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German Restaurants in NJ

After watching an episode of Guy Fieri's Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, I watched a German chef prepare a fabulous traditional German Bavarian dinner. I checked for German restaurants here and found only two: Black Forest up north and Schnitzel-something down south. Is that IT??

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  1. Kirker's Inn in Hawthorne.

    And then there's the Pilsner Haus in Hoboken, Helmer's in Hoboken, and to a lesser extent, Zeppelin Hall in Jersey City.

    8 Replies
    1. re: tommy

      The Pilsner House has improved their menu since opening. The best I had in Jersey was a place that closed, can't recall the name but it was on Route 23 where Tiff's is now.

      1. re: roro1831

        Ohhhh, I you mean The Triangle Hofbrau! I miss that place.

        That being said, Pilsner Haus in Hoboken is pretty great, totally different atmosphere though. I first went there with a friend who happens to be German and he ordered us a variety of food, including the Wiener schnitzel and it was excellent.

        1. re: JulietB

          That's it. I loved the rabbit dish they served.

          1. re: JulietB

            Pilsner Haus had the best mussels I've ever had EVER. I love this place and my only regret is that it isn't closer to where I live.

        2. re: tommy

          Helmers in Hoboken is quite good.

          1. re: tommy

            Kirker's menu is all over the place. In my experience that does not bode well for good German food.

            1. re: wblorch

              I don't think it's very good. I was simply offering it as an example.

              Have you eaten at Kirker's?

              1. re: tommy

                Yes I have been to Kirker's. I would recommend Helmer's in Hoboken. I have been there with several colleagues from Germany and they found it to have very good food and beer selection.

          2. Schneider's - Avon-by-the-Sea (Belmar-ish)

            http://www.schneidersrestaurant.com/

            To quote their website "known for our hearty German-Austrian-Hungarian dishes"

            1 Reply
            1. re: jfedorko

              Went there a couple of weeks ago and enjoyed it. Food was good, service was good.

            2. The Dutchman's in Manahawkin, just as you are crossing onto LBI.

              http://www.thedutchmans.com/

              2 Replies
              1. re: Quine

                We keep trying The Dutchman's every few years and never had anything worth going back for besides the beer and popcorn. Anything you can recommend?

                1. re: cook262

                  I have not been there for quite a few years, myself. I only tossed it out there for the information.

              2. Not NJ but just over the Outerbridge in Staten Island

                http://www.killmeyers.com/

                1. I miss Fritzy's in Howell! :( So close to home and so delish! (Not to rain on your parade...sorry!)

                  1. The Blue Danube in Trenton has been around a long time and gets generally good reviews. It's a mix of cuisines from the countries along the Danube, starting in Germany. Neighborhood is a bit dicey.

                    http://www.bluedanuberestaurant.net

                    1. There's some German dishes on the menu at Pheasant's Landing in Hillsborough.

                      1. NJFoodie, I'm sure you know that German cuisine can vary tremendously depending on the region. What exactly was the "fabulous traditional German Bavarian dinner" that you saw prepared on TV? That would help us find an appropriate restaurant (or not!).

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: ambrose

                          I was born in Bavaria, so it would be beef rouladen, sauerbraten, pork anything, red cabbage, sauerkraut, dumplings of any kind PLUS strudels and other Bavarian/Austrian desserts.

                        2. Give Rolf's in Warren a try. Free pool table to boot.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: coldbeer

                            We had dinner at Rolf's several times and the Sauerbraten, was grisly and tough as was their Goulash,....they definitely have to change their meat supplier or buy better beef.

                            1. re: LEOFONT

                              AGREED with Rolf's...food terrible....an ex employee
                              told me the former owners son has run the place into the ground....doesn't care what people think of his bad food.

                            1. re: retchef

                              Thanks for all these recommendations. What did YOU order when you went to these restaurants?

                              1. re: NJFoodie

                                I actually worked at The Dutchman's in the kitchen, I loved the Wiener schnitzel and spaetzle.

                            2. I went to Schneider's in Avon by the Sea last Friday. I had the Sauerbraten, red cabbage, speatzel and a side of German potato salad. Everrything was delicious. The sauerbraten was as good as my late Mother used to make. I took home an order of Black Forest Pork which was stuffed with a sausage mixture. I had spaetzel and sauerkraut as my sides.
                              Schneider's has an 'old world' ethic. There food is prepared well and presented nicely. Even my take out order was brought to my table and shown to me before they put it in the bag. They included some very nice breads and butter with my food.
                              You can't go wrong with a trip to Schneider's.

                              1 Reply
                              1. Gee, I haven't had a German meal since Weisgerber's Gasthaus in Waukesha, WI. Funny with the Dutch and German heritages in northern NJ you'd expect to see more German restaurants.

