Beer, pretzels, cake, sausages—and who says Germany doesn't have a cuisine? We’ve rounded up some of the best German restaurants in Melbourne, after all we’ve become home to some absolute rippers.
Word of advice, be famished before you embark on your German culinary adventure. The meals are hearty, rich and always super-sized. So loosen your belt, push up your sleeves, and prepare yourself for some serious feasting. Keep scrolling for our best German restaurants in Melbourne.
Okay, technically this is Austrian and German, but it’s bloody good, so it’s on the list. Enjoy a stein or two and relax underneath Bierkeller’s arched timber ceilings. The decor has a bunch of references to Austrian history and culture. These guys also have outdoor seating, which is great for a few frothies during summer. Backed up with a hand-picked selection of local and imported craft beer, the food menu offers some legit Austrian/European food. These guys use top quality Australian produce and traditional Austrian techniques and methods. The result is fantastic: pretzels, schnitzels and an array of sausages. You're not gonna leave hungry.
Croissant & Blueberry pudding cake, Blueberry Friands, Sour Cherry Bublanina, Strawberry Tarts, Rhubarb Danishes and Dark Chocolate fudge and Raspberry Torte. Have we got your attention? Good. These are just a few of the treats you’ll find at South Melbourne’s Austro bakery. The Austro-Hungarian bakehouse and café is South Melbourne’s newest gem, and with the wafting scent of spiced apple strudel, warm rye bread and dark cherries greeting you upon arrival, it’s not hard to see why. We suggest starting yourself off with owner Sally Gattermy’s apple strudel: buttery, flaky, perfectly stewed, studded with walnuts and currants, heavily spiced. You’re very welcome.
Always a solid choice for a rowdy night with the crew, Munich Brauhaus boasts three bars, private function rooms, in-built stage for live oompah-themed entertainment, outdoor beer garden and seating for over 900 punters. The extensive menu is the Bubba Gump of pork. There is pork belly, pork neck steak, pork knuckle, pork t-bone, pork schnitzel, pork rillettes, pork riblets, pork hash, seven types of pork sausages, and a suckling pig. There's a modest selection of vegetarian, seafood, and animals-other-than-pig options, but really, if you don't fancy pork, consider just drinking instead. The house lager is always a good option, or they do some smashing pilsners.
In the heart of Chinatown, Hofbrauhaus has been serving deutsch-licious food and drinks since 1968. Located in Market Lane, Hofbrauhaus' façade is distinctively Bavarian. On arrival, dirndl-clad hostesses will greet and seat you in one of the three separate function areas. The menu includes German classics like pretzels, pork knuckle, pork belly, bratwurst, kransky, schnitzels and sauerkraut. Of course, there is plenty of beer, cider, and schnapps to go around. With daily specials, eating competitions, live music, and folk dancing most nights of the week, the 'Hoff' is always a solid bet. Definitely an underrated Melbourne gem.
While most German restaurants and bars in Melbourne are Bavarian-themed (after all, Oktoberfest is in Munich, Bavaria), Berlin Bar in Corrs Lane pays homage to the tumultuous history of the German capital. This place is split into two areas: the opulent west and the Soviet east. Sure, Berlin Bar's more famous for cocktails (they count as a meal, right?) but they also offer a small but tempting food menu featuring Berlin specialties, like currywurst, a pork sausage which originated in the capital. Other tasty options include pulled-pork sliders, smoked meats, and home-made pumpkin bread. Enjoy as you sip your 'Angela Merkel' cocktail.
With art-deco-inspired features like glazed brickwork throughout the entire venue, Hophaus is a modern interpretation of German beer halls. Like the décor, the food is German with a contemporary twist. Think pulled pork with an apple mayo, slow barbequed Angus beef brisket, or the 'Hamburg'-er, a burger with Angus beef, kaiserfleisch (smoked pork), smoked cheese and curry ketchup served in a brioche bun. Southbank isn't known for killer food, but this one never disappoints.
Who doesn't love baked bread twisted in a knot? Bretzel, German for pretzel (obvs), is delicious as a side dish, a snack or something to line your stomach before a stein session. Sold plain, buttered, and sometimes with cold meats or cheese, bretzels are found in bakeries and street stands all over Germany. But you don't have to fly to Berlin for a freshly baked German bretzel, just drive over the West Gate to South Kingsville's Bretzel Biz, a bakery/café decked with red gingham tablecloths, doily curtains, wooden chairs, and bretzel wallpaper. Choose from original, salted caramel, cinnamon vanilla, or chocolate, with sprinkles or mixed nuts.
The Germans love cakes (and so do we). Every afternoon, it's customary to indulge in kuchen (cake) as an afternoon pick-me-up. Do as the Germans do and treat yourself to the best of German cakes at St Kilda's Monarch Cakes. This Acland Street institution offers a range of Eastern European sweets, including the most iconic of all German desserts: Black Forest Cake, also known as schwarzwälderkirschtorte (say that after a few steins). The layered chocolate, cherries, and whipped-cream goodness is named after the liqueur distilled from the cherries that grow in the Black Forest. You can also order online and Monarch will deliver anywhere in Australia. Dream. Come. True.
Need a cocktail after your currywurst? Check out Melbourne's best bars over here.
Image credit: Munich Brauhaus