Essen Haus

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BA SCORE
91
outstanding

29 Reviews
Essen HausEssen Haus
PLACE INFO

Type: Bar, Eatery

514 E Wilson St
Madison, Wisconsin, 53703-3431
United States

(608) 255-4674 | map
essen-haus.com

Notes:
No notes at this time.

Added by brakspear

PLACE STATS
Score:
91
Reviews:
29
Ratings:
47
Avg:
4.06
pDev:
9.61%
 
 
Taps:
16
Bottles/Cans:
0
Cask:
N
Beer-to-Go:
N
View: Place Reviews | Events
User Reviews
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Reviews: 29 | Ratings: 47
Reviews by Czap:
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

More User Reviews:
Photo of emerge077
3.86/5  rDev -4.9%
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.75 | selection: 3.5

Stopped in here and at Come Back In over Great Taste weekend.
It was late at night, and fairly empty. The oompah band was finishing up their set, and a couple tables lingered. The walls were heavily laden with dark wood and German kitsch, many maßkrugs lined the shelves and hung from hooks in the ceiling. A painted sign above one corner table signified the Stammtisch. or "regulars table". The space was sprawling, yet when empty it had a certain eerie stillness about it. You could imagine the tables full of jovial souls belting out the chorus to Ein Prosit as the oompah band played, but not tonight. The air was still and the mood was weary.

The bartender was friendly but no nonsense, busying herself with menial tasks rather than chatting much with us.

Beer selection was ok, pretty much the typical German standbys. Mostly the big 3, Spaten, Hacker-Pschorr, and Paulaner, but one Ayinger, Jahrhundert. Also Hofbräu, DAB, Krombacher, and Warsteiner. Oddly there were still 2 Maibocks on tap at the beginning of Oktoberfest season, and the printed tap list was 3 months old. Guessing the selection doesn't rotate all that much. Spaten Okto was on, but I went for my go-to, Würzburger Hofbräu Pils.

Overall it was a good experience, except for the working lady that followed us from the Come Back In, which the bartender guessed was "probably a prostitute".
Ya don't say...

 1,391 characters

Photo of Riff
4.24/5  rDev +4.4%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.5

German themed bar and restaurant. Inside has a feeling of a college town bar. The decor is okay but the atmosphere was fun while we were there. Did not partake of the food while were there. The big draw is "Das Boot" or basically glass boots of craft beers. Good selection of craft beers, mostly local but a few national beers. They will make you sign a form and take your credit card in case you break one of the boots, they're a bit pricey. On the other hand you can buy boots from them, they have a number on hand.

 517 characters

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 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

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Essen Haus in Madison, WI
4.06 out of 5 based on 47 ratings.
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