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Guide to Oktoberfest 2016

2014_09_11_14_02_26As odd as it seems to switch abruptly from corn and tomatoes to wurst and weiner schnitzel, that’s Fall for you — no sooner do we commemorate Labor Day, then it’s straight on to Oktoberfest.  Kicking off on Saturday, September 17th and lasting through October 3rd (although many choose to extend their festivities up until Halloween), the raucous celebration of Bavarian culture is just way too much fun to ignore.  Which is why we’ve rounded up some of our favorite rowdy biergartens, as well as a few refined restaurant options, because few of us can subsist on Pilsner steins and sausages for a straight 17 days.

Hofbräu Bierhaus

Hofbräu Bierhaus
712 3rd Ave
Midtown East,New York 10017
(212) 867-2337

A Big Apple outpost of Munich’s famous Hofbräuhaus, this Midtown beer garden is a true Oktoberfest mecca; expect a celebratory “Hat Night,” a parade, an “Adult Oktoberfest Coloring Party,” a “Kidtoberfest,” a pig roast, a wurst eating contest, and of course, dirndl-costumed beer girls tapping foamy Hofbräu kegs.

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Gunter Seeger

Gunter Seeger
641 Hudson St
West Village,New York 10014
(646) 657-0045

For a high-end alternative to stein-hosting, oompah band-amplified Oktoberfest celebrations, try the trailblazing tasting menus at Gunter Seeger’s eponymous new restaurant instead; featuring Central European-accented delicacies like Chilled Mussel Veloute, Veal Tartare with trout roe, and Quail teamed with clay pot baked apple.

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Loreley Beer Garden

Loreley Beer Garden
7 Rivington Street
Lower East Side,New York 10002
(212) 253-7077

The largest heated outdoor biergarten in the city, Loreley is modeled after the beloved brauhaus’s of Cologne.  Which means they dutifully observe every single day of Oktoberfest, with rotating seasonal beers, ceremonial keg tapping’s, brunch hangover parties, live bands, sausage fests, and even multi-course dinners, featuring a tasting of seven different beers and a three-course German meal.

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Freud

Freud
506 LaGuardia Pl
Greenwich Village,New York 10012
(212) 777-0327

The Edi & the Wolf team has done it again; descending on the West Village with this classy Viennese brasserie serving Sourdough Spatzle with basil and broccoli rabe, Heritage Pig or Four Story Hill Farm Veal Schnitzel, and a Cherry Strudel or Sacher Torte, topped with an explosion of whipped cream.

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Zum Stammtisch

Zum Stammtisch
69-46 Myrtle Ave
Queens,New York 11385
(718) 386-3014

It doesn’t get more authentic than this 1972-era restaurant, located in the traditionally German enclave of Glendale, Queens.  You’ll want to loosen your lederhosen after a repast of Herring Salad, Goulash, Sauerbraten, Hunter Chicken, Liverwurst and Westphalian Ham Sandwiches, but be sure to stock up for the duration of Oktoberfest with various Bavarian provisions, sourced from the Stammtisch Pork Store & Imports shop, located right next door.

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Werkstatt

Werkstatt
509 Coney Island Ave.
Brooklyn,New York 11218
(718) 284-5800

Formerly of BAM favorite Thomas Beisl, and now owner of the convivial, multi-room Werkstatt on Coney Island Avenue, Thomas Ferlesch is the poster child of Bavarian fare in Brooklyn.  Particularly, he’s known for infusing classic dishes with contemporary (yet uncomplicated) panache; think Celery Root Schnitzel, Klobasse Sausage paired with calamari, and soft, outsized Pretzels dipped in housemade, paprika-dusted liptauer cheese.

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Hallo Berlin

Hallo Berlin
626 10th Ave
Midtown West,New York 10036
(212) 977-1944

Boasting both a sit-down beer garden and series of food stands, this husband and wife-owned business concentrates on wurst.  (That’s right. Wurst!)  From the chicken-based “Skoda” to smoked “Opel” kielbasa and the “Porsche,” a Berliner currywurst comprised of beef and pork.

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Upholstery Store: Food and Wine

Upholstery Store: Food and Wine
713 Washington St
West Village,New York 10014
(212) 929-6384

Yes, it’s situated in a former upholstery store.  But Kurt Gutenbrunner’s intimate West Village restaurant specializes in seafood — such as Brook Trout with capers and sour cream and Oysters with pickled celery and cucumbers — followed by sweets, like Peach Compote Strudel and Elderflower Panna Cotta with streusel; not carpets and couches.

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