Hofbräuhaus Chicago Restaurant in Rosemont, IL opened in January 2013. The restaurant is a replica of the famous Hofbräuhaus located in Munich, Germany. Conveniently located just off the expressway, this Rosemont location is the very first German micro brewery, beer hall, restaurant and beer garden in the Chicagoland area. Hofbräuhaus also has live musical entertainment on Mondays – Wednesdays 5pm - 10pm, Thursdays 5pm - 11pm, Fridays 6pm - 1am, Saturdays Noon - 5pm and 6pm - 1am, Sundays Noon - 4pm and 5pm - 10pm.
When my friend and I first stepped into Hofbräuhaus Chicago, we were awed by the large size inside. You couldn’t tell this from the outside. When we arrived, we were warmly greeted by the hostess. We noticed that there was a Hofbräuhaus memorabilia store with souvenirs to purchase inside the lobby. Our hostess seated us at an outdoor table in the beer garden area. On the way, my friend and I saw the small brewery room where beer is brewed onsite. Our server immediately brought over the Restaurant Manager, John Papaleo. He is a very friendly and inviting man, accommodating and helpful.
I was very happy to be seated outside where there was less noise than the louder main dining hall with more chatter and music (I have always enjoyed dining where I can hear the conversation I’m having with my friends). It was a beautiful summer night with stars. I noticed both inside and outside that the restaurant is a very family and kid-friendly place. It is also a great place for large groups or parties, date nights, etc.
My friend and I received prompt, friendly service from our waitress. All of the servers were very knowledgeable about the beer and food food pairings on the menu. Being a vegetarian, I was a little overwhelmed with all the sausage and meat choices on the menu.
Newly opened in January, there were few meatless options that have been developed. Our waitress mentioned that vegetarian sandwiches were in the works, but not yet on the menu. The restaurant does offer options such as creamy mushrooms with bread dumpling and Allgäuer Käsespätzle, a German noodle dish with Swiss cheese and crispy onions. However, since I wanted a lighter dish that evening, she recommended their famous pretzels and a salad. My friend ordered the Gebackenes Fish Filet, which consisted of Tilapia filets breaded, and pan fried to golden brown, served with tartar sauce, lemon and a homemade potato salad. I ended up getting two large, soft, warm and perfectly salted pretzels, a house salad with balsamic vinaigrette, and scrambled eggs. It was all simple but delicious. My friend highly enjoyed his fish as well!
Hofbräuhaus also offers their famous Classic Bavarian Brews, from their onsite brewery such as Premium Lager, Light, Dunkel and Hefe Weizen.Seasonal brews include Oktoberfest, Maibock, Pilsner, and Hefe Weizen Dunkel, of which my friend consumed two mugs.
During our meal, my friend and I were curious to see what entertainment was going on in the main beer hall inside. It was large and open with long wooden tables, and crowded with customers. There was a live music band called Biergarten Blosn, and also the famous Beer Stein Mug holding contest called the Masskrugstemmen Championship. This event is a Bavarian sport and involves male or female contestants, who must hold a large Stein mug filled with half a liter of beer. They hold them up for several minutes. Whoever holds their mug the longest without faltering wins. It looks easy but isn’t! (The stein holding competition ends on August 10, 2013). The winner goes on to participate in the Fifth National Masskrugstemmen Championship in New York on September 21, 2013. Finally, the winner in New York flies to Munich, Germany for a two day trip including roundtrip airfare, hotel accomidations, a Hofbrä brewery tour and dinner at the original Hofbräuhaus. Another entertaining event was a performer who played a several foot long musical horn. He went from table to table, playing for the customers.
Dining at Hofbräuhaus Chicago Rosemont was a lot of fun. The service, food, drinks and entertainment provided a great time. I would highly recommend the restaurant to people who love large groups, good food, beer, entertainment, and most of all, an authentic GermanHofbräuhaus experience.
Reservations can be made over phone or online at the Hofbräuhaus Chicago Rosemont website.
Hours of Operation:
Sunday – Wednesday 11am – 11pm
Thursday 11am – midnight
Friday & Saturday 11am – 2am
*Photos: Jenny Lunz