The Essen-Haus is located at 514 East Wilson Street in Madison, Wisconsin. It is a great German style restaurant to go to for a great tasting meal. It is popular destination for locals and tourists.
The atmosphere of the Essen-Haus, which means eating house, will make you feel as if you are in an authentic German restaurant. Wooden shelves with antiques like pilsner glasses, steins and knick knacks are lined up on the walls. The old wooden floor and brick entry ways are still original from when the building was built back in the late 1800’s.
There are over sized booths for patrons to enjoy their meal at comfortably. On the walls hang pictures and mirrors of German beer or posters of Germany.
The bar area, tables and booths overlook a large stage area. Each night of the week the Essen Haus offers live entertainment with German polka music.
The waitresses wore the German dirndls which consist of a bodice, full skirt and apron and the waiters or male bartenders wore the lederhosen.
The menu has a mixture of American and German favorites.
Examples of appetizers…
- Jalapeno Cheese curds
- Sauerkraut Meatballs
- Reuben rollups
- Crab cakes with mustard sauce
- Build your own hamburger
- Sauerbraten sandwich
- Vegetarian Reuben
Examples of German Entrees…
- Schweine Haxen- Pork shank with sauerkraut
- Kase Spaetzle- Spaetzle (German noodles) casserole with assorted cheeses, mushrooms, broccoli, tomatoes and smoked ham
- Wiener Schnitzel- pan fried breaded veal with sauerkraut
- Bavarian Combo- Wiener schnitzel, Weisswurst, and Jaeger schnitzel served with sauerkraut
I usually order the Wurst Teller when I eat here. It consists of a traditional Bavarian bratwurst, smoked thuringer and German fried potatoes. I have been to Germany before and the Essen Haus does a great job on getting close to the real thing.
- Jumbo Shrimp Dinner
- Tilapia served with rice pilaf
- 16 oz sirloin
Prices on the menu ranged from $6-$20. So it was very reasonably priced.
The list of German beers that the Essen Haus offers is great! They are served in large boot mugs or clay steins straight from the tap. With all of the times I have been to the Essen Haus I believe I have now at least tried all of their beers on tap at least once and I can honestly say that they are all very tasty.
Some examples of German Beer they offer…
- Paulaner Lager
- Franziskaner Dunkel Weiss
- Rostritzer Schwartzbier
- Paulaner Salvator
- Paulaner Weiss
- Bitburger Pilsner
- Spaten Optimator
- Hacker Pschorr Oktoberfest
- Hoff Brau Lager
- Warsteiner Pilsner
They also offer some great tasting German wines like Liebraumilch and Piesporter Michelsberg Kabinett and local Wisconsin wines from Prairie Du Sac.
Overall they offer 16 German beers on tap, over 200 varieties of imported bottled beer and a full bar for mixed drinks. They are known for being the largest seller of German tap beers in the United States.
The restaurant is open Tuesday through Thursdays from 4pm-10pm, Friday and Saturdays from 4pm-11pm, and on Sundays from 3pm-10pm.
The bar is open from 3pm-2am Tuesday through Thursdays, 3pm-2:30am Friday and Saturdays and on Sundays from 3pm-10pm.
The Essen Haus brings Germans back to their original roots in the state of Wisconsin with the food they serve, the atmosphere and decorations and the overall vibe of the place. Wisconsin is full of German heritage and it is great to see a place like this here. Their food and service is top notch and you will feel welcome in. You will have a fun and entertaining experience in here especially when the live oompah music is playing!
If you don’t like noisy drunk crowds, I recommend eating here early. Usually after 8pm on weekends, the room starts to fill up with college kids that are ready to drink beer, party and be loud.