                                For some reason there are many German restaurants in Fort Lauderdale. Maybe for the tourists? One of them is out of business now, and when I ate there the waitress brought me the check which said across the top, "Muchas Gracias" and when I asked her about it, she said "the owner's cheap."

                                7 Replies
                                1. re: GraydonCarter

                                  I'm the original poster. My 85-year-old mother does not want to travel so far to get good German food, so we haven' t been to any of your wonderful recommendatons. I doubt anything will open up in Middlesex/Monmouth County, so thank you all. Sigh...

                                  1. re: legsdiamond12

                                    With regards to Kirker's Inn.....it's been many years since I have been there, but based on the recent chatter of German Restaurants and this particular thread...and while trying to figure out something different rather than the usual Italian or Steakhouse restaurant to go to.....I mentioned this place to my son and fiance......They both enjoy Polish food and have been to the many Polish delis for take-out ....also, they have been to The Royal Warsaw in Elmwood Park, so the mention of German food was welcomed and the seed was planted for Schnitzel on the brain. We went this past Friday evening.

                                    The place is exactly as I had remembered and nothing has changed. The bar and dining room were both filled this past Friday evening. I was quite surprised to see for a German Restaurant, there were many people eating Prime Rib, Thin Crust Pizza and other Red Sauce dishes. While billed as a German restaurant, there are easily many more sandwiches and Italian dishes available on the menu.....A second specials menu was also included billing a "Schnitzel Fest".

                                    We ordered a Wurst appetizer which consisted of two types, which I do not recall exactly their names. It came with pretty good helping of Sauerkraut and while enjoyed, it was not exceptional. We also ordered a Thin Crust Pizza which everyone thought was very good and a pleasant surprise.....I would note though that I thought the middle of the pizza was a little soggy/soft and not crisp.

                                    Dinner selections were two Schnitzels ( Berliner & a la Holstein ) and a Sauerbraten. All three were served with red cabbage and a potato pancake. The Sauerbraten was thin slices of very tough round roast served with a very salty thick brown gravy. The Berliner Schnitzel had among other things. bacon and peppers. Both Schnitzels were not very good. They were breaded cutlets, but they were not pounded and pan fried, rather deep fried, thick and tough....and also very greasy. The Potato Pancake and Red Cabbage were both good.

                                    All in all, quite a disappointment.

                                    However, they do have a nice selection of Imported Beers available and they serve a nice refreshing salad with dinner.

                                    1. re: fourunder

                                      It was a family favorite back in the day. It was close, too...we lived in Fair Lawn. But I DO remember back in the early 70's, one night my father dared me to eat an entire pizza by myself and I finished it off with a baked Alaska. I don't remember it being particularly good food, but it was a very family-friendly environment.

                                      1. re: njmarshall55

                                        Do you remember the Blue Swan in Rochelle Park....I had my very first bottle of Blue Nun Riesling there.

                                        1. re: fourunder

                                          The girl I was going out with in HS was in the german club. Their end-of-year lunch was at the Blue Swan. Entertainment was a group German lesson with songs at the restaurant.
                                          I also remember the Swiss Chalet up on 17...Ramsey was it?

                                          1. re: njmarshall55

                                            Yes....Swiss Chalet became Bobby McGee's Conglomeration, then Friday's and now it's The Shannon Rose...three chains in a row.

                                  2. re: GraydonCarter

                                    Graydon, you really have to remember the huge anti German sentiment post World War I and ii. Many german families just wanted to assimilate. I think the effect is the have lost the identify of a wonderful part of the American melting pot, but it unfortunately is quite understandable. We have lost the same identity in Philadelphia, with traditional restaurants that have served German food (mainly Bavarian which unfortunately is all people think of as German) barely hanging on.

                                  3. Bahrs Landing in Atlantic Highlands for seasonal German food. I read somewhere they have the chef from the old Hofbrauhaus
                                    http://bahrslanding.com/menu.html

                                    1. The only truly authentic German food restaurant left in NJ that I know of is the Black Forest Inn on 206 in Andover (I think) I know it's just into Sussex county. Their menu it traditional German fare and they have a month long October Fest with live German music. Give it a try, it's a bit far out but worth it.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: jimponn

                                        We should do a Chow meetup here.

                                        1. re: joonjoon

                                          Where do I sign up? The chef also does small group cooking classes. I have done that twice.

                                      2. We had Winckelmans in Lakewood, and Hullers Black Forest Butcher & Restaurant in Jackson, & Fritzy's in Howell NJ, ...ALL gone now !!
                                        so sad.