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All 836 Madison Restaurants

Essen Haus

514 E Wilson St, Madison, WI 53703-3431
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Ranked #263 of 836 Restaurants in Madison
Price range: $15 - $20
Sun 3:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Tue - Thu 3:00 pm - 2:00 am
Fri - Sat 3:00 pm - 2:30 am
Cuisines: German
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations, Late Night
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.
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130 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Bettendorf, IA
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
30 helpful votes 30 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 

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Bettendorf, Iowa, USA
Top Contributor
82 reviews 82 reviews
39 restaurant reviews
64 helpful votes 64 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 

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18 reviews 18 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
10 helpful votes 10 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
52 reviews 52 reviews
23 restaurant reviews
58 helpful votes 58 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
122 reviews 122 reviews
69 restaurant reviews
18 helpful votes 18 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.

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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
11 reviews 11 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
5 helpful votes 5 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 

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Saint Louis, Missouri
Top Contributor
138 reviews 138 reviews
68 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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Janesville, Wisconsin
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 15, 2014

The fresh baked pretzels they give you with your drinks are spectacular and the food is really really good if you want a taste of German. My husband had the Friday fish fry and said it was excellent. My son said he was full after two rounds of pretzels and beer but cleared his plate when the food came. I... More 

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Island of Hawaii, Hawaii
Top Contributor
63 reviews 63 reviews
50 restaurant reviews
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2014 via mobile

We went to Capital shopping and then to a really great German meal with Spaten Draft. A pig nuckle with real authentic side dishes. Outside open air band, dancing, and beer hall rounded out the afternoon. A great meal at a great place. Loved it!

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Additional Information about Essen Haus

Address: 514 E Wilson St, Madison, WI 53703-3431
Phone Number: 608-255-4674
Location: United States  >  Wisconsin (WI)  >  Madison
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
Average Prices: USD 15 - 20
Cuisine: German

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Typical questions asked:
  • Do you have gluten-free options?
  • Is there a dress code?
  • Do you allow dogs on the outdoor patio?