Log in or Sign up
Taps: - / Bottles: -
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
$$ - reasonable
[ Bar, Eatery ]
514 E Wilson St
phone: (608) 255-4674
(Place added by: brakspear)
Ratings & Reviews
| Reviews: 27 | Show All Ratings:
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$
The Essen Haus is really quite a place. Quite authentic looking, but the polka band really puts this place over the top. Additionally, there are boots to be had, with steins and other german beer paraphernalia all of the place.
While the vibe is incredible, the quality just doesn't quite match it. Going exclusively for the beer, I'd say yes 100%, but the whole ensemble doesn't come together as well as it looks.
Service was fairly good considering how absurdly busy they were when I last went. We were a little disappointed because about 160 frat guys were there and had privilege to all the boots for the night.
Selection was good. I had a delicious kostritzer schwarzbier, but there were plenty of other delicious German offerings there on the list.
I haven't actually gone and sat at the bar area, which is unfortunate, but hopefully soon to be rectified.
I would not attend this place for the food alone. Go with some friends and kick back some bräus!
04-12-2010 18:14:48 |
More by AmberMan22
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | $$$
Nice place, sits right across from the lake. Inside is about as German as you're going to find in America. There are similar places, and they may be more German, but this is pretty damn good, I'd say. Quality of the beer was fresh. It was nice to have a fresh Helles again, they're hard to come by in America. Service was pretty good, they did their best despite being so busy. The effort is what counts. Selection wasn't huge for on-tap selections, but there was enough to keep the palate happy, and with limited offerings they're able to keep fresher things available. I didn't try any food, but it appeared to be authentic German cuisine, perhaps I'll give it a try next time. Prices were a little on the high side for the area, but it's a place I enjoy visiting when I'm in town.
03-29-2007 22:10:35 |
More by badbeer
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
This place is a lot of fun.
Authentic German atmosphere. Care has obviously been taken down to the smallest details, even the uniforms of the servers and bartenders Be ready for polka and kraut.
It can get busy at times, but is roomy enough to accomodate. Never seems to get that smoky, which is worth a bit in my book.
Plenty of great German beers on tap. Boots are a must.
I have less experience in the food dept, but what I've had has been tasty and authentic.
Bonus points should be awarded for the 25 cent soft pretzels. That is usually all I need to go with a litre of Optimator.
In reference to psugrad's comment on the female situation...I agree that this is not the place to gaze at co-eds...Head to campus for that.
11-03-2002 22:12:47 |
More by cokes
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
A great place to visit, even though it’s sort of a chain. The ambiance is great - live polka music, German decorations and stuff all over the wall, and an overall great time to be had with the huge Das boots and everything else. The service was quick and friendly. The selection is pretty good for a restaurant - but hey, it’s German! The food was good, not the best German fare I’ve had, but still good especially the potatoes and sauerkrauts. Typical German beers on tap - nothing mind-blowing. The value was about average, and overall, I’ll definitely be hitting this place again whenever I visit Madison again.
06-20-2011 20:59:13 |
More by CuriousMonk
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$$
I love this place, just like I love all German bars. Fun atmosphere, German beers on tap, large selection of German food. Service is pretty good (and all wearing German outfits), and the selection is pretty good too. Only thing I don't like about it is the price - 15+ for a sausage plate/schnitzel with sauerkraut and potatoes. Oh well, I'll still go whenever I can. Also it's attached to another bar next door, the Come Back Inn, which has a vastly different menu and beer selection but is also really good.
07-12-2011 19:19:03 |
More by scones
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | $$$
I walked in with the expecatations of a Munich beer hall and I saw a lot of heavy drinking and young college kids drink a lot of boots. The beer selection was a little small in my opinion, good, but kinda small. The atmosphere was good, not Germany good, but good. You could talk with friends, some you may have just met, some you've known. They have a small "Beer Garden". It's indoors, the ceiling seems a bit low, and it's next to the bathrooms. The giant ceiling they have is over the food/beer tables next to the tiny stage where not so bad music is played. It got crowded a bit after some time, so about 8:30pm we left for another bar. Overall I would go back just to try the fresher German beer and use the authentic glassware...it's a bit of fun using them.
01-14-2007 10:30:04 |
More by Erdinger2003
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5
You gotta love the ever changing selection of tap beers here. And the Comeback Inn (which you can go to from the side door in the Essen Haus) has still more options.
It is all served in very interesting glassware. Don't get any ideas...
The Boot Game is a good experience, but you may not be able to drive for days after playing. And if you're going to play, play it right.
note: If you are under 35, bring your ID, credit cards, social security card, birth certificate, library card, visa, passport, and a note from your mother. Otherwise, you may not get in.
03-30-2004 18:48:34 |
More by GIVEMEBACKMYSON
vibe: 5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
Very fun place. Kinda divey, but very large. Great German food and beer selection. It's about the whole experience. The music, the beer, the food, the boot. It's definitely a big draw.
That all being said, I still can't put my finger on exactly how I feel about the place. Almost like they found a formula that works and now it's just on cruise control. That might be part of what makes it so appealing as well. Who knows? Oh well, I am still going to frequent it every time I am in Madison, but there are a dozen other bars that I would rank well above it.
10-13-2010 20:30:04 |
More by Czap
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | $$
Stopped in here with the girlfriend to get a couple liters of Dinkelacker Dark on tap, as I was told a few years ago that it was one of the few places in the state that has it. Unfortunately they didn't at this time. Atmosphere was great, staff dressed in lederhosen and what not. Didn't try too hard to be a German Beer Hall like some places, was just rough enough to be realistic. Beer menu was solid, but had hoped they had more Schneider or Ayinger varieties there then what they did. Nice place overall.
12-14-2009 16:35:20 |
More by bonk0076
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4 | $$
Great atmosphere and beer. There is a polka band playing most nights. Many good German beers on tap, including Franziskaner Hefe and Dunkel, Spaten Optimator, and Paulaner Salvator. Warm pretzels with mustard and horseradish for 50 cents a piece. Service can be a little slow, but not really a big deal. Go next door to the Comeback Inn for a pretty good selection on tap and a huge selection of bottles. Food is good, but can be a bit expensive. I usually go for the Friday all you can eat fish fry. Be sure to go with a and try a boot.
01-05-2008 22:44:41 |
More by lowbrau
Essen Haus in Madison, WI
Your name or email address:
Do you already have an account?
No, create an account now.
Yes, my password is:
Forgot your password?
Stay logged in
Top 250 Beers
Change of Address