So you’re at Oktoberfest relaxing in your Dirndl or Lederhosen in one of the large or small beer tents. Now, there’s one thing you need to know to become a true Oktoberfest aficionado, you should prep yourself on how to eat Weisswurst like a local. Don’t worry this isn’t as bad as a Ms. Manners etiquette course.
You remember what Weisswurst is, right? It’s white sausage which is made of veal, pork and spice, which are all stuffed into animal intestines. The 5 inch by 1 inch sausage pairs are placed in very hot water and slowly cooked until they adorn your plate with sweet mustard, a Brezel (soft pretzel), and a mug of beer to wash it all down—a very Bavarian breakfast indeed.
Because the Weisswurst casing isn’t normally eaten, there are several ways to eat Weisswurst, but only one way to eat Weisswurst like a local which will most certainly impress your Oktoberfest table mates.
All techniques take a near full-body engagement with a main focus on the fingers and lips. I have to admit that during my first Weisswurst eating experience, I didn’t really get the hang of it. I quickly became frustrated, despite the numerous explanations from my then German boyfriend. Like a child, he finally prepared my Weisswurst for consumption and had me literally eating from his fingers. I was so impressed with my German boyfriend’s technique, that I eventually married him. 😉
Read on to see what type of Weisswurst eater are you?
The Slasher You don’t care about rules or fitting in, you’re just plain hungry. You take your knife and slice through the sausage eating the meat and casing (which is by the way edible). You’ll finish eating your sausage quickly, so can eat more while your friends slowly and painstakingly eat theirs.
The Peeler You make a slit in your Weisswurst long ways, and then use your fingers to peel away all of the casing. Now you can use your knife and fork to slice the sausage, dip it in mustard, and eat it. Not very lady like and quite messy at that. Ms. Manners would definitely not approve.
The Stripper You hold the sausage in your hands and cut a slit on the tip of the Weisswurst. Now you peel back a portion to reveal the first inch or so of meat, and then dip and eat it. You continue this until you reach the end of the Weisswurst. You are such a tease!
The Surgeon This is the most popular and discreet way of eating Weisswurst. Like a well-trained surgeon, you slice the sausage long ways, carefully roll the meat from the casing with a fork and then dip and eat the meat. Ok, it looks impressive, but takes a while and most people don’t scrape enough sausage from the casing. This is my preferred method.
The Sucker (aka “Der Zuzler” in Bavarian German) First you cut an X-slit on the tip of both ends of the sausage or bite the sausage tip with your teeth. Now you bite and squeeze the meat from the skin or suck the meat from the skin. Continue on one end until you are halfway through and continue with the other half.
Now that you’ve mastered how to eat Weisswurst like a local, it’s highly recommended you try each of the techniques at home before venturing out to Oktoberfest or a Bavarian restaurant and potentially finding yourself in an embarrassing situation. Remember, practice makes perfect!
Did you master the Zuzler art of eating Weisswurst? If so, you are a hero and will impress many people and make lots of Bavarian friends. 🙂
Large Beer Tents at Munich’s Oktoberfest (Part 2)
It’s almost time! Oktoberfest 2013 will be starting tomorrow, so this is the last coverage of the large beer tents at Munich’s Oktoberfest. Oh my, I hope you can decide between the 14 large tents or the over 20 small one. I certainly can’t. 🙁
German celebrities love to visit this tent and so do American ones too. In recent years, Kim K. and Paris Hilton donned dirndls to join in the Oktoberfest atmosphere at Kaefer’s as they dined on gourmet food. When the beer tents stop serving at 10:30 p.m., crowds head to Kaefer’s which is open until shortly after midnight. You’ll have a hard time getting in unless you are an A-lister, arrive with an A-lister, or have skills to convince the bouncer you’re an A-lister. Good luck!
Inside Seats: 1,000
Outside Seats: 1,900
Music: California Sun
See number 8 on Oktobefest large map below
Oktoberfest is not only about the beer so at Weinzelt you can choose from over 15 wines, Sekt (sparkling wine), and Champagne too. With the warm atmosphere and tasteful decorations, you’ll feel right at home. This is a good choice if you want to add a bit of class and sophistication to your Oktoberfest experience.
Outside Seats: 600
Inside Seats: 1,300
Musich: Three various bands
See number 9 on Oktobefest large map below
Let me hear you roar like the king of the jungle at the Loewenbraeu (Lion’s brew) tent. When you hear a lion roar, don’t worry, it’s not real. It’s just the sound of one coming from the tent every few minutes. The festive tent is decorated in Bavarian colors blue and white and shines brightly with over 16.500 LED bulbs for a festive glow. This tent also attracts an international crowd and fans of TSV 1860 Muenchen, one of Munich’s local soccer teams coincidentally nicknamed “The Lions”.
