Essen Haus

Essen HausEssen Haus
Essen HausEssen Haus
Bar, Eatery

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

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

Notes:
PLACE STATS
Average:
4.01
Reviews:
29
Ratings:
48
pDev:
10.72%
View: Place Reviews
Reviews: 29 | Ratings: 48 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by djhowell:
Photo of djhowell
djhowell from Wisconsin

3.75/5  rDev -6.5%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3

Apr 30, 2015
More User Reviews:
Photo of Rilesmiles
Rilesmiles from Wisconsin

4.09/5  rDev +2%
vibe: 4.25 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4 | food: 4

Nov 20, 2016
Photo of emerge077
emerge077 from Illinois

3.86/5  rDev -3.7%
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. For some reason the air was still and the mood was weary.

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

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...

Aug 15, 2016
Photo of Riff
Riff from Virginia

4.24/5  rDev +5.7%
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.

May 22, 2016
Photo of Zatch90
Zatch90 from Wisconsin

3.86/5  rDev -3.7%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.25 | selection: 3 | food: 4.5

Oct 07, 2015
Photo of UWBadgerFan4Life
UWBadgerFan4Life from Wisconsin

3.64/5  rDev -9.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.75

Jul 08, 2015
Photo of Duff27
Duff27 from Illinois

4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
vibe: 4.75 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5

Jun 14, 2015
Photo of ShawnL
ShawnL from Wisconsin

4/5  rDev -0.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4

May 27, 2015
Photo of redleg411
redleg411 from Wisconsin

4.06/5  rDev +1.2%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4

Feb 06, 2015
Photo of twb0392
twb0392 from Wisconsin

4.5/5  rDev +12.2%

Dec 03, 2014
Photo of Todd
Todd from California

3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

Nov 21, 2014
Photo of Jason
Jason from Massachusetts

4.25/5  rDev +6%

Nov 21, 2014
Photo of Canada_Dan
Canada_Dan from Colorado

4/5  rDev -0.2%

Oct 29, 2014
Photo of Fargrow
Fargrow from Michigan

4/5  rDev -0.2%

Sep 10, 2014
Photo of bigred89
bigred89 from Maryland

3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

Aug 23, 2014
Photo of BarrelAgedG
BarrelAgedG from California

4/5  rDev -0.2%

Jul 30, 2014
Photo of Gotti311
Gotti311 from Wisconsin

3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

Jun 17, 2014
Photo of jera1350
jera1350 from Minnesota

4.25/5  rDev +6%

Jun 16, 2014
Photo of TX-Badger
TX-Badger from Texas

4.5/5  rDev +12.2%

Jun 10, 2014
Photo of Ri0
Ri0 from Wisconsin

4/5  rDev -0.2%

Jun 06, 2014
Photo of ms333
ms333 from Illinois

3.25/5  rDev -19%

Oct 13, 2013
Photo of crossovert
crossovert from Illinois

3.56/5  rDev -11.2%
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.

Aug 14, 2012
Photo of scones
scones from Wisconsin

4.05/5  rDev +1%
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.

Jul 12, 2011
Photo of CuriousMonk
CuriousMonk from District of Columbia

4.05/5  rDev +1%
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.

Jun 20, 2011
Photo of Czap
Czap from Illinois

3.98/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

Oct 13, 2010
Essen Haus in Madison, WI
Place rating: 4.01 out of 5 with 48 ratings