Image: Oktoberfest Specials! With gravy on the side.
Last Updated: October 2022
Current Status: They are open for dinner Wednesday to Sunday for dinner. Due to staffing issues, hours may fluctuate. Take-out and delivery available.
Old Europe is definitely old school, dating back to 1948 and retaining a vibe that is at last 50 years old. With the closing of Café Mozart, it becomes a lonely standard bearer for German cuisine, but it does so gallantly and heartily. For all its worn ways, the food is very good and very traditional German. The menu includes schnitzel, trout, beef stew, and sausage. Potatoes come in like Valkyries, appearing as salad, dumplings, pancakes, home fries, or roasted red potatoes. Other sides include apple sauce, cabbage, and spätzle. This is stick to your ribs food but prepared with care.
The beer list, as you can imagine, is full of imported German brews on tap from brewers that are not the typical. In addition to Pils, you might find Kölsch, Weisse, Märzen and regional specialties. German wines dominate the bottle/glass list. Desserts are a tray of cake options by the slice. Nothing fancy, but tasty!
The kitsch is so strong as to be endearing. Model wooden ships hang from above, steins and giant pretzels placed strategically for decorative purposes. The servers wear dirndls. The beer is served in tall half liter mugs. It is a strange twist that something so classic has become unique, but it has lasted for a reason. And that is reason enough for us to recommend it, and we all know the emotionally recuperative powers of schnitzel.
Other Guidance: It is a casual spot, friendly to families and neighbors who wander in. The menu is meat heavy, but vegetarians can find a couple things to work with, and GF can do a little better. It is located on the ground floor and there are no stairs to the main dining room.
Address: 2434 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20007
Reservations: Call 202-333-7600
Washington Post: Maura Judkis wrote about the fading of German restaurants with a shift in diet preferences. In 2013, it was included in a piece on restaurants that time (almost) forgot.
Washingtonian: 2013 piece on classics revisited.
DCist: Rachel Kaufman in 2015 put in a plug for the pre-pandemic atmosphere.