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Chicago Brauhaus

Not Rated.
Chicago BrauhausChicago Brauhaus
very good

13 Reviews
Reviews: 13
Visits: 23
Avg: 3.77
pDev: n/a
Taps: 7
Bottles: 12
Cask: N
[ Bar, Eatery ]

4732 N Lincoln Ave
Chicago, Illinois, 60625-8561
United States
phone: (773) 784-4444

visit their websiteWebsite view map and get directionsMap 

Place added by: taez555

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Place: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 13 | Visits: 23
Reviews by libbekat:
Photo of libbekat
3.73/5  rDev -1.1%
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4.5

My husband and I were visiting Chicago and decided to go somewhere new for us. We visit a few time a year and always eat and drink at the same places. I have to state for the record, my husband and I are both of German descent. We grew up with a lot of German folk music, crafts and the food. So we felt at home in a kitsch kind of way.
Yes it is kitsch, there is accordian music, the decor looks like a bad German bier hall. Our waitress was German and not the most outgoing waitress, but she was polite and got us everything we asked for. A lot of reviewers have complained about how the staff seems bored or not enthusiatic, this isn't TGIFriday's. I just want beer and food brought promptly and to be checked on occasionally.
We had a few different types of the German beer offerings. The beer was good, not great.
The food was excellent if you like German food.
We had the cheese/meat tray as an appetizer and it was good. My husband even ate the head cheese. It was served with potato salad. This is the best potato salad I have had since I lived with my grandmother as a young girl.
For entrees I got the veal shank, a little bland but good. It was served with spaetzle, a little chewy and not as good as mine, in my opinion. My husband had the stuffed cabbage and it was awesome! We ordered a meatloaf to take home and ate it the next day. That was some of the best meatloaf! The boiled potatoes that were served with the cabbage rolls and the meatloaf were also very tatsty.
Our portions were huge, we were stuffed when we left the place.
My husband liked it so much he wanted to return a few days later.
Not for vegetarians!

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More User Reviews:
Photo of misternebbie
3.44/5  rDev -8.8%
vibe: 3 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.25

Photo of waitwhatamidrinking
3.5/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of Nuggetz
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of yemenmocha
4.5/5  rDev +19.4%

Photo of maxcoinage
4.25/5  rDev +12.7%

Photo of bowzer4birdie
4/5  rDev +6.1%

Photo of Storning
4.25/5  rDev +12.7%

Photo of JIMTRK16
4.25/5  rDev +12.7%

Photo of leprechaunandfatman
4.25/5  rDev +12.7%

Photo of ZS881107
4.5/5  rDev +19.4%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.75

If you like good German food this is the place for you. While the beer list is traditional I find nothing wrong with that. In a day when everybody is looking for the next crazy insane beer I find solace in a traditional German beer with great German food. Love this place a lot.

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Photo of TheRealPour
3.75/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of matjack85
3.4/5  rDev -9.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3 | service: 4.5 | selection: 2.5 | food: 3

Fifteen of us decided to hit the Brauhaus on a Saturday night during Oktoberfest, and for the most part we had a good time.

The place was packed, but we had reservations, so they had a table ready for us when we arrived. Reservations are a must on the weekends. Don't even think of coming here without one. Parking is a nightmare. It's easily accessible by public transportation, but if you are driving, just pay the $10 vallet fee and let them park the car for you or you'll be driving around for a half hour looking for an on street parking space. Once inside, the place is designed to look like a typical brauhaus in Germany. Live music and dancing are carried on throughout the night. The tunes are a mix of traditional German polkas and beer drinking songs, with a few oldies thrown in for whatever reason. The dance floor is as crowded as the restaurant, but you've got to get up and dance at least once during the night.

The menu is not large - maybe a dozen different entrees to choose from. Schnitzels (both veal and chicken), sauerbraten, roladen, and sausage platters are all available with traditional spatzel, red cabbage, and sauerkraut. We all found the dinners to be good, but nothing was great. Some desserts were disappointing. While the plum cake was good, the apple strudel was dreadful.

