Dismiss Notice
Hello, is it beer you're looking for?

Learn more about beer. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for as low as 68% off the single issue price.

Subscribe now →

Essen Haus

Not Rated.
Essen HausEssen Haus

27 Reviews
Reviews: 27
Visits: 45
Avg: 4.06
pDev: n/a
Taps: 16
Bottles: --
Cask: N
[ Bar, Eatery ]

514 E Wilson St
Madison, Wisconsin, 53703-3431
United States
phone: (608) 255-4674

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap @essenmadison

Place added by: brakspear

No notes at this time.
Place: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Reviews: 27 | Visits: 45
Reviews by Erdinger2003:
Photo of Erdinger2003
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5

I walked in with the expecatations of a Munich beer hall and I saw a lot of heavy drinking and young college kids drink a lot of boots. The beer selection was a little small in my opinion, good, but kinda small. The atmosphere was good, not Germany good, but good. You could talk with friends, some you may have just met, some you've known. They have a small "Beer Garden". It's indoors, the ceiling seems a bit low, and it's next to the bathrooms. The giant ceiling they have is over the food/beer tables next to the tiny stage where not so bad music is played. It got crowded a bit after some time, so about 8:30pm we left for another bar. Overall I would go back just to try the fresher German beer and use the authentic glassware...it's a bit of fun using them.

 765 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of Zatch90
3.86/5  rDev -4.9%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 3 | food: 4.5

Photo of UWBadgerFan4Life
3.64/5  rDev -10.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.75

Photo of Duff27
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Photo of ShawnL
4/5  rDev -1.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

Photo of djhowell
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3

Photo of redleg411
4.06/5  rDev 0%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4

Photo of twb0392
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%

Photo of Todd
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of Jason
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of Canada_Dan
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of Fargrow
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of bigred89
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of BarrelAgedG
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of Gotti311
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of jera1350
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of TX-Badger
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%

Photo of Ri0
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of ms333
3.25/5  rDev -20%

Photo of crossovert
3.56/5  rDev -12.3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3

Was at the biergarten here for a brief bit during a great taste pre-party. The beer was Revolution and it was only 2 bucks a half liter. In retrospect I should have stayed there all night and sucked the tap of Maerzen dry.

Didn't go in, or eat. Just slugged a beer listening to the German band they had. I liked the atmosphere, not as authentic as it should be but fun in a sense. Just wish it was always 2$ half liter night there. Saw the taplist for normal hours and it is just a decent mishmash of German beers.

 515 characters

Photo of scones
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

I love this place, just like I love all German bars. Fun atmosphere, German beers on tap, large selection of German food. Service is pretty good (and all wearing German outfits), and the selection is pretty good too. Only thing I don't like about it is the price - 15+ for a sausage plate/schnitzel with sauerkraut and potatoes. Oh well, I'll still go whenever I can. Also it's attached to another bar next door, the Come Back Inn, which has a vastly different menu and beer selection but is also really good.

 509 characters

Photo of CuriousMonk
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

A great place to visit, even though it’s sort of a chain. The ambiance is great - live polka music, German decorations and stuff all over the wall, and an overall great time to be had with the huge Das boots and everything else. The service was quick and friendly. The selection is pretty good for a restaurant - but hey, it’s German! The food was good, not the best German fare I’ve had, but still good especially the potatoes and sauerkrauts. Typical German beers on tap - nothing mind-blowing. The value was about average, and overall, I’ll definitely be hitting this place again whenever I visit Madison again.

 622 characters

Photo of Czap
3.98/5  rDev -2%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Very fun place. Kinda divey, but very large. Great German food and beer selection. It's about the whole experience. The music, the beer, the food, the boot. It's definitely a big draw.

That all being said, I still can't put my finger on exactly how I feel about the place. Almost like they found a formula that works and now it's just on cruise control. That might be part of what makes it so appealing as well. Who knows? Oh well, I am still going to frequent it every time I am in Madison, but there are a dozen other bars that I would rank well above it.

 559 characters

Photo of Yojimbo1941
2/5  rDev -50.7%
vibe: 2 | quality: 1.5 | service: 3 | selection: 2 | food: 1

Downright horrible.

I ate here on 21 March of 2010 with some friends. First of all the beer was flat. Strike 1. Next the food was dry and tasteless and my wife's spaetzle was cold. We've had good German food before so I know this is not normal. Strike 2. After looking at the high prices again and noticing that the restaurant has not been cleaned in say 10 years we decided never to return. Strike 3. Done.

The only reason this place gets business is due to the fact that it's in the same building as Hotel Ruby Marie, and for the locals there is the boot. Still, I've had more than a couple less than memorable experiences at the Essen Haus and in March it was definitely the last. It's too bad because with a little hard work, cleaning, and a new kitchen staff it would be a great place to go. I expect to see this restaurant on Kitchen Nightmares in the near future.

 872 characters

Photo of AmberMan22
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

The Essen Haus is really quite a place. Quite authentic looking, but the polka band really puts this place over the top. Additionally, there are boots to be had, with steins and other german beer paraphernalia all of the place.

While the vibe is incredible, the quality just doesn't quite match it. Going exclusively for the beer, I'd say yes 100%, but the whole ensemble doesn't come together as well as it looks.

Service was fairly good considering how absurdly busy they were when I last went. We were a little disappointed because about 160 frat guys were there and had privilege to all the boots for the night.

Selection was good. I had a delicious kostritzer schwarzbier, but there were plenty of other delicious German offerings there on the list.

I haven't actually gone and sat at the bar area, which is unfortunate, but hopefully soon to be rectified.
I would not attend this place for the food alone. Go with some friends and kick back some bräus!

 965 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50  | nextlast
Essen Haus in Madison, WI
91 out of 100 based on 27 ratings.