Inside Seats: 5,700
Outside Seats: 2,800
Music: Bert Hansmaier’s Heldensteiner
See number 10 on Oktobefest large map below
It’s been told that the nickname Braeurosl’ comes from Rosl, the daughter of the tent owner Herr Pschorr. She was seen riding her horse to the tent late at night and the local workers noticed and eventually called the tent Braeurosl in her honor. Here you’ll find a tent yodeler who will woo you with her yodeling skills. You’ll have a memorable experience as you hear traditional music, eat great food such as roasted chicken and pig, and yodel all the way home. Hodl-oh-ooh-dee -Hodl-ay-ee-dee!
Inside Seats: 6,220
Outside Seats: 2,200
Music: South Tirol Spitzbuam
See number 11 on Oktoberfest large map below
Longing for super-friendly service? This can be difficult in Germany and even more with over 6 million Oktoberfest visitors annually. This test is frequented by locals, but don’t let that steer you away, good times will happen for all in the Augustiner tent. It’s also a great tent for families, but as in all tents, children under the age of six have to leave the tents by 8:00 p.m.
Inside Seats: 6,000
Outside Seats: 2,500
Beer: 12. Augustiner
Music: Augustiner Oktoberfest band conducted by Reinhard Hagitte
See number 12 on Oktoberfest large map below
Just look for the oversized ox roasting on a spit and you’ve arrived at Ochsenbraterei. Since 1881, when butcher Johann Roessler opened his mechanical ox rotisserie–that alone was entertainment enough; the oxen have been roasting on these premises every Oktoberfest since then. The ox is served with hearty side dishes and enjoyed by hungry patrons year after year. In recent years over 10 oxen were roasted.
Inside Seats: 5,900
Outside Seats: 1,500
Music: Festzeltkapelle Bruno Gress, Traditional brass music
See number 13 on Oktobefest large map below (Spatenbraeu)
Calling all non-meat eaters! Oktoberfest has your back as you swim toward the tent for fish-on-a-stick. Check out the grill as rows of 15-meter long skewers grill pike, white fish, salmon, and the house specialty Steckerlfisch (smoked mackerel).
Inside Seats: 2,695
Outside Seats: 700
Music: Sepp Folger und seine Münchner Musikanten
See number 14 on Oktoberfest large map below
Some final tips for you:
Keep in mind that entering the Wiesn as well as a beer tent is free and you will need to make a beer tent reservation in order to drink beer.
Most reservations are gone as early as March, but you can always contact the beer tents and try to get one. Remember, no seat, no beer.
Once in the tent, remember that the beer serving hours are on weekdays from 10:00 a.m. – 10:30 p.m. and on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays from 9:00 a.m – 10:30 p.m.
Don’t forget that tents close daily at 11:30 p.m. The Kaefer Wiesn-Schaenke and the Weinzelt are open until 1:00 a.m., and the last call for alcohol is at 12:15 a.m.
Have an amazing time in Munich at Oktoberfest 2013 and let me know which of the 14 large tents you made it to.
Large Beer Tents at Munich’s Oktoberfest (Part 1)
On September 21, 2013 millions of people from all over the world will flock to Oktoberfest in Munich. As beer loving travelers embark upon the festival grounds known as the Wiesn, they’ll experience a memorable event at one of the 14 large beer tents at Munich’s Oktoberfest.
If you like crowds then the large beer tents are perfect for you. They seat anywhere between 4,000 and 10,000 people and each sell beer from one of Munich’s “Big 6” breweries including Augustiner, Hacker Pschorr, Hofbraeu, Loewenbraeu, Paulaner, and Spaten.
Back in the day (1987), visitors could see and ride live horses inside the tent. Nowadays young international visitors, local Bavarians, and celebrities frequent this smallish tent known for its high “flirt factor”, so beware if you are cruising the scene at their upscale Sekt (sparkling wine bar). In this tent you’ll feel out of place if you don’t wear class Bavarian clothes known as Tracht, so get your Dirndl and Lederhosen out of the attic or buy some right away.
