this takeaway outlet and restaurant is nestled in a corner of London Bridge (24 Southwark Street, to be precise). It has more than 25 varieties of bottled beer and a dizzying array of German sausages including paprikawurst, brockwurst and bratwurst, so it’s ideal for daytime or evening visits. You can also listen to live bands as you eat and socialise.
4. Ditsch Bakery
Again, this is a cheat entry because Ditsch has two bakeries: one is outside London Victoria train station and the other is in Shepherd’s Bush. Whichever one you visit, though, you’ll probably come away with more than you intended to buy, because their products are indulgently tempting and perfect if you’ve a craving for something sweet.
Another bakery here, this time in Hammersmith. Bakehaus is simply staggering in terms of the variety of products it offers, including mouthwatering doughnuts, vanilla turnovers, Danish pastries and spinach borek. And that’s not including the bread, which is all baked on-site with no pre-prepared dough at all. Don’t miss the mixed rye bread and the sourdough, which will definitely leave you wanting more.
For a night out reminiscent of a real Munich beer hall, Bierschenke on Bloomfield Street is for you. It might be a bit busy and rowdy, but you’ll be left thinking you walked out of London and right into the middle of Germany, such is the absorbing atmosphere. It isn’t all about the ambiance, though – the food and drink is great and can be enjoyed after some sight-seeing in the daytime or as a way of winding down in the evening.
For an upmarket experience, give Fischers on Marylebone High Street a go. It’s actually decorated in a Viennese style, but offers up plenty of true German fare to make it onto our list. You can enjoy a rich, European cup of coffee and a filling plate of sausages as you kick back and relax in the laid-back atmosphere.
8. Herman Ze German
Another entry worthy of a rip-roaring night out is Herman Ze German on Old Compton Street. Listen to some euro-pop as you enjoy real wunderbar sausages imported straight from the Black Forest, and don’t forget to sample some delicious brezel. Of course, there’s plenty of beer available too.
9. Zeitgeist London
Perfect for hipsters who like decent conversation as well as food and drink, you can find Zeitgeist on Black Prince Road. It’s famed for its huge array of dark and light lagers, so don’t forget to keep that German food coming to your stylish table to soak it all up! This is as good a place for people-watching as anywhere in London, so don’t forget to look out for some famous faces.
10. German Deli
This eatery is actually based in Hackney Wick, but it travels around London to various market stalls. It is most famous for its spot on Borough Market, but you’ll also find it in Whitecross and Broadway. For its size, the German Deli offers up an amazing array of German cuisine – and everything is authentic, right down to the ketchup. No British red sauce here! The most popular choice is the Thuringian bratwurst, which is served up in a freshly baked bread roll that truly melts in the mouth.
Of course, there are many, many more German eateries out there in the capital just waiting to be discovered. Our list is simply a taste of them (pardon the pun), so do make the most of any of your trips to London and get out there looking for somewhere new to eat.
If you find somewhere fabulously German, do let us know where it is and what your thoughts were – or let us know what your favourite cuisine is to inspire our next piece!