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Essen Haus

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29 Reviews
Essen HausEssen Haus

Type: Bar, Eatery

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

(608) 255-4674 | map

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Added by brakspear

View: Place Reviews | Events
User Reviews
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Reviews: 29 | Ratings: 47
Reviews by uwmgdman:
Photo of uwmgdman
4.18/5  rDev +3%
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5

Beers: A nice selection of German beers, somewhere around 12 beers on tap, give or take a few. A nice range in German styles, including a few less common styles, including Alts and Munich Helles.

Food: I've sampled 4 different German dishes on different occasions. Every time the food was delicious, portions are quite generous. I really enjoy the red cabbage as a side. I would recommend going for a German dish instead of an American item if you visit.

Service: Service is typically prompt. Especially for meals. Later in the evenings when the place gets packed, it can be a bit spotty, but nothing over the line.

Atmosphere: Very good atmosphere. Often have live German music from one guy to a full polka band. During weekend evenings lots of people drinking a lot of boots and dancing to the polka band. During weekday evenings, a bit more subdued, no problem getting a table, but not too subdued.

Overall a great place to get impossible to find German drafts and German food. Definately recommend. If you prefer more quiet go during the week, less rowdy, for a crazy busy atmosphere, with lots of drinking go on the weekend. If you're there past 11pm on the weekend, the only draw back is the typical student who has too many boots and litters the bathroom with his weinerschientzel.

EDIT: I see a lot of people definately not recommending the food and that was recommended by people who worked there. I've eaten there 4 times and plan on going back. I felt it was good food, maybe some people don't care for German food. I'm still breathing so I guess I'll take my chances again with the cleanliness issue some talk about.

 1,643 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 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

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