Inside Seats: 3,200
Outside Seats: 1,000
Beer: Spaten and Franziskaner
Music: Die Münchner Zwietracht
See number 1 on Oktoberfest large map for tent location
When you enter this tent, you’ll hit a bull’s eye. Enjoy the marksmen displaying their shooting skills during competition or just sit back and enjoy the staff hospitality, the local Bavarian foods served here, and Oompah-pah music of course. The tent has a forestry feel with prized wall mountings of deer and boar.
Inside Seats: 5,830
Outside Seats: 1,600
Music: PLATZ Oktoberfestkapelle
See number 2 on Oktoberfest large map for tent location
If you like crowds and a wild time, this is the place for you! This humongous tent is the largest at Oktoberfest and is favored among American, British, Irish, Italian, and Australian Oktoberfest visitors. Stand in the middle of the tent may get you wet as you are showered with beer by Aloysius, the tent’s beer angel. If you can’t make it to Oktoberfest, visit the well-known Hofbraeuhaus located in the city of Munich which has a great 400-seat beer garden.
Inside Seats: 6,896
Outside Seats: 3,022
Beer: None other than Hofbraeu Muenchen of course
Music: Plattlinger Isarspatzen conducted by Alois
See number 3 on Oktoberfest large map for tent location
This is truly heaven, Bavarian heaven that is! You’ll feel like you’re truly in paradise in this cloud-themed tent. Hanging out in one of the prettiest tents, couldn’t get much better except with local German cuisine such as Bavarian chicken, roasted duck, sausages from their own butcher, especially enjoyed with a liter of Hacker-Pschorr.
Inside Seats: 9,300
Beer: Their own brand, Hacker-Pschorr
Music: Cagey Strings Rock’n’Roll Band, Kirchdorfer Musi
See number 4 on Oktobefest large map for tent location
Don’t know this tent? Well you should! It’s one of the most important tents because this is where Oktoberfest officially begins. On the first day of Oktoberfest, this year on Saturday, September 21 at 12:00 p.m., the Lord Mayor of Munich, currently Herr Christian Ude, will tap the first keg and proudly say “O’zapft is!”(It’s tapped!). Only after these words are announced can the other tents start serving brew. Unlike the benches in other tents, Schottenhamel has square bench tables so you can easily converse with the entire table.
Inside Seats: 6,000
Outside Seats: 4,000
Beer: Spaten and Franziskaner
Music: Otto Schwarzfischer Blaskapelle
See number 5 on Oktobefest large map for tent location
This tent is also favored among celebrities; this tent is beautifully decorated with authentic Bavarian items. No wonder it takes 90 days to set up this tent and 30 days to deconstruct it. Even though inside seating is numerous, you will feel cozy and right at home.
Inside Seats: 8,450
Outside Seats: 2,450
Music: Die Nockherberger
See number 6 on Oktobefest large map for tent location
Since 1926, people have been flocking to this tent each year located near the Bavaria monument. Not only does it offer a great atmosphere, but the house specialty Spanferkel (suckling pig)—a melt in your mouth delight. As with the other tents, they also offer vegetarian dishes.
Music: Die Niederalmer
See number 7 on Oktobefest large map for tent location
We’ve only touched upon the small beer tents at Oktoberfest, so hopefully you read Part 1 of the Small Beer Tents at Munich’s Oktoberfest. If so, have you decided on a small tent yet? If not, let’s look at the remaining small beer tents at Munich’s Oktoberfest 2013 because the world’s greatest beer festival starts September 21.
This is the one of the smallest Oktoberfest tents with less than 100 seats making it very cozy. The walls and ceiling nicely decorated with old instruments, cooking utensils, mugs and paintings.
Since it’s a small tent, you’ll get great service and an authentic Oktoberfest experience. Meal choices range from typical Bavarian fare such Schweinshaxn (grilled pork) to Obatzda (a cheese specialty).
The Gloeckle Wirt tent is located north of the Schottenhamel tent on Wirtsbudenstrasse (See letter E on Oktoberfest small tent map).
Beer: Spaten & Franziskaner Weissbier
Muisc: Kapelle Schubiduo
Heimer’s Roasted Duck and Chicken
This Oktoberfest tent is very popular among the locals. It’s a relatively quiet tent since there is no live band. The house specialty is the roasted duck which is crispy on the outside and moist on the inside and is served with potato-dumplings and Blaukraut (cooked red cabbage that has a deep blue hue).
To find Heimer’s follow the savory scent or walk to the Hacker-Pschorr tent and you’ll see it right in front (See letter D on Oktoberfest small tent map).
Heinz Wurst- Und Huehnerbraterei
Since 1906, the tent has been a Wiesn staple proudly specializing in authentic Oktoberfest traditions. They offer sausage and chicken dishes you can also buy to-go and offer vegetarian options.
