The annual celebration of all things German and beer-related kicks off in the father land this weekend, and biergartens and beer bars are following suit across the pond, offering everything from all-you-can-drink specials to quiet, comfortable sit down meals. From the 100-year-old beer gardens in Queens to the bro-d out Midtown joints, there's all sorts of Oktoberfest fun to be had. Take your pick:
Blaue Gans: Starting tonight and continuing each Friday through October 6th, this Tribeca restaurant offers unlimited food and tap beer from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. for $47. You'll get as many orders of Bratwurst, Weisswurst and other traditional sausages as you want, plus pretzels, donuts and strudel. They're also doing two Oktoberfest brunches on September 28th and October 5th from 12 - 4 p.m., so you can enjoy all the delicious German fare and still have the evening free to keep drinking!
139 Duane Street between Church and West Broadway, (212) 571-8880
Bierhaus: It's practically Oktoberfest year-round at this Midtown beer hall, which pours brews exclusively from Munich's Hofbrau. Starting tomorrow they're upping the ante, bringing in more live music and a traditional keg tapping of Hofbrau's Oktoberfest beer. The main event of their 'fest takes places on Saturday, October 26th, when national recognized competitive eaters chow down at the 2nd annual Bratwurst Eating Competition. The competition begins at 3 p.m. with more music, drinking and feasting for the audience. If you think you've got the gut to compete, the top eater waddles away with $750 and a trophy, but you'll have to beat out Jamie "The Bear" McDonald to get the big prize.
712 3rd Avenue at 45th Street, (212) 867-2337
: The 56th Annual German-American Steuben Parade of New York marches along 5th Avenue at noon tomorrow and this year they're being joined by Alphabet City's biergarten Zum Schneider. Look for their "Rock the Weisswurst" float and then follow it back to their home on Avenue C for a DJd after party starting at 3:30 p.m. The celebration continues September 28th through October 13th, with performances by oompah house band Mosl Franzi & the JaJaJas, lots of giant pretzels and three special Oktoberfest beers on tap.
107 Avenue C at 7th Street, (212) 598-1098
Radegast Hall: The Williamsburg beer hall kicks off their Oktoberfest celebrations Saturday, September 21st and continues each Saturday through October 5th. They'll have live music starting at 1 p.m. each week plus a celebratory keg tapping at the beginning of each day. Show your bulging stein muscles at the mug holding competition and feast to your strength with a weekly pig roast. On September 24th and October 1st they're doing a Tuesday Tastings night that celebrates German beers as well, with tasting flights, music and free snacks starting at 7 p.m.
113 North 3rd Street, Williamsburg, (718) 963-3973
Loreley: This LES beer garden and restaurant happens to be celebrating their 10th anniversary this year and they've got a whole slew of events planned, starting with a ceremonial keg tapping Saturday, September 21st at 3 p.m. and best of all: they're offering the first keg absolutely free. On September 25th and Octber 16th, sample 7 beers through a three course German meal with beer expert Rudi Eilers for just $55. The big 10th anniversary celebration means 2,000 liters of beer, a giant pig on a spit and a DJ spinning starting at 8 p.m. on October 3rd.
7 Rivington Street, (212) 253-7077
'21' Club: This iconic midtown restaurant is here to class up Oktoberfest, offering a German-inspired menu from now until October 3rd. Up front in their less formal Bar 21 they're offering bar bites like a Sausage and Sauerkraut Fritter with bauernwurst, sauerkraut, Gruyere, bacon and sweet mustard and a Warm Pretzel with a selection of German mustards. You can't have Oktoberfest without German beer so the restaurant brought in HB Original, Warsteiner Oktoberfest plus an Oktoberfest brew from Colorado's Left Hand Brewery.
21 West 52nd Street; (212) 582-7200
: The Queens stalwart begins their festivities on September 28th, offering a special menu of German fare including a pig roast on September 28th and 29th. They'll be pouring plenty of Spaten and Hofbrau pints through October 6th with liquor tastings and live entertainment throughout the week.
29-19 24th Avenue at 31st Street, Astoria; (718) 274-4925
An Astor Oktoberfest: Let's face it: beer isn't for everyone. But that shouldn't mean that anti-hops folks should miss out on all the delicious German grub that abounds during this time of year. The Astor Center heard the call and they're putting on an afternoon of tasting German wines that pair well with hearty Oktoberfest fare like roasted pork, sausages and pretzels. They've even thrown in a few Austrian wines because why the heck not? The event runs from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, October 5th and tickets run for $45.
399 Lafayette Street at East 4th Street, (212) 674-7501
: After you reach a certain age, the idea of cramming into crowds of drunken idiots becomes less and less appealing. That doesn't necessarily mean you want to sit home with the doors barred, either. To that end, take a trip out to Glendale, Queens for a special sit-down dinner that's guaranteed to be both delicious and bro-free. Owner John Lehner, who's run Zum Stammtisch since the '70s, offers a sit down, 4-course meal that includes soup, an appetizers, dinner, dessert and coffee for $60 per person. On October 14th - 17th and 21st - 24, the restaurant offers one seating from 7:30 - 11 p.m. with an in-house band and special Oktoberfest brews to boot, all enjoyed in an old-world style Bavarian tavern.
69-46 Myrtle Avenue, Glendale, Queens, (718) 386-3014