“Do you wanna write it?” was the message I received from our lovely marketing manager. We were discussing a post concerning the best German beer gardens in Thailand. I couldn’t decline this offer as I was born and raised in Germany and I’m also half Austrian. So, thanks to my upbringing I certainly know a proper beer garden when I see one and tasted their beer. In the best cases, the owner is even German or Austrian and knows how to serve a proper Vienna schnitzel. And a Kaiserschmarrn. And Marillenknödel. Stop it, Benni, stop it.
But that just might be me. For our list, we will focus on the obvious: the beer culture, the food and the atmosphere of the “garden”. Yes, a Leo or a Chang might do the trick throughout most of our time in Thailand. But why not enjoy the world-renowned beer culture from, say, Germany, Austria or Belgium when we have the opportunity?
Let’s raise our glass (or beer stein) and chant together: “Here’s to hell! May our stay there be as much fun as our way there!”
*The Reinheitsgebot is the German Beer Purity Law that ensures a certain quality standard for the brewing of beer. Essentially, it prevents you from having to drink shitty beer.
Beer Garden Soi 11 aka Biergarten & Deli (Ao Nang)
Let’s kick this list off with one of our personal favorites here in Ao Nang. Most restaurants – local Thai as well as Western – are located on the busy main road. This German gem, on the other hand, is hidden away in the jungle next to imposing mountain walls. However, the Beer Garden Soi 11 is still within walking distance from the main Slumber Party Hostel, maybe around 10 minutes.
The owner, Andy, migrated to Thailand many years ago, but apparently, he couldn’t completely do it without a little comfort from his homeland. The result is his Beer Garden which offers beer from popular German brands such as Weihenstephan, Veltins, and Flensburger. It even has a small deli section filled with imported cold cuts, cheeses, and other exquisite specialties.
Now, what would an authentic beer garden be without the heartiest meals the German and Austrian cuisine has to offer? We are talking about schnitzel, käsespätzle, sauerbraten, and roast pork knuckles. You need to preorder the latter, due to the long preparation time. And twice a month on a Saturday, they have an All-you-can-eat Barbecues as well. Are you hungry already? Well, we can certainly guarantee you that you won’t be after finishing your very gracious serving.
It is no surprise that you will find plenty of German expats frequenting the Beer Garden at Soi 11. But even people from other nationalities who are in the know come back again and again. Especially given the fact that the prices are affordable, even for backpackers. Our favorite? The schnitzel lumberjack style with a mushroom-bacon sauce and an egg on top. This beast will make you loosen your belt afterward, we can promise you that.
Opening times: 9 am – 10 pm (Daily)
Address: Ao Nang Rd. Soi 11, Ao Nang, 81000
K-Hotel Restaurant & Biergarten (Phuket)
The K-Hotel took the “Bierstuben” (= beer parlor) aspect even further by authentically modeling their adjoining restaurant after the beer gardens found in Austria and Bavaria. And to keep the illusion up that you might truly be in Germany, all the female staff are clad in dirndls. It is a bit surreal seeing lovely Thai ladies dressed in a traditional Bavarian dress. But believe us, you are still in Phuket – Patong, to be exact – and only 10 minutes away from our newly opened Slumber Party Hostel.
So, the foundation is there, now what about the food and, more importantly, the beer? The K-Hotel Restaurant & Biergarten works closely together with the Erdinger brewery, which means wheat beer, wheat beer, and more wheat beer. Whether it’s a light or a dark one, but no other type of beer goes better with the authentic Bavarian and Austrian cuisine. The range of dishes is even more extensive than the one from the beer garden in Ao Nang. You have the classics we mentioned above, but also delicious soups and broths with either liver dumplings, pancake slices or pieces of beef. And I couldn’t tell you the last time I had a pumpkin cream soup… and… and crispy roast potatoes… Another slumber favorite is the grilled meatloaf with fried eggs and a potato salad.
Chef Michael Kloihofer knows his craft as well as any other chef in his home country. The entire Austrian management ensures that the rest is also up to the same standard. On the website, they are priding themselves on “this perfect symbiosis of both worlds and cultures” referring to their eclectic selection of Thai dishes. This is, indeed, an admirable motto and statement. But we nonetheless recommend sticking to the food you came here for in the first place. Speaking of recommendations, in order to finish your meal in a traditional manner, you have to have a digestif such as a pear or apricot schnapps. It makes your belly all warm and fuzzy.
While we are highly praising the K-Hotel Restaurant & Biergarten, the prices are not exactly backpacker-friendly. You can get a good meal for around 300 Baht, but most options are in the range of 500 to even 600 Baht. With that being said, a visit here might be a good idea for a special night out. A great opportunity, for example, would be the upcoming Oktoberfest, for which they have a number of specials prepared.
Opening times: 7 am – 12 am (Daily)
Address: Soi Ratuthit Songroipi Road, Patong, Kathu, Phuket 83150
Bei Otto (Bangkok)
Bei Otto’s has it all. “A restaurant, an event room, catering services, a large bakery, a cafe and a delicatessen store with traditional German butchery items” as stated on their website. And, of course, a large outdoor beer garden with plenty of long wooden tables and benches. It’s an ambitious institution and one that has been working since its opening in 1984. Yes, the year the original Ghostbusters and The Terminator came out.
Only in recent months, has the restaurant seen the introduction of a Bavarian flair to its Black Forest roots. This is thanks to the new management under chef Pierro in August 2017, who redesigned both the menu as well as the look of the restaurant. So, for every Alsatian tarte flambée there is a Bavarian-style crispy pork knuckle, and for every Swabian soufflé pasta a Bavarian liver dumpling soup. Speaking of soups, you have to give the potato leek soup with bacon a try as it comes in a homemade bread bowl. Therefore it is crispy on the outside and slightly soggy from the soup on the inside. It really is as good as it sounds.
A clever move, in terms of marketing, was to place their rotisserie oven out in the beer garden area. That way the customers can see and smell all the delicious grilled chicken, which are then served with a serving of potato salad. Why, and we haven’t even mentioned the beer yet! Bei Otto’s offers Warsteiner Pils, but the only true choice is the Hofbräu beers from Munich on tap. For a mere 460 Baht, you can get it in a 1-liter glass. Prost! Of course, there are smaller sizes as well, but hey, when in “Little Bavaria”, do as the Bavarians.
Honestly, we could go on and on about their wide selection of breakfast items or mouthwatering homemade cakes, pastries, and strudels, but, we think, by now you get the point. The prices are, similar to the K-Hotel Restaurant & Biergarten, in the range of 300 to 400 Baht, but the quality as well as quantity more than makes up for them.
Bei Otto is also getting ready for the blue-and-white frivolities of the annual Oktoberfest with a real band from Bavaria. It pretty much comes close to the real deal, which is a description that applies to the whole restaurant.
Opening times: 8 am – 12 am
Address: 1 Soi 20 Sukhumvit Rd., Klongtoey, Bangkok 10110, Thailand
As much as I love Thailand, but don’t hold it against me that I got slightly homesick during the writing process of this post. Apart from getting ridiculously hungry, of course. However, those three restaurants always give me a little home-away-from-home feeling and taste.
But enough about me! No one cares, so instead, you let us know what your experiences are from those restaurants? Have we missed out on your favorite? We probably have.
And also are you planning a visit to Germany or to one of the German restaurants in Thailand for the big Oktoberfest festivities? Sound off in the comments!