Where to eat like a German
London has everything, including German bakeries and bier-kellers.
So you’re a German in London. Or possibly you’re a Germano-phile in London. Where to meet your mates? Where to get proper pils, mebbe even in a proper stein? Where to dust down your lederhosen, and to get your knees in ze breeze? We know a few places.
The ‘German’ part of town is particularly out west, partly because the German School in is Ham, on the Thames just upstream of Richmond. It so happens that this is a particularly lovely part of town, and Steins, the beer garden at Richmond, also happens to be in a particularly lovely riverside location. Beer, currywurst, potato salad etc, done properly, although visiting Germans might blanch at the prices.
While you are in the neighbourhood, the Backhaus at Ham is a long-established favourite with German residents of this part of town. It is run by a couple from Swabia who bake proper bretzels, brötchen and breads, as well as keeping a well-stocked delicatessen.
Back in town, and particularly if you want to catch the German teams participating in the Champions’ League final, we’d recommend Zeitgeist@thejollygardeners. In a rather difficult-to-find location in Lambeth, not far from the river. The venue is an odd mix between Victorian pub and German bar, with lots of space and very friendly staff. Extensive menu with good käsespätzle.
If you’d like your wurst more on the hoof (but not with fetlocks, of course!), then Bratwurst in Soho’s Berwick Street does very accessibly priced German fare, including lots of sausages, plus schnitzel, frikadelle etc. There’s a few tables for sitting down here, but this is more a place where office workers grabbit and run. Ditto with Herman ze German in pedestrianised Villiers Street, which runs from Embankment station up to the Strand. Currywurst is the top seller here.
There’s more refined culinary skills on show in the various mouthwatering shops of patissier Konditor & Cook, which started off in a backstreet venue in Waterloo, and now has six stores all over town, including one in the Gherkin. Top-quality cakes are Gerhard’s thing, and he does them very well.
And finally, there are the bierkellers.
In Borough, just by the foodie market, is Katzenjammers, where the food is simple and well priced and the range of beers is particularly extensive.
And then there’s the Bavarian Beerhouse in its two locations, one in City Road and the other by Tower Hill station, both in the City-worker end of town, so potentially a bit quiet at night. A strong programme of special events attracts an evening crowd, and benches and low ceilings mean that this is not the place to come for a quiet and romantic candlelit dinner. The food (and the beer, natch) comes direct from Germany.
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