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“Authentic German Fare” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Chicago Brauhaus

Chicago Brauhaus
4732 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60625-2010
773-784-4444
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Ranked #734 of 8,381 Restaurants in Chicago
Price range: $1 - $20
Cuisines: American, German
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Restaurant details
Good for: Families with children
Dining options: Lunch, Reservations, Late Night
Crystal Beach, Florida
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Authentic German Fare”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed June 9, 2014

I had to be in Chicago on business for one week in April of this year, so my wife and I have decided to dine at restaurants we have not had the pleasure to eat at in the past, when visiting Chicago.
I am sure, just like me, other food enthusiasts have seen the Food Network show, Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. One of the restaurants the show has visited was the Chicago Brauhaus in the Lincoln Square Neighborhood of the city, so for our first night dinner that was the restaurant for us.
If your hotel is on the river, which in this case ours was, getting to the Lincoln Square area is a little bit of haul. It is about a 20 minute taxi ride, but if you prefer, you can take the subway or as it is called the EL (Elevated) by the locals, using the Brown Line and getting off at the Western Avenue station.
Being a neighborhood, off the beaten path restaurant, I figured we do not need reservations. Sure enough, we had no problem getting a table. My wife and I were both looking forward to this dinner since we do not have too many chances to eat at an authentic German restaurant close to us.
I have looked at the menu prior to leaving the hotel, so we had an idea as to what we wanted for dinner. Still, looking at the menu, I was considering changing my selection, but at the end, we both went with our first choices.
For the two of us, the first selection was unanimous; we had to start with a bowl of Leberknodel Suppe, Liver Dumpling soup. One word comes to mind, Delicious. The dumpling was tender; the soup itself had a wonderful flavor of meat and vegetables.
For the main course my wife had selected Rindsroulade, Beef roulade with spatzle and red cabbage and I went with another traditional German favorite, Sauerbraten, braised, marinated beef with spatzle and red cabbage. If you do not know, Spatzle is a small dumpling, consisting of dough poached in boiling water. Like the soup, both of our dinners were excellent. We have both sampled each other’s dinners also and the flavors brought back memories of trips to the German countryside. There was only one little problem with our dinners. We have both ordered spatzle with our meat and we have both received potato dumplings instead. Normally, I would have said something to the waitress, but in this case I went with what they have served us, since the potato dumpling was very good also. For dessert we both selected Apple Strudel, a good choice to finish a perfect meal. In addition to the spatzle incident, about the only negative thing I can say about the food is that there was not enough of it. Although delicious, I felt that for the $6.95 soup, the $17.95 Rouladen and $17.95 Marinated beef we should have had more of what to eat on our plates. However, I must add that the amount of food we have received at the Brauhaus was similar to what you can expect when you eat in Europe at a restaurant. Hmmm….maybe I am just used to the portion size we get at some other restaurants in the US.
The service itself was prompt and courteous, but at times our tall blonde waitress seemed to be cold as ice. I can only assume that she was having a bad day and the rest of the time she actually smiles at her customers.
All the while we were enjoying our dinner; the restaurant also had live music to entertain us. Two elderly gentlemen, German I suspect, were singing their hearts out. A little dated material, but we loved it. In conclusion, the food is good, the service was ok. If you are in Chicago for a number of days, I would recommend trying the Chicago Brauhaus if you want to experience authentic German food. However, if you are only in Chicago for one night, do not waist your money.

  • Visited April 2014
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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83 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Louisville, Kentucky
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
“Lot's of fun at a fine place to eat.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 28, 2014

I wouldn't want to eat here everyday (not much in the way of vegetables), but the music and raucous attitude were contagious! I did enjoy the meatloaf and German potatoes. The beer drinkers in the group liked the selection of beer on tap. When people started dancing around the restaurant a good time was had by all.

My only complaints were that the restrooms were down a flight of stairs and there were lots of people crammed into the space (but I guess that helped the camaraderie).

  • Visited May 2014
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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Lawrenceville
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“Dropped into a movie set!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 4, 2014

This place stole my heart! We were stuck in traffic heading downstate Illinois from Wisconsin when we decided to take a break and get off the interstate. We decided by chance to eat at the Chicago Brauhaus. We were shocked at the lively, friendly atmosphere. This place had something we wanted a piece of. It was crazy busy so they herded us up to the bar. A very patient bartender lead us to make a decision on which beer to try. If you are as lucky as we were you will find yourself next to a reserved for Pete and Sharon! They showed us how to twist and yodel! They told us what to order. The food was great, the band, the beer, the people! Wow!

  • Visited March 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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Washington DC, District of Columbia
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
34 helpful votes 34 helpful votes
“Toast of the Town!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2014

This Lincoln Square landmark is off the beaten tourist path (although it is a very short walk from the Brown Line's Western Avenue stop). Although it is out of the way and off the beaten path, tourists and Chicagoans alike should beat a path to its front door. In short, the Brauhaus is the best! The food is fantastic. It is hearty German fare, done right. The atmosphere is nostalgic, both for Germany and for a by-gone era when fun came first. Whether you are in the mood to explore very well-prepared German cuisine; listen to a lively (and charismatic) German beerhall band; dance a polka; down (some boots of) good German beer; or just want to have a great time with friends and family in a relaxed atmosphere, Chicago Brauhaus is for you! Go and experience a slice of Chicago history and German culture combined in one fantastic restaurant! Prost!

  • Visited April 2014
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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Glenview, Illinois
Top Contributor
56 reviews 56 reviews
34 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 29 cities Reviews in 29 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
“Shadow Of The Past”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed April 13, 2014

This Lincoln Square area, once upon a time, was known as a "German Town". It had German delicatessens, butchers, stores, restaurants, German Club, library, etc. Next the Greek restaurants moved in and after them, which is now, it is a mixture of everything and everybody…constantly changing and gentrifying. There were three or four very good authentic German restaurants and beer halls in this area and ….they are all gone, just like in the rest of the City and suburbs.

The Brauhaus started across the street approximately 40 years ago. The inferior is in the style of beer hall. Large number of formica tables, with red chairs, lined up in the rows and close together. There is a long bar where "regulars" enjoy their beer. On weekend there is a small band, rest of the time….solo musician playing German songs and old favorites.

The food is mostly German with random introduction of American and Mexican dishes.
The sausage are predominately Sheboygan, commercially produced, which at this time maybe considered the best…however they do not match "past" authentic sausages and meats produced by local German butchers. The portions were ample with typical German sides. Sauerbraten was not freshly prepared, it was reheated with heavy sauce over it. Smoked pork chop was dry. There is a limited number of chicken dishes and there are no veal dishes on the menu. This is unusual because veal is one of the main staples of German cuisine and restaurants. For the party of four, 2 pieces of stale rye bread and one piece of dry grain bread were served. Additional bread had to be requited a number of times. When delivered, it was not any better. It could be concluded that the food is just about average and somewhat overpriced. The variety and authenticity is not there.

The beer selection by bottle or draft is extensive and very good. Drafts are typical German beer hall selections. Wine selection is limited.

Service by a couple of "motherly" waitresses was knowledgable, pleasant and somewhat slow.
The busboy service was lacking in attendance and performance.

Unfortunately, it can be easily said that "old fashioned" authentic restaurants and German food are history….so in this beer hall have a few beers, enjoy "umf-pa-pa" music and ….."Prosit" !!

  • Visited April 2014
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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