Where to Celebrate Oktoberfest in Boston
Dust off your beer stein and break out the lederhosen—it’s time to celebrate Oktoberfest, a beer festival originally created to commemorate the wedding of 19th-century Bavarian King Ludwig I. Haven’t had your fill of schnitzel and strudel yet? Luckily, we live in a region replete with world-class breweries offering seasonal specials, with many local restaurants getting into the Festzeit, too. Here are nine ways for you to celebrate this year’s Oktoberfest with some beer, bratwurst, and Black Forest cake.
Join Beat Brasserie as they transform into a Bavarian Beer Hall for Harvard Square’s 37th annual Oktoberfest celebration on Sunday, October 11. Feast on Bavarian sausages, roasts, sauerkraut, schnitzel, pretzels, and strudel while enjoying traditional German drinking songs from The Mad Bavarian Brass Band. For more oompah, head over to the nearby Honk! festival, which is bringing more than 25 street bands to join the Oktoberfest festivities this year.
Oktoberfest event takes place October 11, 11 a.m.-midnight. Beat Brasserie, 13 Brattle St., Cambridge, 617-499-0001, beatbrasserie.com.
Stop by this rustic German tavern in Union Square before October 11 to sample the flavors of traditional German and Central European cuisine. Treat yourself to a giant “Haus Bretzel” topped with spicy horseradish mustard, a footlong bratwurst served with potatoes and Riesling sauerkraut, or one of their many Oktoberfestbiers on tap.
Oktoberfest menu served through October 11. Bronwyn, 255 Washington St., Somerville, 617-776-9900, bronwynrestaurant.com.
Five Horses Tavern
Beer lovers rejoice with Five Horses Tavern’s seasonal lineup of Wurzburg Hofbrau and other craft beers. With 37 different types of draft beer on tap, it’s no wonder this top-notch Davis Square restaurant is an Oktoberfest destination. Among the Teutonic delights this gastropub will be serving up are chicken schnitzel, pan-fried bratwurst slathered in Paulaner Oktoberfest-Märzen gravy, and their “Wurst und Kraut Balle” sausage fritters topped with Gruyère cheese and Hofbräu mustard.
Oktoberfest menu served through October 4. Five Horses Tavern, 400 Highland Ave., Somerville, 617-764-1655, fivehorsestavern.com.
It wouldn’t be Oktoberfest without Harpoon Brewery’s 26th annual celebration. honoring traditional Märzen-style beer and Bavarian treats on Friday, October 2, and Saturday, October 3. Spanning over two decades of beer, bratwurst, and oompah music, Harpoon’s Octoberfest has become a time-honored New England tradition. Sip on a pint of your favorite Harpoon brew, join in on the chicken dancing, or compete in the German chocolate cake-eating contest.
$20 ticket includes one drink ticket and souvenir cup, event takes place October 2, 5:30-11 p.m. and October 3, 1-7 p.m., 306 Northern Ave., Boston, 617-45602322, harpoonbrewery.com.
Oak Long Bar + Kitchen
Famous for their decadent hotel bar and farm-to-table eats, Oak Long Bar + Kitchen is serving up classic German fare of hearth-baked pretzels, traditional smoked pinkelwurst served over kale spaetzle and a chicken jus, and giant 20-ounce steins of Harpoon beer.
Oktoberfest menu served through October 4. Oak Long Bar + Kitchen, 138 Saint James Ave., Boston, 617-267-5300, oaklongbarkitchen.com.
One of our favorite Fort Point neighborhood restaurants known for their artisanal Neapolitan pizzas, gets a German makeover this October. Through next week, they’re using that wood-fired oven to whip up “beer garden–style small bites” with a limited-time menu of craft beers, beer garden-style Bavarian pretzels, bratwurst pizza, sausage plates, and pumpkin fried dough.
Oktoberfest menu served through October 10. Pastoral, 345 Congress St., Boston, 617-345-0005, pastoralfortpoint.com.
Our favorite highbrow fast-food burger joint Shake Shack is getting in on the Oktoberfest action, too—and you have until Sunday to try it. Sample their Brat Burger, an Angus beef patty topped with a bacon-and-cheddar-stuffed sausage; their Currywust doused in ShackMeister Ale–marinated shallots; or the griddled Bavarian Brat topped with German-style slaw. Quench your thirst with a 25-ounce custom-made stein of either Brooklyn Brewery’s Oktoberfest beer or Shake Shack’s own ShackMeister Ale. For dessert, there’s the German Chocolate Walnut Concrete (a straw-straining blend of chocolate frozen custard, coconut-walnut caramel, and chocolate truffle cookie dough) or the Apfelstrudel Shake.
Oktoberfest menu served through October 4. Available at all Shake Shack locations nationwide (including Massachusetts locations in Legacy Place, the Street in Chestnut Hill, Harvard Square, and Newbury Street). For more details, go to shakeshack.com.
Smuttynose Brewing Company
Up in New Hampshire, Smuttynose throws its first-ever Oktoberfest bash. Venture up to Towle Farm for a fun-filled night of German fare, delicious beer, and party games—plus food trucks (including Belles on Wheels and Clyde’s Cupcakes) and live music galore. Hoist your keepsake tankard while dancing to live performances by Superhuman Happiness and Bearstronaut.
$15 pre-sale ticket/$20 at the door, October 10, 2-7 p.m., Smuttynose Brewing Company, 105 Towle Farm Rd, Hampton, NH, 603-436-4026, smuttynose.com.
The Tap Trailhouse
There are only three days left to sample the Tap Trailhouse’s seasonal lineup of Oktoberfest-style beers from 11 different New England breweries. Stop by the Colonial-inspired Faneuil Hall gastropub for a veal schnitzel a la Holstein with Märzen-braised red cabbage, fried egg, and lemon caper sauce. And while you’re at it, try your luck with the keg. We hear that the last person to kick the keg receives a $25 gift card. Prost!
Oktoberfest menu served through October 4. Tap Trailhouse, 19 Union St., Boston, 617-367-0033, thetaptrailhouse.com.