Pull out the beer steins, brats, and lederhosen, it's time for Oktoberfest. Held annually in Munich, Germany since 1810, the famous beer and folk festival takes place each year from mid-September to the first weekend in October and hosts over 6 million visitors per year.
Here in San Diego, there are a range of events and specials countywide, and is often celebrated the last weekend in September and the first weekend in October. Here is the lowdown on where to eat, drink, and be merry this Oktoberfest. Prost!
Pulling out all the stops for year two, the tenants at Liberty Public Market are bringing the festivities of Munich to San Diego with a 10-day extravaganza.
Beer: For drinks, Bottlecraft will be selling take-home beer steins for $15, encouraging buyers to fill and refill with German and select craft beers for only $5 throughout the entire run of the festival.
Food: For nibbles, Mastiff Sausage will be making a variety of housemade brats with sauerkraut along with their giant Bavarian pretzels with beer cheese and apple strudels. Crafted is offering up sweet and savory pretzel skewers for a twist on the classic. Don't miss the Brat Tot from Stuffed!, a decadent display of tater tots covered in Aline Willy beer cheese, bratwurst and sauerkraut.
Liberty Public Market: 2820 Historic Decatur Rd., 619.487.9346, libertypublicmarket.com
9.29-10.1: 44th Annual La Mesa Oktoberfest
The yearly event brings German food and beer fans from around the county. Sheldon's Service Station, the well-known al fresco cafe is serving Soft Pretzel Bites with beer cheese, Beer Braised Brat with sauerkraut, Sliced Mustard Crusted House Smoked Pork Loin, and German Potato Salad with bacon. Head across the street to Bo-Beau for a respite from the beer-sloshing crowds. Try one of the 24 beers Bo-Beau will have on tap while munching on the Beer Braised Smoked Bratwurst with onion rings, spicy whole grain mustard, and sautéed peppers and onions. Lucky patrons will manage to grab a patio seat for perfect people-watching fun. While at Oktoberfest, be sure to check out Fourpenny House, the new brewhouse/restaurant opening up in La Mesa, crafting their own charcuteries, breads and beer.
Sheldon's Service Station: 8401 La Mesa Blvd., La Mesa, ssslamesa.com; Bo-Beau: 8384 La Mesa Blvd., La Mesa, 619.224.2884, cohnrestaurants.com/bobeaukitchenbar; Fourpenny House: 8323 La Mesa Blvd., La Mesa, 619.606.2028, fourpennyhouse.com
Any time: Grand Biergarten
Downtown Oktoberfest revelers can head to this outdoor beer spot to honor the watering holes of Munich. Located on the patio outside Redfield's Sports Bar at the Manchester Grand Hyatt, the newly opened biergarten serves up brats and nibbles alongside plenty of sudsy local craft beer. Keep an eye out for Oktoberfest-themed announcements coming from the hotel.
Manchester Grand Hyatt: 1 Market Pl., downtown, 619.232.1234, manchester.grand.hyatt.com?
All of October: Make that Burger a Brat
In celebration of Oktoberfest, Queenstown Public House, Dunedin, Raglan Public House and Bare Back Grill all will be offering the Brat Burger through the entire month of October. The homage to German cuisine is made with bratwurst, sauerkraut, Muenster cheese, horseradish, peppers and onions on a pretzel bun. Queenstown will also be pouring a special selection of German Oktoberfest beers to wash down that burger.
Queenstown: 1557 Columbia St., Little Italy, 619.546-0444, queenstownpublichouse.com; Dunedin: 3501 30th St., North Park, 619.255.8566, dnp.sd.com; Raglan Public House: 1851 Bacon St., Ocean Beach, reglanpublichouse.com; Bare Back Grill: 4640 Mission Blvd., Pacific Beach, barebackgrill.com
Next-level Oktoberfest fare
For those looking for a step up in the usual German offerings, try this unexpected, yet loyal partaker in the festivities. Taking Oktoberfest to the next culinary level, the restaurant serves beautiful renditions on classic German dishes including Pickled Herring on Beet Salad, Broken Arrow Ranch Venison Bratwurst with Spätzle Noodles, "Weiner Schnitzel" of Strauss Farm Veal, and Suckling Pig in Aspic. Don't forget the glass of German Riesling for a perfect wine and food pairing.
Mille Fleurs: 6009 Paseo Delicias, Rancho Santa Fe, millefleurs.com