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Essen Haus

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514 E Wilson St, Madison, WI 53703-3431
608-255-4674
Website
Monday
Closed
See all hours
Hours:
Sun 3:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Tue - Thu 3:00 pm - 2:00 am
Fri - Sat 3:00 pm - 2:30 am
Dining options: Reservations, Late Night
Description: Madison's authentic German Restaurant, located in a historic Old...
Madison's authentic German Restaurant, located in a historic Old Settlement neighborhood. Features 17 German biers on tap, 200 import & microbrew bottles, live Oompah music, daily specials & lots of Gemuetilchkeit. The Essen Haus is proud to be the largest seller of German tap biers in the U.S.! Friendly staff, dressed in German outfits. For an experience not soon forgotten, pass around a boot of one of the specially selected biers.
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Good for:
Reservations
Late Night

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 132 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 31
    Excellent
  • 36
    Very good
  • 35
    Average
  • 17
    Poor
  • 13
    Terrible
Rating summary
  • Food
    3 of 5 stars
    Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3 of 5 stars
    Atmosphere
    3.5 of 5 stars
Most recent review
Steak on a sandwich..

Yes, there was a slab of steak between two pieces of bread and slathered with cheese and sautéed veggies, and yes, it was delicious, I recommend the parmesan fries and yes, it was affordable! Plus, if you start drinking, you may even think the themed outfits are appealing.

5 of 5 starsReviewed March 1, 2015
Elizabeth J
Good for:
  • Reservations
  • Late Night
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132 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
2 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 1, 2015 NEW

Yes, there was a slab of steak between two pieces of bread and slathered with cheese and sautéed veggies, and yes, it was delicious, I recommend the parmesan fries and yes, it was affordable! Plus, if you start drinking, you may even think the themed outfits are appealing.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Boston, Massachusetts
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
31 restaurant reviews
53 helpful votes 53 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed February 9, 2015 via mobile

We had a large group gathering on a Saturday Night with dinner reservations. Upon arrival the hostess escorted us to an area that was not accommodating for our group of 17. When we asked could we please have a more accommodating table .....the answer was "NO". Whatever happened to the customer is right theory? Before I go any further, I... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Bettendorf, IA
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 11, 2014

I had just about given up on finding real German food in this country until my wife and I happened upon the Essen Haus while we were in downtown Madison. I loved the atmosphere: a homey non-corporate place with German decorations and steins all over, and a view of the lake. The staff was excellent and dressed in authentic dirndls... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes
Bettendorf, Iowa, USA
Top Contributor
82 reviews 82 reviews
39 restaurant reviews
67 helpful votes 67 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 9, 2014

My husband and I were briefly in Madison, WI., and happened to pass by the Essen Haus on our way to our destination. We both LOVE German food, and it is almost impossible to get good, real German meals anywhere anymore. We decided to stop for an early dinner and we are so glad we did. First of all, it... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 30, 2014

Our expectations had been tempered by the many reviews on TripAdvisor, so we thought we had realistic expectations of a Thanksgiving dinner in a German bar - a bit quirky, casual, and comfortable with merely adequate food offerings. How bad could it be when good German beer is involved? Well, the parking lot was full to running over at 12:50... More 

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Dixon, Illinois
Top Contributor
58 reviews 58 reviews
23 restaurant reviews
94 helpful votes 94 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 3, 2014

Three and a half stars might be more accurate, but I can see room for others to give higher ratings. It all depends on why you're here. We're a couple of 60-year-olds looking for good food in an appealing environment. Essen Haus definitely has a fun ambiance, with the German-costumed wait staff, hanging beer steins, and a historic feel. Our... More 

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Madison, Wisconsin
Top Contributor
138 reviews 138 reviews
80 restaurant reviews
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 21, 2014

We came for drinks only. The "boot" is a local favorite! Also can't argue with FREE popcorn. Very good atmosphere and feels very authentic.

Was this review helpful? Yes
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
11 restaurant reviews
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 29, 2014

Okay, let's call it for what it is--a huge college bar with wait staff dressed in tired German costumes... So if you want to revisit college and drink beer out of a boot you'll have a blast. Can't comment on food since we didn't have any. Otherwise, Madison has lots of other places for food and drink. And the other... More 

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Madison, Wisconsin
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 20, 2014

It's not clean. You don't really want to use the bathroom for that same reason (until you've had enough beer to dull your senses - even at that I personally go next door to use the restroom). The food is mediocre, and the service is just OK. But if you're in Madison with some friends - go there for THE... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Saint Louis, Missouri
Top Contributor
153 reviews 153 reviews
78 restaurant reviews
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 15, 2014

This restaurant serves good German food and beer. It has a beer hall feel and there are actually 3 restaurants on the property, each offering a different menu.

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Restaurant Details

Location and Contact Information

  • Address: 514 E Wilson St, Madison, WI 53703-3431
  • Location: United States  >  Wisconsin (WI)  >  Madison
  • Phone Number: 608-255-4674

Price and Cuisine

  • Average Prices: USD 15 - 20
  • Cuisine: German

Description

Madison's authentic German Restaurant, located in a historic Old Settlement neighborhood. Features 17 German biers on tap, 200 import & microbrew bottles, live Oompah music, daily specials & lots of Gemuetilchkeit. The Essen Haus is proud to be the largest seller of German tap biers in the U.S.! Friendly staff, dressed in German outfits. For an experience not soon forgotten, pass around a boot of one of the specially selected biers.
Open Hours
Sunday
3:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Tuesday
3:00 pm - 2:00 am
Wednesday
3:00 pm - 2:00 am
Thursday
3:00 pm - 2:00 am
Friday
3:00 pm - 2:30 am
Saturday
3:00 pm - 2:30 am

Questions & Answers

Questions? Get answers from Essen Haus staff and past visitors.
Posting guidelines
Typical questions asked:
  • Do you have gluten-free options?
  • Is there a dress code?
  • Do you allow dogs on the outdoor patio?