And now for the beer list! How disappointing. What they have is good, but there's not one beer on the small list that couldn't be found at your local liquor store. All they had were 7 beers on tap (Stigl, Spaten, Bittburger, Julius Echter Weiss, BBK Pils, , Hoffbrau, and Kostritzer Black). Bottles include Beck's, Warsteiner, Wurtzburger, Erdinger Weiss, Weihenstephaner Weiss, Spater Optimator, Spaten Oktoberfest, and a few macro brews. Beware of ordering any weiss beer here, as it will come to the table with a lemon wedge in it whether you order it that way or not.

Special kudos to the wait staff here. As crowded as it was, all our beer orders, appetizers, entrees, and desserts all came to the table in a timely and friendly manner - and to top it off they were willing to make out separate checks for our entire party of 15.

Prices are reasonable considering it's a city restaurant and it comes with free entertainment. My bill with two beers, a shared appetizer, entree, and dessert was under $40.

You don't necessarily come here for the food, but you do come for the good times. Prosit!

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Photo of Duhast500
3.55/5  rDev -5.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 3

I went to this place for a wedding rehearsal dinner. I am a fan of German style restaurant and love a good Oktoberfest celebration. From walking in I got that vibe that I love that is of a Bavarian style restaurant with German umpa lumpa music. The waiters and waitresses added to the experience with the typical Oktoberfest server outfit and even had German accents. The beer selection was lacking in anything but German beer but what they did have was quite enjoyable and was available in different sized mug all the way up to a hug boot shaped glass. The food was good and was the typical food you'd expect to get at a German beer garden. The prices were decent and the enjoyable feature was singing along with the band and enjoying the festivities. Not a bad place to stop in and have a few good German beers

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Photo of emerge077
3.33/5  rDev -11.7%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3

I'll provide a counterpoint to the other reviews, in regard to the Brauhaus as a beer bar.

This place is right in the middle of a nice shopping area, and serves 2L boots at the bar. Unfortunately, there isn't much of a beer selection. Julius Echter or Kostritzer are the best you can do, or Optimator in bottles. The atmosphere is great, in terms of the kitsch-factor, a Polka band plays nightly on weekends for the gray haired set. Wicker-domed globes hang above the bar, with red tinted chandeliers above the expansive dining room. The bar service was pretty good on a Saturday night, although it was the second attempt of the night at getting a beer there (first time the bar was full of campers waiting for tables, with no one behind the bar).

Overall there are better beer options in the area, and better options for your Gemutlikeit fix (Laschetts, Glunz, Resi's). This place has ads on local radio, so take that for what its worth...

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Photo of nocheinsbitte
4.38/5  rDev +16.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Like many of the other reviewers, I have been there a hundred times or so. The place is located in the beautiful Lincoln Square neighborhood, the old heart of the German populace with still many good german places around. The place is an institution of sorts. It has been there a long time and the decor looks like it, but that is what makes it a great place to go.
As you go in, there is a huge dining area with the band stage in the back right, with the long wooden bar on your direct right hand side. There are German flags flying, some Bavarian flags around, and many German posters, steins, etc.
The food selection is top notch. The wurst salat is the best I have ever had (sorry Oma) and the entres are all good. The leberkase and Bavarian meatloaf (two different dishes) are high quality. The bier selection, in my mind, is a limited. Their newest addition is Kostritzer, which is a good bier, but not the best. They always have the seasonal biers on tap and the prices are fair.
The real heart of this place is seen during Mai Fest and Oktoberfest, where the place is packed every night and it is just as rowdy as any Munchen Bier hall I have seen.
the band is a lot of fun and they are always playing.
Overall, this is one of my (and my parents) favorite places to go for German food and fun. If you are in town, make a point to go and see what is happening at the Brauhaus! Ein Prosit!

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Photo of malcontent
3.2/5  rDev -15.1%
vibe: 2 | quality: 4 | service: 3 | selection: 3 | food: 3

From an overall standpoint, the Chicago Brauhaus, for all its history & local fame, is not much to get excited about. It has the feel of a VFW with a no frills set-up & a premium on large portions of stick-to-your-ribs German food served by a staff that is more interested in getting through the night than providing you with a memorable experience.