Just follow your nose or find the tent in front of Hacker tent (See letter F on Oktoberfest small tent map).
Traditional, relaxed, and personal–all reasons regulars keep coming back to Hochreiter’s. This tent specializes in Haxn (roasted pork knuckle or ham hock). Sounds like soul food to me!
Hochreiters Haxnbraterei tent is on Wirtsbudenstrasse between Poschner and Wildmoser tents (See letter Bon Oktoberfest small tent map).
Beer: Franziskaner, Loewenbrau
Music: Die Derbys
Poschners Huehner-Und Entenbraterei
Ah, there’s nothing like Poschner’s famous roasted chicken and duck. The small tent has been serving Grandpa’s recipe for four generations. The nice thing about this tent is that you are guided to your table just like in a real restaurant, so no need to elbow your way through the crowds.
Poschner’s is located between the Hacker and Hofbraeu tents at 115 Wirtsbudenstrasse (See letter C on Oktoberfest small tent map).
With seating for about 100, Schiebl’s comfy coffee-house tent is a nice place for the entire family. It’s also favored among sweet lovers and those longing for an Irish Coffee.
The tent is next to Ammer tent, opposite Hofbraeu on Wirtsbudenstrasse (See letter L on Oktoberfest small tent map).
Beer: None, wine and spirits
Contact: 49 (0)89 448 44 62
It’s not a tent, but sort of bar resembling a giant Bundt cake, hence the German name Guglhupf. The tent Bundt cake is a slow-moving carousel and is open a bit longer than the beer tents. Aside from drinks, guests can order classic raisins, nuts, or plum cakes, as well as savory ones with olives or salmon.
To find the tent, see letter O on Oktoberfest small tent map.
Beer: No beer, only wine, spirits, and long drinks
When the chicken crosses the road it heads toward this tent. The small tent has been adopted and popularized by the Munich locals. They specialize in all sorts of poultry dishes and have lively entertainment too.
The tent can be found in front of the Hofbraeu Festzelt (See letter A on Oktoberfest small tent map).
This is the one of the newest tent at Oktoberfest and since the opening in 2009, people have been admiring the game-inspired decor, dishes like roasted wild boar, venison, rabbit, as well as typical Oktoberfest cooking.
Wildstuben is away from most of the tents, so you’ll need to walk south on Strasse 3 and turn left on Schaustellerstrasse (See letter R on Oktoberfest small tent map).
Music: Die Oberallgäuer, Zündstoff, Alpenstarkstrom, Peters – Almhüttenrebellen
Wirtshaus im Schichtl
Since the opening in 1869, Wirtshaus im Schichtl has held on to traditions such as daily executions (not real ones of course, or are they?). Stand out front and watch the Barker work the crowds or go inside for a small fee to see the show. You can order food as well as alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.
Wirtshaus im Schichtl is also far from most the large and small tents. You’ll need to walk south on Strasse 3 and turn left on Schaustellerstrasse, go past Strasse 2 and it’s on the right (See letter S on Oktoberfest small tent map).
This is another tent famous for traditional duck and roasted chicken dishes, cozy atmosphere, and daily entertainment. If you can’t get enough of their chicken, take some home by ordering from the busy takeaway window.
You’ll find the Zum Stiftl tent outside the Loewenbraeu tent at the south end of Wirtsbudenstrasse (See letterJ on Oktoberfest small tent map).
Contact: +49 (0)89 72 01 64 28
Great food. Great beer. Awesome atmosphere. What more could you ask for? How about daily specials and ½ meter (19.6 inches) long brats? This is another great tent to meet close friends and family for beer, brats, and more.
Burtschers Bratwursthuettn is on Wirtsbudenstrasse between Strasse 3 and Strasse 4 (See letter T on Oktoberfest small tent map).
The newest tent at Oktoberfest is taking its 100-year tradition as one of Munich’s finest butchers to the Wiesn. This is the place to go for a traditional Bavarian meal consisting of Weisswurst (veal sausage), sweet mustard, and a pretzel. Get there early because there is an unwritten law in Bavaria that the Weisswurst must not be after the noon church bells ring. Aside from enjoying a typical Bavarian breakfast, the Metzgerstubn offers a variety of local favorites such as Muenchner Leberkaes (liver meat loaf) freshly prepared and baked on the premises.
Metzgerstubn is at the end of Wirtsbudenstrasse before Strasse 1 (See letter U on Oktoberfest small tent map).
