The Run Down

Oktoberfest celebrations come and go, but this guide lets you enjoy German festive cheer all year round. This guide takes you through Chicago's North Side for a German food and beer crawl. You'll throw back beer steins and munch on liver pate, Bavarian steaks, sauerkraut, goulash, and schnitzel. Here are the details.

1. Dinner and Beer @ Laschet's Inn

2. More Beer @ Resi's Bierstube Restaurant

3. Das Boot @ Prost

1. Laschet’s Inn

The first stop on our culinary tour is Laschet’s Inn, an old-world German tavern that’s been a staple of the North Center neighborhood for over 50 years. A rustic sign creaks gently above the entrance. With its wood-shingled awning and a facade adorned with dark wooden beams, the pub seems as though it’s been lifted straight from the pages of a medieval fairytale.

Stepping into the restaurant, the bar greets you immediately. An oak bar, plain and solid, is dressed with German relics. Wood beams overhead are reminiscent of an alpine lodge. Regulars huddle closely, pints in hand, eyes transfixed by the game on the TVs. Keep walking further back, and the noise softens as you enter the dining room in the back.

If you ask anyone from Chicago where to find quality authentic German food, chances are they’ll recommend Laschet’s Inn. As far as food recommendations go, we picked randomly as a way to get out of our comfort zone. You can go that route or try a bit of we tried. Food pics are below.

We started the meal with a classic plate of liver pate. It’s a plate of butter crackers, liver pate, raw onions, and pickles. The pate was creamy and savory, while the onions and pickles gave it a nice crunch and added a bit of sweetness to every bite. Combined with a pint of beer to cut through the fattiness of the pate, you’ve now got as good of a food and drink pairing as you can create.

For the main course, we tried Leberkase. Despite its direct translation to “liver cheese,” it often contains neither liver nor cheese. Instead, it’s a fine-grained meatloaf with a blend of veal, herbs, and spices, baked until it forms a crispy golden crust. It’s topped with a fried egg, sauerkraut, and warm German potato salad.

A hearty meat and potatoes dinner steeped in tradition and even legislation. Bavarian law dictates the specific meat-to-fat ratio and the size of the grind.

2. Resi’s Bierstube Restaurant

After enjoying a traditional German dinner, it’s time to continue your culinary tour. Just one block away, you’ll find Resi’s Bierstube. This place looks like one of your typical friendly neighborhood dive bars…in Munich.

With its wood-paneled walls and kitschy German decor, it has the same feel as Laschet’s Inn but much smaller and low-key. On a Saturday night, it’s full but not crowded. Some are here just for beer and good conversation, while others are here for mammoth-sized pretzels and their smorgasbord of German bar food.

Stay for one, two, or ten beers, and then head over to our last stop of the night.

3. Prost

We’re ending the night at Prost, a German beer hall next to the Brown Line. To get here from Resi’s Bierstube, jump on the Irving Park Brown line stop, just a few blocks away, and then get off at Fullerton. From there, you’re only a few minutes walk to Prost.

While Resi’s and Laschet’s are more like dive bars, Prost looks more like a German beer hall with a cavernous space filled with long communal wooden tables. 

While they have food here, this isn’t what we’re after. We’re here for their boot of beer. This monster glass boot holds two liters of beer, which is the reason for our visit. If you and your liver are up for the challenge, this will set you back at least $30 (depending on what beer you order). Good luck to you and your life choices after downing this thing.