My favorite time to come to the Brauhaus is in the afternoon, before the tour buses (seriously) arrive with the geriatric crowd. Pulling up a stool at the bar & enjoying a Bitburger, Spaten, or Warsteiner on tap whilst munching on a brat or rueben with kraut can be a great way to relax.

The beer selection is obviously narrow in scope because the Brauhaus has no illusions about being anything other than a German beer hall. Despite the kitch factor (which is considerably high) & the unremarkable food (unless you like German i.e. MEAT), the Brauhaus actually can be a really fun destination to take a group of friends provided you all know what is in store.

In the end, while not a revolutionary joint, the Chicago Brauhaus is an important part of its Lincoln Square neighborhood & the Chicago beer community in general.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
3.93/5  rDev +4.2%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4

The Chicago Brauhaus was our last stop on the German Pub Walk. A nice old wolrd exterior greets you as you walk up. Upon entering you immediately get the big family restaurant vibe with German flair. Nice dark wood accents and good lighting. Head to your right and you'll find the long bar with some tables and stools in the front left corner as well. Lots of room here to belly up or grab a table. We were able to find seating even though it was fairly crowded.

They had a good selection of brews on tap, with all of the major German brewers being accounted for. I grabbed a nice tall glass of hefeweizen, but for the life of me cannot remember the name of the brewery, guess that's what happens on the end of the pub walk! Needless to say it was a good brew, but I was disappointed that I got a lemon without being asked. Our bartender was nice but seemed a little reserved and wasn't very talkative. I know it was busy but a little communication goes a long way!

The one thing I thought was personally great about this place was they had free rye pretzels sitting out and these had to be some of the best damn pretzels I've ever tasted! The rye flavor had me eating one after another. Free pretzels are always a plus in my book as they are fun to much on and help soak up some of that alcohol. There was also a cool polka/oompah band playing which added to the German fun. Overall, the Brauhaus is a cool place to come check out in the city. I imagine they have some good food as well, so I might have to come back for a sit down meal with some good brews as well. Check it out if your in the area.

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Photo of Bumpon10s
4.3/5  rDev +14.1%
vibe: 5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

I visited the Chicago Brauhaus after German-American fest. We went to get a table for 6, the place was packed, but amazingly enough there was one open table right near the band.

This place was rocking the entire night, the band was really doing their thing and everyone was enjoying it. Good music, beer and friends earned atmosphere a gleaming 5.

Service could have been a shade better, our waitress didn't do anything wrong, but didn't seem very attentive. She very well could have been busy with other tables as it was very full, but I couldn't say either way.

Their variety of beers and food was good, but in all honesty, I've seen more at other places. They had all your basic food, a few extras, very good in the food, but only a few different beers, I was expecting a few more, but then again there are other resturants.

The food was great, I would have given a 5, but I'd like to try a few more of their dishes prior. I had their knackwurst, and really enjoyied it with their brown mustard. Their potatoes were not as good though as I've had at other German resturants.

Honestly, I know I'll be back here when Octoberfest picks up a bit more, its to jumping a place not to be happy to go to. I sat their with a smile on my face the entire time, I'd reccomend getting together a little group and going, it's just a fun eating experience.

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Photo of 12vUnion
4.1/5  rDev +8.8%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5

Eine zwei drei vier! Prost!

Ah yes, a fine bierstube indeed. There are more authentic places with better beer and better food. But it's just so much fun. I've been here many times. And every time I've had a blast. When the Brauhaus Trio are playing it's like Oktoberfest.

The food is good. Not great, but good. It'll definitely do its job. And the beer selection is pretty good. All German-Austrian beer served in the proper way. The wait staff knows the beer, just don't ask too many questions.

I've never come here just for drink, but you could certainly do just that. The bar looks pretty good. I couldn't tell for certain, but the liquor selection look fairly decent. But the beer doesn't come too cheap and there's not quite enough of it. It's good, but not great. And I'm fairly sure that you're limited to just German beers.

The dinning room is great. It's pretty much open aside from some wooded support beams and plenty of tables. It's decorated in German knick-knacks. Plenty of steins and other glassware. If you're looking for ritzy, look else where. I don't know of any high-end German restuarants in Chicago. Come here if you are looking for a good time. Get some food, grab a beer and sing along! Prost!

