Ok, so you’ve visited Germany, or maybe you even lived there, and now you have fond memories and cravings for bratwurst, brezels and all the other yummy foods you used to eat. You want to experience that cozy feeling known as gemütlichkeit without a plane trip half-way across the world. The good news is, the greater Seattle area is home to some great bottle-shops, delis and restaurants where you can “get your German on”.
First things first, let’s talk about bier. A favorite in the West Seattle junction is the aptly named Beer Junction, a former hole-in-the wall bottle shop that has grown into a venue where you can buy beer from around the world, or enjoy a glass or two in their pub/shop. They’ve got a wide variety of glassware so you can buy the traditional glass to match your beer of choice, thereby bringing out the best flavors and aromas. Their staff is knowledgeable and they have lots of German beer styles on hand, including Weissbier, Pilsner, and even a Kolsch or two. On the north end of the city, the Wallingford neighborhood is home to Bottleworks, brought to you by the same team that runs the Belgian café Brouwers. While their Belgian section is one of the best in town, they also have a good number of German bottles and conduct regular tastings in the back of the shop.
Seattle is a beer-crazy city and we have dozens of pubs, bars and restaurants serving great beer, with more popping up every week. A favorite for its relaxed, yet upscale German beer-hall atmosphere is Altstadt, on 1st Avenue in Pioneer Square. It’s a busy spot, and one of the early outposts in the current Pioneer Square dining revival. Altstadt makes their own sausages using heritage pork, and serves up traditional fare like schnitzel and spaetzle. They also have Kolsch on tap, a refreshing choice for hot summer evenings.
Craving some doner? Berliner Doner offers the popular Turkish street food with your choice of chicken, lamb, beef or vegetarian (tofu) for take-out or to eat-in at their shop just a few doors down from Altstadt in Pioneer Square. Another favorite is the local Prost chain, operating since 2002 with four locations around the city including Prost in Phinney Ridge and West Seattle, Feierabend in South Lake Union and Die Bierstube, in Roosevelt. Prost is a great place to grab a beer – always served in traditional glassware, as well as simple bar food like Landjaeger, pretzels and sausages in a casual and relaxed atmosphere.
Going out is fun, but sometimes you just want to eat at home. Hess bakery and deli in Lakewood is a great place to stock up on ingredients to make a home-cooked German meal. Although not in Seattle, it’s worth the drive just for their great house-made pretzels and extensive deli and grocery selection. Another long-established German deli a bit closer to Seattle is Hans’ Deli in Burien. Hans makes their own sausages and they stock a variety of German grocery items. You can even buy Eau de Cologne 4711 here. Closer still is Bavarian Meats in Pike Place Market. A sausage supplier to local groceries for over 50 years, their store in the market is a fun spot to sit and enjoy a bratwurst, as well as buy sausages and other German food products to take back home.