“Cooking is a little like witchcraft, like alchemy, to transform people from angry and tense to relaxed and warm, happy…” claims Suppenküche‘s owner Fabrizio. “Therefore the right witch doctors in the kitchen can perform magic on the customers…”
With a philosophy like that it’s no wonder this little taste of Germany has made a big impact on our dining experience here in San Francisco. Suppenkuche is seriously tasty and seriously authentic. Here are a the reasons I’ve gone back and back again, and would recommend it to anyone visiting the city.
1. Bananen Weizen. The beer selection is fantastic. Not only does Suppenkuche have authentic German and Bavarian beers you can’t get at any old bar, they have traditional German ways to drink them. Try the Dunkel Weiss beer mixed with lemon soda or, you read that right, the Hefeweizen mixed with banana juice. I could drink this sweet concoction all day long but I have yet to see anyone else order it. Yes, you can get a 2 liters of beer in a boot for the ‘true’ German experience. You can even try a stein of 5 whole liters of beer (that’s gross).
2. This Brezel. The food is extremely well done. From the main dishes consisting of Schnitzel and Bratwurst to this tasty warm pretzel and cheese starter, the food does its country proud. I’ve spent enough time eating my way through Germany to know that this is the real thing. Every item is so flavorful. The main dishes are a delicious style of meat served with either roasted potatoes or Spätze, a variety of mac and cheese – but yummier. In addition to the Veal Schnitzel and Pork Sausage (pictured), the Venison Medallions were a favorite because they were so tasty and different. However, this hero of a pretzel is what makes me want to go back every time, along with its sidekick Mixed Bavarian Cheese. This combo. Is amazing. We ordered this to complement our beers while at the bar waiting for our table without knowing what we were getting ourselves into. It was love at first bite, and we all knew we had found something real. The cheese flavor is so distinct, and with with the onion and salt and sweet mustard on the side- oh baby. That’ll do.
3. Wärme. The owner of Suppenküche wanted to translate the warmth and coziness of Germany’s old lived-in eateries to his new space in the States. He also used to be a graphic designer, and that creativity shows with the restaurant’s interior design. The sparse yet intriguing decorations, in addition to the long wooden tables and benches really resemble German eateries that you might stumble upon on your evening walk home while stopping to let the comfort of food, drink and conversation warm you up.
4. Their Beirgarten. You have to search to find it, as its not connected to the restaurant, but it’s rewarding when you do. They share the space with another restaurant and host a few special brunches and events there a year. They have a costume party, or Zirkus (Circus), to celebrate their birthday as well as Fire Brunch commemorates a neighborhood fire that happened years ago and now raises money for the Hayes Valley Association. You can find their interesting event updates here.
5. There’s something about German style. Whether it’s the lack of overdone decor or the that makes this place so appealing, it’s like what you’d really find in Germany. And that makes it really cool. The food is excellent, not just because it tastes good but because it’s true to the origins of its cuisine and educates us while we eat our fill. The common tables allow you to make new friends while you eat, and the bar in the middle allows you to be part of the action while you wait for a table. They only take reservations of groups six and larger, and open nightly at 5pm, so thanks to those factors and its popularity you will be doing some waiting. Grab your beer, bananen or not, and your brezel and you’ll forget you didn’t stumble upon this place off cobblestone streets per advice of a stranger smelling like cigarette smoke.
525 Laguna St.
San Francisco, CA 94102