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Photo of spicoli00
4.4/5  rDev +16.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4

Part restaurant, part beer hall, part dive, the Brauhaus is a Chicago gem.

The Beer
Arguably the most important aspect of any German restaurant, the Brauhaus offers up numerous German importants, as well as, some domestic German beers including: Stiegl, Spaten, Brauhaus, Bittburger and Sprecher. Order a half liter, full liter or the infamous boot. Note, if you order to boot, bring a crowd. Around a 100 ounces of beer, once the boot leaves the table, it should not be set down until it is finished (and the locals will call you out if you put it down).

The Food
The food is fantastic and authentic. I have eaten the roasted rabbit, sausage platter, sauerbraten, and smoked pork leg.

It's big inside and great for large parties. The hall like atmosphere provides the occassional shared seating. The ompah band in the corner belts out German tunes speckled with Elvis. There are glass classes scattered around the joint rife with steins and other German kitsch.

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Photo of Redrover
4/5  rDev +6.1%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4

The Chicago Brauhaus is another of those “old” Chicago treasures. It is located in the rapidly gentrifying Lincoln Square neighborhood. This is a great destination location as there lots of interesting shops on the same block. Check out Meyer’s Delicatessen for great German sausages and treats.

The Brauhaus has long been popular with the German Immigrants and as this group has aged, they have adapted their restaurant to include more offerings for their Americanized off-spring and other neighborhood residents.

This is a great place to go with a large group, but it is also fun to sit at the long tables with folks you don’t know. On the right night, this can be a truly memorable place. They always have entertainment, which ranges from “is that a Neil Diamond song done to a polka beat” type stuff , to very good traditional bands & tunes.

The food is still heavily tilted towards traditional German food. However, they have added some more standard American fare. Try the sausage platter, wiener schnitzel, etc. Substantial portions and tasty.

Nice selection of German Beer. Notice that they use traditional barware to serve the beers. Beer seems to be fresh, no doubt due to the heavy demand. My favorite place to get BBK.

When you find yourself planning a large outing with food/beer loving friends, give this place a try! But don’t hesitate going there even if you’re alone. It is fun!

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Photo of taez555
3.13/5  rDev -17%
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3 | service: 3 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5

Chicago Brauhaus is simply an American version of a German Brauhaus.

The atmosphere has a cookie cutter sort of feel to it. Instead of getting a true German experience you get what American’s might imagine is a true German experience. Beer steins, German breweriana, pictures of the Alps and other classic German features. Simple tables with blue and white checkered table clothes sit nestled in a dimly lit homey room. The live polka music is a nice touch but played on an organ it sounds more like something you should be roller-skating to. You have to laugh at the irony of a “Classic German” polka version of the love theme from Dr Zhivago.

The food is right along the same lines. Buffalo wings, jalepeno poppers and Boston Scrod seamlessly intertwined in the menu with traditional Schnitzel, bratwurst, spatzle and red cabbage.
The food itself is actually pretty good though. I found the flavors to be somewhat toned down, especially with the sausages, but other true German dishes like the red cabbage were excellent. Also, I was very impressed to see that the only soups they had were leberkanoodle and goulash. True classic German soups, sort of like seeing real New England Clam chowder at a seafood restaurant instead of the Manhattan version.

The beer selection was actually pretty impressive. They have a mix of about a dozen classic German beers, from Franziskaner, Erdinger, Spaten and others. Nothing you’re not going to find at your local specialty liquor store, but much more than just Beck’s. Be careful when ordering though, they like putting lemons in all their weis beers.

I will admit I wasn’t blown away by the brauhaus. Maybe I’m just jaded or possibly nostalgic for true Stammtisch tables packed with people I don’t know, singing “ein prosit”, while drinking fresh half liters of dunkelweisen, but the brauhaus is what it is. If you go there and aren’t into German food and beer you’ll get what you want, classic American cuisine. On the other hand if you go there looking for classic German food and beer, you’ll also get what you want. With such a diverse menu it’s very easy to completely ignore the Americanization and just go Deutsche. Let’s be honest, if you want real German go to Munich. This is Chicago baby.

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Chicago Brauhaus in Chicago, IL
87 out of 100 based on 13 ratings.