Wow, that about covers all small tents at Oktoberfest and hopefully you can make up your mind and visit one or all of them. But wait, there are the large beer tents too!
Have a great time in Munich at Oktoberfest 2013 and don’t forget to plan early for Oktoberfest 2014 scheduled from Saturday, September 20 until Sunday, October 5, 2014.
Small Beer Tents at Munich’s Oktoberfest (Part 1)
There are a whopping 34 Oktoberfest beer tents to choose from; 14 large ones and even more small ones. I always recommend the smaller ones to first time visitors even though the international crowd tends flock to the larger ones and get wallowed up.
The list and details are long, so this post is a two-part series highlighting the small beer tents at Munich’s Oktoberfest in alphabetical order. Read it fast, because you’ll need to learn how to book a table at Munich’s Oktoberfest.
This cute tent looks like a large Bavarian mountain hut and specializes in veal and lots of it. Able’s Kalbs-Kuchl serves dishes such as Kalbsbraten (roast veal), Kalbstafelspitz (boiled veal), and other items too. The has a warm cozy atmosphere and definitely a place to show off your Tracht (traditional Bavarian clothes such as a Dirndl or Lederhosen).
Able’s Kalbs-Kuchl is located directly opposite the largest Oktoberfest tent Schottenhamel and is in front and to the left of the Braeurosl (See letter K on Oktoberfest small tent map).
In 1885, poultry dealer Joseph Ammer was given permission to construct his small booth at Oktoberfest, creating the world’s first chicken roaster. I would definitely opt for the lip-smacking Bio-roasted chicken (you can order it light, medium, or dark) and the roasted duck is very delicious too.
You’ll find Ammer opposite Hofbraeu near the middle of Wirtsbudenstrasse (See letter M on Oktoberfest small tent map).
Bodo’s Café Tent
If you love strudel, you’ll love Bodo’s who offer variations of the treat in sweet and savory forms. During the day it’s rather calm but in the evenings the party gets going as visitors switch from coffee to exotic drinks at the cocktail bar.
Bodo’s is located on Strasse 2 near the Ochsenbraterei tent (See letter N on Oktoberfest small tent map).
Beer: No beer, only wine, cocktails, and Champagne.
The cut timbered house specializes in roasted brats grilled over a wood fire. Grab a brat and an Augustiner beer which is served from a wooden cask. It gets busy outside the tent since they offer street sales of their savory brats.
To find Zur Bratwurst, look for the timbered house on the corner Matthias-Pschorr-Strasse and Schaustellerstrasse (See letter G on Oktoberfest small tent map).
This is another tent for sweet lovers and looks like a ‘Candyland’ game board and also resembles the fairytale Bavarian castle of Ludwig II, Neuschwanstein. The sweet decorated tent holds a daily commemoration of the occasion of the first Oktoberfest–the wedding of Ludwig I and Therese of Saxony. You can watch live as Kaiserschmarrn (light and fluffy fried chopped pancakes served with caramelized raisins and chopped almonds, topped with whip cream) is prepared in gigantic iron-pan.
Cafe Kaiserschmarrn is on Matthias-Pschorr-Strasse, not too far from the Weinzelt (See letter P on Oktoberfest small tent map).
Beer: No beer, only coffee, wine, Champagne, and cocktails.
The specialty of the tent is Mohrenkopf, a small, chocolate-glazed cream-cake. The coffee in this tent comes from one of Germany’s renowned coffee-specialists, Dallmayr. If you should suddenly tire of beer, inside there’s also cocktail bar where you can order Champagne, XXL cocktails and long drinks. They have their own bakery, so try the fresh pretzels.
Cafe Mohrenkopf is located just off Strasse 3, behind the Braeurosl tent (See letter Q on Oktoberfest small tent map).
Beer: No beer, only coffee, wine, Champagne, and cocktails.
This is a great place if you are visiting Oktoberfest with a mixed group of beer and wine drinkers because they offer both. The specialty of the house in this unique dish called Raclette, which is melted cheese served on bread or potatoes with spicy extras such as, pickled cucumber and onions. The tent is relatively unknown and often has last minute openings since they don’t give away reservations for more than half of their seats in the tent.
Feisingers Kas und Weinstub’n is located in front of the popular Winzerer Faehndl tent (See letter H on Oktoberfest small tent map).
Now that you know about half of the small beer tents at Munich’s Oktoberfest, check out the remaining ones and don’t forget, there 14 large Oktoberfest beer tents. For more information visit the Oktoberfest site.