German food is plentiful in Columbus, reflecting the city’s early immigrant population, much of which came from Deutschland.
While the popularity of German fare has ebbed and flowed in Greater Columbus, The Dispatch found several places and dishes to try.
So sit back, relax and think about which restaurant speaks to you from our list, and then make plans for the weekend.
Just because Oktoberfest is over, doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy a variety of German foods.
Schmidt’s Sausage Haus und Restaurant:Learn more about the history of this German Village landmark
Schmidt’s Sausage Haus und Restaurant
240 E. Kossuth St., German Village, www.schmidthaus.com
Schmidt’s is a Columbus tradition, having transformed from a meat-packing plant to a restaurant in 1967.
Situated in an off-beat location, finding it is one of the fun challenges for out-of-towners, who sometimes stop locals for precise directions.
It is a national attraction, known as a regular stop for presidential candidates and other spectators headed for the sausage buffet — and to order an oversized cream puff.
Needless to say, wurst is best at Schmidt’s.
Specifically, the Bahama Mama is the restaurant’s signature dish — and some consider the official dish of Columbus ― featuring beef and pork, hickory-smoked sausage spiced with proprietary seasonings and pressed in a natural casing.
Valter’s at the Maennerchor
Inside the Columbus Maennerchor, 976 S. High St., Brewery District, valtersatthemaennerchor.com
Although located in a building that has housed the country’s oldest German singing society and social club, Valter’s definitely has a mix of modern global cuisine but certainly digs deep when it comes to food from the homeland.
Valter’s at the Maennerchor:Classic German cuisine in historic building
Two types of schnitzel (regular and jagermeister), schweinshaxe (braised pork shank) and bratwurst share the menu with items more common in American restaurants, such as chicken wings, fresh Atlantic salmon and a French dip.
The kasespatzle is an attractive cool-weather dish offering mini dumplings, bratwurst and Polish sausage, onions and a lesser-known cheese (chef and owner Valter Veliu would not disclose the name) all tossed in cream sauce.
800 Goodale Blvd., Grandview Yard, www.hofbrauhauscolumbus.com
Part of a small chain, the restaurant and brewery has a lively, open space, serving a long list of traditional German favorites: potato pancakes, oversized Bavarian pretzels, potato soup, an array of wurst and other sausages, and desserts.
Hofbrauhaus Columbus:Touristy German destination not wurst – with liter of beer
It has one of the most extensive German menus in town, plus hybrids of authentic dishes and plenty of other popular fare.
The grillhendl, available all year round, is currently being featured because it is considered to be a traditional Oktoberfest meal. The half, crispy-skinned chicken is plated with German potato salad and fried cabbage.
7620 Industrial Parkway, Plain City, 1487brewery.com/
At 2 years old, 1487 is a relative newcomer to the scene, serving stylized Bavarian food that has hints of modern German and American.
The bill of fare includes sauerkraut balls, potato salad, pretzels and bratwurst made to house specifications.
The defining dish of the restaurant is schnitzel, which comes in either pork or chicken options, in which the meat is beer-brined, pounded thin, floured, egg-washed, coated with breadcrumbs and deep-fried to an attractive chestnut color. Each plate gets an herb garnish and wedge of lemon; a sweet chili sauce accompanies the pork and smoked-paprika mayo is the choice of sauce for the chicken.
734 Oak St., Olde Town East, www.gemutbiergarten.com
Gemut Biergarten is modeled after an Old World neighborhood spot, with plenty of German grub and beers to match.
It is another locale heavy on sausages — even a frankfurter ― more than an ample selection of schnitzel, including a vegan option, and a mix of starters, rotkohl (sweet-and-sour red cabbage) among them.
Yet, one choice is conspicuous in its rarity in Columbus, although a prized street food in Germany: currywurst.
The pork sausage, which is seasoned with curry, is garnished with spicy red pepper relish, a sweet barbecue-style sauce and curry ketchup, and set on a poppy seed hot-dog bun.
Source : The Columbus Dispatch