Suppenkuche, San Francisco


Little known fact: there was a time in my life when I could speak German nearly fluently. In sixth grade, when all of my classmates flocked to the sign-up lists for Spanish and French, I scribbled my name under the header “Deutsch” and ran home to proudly tell my Großvater (grandfather) all about it. Grandpa Boris had promised that if I took German, he’d help me with the homework and it would be a breeze. Done deal. About three classes in, I learned that the German he spoke as a young boy during WWII was not even remotely similar to the German we were being taught, and was unfortunately left to my own devices.

Eight years and just as many German language courses later, I had picked up on the basics and could hold my own in a conversation with the grandparents. So you can imagine my disappointment when I recently sat down proudly at Suppenküche, a renowned German restaurant in San Francisco, intent upon ordering in my best German accent, and opened the menu only to realize I could no longer make out a single word.

Language barrier aside, Suppenküche lived up to its reputation and proved to be a wonderful German experience (eine wunderbare deutsche erfahrung!).

Upon arrival, I was immediately struck by the authentic ambiance. The walls were covered in German signage and the bench-style seating made you feel that you were at a true Oktoberfest. I was with a group of five others, so we played musical beers in order to allow for everyone to taste a wide selection.

My beer of choice was George Schneider’s Wiesen Edel-Weisse, which was light enough to enjoy but hearty enough to stand up to the reputation of hearty German beer.

Selecting my dinner entrée was not easy. With potato pancakes, bratwurst and a whole host of other favorites on the menu I was torn.

In the end, I went with the Käsespätzle mit Zwiebel-Buttersoße und gemischtem Salat (Cheese Spätzle in Onion Butter Sauce served with a small Mixed Salad). If you’ve never enjoyed Spätzle, the best way I can describe it is this: it’s like Macaroni and Cheese, only better. It was among the most satisfying comfort food dishes I have ever tasted. Ever.

There are few things more “fall” than Oktoberfest, and although October has come to a close, I’m just not quite ready to let go of the Schnitzel, Spätzle, German beer and celebratory spirit that comes along with the season. If you feel the same, head out to Suppenküche in San Francisco and let us know what you think!

525 Laguna St., San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 252-9289

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