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Apr 4, 2007 02:19 PM

German restaurants in San Diego?

I grew up on the upper east side of Manhattan, an area called Yorkville, that had a heavy German population. There was a wonderful restaurant there called Ideal, it opened in the 20s, and unfortunately closed down a few years ago. Lately I find myself craving good old-fashioned German food--can anyone recommend a place in San Diego or vicinity?

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  1. I think you will get the best German-style food at Chef Axel's Bistro in La Mesa (I haven't tried it yet but heard from several people that it is pretty good).

    Another option is Kaiserhof in Oceanbeach ( ) which delivers reasonable food for (too) high prices.

    Third option is Kontinental Deli in Escondido ( http://entertainment.signonsandiego.c... ). This is more a deli with a short list of sandwiches and some (surprisingly) good German food (e.g. Kassler).

    And the last option is Tip Top Meat in Carlsbad (6118 Paseo Del Norte). This is also more a German/Dutch/Czech shop with a small restaurant attached. The food is rather disappointing (e.g. horrible Sauerkraut and Rotkohl (red cabbage), low quality meat). Especially the low quality meat is surprising because the butcher in the shop is pretty good and has also some more unusual meats (e.g. venison, quail etc).

    As a German I can only tell you that good German food is not existing in SD (I hope I can say something different after I visited Chef Axel). All food you will get here is typical tourist food but you won't find for example any food from the north, west, east or southwest of Germany but americanized bavarian-style food.
    Overall I would try Chef Axel and skip the other options.

    3 Replies
      1. re: sdunbier

        Thanks, Honkman, went down to Chef Axel and overall we enjoyed it. There were a couple of things that didn't work, the potato salad was dry and lacking in flavor and I wouldn't recommend the Gypsy Schnitzel, but besides that it was quite good. Brought back memories of my grandmother and mother's cooking. One funny bit; we made a reservation and the waitress asked if my last name was Australian. I asked if she meant Austrian but no, Australian is what she meant. She seemed surprised when I told her it was German.

        1. re: sdunbier

          She probably thought your name was Australian because she misread "dunbier" as down under. :)

          Actually, I think she was Axel's wife, since she does most of the work around there. She's from the Philippines. They're both lovely people and the food is excellent.

          One delicious surprise is an appetizer, sauerkraut cakes. And the apple streudel is also outstanding, but you almost have to take it home with you.

    1. Honkman was right. I would avoid Tip Top for sure...the Saurkraut and Red Cabbage ARE horrible. Kaiserhof isn't bad. I've eaten there a number of times and it's a fun experience. The bar is lively with locals during happy hour. The German food is good, and I didn't think it was too awfully expensive. When there are such few sources of good German food, it's worth a little more to find a good one...sort of supply and demand. If you ever get to Vegas, they have opened a Hofbrauhaus there right across the street from the Hard Rock hotel and it is a blast...great German food and an umpa band, Alphorn, the works. Everynight is Oktoberfest.

      I'll try Chef Alex...thanks Honkman for the tip.