Mid-September is approaching, which means it's almost time for Oktoberbest, the 16-day German folk festival annually held in Munich, Bavaria, Germany. In Orange County, several festivals are being held from north to south, featuring dachshunds in costumes, oom-pah bands, and endless bratwurst, weisswurst, leberkase, and schnitzel. Several local restaurants will also be offering special menus for the occasion. And if festivals aren't enough for you, local German restaurants are also offering special menus for the occasion.
10. 7th Annual Accordion Festival & Samuel Adams Octoberfest Experience
Put an accordion festival and Oktoberfest together and you'll one hell of a time--if you don't believe me, come to the Orange County Market Place at OC Fairgrounds on September 27 and see for yourself. While tasting seasonal brews and eating special menu items from from Dogzilla, Baby's Burgers and the Grilled Cheese Truck, you can watch Jim Gilman und Der Burgermeisters perform traditional Oktoberfest music and the Doo-Wah Riders do their country thing. People coming mostly for the food should consider the $35 "beer experience" ticket that'll get you four 12 oz. beers, popcorn, a giant pretzel, and one item from the on-site food truck vendors.
OC Fairgrounds, 88 Fair Dr, Costa Mesa, (949) 723-6660; ocmarketplace.com/contents/Entertainment.aspx
9. Mattern Sausage & Deli (Orange)
There's always a line of people waiting for Mattern Sausage & Deli's meats, cheeses, and sandwiches, and that's because you won't find anything like 'em at the typical grocery store. Meat choices range from black forest ham to peppered beef, and the Reuben sandwich is particularly popular. Plus, they have great German beers and curry ketchup, which is popular in Germany, Belgium, Denmark, and the Netherlands.
4327 E Chapman Ave, Orange, (714) 639-3550; facebook.com/Mattern-Sausage-Meats-131402813549764/timeline 8. Jagerhaus (Anaheim)
With its quaint and cozy interior, eating at Jagerhaus feels like stepping into someone's home on a Quedlinburg hillside, in which the host regularly offers passing travelers food. The food here is authentic, and you'll find more German foods here than any local Oktoberfest festival. If you're feeling carbs, get Spatzle noodles or potato pancakes served with an apple-based sauce. If flesh is what you want, try the corn beef hash with tomatoes or bratwurst.
2525 E Ball Rd, (714) 520-9500; jagerhaus.net; facebook.com/jagerhausRestaurant
7. Bistango Restaurant (Irvine)
This year, Bistango is celebrating Oktoberfest by transforming its 70-seat al fresco into a Biergarten on September 30 from 5 p.m. - 8 p.m. They will be serving a Bavarian-inspired small plates menu that will include "Kaeserkrainer" bratwurst (Emmental cheese infused smoked pork sausage with sauerkraut, roast potatoes, and mustard), Wiener Schnitzel (breaded veal sirloin scaloppini with German potato salad, wild Ruccola & charred lemon), and Kassler Rippchen (smoked pork chop with bacon and scallion-crushed potatoes and horseradish Créme Fraîche). For beers, they'll have Hangar 24 Oktoberfest, Goose Island Oktoberfest, Spaten Oktoberfest and Avery Kaiser that may be ordered by bottle or flight.
19100 Von Karman Ave, Irvine, (949) 752-5222; bistango.com; Instagram: @bistango_irvine
6. Bayside Restaurant (Newport Beach)
In celebration of Oktoberfest, executive Chef Paul Gstrein (who reigns from neighboring country Austria) is creating a special menu for Bayside Restaurant that will be available from September 19 to October 23. One item menu is räucherforellen türmchen, which is compressed smoked steelhead trout salad with sour cream ,horseradish, celery, granny smith apples and greens. Another is wiener saftgulasch, which consists of Vienna-style braised beef short-ribs with potato puree, charred mini peppers, and brussel sprouts.There will also be an Oktoberfest beer available on draft.
900 Bayside Dr, Newport Beach, (949) 721-1222; baysiderestaurant.com; Twitter: @bayside_newport 5. Oktoberfest in San Clemente
The most important thing you need to know about San Clemente's Oktoberfest celebration is that there will be a weiner dog costume fashion show. Besides that, German oom-pah bands will be on stage, people will compete for the title of "fastest and most efficient sausage-eater," and there will be $3 bratwurst, $5 craft beer, and most importantly, German chocolate. Come celebrate on October 18. Tickets are $10.
Old Town Square, 111 W. Avenida Palizada, San Clemente; oktoberfestorangecounty.com
4. Dana Point Oktoberfest
If you pass by the St. Regis Hotel on October 10, you might see notice a bunch of people dressed in traditional German attire hanging around. Stop by. There'll be German bands and endless German foods: German potatoes, bratwurst, knackwurst (sausage from the Holstein region of Germany), Goulash soup, and more. Plus, the even is completely free, though you'll have to pay for the food and beer.
Sea Terrace Park, 33501 Niguel Road, Dana Point; danapointoktoberfest.com
3. The Phoenix Club (Anaheim)
According to The Phoenix Club's website, there's such a thing as "partying like a German," and if you're not sure what that means, come to their Oktoberfest celebration and find out. For foodies, partying may involve endless amounts of bratwurst, weisswurst (white sausage), leberkase (German version of bologna), schnitzel (fried boneless meat), and German cakes. (Yes, things just got really German up in here.) If you've got some Adam Richmond in you, try their beer and sausage eating contest. Afterward, work it all off at a polka lesson. The festival is every weekend from September 18 to October 31.
1340 S Sanderson Ave, Anaheim, (714) 563-4166, thephoenixclub.com 2. Bierstube (Anaheim)
If you're at The Phoenix Club's Oktoberfest festival, sneak over to Bierstebe for more food options and beer. Though they already feature a full menu of traditional German foods, they're offering special items from September 18 to October 31 for Oktoberfest. Schnitzel Cordon Bleu (breaded pork stuffed with black forest ham and Gruyere Swiss cheese), weisswurst, an Hungarian Gulasch are just a few examples.
1340 S Sanderson Ave, Anaheim, (714) 563-4166;thephoenixclub.com/pub-and-restaurant
1. Old World Village (Huntington Beach)
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With the Old Village Market's medieval European architecture and German businesses, there really is no Oktoberfest like theirs, which boasts "parades, beautiful girls, dachshund races, a Herbmeister, and a Kidsfest." With people dressed up in traditional German attire and holding bratwursts and imported German beers in their hands, you'll forget you're in Huntington Beach and that Costco and Starbucks are across the street. Foods that will be served are sauerkraut, pretzels, strudels, German potato salad, cheeseburgers, and more. Their opening day fundraiser will be on September 13 at Old World German Restaurant and Beer Garden and the first official party is on September 17.
7561 Center Ave, Huntington Beach, (714) 895-8020; oldworld.ws/oktoberfest-orange-county.html