200 East Third St.
Newport, KY 41071
Although it is a chain of restaurants and beer halls centered around the Midwest, Hofbrauhaus brings the concept of the German beer hall to American cities. Each spot is set up as a large community gathering space; where long tables host many different groups of people and where live music, in-house-brewed beer and good food flows freely. The spot gets lively on weekends as big groups congregate for good times. But the food here, like the environment, is all German. The spot is an experience unlike what you’ll get in other places in town.
The food here is German specialties. Here are some of the great things I tried:
- Grillhendl: Half of a roasted chicken served crispy brown with cold Bavarian potato salad. The chicken is roasted until it falls off of the bone and then it’s seasoned simply to let the meat speak for itself. The cold potato salad offers something sweet to go with the savory chicken. Highly recommended.
- Käsespätzle: A spaetzle creation served with swiss cheese, diced onions whipped up in a cream sauce, topped with frizzled onions, and chives. The end result is a cheesy but very filling dish that is topped with some veggies to give it character.
- Kartoffelpfannkuchen: German potato pancakes, fried and a little bit crispy on the outside. What’s better, the pancake is served with applesauce that makes it extra delicious.
- Sauerkraut Balls: Like beignets, these are balls of sauerkraut breaded and fried up crunchy. Then they are served with honey mustard to give them a sweetness. The sauerkraut in the center is still soft and moist.
- Fritierte Gewürz Gurken: Fried pickle spears, which are extra crunchy on the outside but still very juicy pickles at their core. These are served with ranch dressing that give them a creaminess.
- Pierogies and Kielbasa: One of the best known combos in German food. These thick potato dumplings with just a bit of cheese are thick, sticking to the pot, and the sausage adds a salty counterpoint. One plate will get you in the mood for a beer.
- Hefe weizen: This recipe is said to come from Munich, and it’s the first thing you’ll probably know to try here! Ordered in a giant tank of a mug. Crisp!
- Dunkel: A dark beer, another German recipe that isn’t too heavy. It emphasizes being drinkable, but still has a deep flavor.
- French dip: Decidedly not German, but soft and chewy been with a slick au jus is natural with heavy beer.
The spot has something of a community vibe, in that it’s intended to bring large groups together. In practice each location tends to be close to the nightlife in its respective city, and while this means a lot of people are there to meet, it can also be a loud, boisterous place to be with major crowds which can at times become rowdy. Plenty of security is in place, but expect that these spots are very high-key.
The spot tends to be one where a lot of people congregate, and at least the idea is to get some of that European kind of communal drinking experience. It’s a fun time for sure.
- The spot tends to be welcoming to large crowds, so I say bring a big party if you’re expecting to come here.
- The beer is served in massive portions, and the spot can be very high-key. Recommend it for a younger drinking crowd, especially on the weekend.
- Of the food, I definitely recommend the roasted chicken. A sampler of the appetizers will let you try a lot of different, great German foods.