Dining Out: Celebrating Oktoberfest, Somerville style

Olde Magoun’s haus wurst skillet (left) and sauerbraten.
Olde Magoun’s haus wurst skillet (left) and sauerbraten.
Emily T. Simon for the Boston Globe

Yesterday marked the official opening of Munich’s Oktoberfest, the famous Bavarian beer and food festival that draws millions of visitors from around the globe.

Known to locals as die Wiesn,  Oktoberfest has been held since 1810 and remains the world’s largest annual festival. From start to finish, it’s quite a sudsy celebration: Last year’s revelers quaffed more than 7.5 million liters of beer. 

Can’t make it to Munich? No problem; Somerville has steins aplenty. A number of local restaurants and bars are celebrating Oktoberfest over the next few weeks with a range of German beers and traditional Bavarian menu items.

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We’ve listed a few of our favorites below — no passport required. Bottoms up!

Olde Magoun’s Saloon  

518 Medford St., Somerville  617-776-2600; 

Hours: Monday through Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 1 a.m.; Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 2 a.m.; Saturday 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.; Sunday 10 a.m. to 1 a.m.  

Credit cards accepted  

Accessible to the handicapped 

Don’t let the name fool you: Olde Magoun’s is all about Oktoberfest. This friendly Ball Square pub offers special German dishes on Wednesday nights and Bavarian-inspired roasts on Sunday evenings through the end of October. Owner Greg Coughlin has stocked the bar with nine German drafts, including Paulaner Wiesn, Spaten, and Würzburger, available in half ($6.50) or full ($13) liters. Each Wednesday evening, a German brewery representative will be on hand to meet with customers. Check Olde Magoun’s Facebook page for the schedule.

The Wednesday menu (available from 5 to 11 p.m.) includes German staples like obatzda ($6), a traditional Bavarian cheese spread, and Reuben knockwurst ($11) with ale-braised sauerkraut.

Don’t miss the jägerschnitzel pork cutlets ($15), which arrived with a rich mushroom gravy and perfectly cooked spätzle. My table also enjoyed the diet-busting haus wurst skillet ($15), featuring three types of German sausage, a mound of sauerkraut, and homemade potato salad. I was less impressed by the Bayerischen eintopf stew ($11), with overly dry chicken and bland gravy.

Coughlin has plans to switch up the menu in October; keep an eye out for more German favorites like beer and cheese soup ($6), paprika jägerschnitzl ($15), and German goulash ($11).  

Olde Magoun’s German-style Sunday roasts ($12) begin at 5 p.m. and last until the food runs out. Look for traditional dishes like sauerbraten, a sweet and sour marinated pot roast, or schweinschaxen, a crispy pork shank served with dumplings and cabbage. The dish of the week is usually posted on Olde Magoun’s Facebook page a few days in advance.


65 Holland St., Somerville  


www.orleansrestaurant.com  Hours: Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 1 a.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 10:30 a.m. to 1 a.m. Bar menu available Sunday through Wednesday, 2:30 to 10 p.m.; Thursday through Saturday, 2:30 p.m. to midnight. Lunch 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday – Friday; Dinner 4:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. every day. 

Credit cards accepted  

Accessible  to the handicapped

Begin your meal auf Deutsch at Orleans with a selection of $5 German appetizers, available from Oct. 1 through the end of the month. The menu will include knockwurst sliders on potato rolls, grilled bratwurst with sauerkraut, soft pretzels with an ale and cheese dipping sauce, and weisswurst with fried potatoes. Diners might be surprised to find potato pierogi on the list — a dish known more for its Polish origins, but also consumed in Germany.

Find it hard to choose a brew? Orleans makes it easy with their tasting flight ($9), a selection of four Oktoberfest-inspired drafts from German and domestic breweries.

Five Horses

400 Highland Ave., Somerville  



Hours: Monday through Sunday 11:30 a.m. to 1 a.m.; kitchen open 11:30 a.m. to midnight daily.  

Credit cards accepted  

Accessible  to the handicapped

Five Horses celebrates beer year-round, no Oktoberfest excuses needed. With 36 rotating drafts and 80 bottles available, you’re likely to find a good German brew any time you pay a visit. But this year, Five Horses is getting into the Oktoberfest spirit by adding a series of German dishes to the menu.

From 5 p.m. nightly through Oct. 7, diners can enjoy Bavarian specials like a haus pretzel ($6) with spicy mustard and beer cheese; pan-fried wienerschnitzel ($15) with cheesy potato croquettes; crispy pork belly ($18) with spätzle, pickled apples, and red cabbage; and Berlin-style jelly doughnuts ($6) with blackberry filling. Not available during brunch.


55 Chester St., Somerville  



Hours: Monday through Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 a.m.; Sunday, noon to 12:30 a.m. Oktoberfest on Sept, 30 from noon to 6 p.m.; rain date Oct. 7.  

Credit cards accepted  

Upstairs portion of restaurant is handicapped-accessible  

Redbones’ annual Oktoberfest, held in Davis Square since 2009, might be the closest Somerville gets to the full Wiesn experience — oompah band and all. Next Sunday, from noon to 6 p.m., Redbones will turn Chester Street into a mini-Munich with a beer garden, German dishes, and live performances by the Mad Bavarian Brass Band.

The menu will feature a full array of German specialties including bratwurst, knockwurst, potato pancakes with sour cream and applesauce, sauerkraut, pretzels, and potato salad. Redbones will also offer beef hot dogs and pulled pork for those in an American mood.

Admission is free; Oktoberfest drafts cost $5 to $6. Prost!

Emily T. Simon