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Oct 3, 2012 08:41 AM

A SoCal Oktoberfest

I was working in Germany for two months last year and was lucky enough to spend a day in Munchen for "die Wiesn" (That's what the locals call it). Didn't realize this at the time, but the Oktoberfest festival actually takes place mostly in September and is not a German thing at all but a local city of Munich celebration commemorating the Marriage of King Ludwig I. It's kind of like being at a giant tailgate party with each "team" or country having its own contingent of revelers. Wonderful and insane with amazing food and beer! Lots and lots of my favorite tasty things; Kasespatzle, Wursts, Schweinbraten, Schnitzle, Knodel, and Flammenkugel mit spec!

After attending Oktoberfest in La Mesa for years, Munchen was a real eye opener as to what the festival should be. Besides that, the whole family is just tired of the same old La Mesa routine. The chicken dance, mediocre bratwurst, and the less than mediocre beer, at La Mesa have left us less than enthusiastic about attending. It’s really more of an arts and crafts fair with a bunch of middle of the road food vendors.

So, who in San Diego does your favorite Oktoberfest? What are your favorite things to do, and most importantly eat and drink?

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  1. The Oktoberfest in El Cajon. Love the bbq oxtail, German desserts and they have Kostrizer Scwarzbier and a couple of other German Marzen/Oktoberfests on tap. I believe they bring a band in from Germany for music/dancing.

    6 Replies
    1. re: JRSD

      Thanks JRSD. That sounds more like it. When and where is it?

      1. re: JRSD

        Ah, I found it. It's happening last weekend and this weekend. Very traditional time frame at least.

        1. re: RhonelyInsanediego

          La Mesa is just a glorified street fair, El Cajon is way better and this weekend shouldn't be too hot. The desserts are homemade and really good. It does get crowded, the bar in the clubhouse, in the back, is the place to hang. I have never been, but I am going to try the West Oktoberfest up in Carlsbad in a couple of weeks. Hoping that the food offerings will be a bit better.

        2. re: JRSD

          My family and I have been attending the El Cajon Oktoberfest for over 30 years. It's on Mollison Ave. near the intersection with Chase. From all points west, just take the El Cajon Blvd. turnoff off I-8, then immediately bear right to Chase ave. Follow Chase about 1.5 miles to Mollison, then start looking for parking. It's put on by the German-American Society and features several brands of German beer plus delicious food items like wurstel, leberkase, ox on a spit, German sausage, white and red kraut, homemade potato salad and homemade kuchen (desserts). If you speak German, you'll have plenty of opportunities. There is also a German "oompah" band imported from Munich. This is as authentic as it gets in SoCal. The more widely known La Mesa event is truly just a street fair compared to this one.

          1. re: mcgrath

            Thanks! Wow, I'm actually getting excited about Oktoberfest!

            1. re: RhonelyInsanediego

              Was at the El Cajon one last weekend with a buddy visting from Munich. He even liked it. Very fun indeed and you are not corralled in a beer garden. You can walk around anywhere with dunkels in hand. It's at the German-American clubhouse so you know its going to be better then most. Have fun!!