Columbus has distinctly German roots, as seen by historic German Village and the accompanying Brewery District just to the west. And while the city has grown and changed over the years, there are still plenty of restaurants, breweries, and events where you can enjoy great German food and beer!
1. Gemut Biergarten
Taking up residence in a renovated 1896 fire house, Gemüt brings a sense of welcome to Olde Towne East. The beautiful space features stained glass windows, large communal tables, rows of mugs hanging on the wall. Enjoy their modern menu of flatbreads, pretzels, spätzle, sandwiches indoors or on the huge beer garden. Don’t forget a liter of their award-winning Woden’s Hunt dunkel!
Find it: 734 Oak St., Columbus, OH 43205
2. Schmidt’s Sausage Haus
When you mention German food in Columbus, most people’s minds go immediately to Schmidt’s. The German Village restaurant is an institution, family-run since 1886. They’re known especially for their Bahama Mama bratwurst and giant cream puffs, but you can also feast on sauerkraut bratwurst balls, schnitzel, knockwurst, you name it. Can’t make it to the Sausage Haus? Their Sausage Trucks make the rounds all over the city.
Read more: schmidthaus.com
Visit: 240 E. Kossuth St., Columbus, OH 43206
3. 1487 Brewery
1487 Brewery in Plain City was created out of the owner’s love of German beer halls, with their easy-drinking beers, good food, and family-friendly camaraderie. This iteration combines loads of patio space, a modern menu of food and beer that blends German and American favorites, live music, and other special events.
Visit: 7620 Industrial Pkwy., Plain City, OH 43064
4. Valter’s at the Maennerchor
Valter’s sits along the western edge of German Village, in a century-old home that’s headquarters to the Columbus Maennerchor, the city’s long-running German singing group. They invited local restaurateur Valter Veliu to open up shop, so he supplies scratch-made goodies like Bavarian pretzels, wursts, schweinehaxe, jägerschnitzel, and more.
Visit: 976 S. High St., Columbus, OH 43206
Image courtesy facebook.com/PlanksBierGarten
5. Plank’s Bier Garten
The long-running Plank’s Bier Garten on South High Street (not to be confused with the pizza-centric Planks on Parsons) isn’t exclusively a German establishment, but their beloved beer garden, German Village locale, and menu rife with sauerkraut balls, bratwurst sandwiches, wienerschnitzel certainly make it worthy for the list.
Read more: planksbeergarden.com
Visit: 888 S. High St., Columbus, OH 43201
Image courtesy facebook.com/alpine614
Long-time Columbus residents will remember Alpine’s German Village location has the former home of Juergen’s Bakery. They’re keeping the Germanic spirit alive with a modern menu of German potato soup, käsespätzle, currywurst, schnitzel, or gooey raclette cheese spread over everything.
Read more: alpine614.com
Visit: 525 S. Fourth St., Columbus, OH 43206
This chain of German breweries and restaurants is modeled on the original Hofbrauhaus in Munich. The massive Columbus location sits in Grandview Yard, and features plenty of square footage for outdoor beer patios, rows of communal tables, live music, keg tappings, and more. They brew all their beer on-site according to German purity laws, so raise a liter of dunkel, hefeweizen, or their signature lager with your meal of wursts, schnitzels, spätzle, and more.
Read more: hofbrauhauscolumbus.com
Visit: 800 Goodale Blvd., Columbus, OH 43212
Image courtesy Germania Singing & Sport Society
8. Germania Singing & Sport Society Oktoberfest (Sept. 16-18, 2022)
The Germania is one of the last vestiges of true German culture in the Brewery District. They host a number of dinners, tours, festivals, and other events throughout the year, but their Oktoberfest is one of the centerpieces. Now in its 65th year, the weekend event features loads of live music, tours, a stein holding contest, dancing, both Ohio and authentic German beers, and great meals like port schnitzel, bratwurst on pretzel buns, sauerkraut, strudel, and more. Admission is free!
Read more: germaniacolumbus.org/oktoberfest
Visit: 543 S. Front St., Columbus, OH 43215
Image courtesy facebook.com/ColumbusOktoberfest
9. Columbus Oktoberfest (Sept. 9-11, 2022)
Columbus Oktoberfest always arrives the weekend after Labor Day. The huge affair, running for more than five decades now, takes place at the Ohio State Fairgrounds, and involves three days of live music, German food, bier halls, a wine garden, children’s activities, a Marktplatz, a four-mile run, and more. Schmidt’s always plays a big hand in presenting the festival, so expect loads of cream puffs and Bahama Mamas, too.
Read more: columbusoktoberfest.com
Find it: Ohio State Fairgrounds & Expo Center, 717 E. 17th Ave., Columbus, OH 43211