Best German Restaurants in Chicago
When you think about Germany, what comes to mind first isn’t the food because German cuisines might not have the same reputation as French or Italian food, but they do exist. Food has always been a major part of the German culture. Today, German food has become quite popular in Europe and the USA, especially at restaurants in Chicago.
A Brief History of German Food
Over hundreds of years, cooking and eating have become entwined with the social fabric and history of the country.
For starters, Germany’s fertile land has always provided high yield for centuries while the people depended on livestock for their meat. For instance, vegetables like asparagus, carrots, peas, and broccoli have been around for centuries, while the Germans used mustard, juniper berries, and more for spices.
The storage of excess produce has made the smoking and pickling of meat as well as vegetables a vital element of German cuisine. Sauerkraut is proof of how tasty pickled vegetables can be while the Sauerbraten is a delicacy made from pork.
German food wasn’t always versatile, but due to its central location in Europe, it has been influenced by other countries like Italy and its neighbor, France.
And recently, the doner kebab has worked its way into the hearts of Germans via immigrants from Turkey. It’s safe to say German food has an element of other cultures while still retaining its touch of originality.
Most Popular German Dishes
Contrary to widespread assumptions, German food is more than just sausage and meat. There are plenty of dishes to try out, and they’re all rich, hearty, and delicious. Here are the most popular German dishes you should give a try in Chicago restaurants.
Spaetzle isn’t just Germany’s answer to Pasta but also the most famous dish in the country. The noodles are made from wheat flour and egg and then topped with a huge amount of cheese, which is called Kasespatzle.
It is completely vegetarian and is usually served alongside meaty dishes like Schnitzel. Alternatively, you can enjoy this delicacy as the main dish but make sure you don’t rush to start eating as they’re sometimes served boiling hot.
It’s unsurprising that Bratwurst is second on the list as it is a regular part of every German barbeque party and you will find street stalls selling them everywhere in Germany.
Bratwurst is a type of Wurt (sausage) which is made of ground pork and spices. The tastiest Bratwurst is the short and thin ones that come from Nurnberg, but don’t hesitate to have a taste of this dish when the opportunity surfaces.
Another great dish you should order when next you’re in restaurants in Chicago is Rouladen as it can be a little tricky to prepare at home.
They’re very tasty and are eaten at festivals and family meals, but they also require a lot of time to prepare. The process involves wrapping thinly sliced meat (usually beef or pork) around a filling of bacon or pork belly, chopped onions, pickles and usually mustard. Then you brown it and allow it to simmer in the broth. There are tons of recipes for Rouladen based on regions featuring diverse variations in ingredients.
Sauerbraten means “pickled” roast, which suggests what it is about.
It is made from meat which is put in the oven and cooked slowly in its juices for hours and hours until it becomes tender. It is then served with braised cabbage and dumplings. It can be time-consuming, but when it’s finally ready, you’d agree it was worth the wait. It’s always great to wash it down with a pilsner beer.
Schnitzel is a national dish of Austria but has been wormed its way to the heart of the Germans who now consider it a German food.
It is a thinly sliced piece of meat which is coated in breadcrumbs and often served with a slice of lemon. There are many versions, but none come close to the Wiener schnitzel which is made of veal and the Schnitzel Wiener Art which is made of pork meat. Consider trying out this delicacy when next you visit the restaurants in Chicago.
Take a close look at top German recipes, and you might arrive at the conclusion that Germans love potatoes. In fact, there’s a notion that the average German eats a dish which contains Kartoffeln. It’s simple to prepare: just slice boiled potatoes thinly and fry them with bacon and onion until they turn dark and crispy.
German food is tasty, nutritious and make great comfort food. So make sure you try out any of the dishes above when next you walk into restaurants in Chicago.
1. Laschet's Inn
In 1991 Franz and Ursula Kokott purchased the business and devoted their efforts to preserving the heritage and ambiance of Laschet’s.
In 2000 Ursula opened the kitchen and began preparing authentic German cuisine.
2. The Radler
The Radler is a German beer hall created by owner Adam Hebert. The beer hall is a tribute to his German heritage and travels abroad.
Wanting to embrace the German culture rather than highlight a few distinct features, The Radler team successfully delivers and authentic modern day German experience.
3. Edelweiss Restaurant
Edelweiss German-American Restaurant is one of Chicago’s favorites.
It has been a family-owned dining destination for over 30 years.The menu features an impressive array of traditional, well-crafted German specialties along with classics like the American steak, chicken and seafood dishes.
4. The Glunz Tavern
Whether stopping in for a meal or looking to complement their preferred beverage with a satisfying snack, diners will enjoy a thoughtful selection of classic tavern favorites reminiscent of the early 20th century, modernized with high-quality ingredients and worldly inspirations.
The Glunz Tavern’s menu will present influences that span the team’s collective French-German-Alsatian-Austrian heritage, rooted in warm hospitality and attentive service.