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Best German, Swiss or Austrian in SF (or on Peninsula)?

  • m

Looking for an update to former threads.

Names I've seen thus far?
Schnitzel Haus
The Matterhorn

Sorry to post again but realized if friends less into Atkins (or not die-hard now) that they used to be major German food fans! (some of their background) Just loved it. (us not so much as we're vegetarians! But...we can take it for a night, if it means bliss for them, as they visit from out of the area)

Heard area around Schnitzel Haus is dicey to say the least. Best to take cab their from Union Square or....?

Your favorite option? Would be nice to have good food but not necessarily a dicey locale. Hard to find both. Seems most German restaurants in SOMA area or ? None in a pretty area?

We did Suppenkuche years ago...but got impression my friend who loves Sauerbraten was mildly disappointed.

Also did the Matterhorn years & years ago. But I know we don't want fondue right now, as we had it tonight in Saratoga. But they had more than that too. Not a fave area of mine...on busy, impersonal Van Ness.
Help? (one more idea for us)

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  1. You can add Schroeder's to the list, which is downtown in the financial area (near Embarcadero One). An old, traditional sort of place, so atmosphere is fairly fun. But frankly, if they didn't like Suppenkuche, they probably won't like the food here -- in my experience (which is a few years old) it was even heavier.


    1. I think you have it covered for SF. The one new addition would be Gestalt Haus, 3159 16th St. (near Valencia), in the Mission.

      Haven't been there, but I understand it's more of a German sausage and beer house.

      Lamb, beef, pork and vegetarian sausages by Montibella Sausage, Sonoma Sausage, Applegate Farms and Tofurky, served on organic buns from Bay Bakery, and accompanied by German potato salad. The 10 beers on tap include Radeberger, Hoegaarden, Fat Tire, Prohibition Ale and, Anchor Steam.

      And if you went across the Bay you couls go to Speisekammer (http://www.speisekammer.com/), which was founded by an ex-Suppenkuche partner. It's probably the best of the bunch.

      1. I've been wanting to try Walzwerk for quite some time. I'm (mostly) vegetarian, and they have a lot of veg. options. Apparently the woman who owns it is vegetarian.

        1 Reply
        1. re: mchan02

          Huh, so they do. That's kind of funny for a place with such a meat-and-potatoes style. But makes sense given the young Mission crowd.


        2. Thanks so much! Am looking into all. I agree Walzwerk's menu seems like it would be okay for my hubby & I who are vegetarians. But, I'm a little concerned about its location.
          Kinda wished we could walk somehow from Union Square area, and
          most German restaurants seem to be in dicey areas for walking. (and maybe even for parking?)

          Not sure.
          But I guess Schroeder's mentioned here would be the best location, as far as that goes. That or Suppenkuche. Thought it worth trying a new place, however. (other than Suppenkuche)
          Thanks so much! And keep reviews coming, as we've not tried ANY of these so far. Appreciate the help! :-)

          3 Replies
          1. re: mtm

            Nothing dicey about Schroeder's location, and it's an easy walk from Union Square. They have a few vegetarian dishes.


            1. re: Robert Lauriston

              Cool! Maybe that's the answer then...it seems to have more atmosphere perhaps. Or the old bar, at least from the few photos posted. :-)

              The vegetarian schnitzel was mighty tempting at Walzwerk however, as I used to enjoy that in my younger days. (pre-vegetarian)
              But, the ability to walk there & see holidays lights (a bit)
              is a plus this time of year. I wonder if it's pouring tomorrow night, if one could catch a cable car to there? Isn't there a Calif line that might run close to there? Or am I totally mixed up?

              If so, would we catch it on top of Nob Hill & then head downhill to the Embarcadero? Anyone know?
              Thanks again!

              I LOVE these boards. One gains so very much from reading others' postings. And then when in 'dire straits' for ideas,
              can always find a wealth of options from helpful Chowhounds.
              Happy Holidays you guys! :-D

              1. re: mtm

                The atmosphere at Schroeder's is great. The decor dates from the 30s.

                You could take the cable car from Union Square to the top of California and then the other cable car down to Front.

          2. Suppenk├╝che is pretty great. You can't walk there *from* Union Square, but it's not in a "dicey" area for walking at all, once you're there. Walzwerk is another story -- great food, but you'd definitely want to taxi there.

            1. Oh no.
              Kinda negative reviews on Chowhound it seems compared to Walzwerk! Sigh...

              What to do? :-\
              Ambiance? Or food?
              Has anyone here tried Schroeder's (or others) in recent months or this year? Sounds like they are under Czech mgmt now.
              Thanks again.

              1 Reply
              1. re: mtm

                Schroeder's hasn't changed at all. The Filipclks have owned it since 1997. Haven't Czechified it except to offer Urquell and kielbasa.

              2. Okay, thanks for the updates & help on how to get to these spots best from Union Square. Cable maybe for Schroeder's if raining...taxi if doing Walzwerk.
                And valet maybe at Suppenkuche. (from what I gather)

                Will give a few a call & see if any openings. Thanks!

                1. The sauerbraten is very good at Schroeder's, and the goulash soup is outstanding. Also, if you go at happy hour, be sure to walk over towards the bar and try the meatballs. Probably the best free app I've ever had (I just tried them out recently after they were mentioned on this board).

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Steve Green

                    Second on that. The sauerbraten's one of their best dishes, and the free meatballs (Thursdays and Fridays at happy hour) are the single best thing I've eaten there. They rotate with other freebies like fries and chicken wings, which are fine but not great.

                  2. Will try Schroeder's next time, as I missed this post 'til too late. Tried Walzwerk & LOVED it! Will report back w/a full
                    review soon. :-)

                    Thanks again for all the assistance!! :-D

                    1. Definitely Walzwerk - hearty, good and authentic German food. I have also been disappointed by the food at Suppenkueche. I found it neither very good nor authentic.

                      1. I haven't tried the others, but I have had really good experiences at Schnitzel Haus. The sauerbraten there is awesome, as are the schnitzels, bread dumplings, and of course, the German beers! I find the beer a little expensive (I think it's around $8 for a liter), but I always end up getting it anyways because it's quite good with the food. I would avoid the German chocolate cake there-I haven't been very impressed with it, and it's been served cold so the frostings aren't so great (should be room temp I think for best consistency). I have heard the apple strudel rocks, but have yet to try it. As far as the neighborhood...I haven't had any problems walking there after work from Market street to meet friends, it doesn't seem like THAT bad of a neighborhood, but I may have been lucky so far... hehe

                        1. Thanks for sharing!! We'll have to give several more a try, it seems. But I WILl say...that Walzwerk truly was delicious this time, and that includes for we vegetarians!

                          And the area, wasn't THAT bad. A little deserted...
                          more an area w/car lots, etc. But we didn't see anything untoward or terribly unseemly at all. And parking was a cinch. :-)