We’re less than one month away from the return of Oktoberfest Fort Worth (September 26-28). The three-day fest at Panther Island Pavilion is a great way to “willkommen” the fall as we say goodbye to the doldrums of summer. If counting down the days til Oktoberfest feels like the “wurst,” you can try a few of these German-themed activities to help you get in the festive mood.
Enjoy a Spaten Bier at Flying Saucer Fort Worth
Fort Worth is home to the original Flying Saucer. Our hometown Biergarten will have Spaten, a German premium lager, on tap during the month of September. I recommend pairing the beer with Flying Saucer’s Beerfeast Board (pretzels, grilled bratwurst, sauerkraut, spicy mustard and queso).
Catch live German music Fridays and Saturdays at Edelweiss
Edelweiss German Restaurant is one of Fort Worth’s German food stalwarts. The decades-old restaurant offers a traditional Biergarten atmosphere and lively tunes of accordionist Mike Borelli Thursday through Sunday nights. Borelli is joined by bandmates Bernd Schnerzinger and Helga Beckman Friday and Saturday nights. The festive live music is best enjoyed over traditional German dishes like rouladen, schnitzel and several types of sausage.
Grab a Schnitzel from Greenwoods
Ordering dishes like “Münchener Weisswürste mit Kartoffelsalat” might seem like a mouthful, but English translations work just fine on Greenwood’s waitstaff. The German/European restaurant is headed by Chef Peter Gruenewald, who worked kitchens in Switzerland and Germany for decades. The cozy space is low-key, but the dining is as authentic as it gets.
Visit Little Germany
Little Germany is a great destination for families. There are classic American dishes like corn dogs for the kiddos and hearty German fare for those pining for beefsteak, spaetzle and Vienna Schnitzel. Grab a pint of Spaten to wash it all down and you're good to go. Plus, the restaurant was voted “Readers’ Pick” for Best Hole in the Wall by Fort Worth Magazine!
Grab a Glass of German Wein at Reata Restaurant
The next time you visit Fort Worth’s famous Reata Restaurant, ask for a German varietal. Most Texans are familiar with Riesling, but the Rhine Valley produces a wide range of dry, semi-sweet, sweet white wines, rosé, reds and sparkling wines. This year, Oktoberfest Fort Worth’s Reata Haus (a unique German pop-up restaurant) will be open to all festival attendees. The pop-up weinbar will be the only location where you can purchase wine at the festival. No VIP ticket or reservation required.
World of Beer’s Bavarian Pretzel
World of Beer’s Bavarian Pretzel could double as a steering wheel. It’s an apt comparison: You’ll need “both hands on the wheel” to handle this bad boy. The giant pretzel is baked soft on the inside, and it’s crispy and salted on the outside. You can enjoy this oversized German appetizer with house-made stone ground mustard or World of Beer’s New Belgium Fat Tire beer cheese.
Oktoberfest at Taps & Caps Fort Worth
California-based AleSmith Brewing Company and Rahr & Sons Brewing Company are teaming up a memorable Oktoberfest collaboration on September 5. Both breweries’ Oktoberfest brews will be on tap, along with Rahr’s 2018 Vintage Bourbon Barrel Oktoberfest and Alesmith’s Celestial Dawn Speedway and a fresh batch of Hammerhead Speedway Stout!
Swiss Pastry Shop
Don’t let the title fool you, the bakery and restaurant serves knackwurst, fondue and a pork schnitzel sandwich (the Will Rogers), among other entrees. The cakes, including the Black Forest macaroon cake, are equally sehr gut.
Ol’ South Pancake House
Ol’ South Pancake House isn’t the first place locals think of when it comes to German traditions, but their signature German pancakes (fresh-squeezed lemons, powdered sugar and whipped butter) are as close as we’ll get to a German breakfast without the $1,500 airfare. If the cakes are too hefty for you, the Dutch Babies are smaller versions.