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Judging Restaurants – Old Europe

by Prince Of Petworth September 27, 2011 at 12:00 pm 35 Comments

Old Europe is located at 2434 Wisconsin Ave NW. Their Web site says:

“Since opening its doors in 1948, Old Europe Restaurant has become a true landmark in Washington D.C. It enjoys a reputation as one of the finest restaurants in the nation’s capitol. Old Europe is recommended by Zagat’s, AAA, Mobil Travel Guide, Washingtonian Magazine and many local newspapers. The Lichtenstein family opened the Old Europe with the idea of serving delicious European cuisine, offering the best international wines, and serving great German beer. In the early 1970’s Karl Herold took over the reigns of Old Europe after working with the Lichtensteins for 10 years.”

You can see their menus here.

Any fans?

Ed. Note: Robyn visited Old Europe in Feb. ’09.

  • Gladys Cravitz
    • Anonymous

      Thank you for that link. Reminded me it has been too long and am planning to had over there within the next few days.

  • BB

    I love Old Europe and although the entrees can be a little expensive, they have a great lunch special that includes by one get one free beer. Perfect for a middle-of-the workday beverage! I also have a friend from the German Embassy tell me that they get catering from Old Europe often. Two thumbs up!

  • GDopplerXT

    Yes! I love this place.

  • Anonymous

    It’s in the nation’s Capitol? I thought it was in Glover Park??

    • nick


  • This place is awesome and very authentic. The only down side is the drunk preppy frat boys who occasionally take over who live around the glover park area – obnoxious.

    • Anonymous

      They think you’re obnoxious too. It’s so liberal of you to judge a book by their cover.

      • billindc

        Uh, no. I know that I don’t assume all fraternity guys are obnoxious. But these were well beyond simply a bit loud. Absolutely inconsiderate. Still, Old Europe is worth trying again, to me. If there’s a repeat performance and mgmt still does nothing, then that will end it.

        • PreppyFratDude

          Whoa, bro. Not cool.

  • cs

    being German a bunch of co-workers took me to this place after i had moved to DC a couple of years ago.

    i have to say i was not impressed at all. first off there is the food in general (not rating its authenticity) and from that point its maeh. nothing special.

    form an authenticity point its ok, although it had some items on its menu that were sounded very strange to me … very american influenced … like the german chocolate cake with coconut that you get everywhere here in the US.

    i never went back.

    i think the Biergarten Haus on H-Street is a much better option to get a German food feel … although I have no idea why anyone would want that in the first place.

    • anon

      I may be in the minority, but I *love* good German food.

    • Problem is the food at Biergarten Haus is just as expensive and tastes worse.

      When I was in high school, our German class used to go to Old Europe at the end of the year. I’ve probably been back twice. You go to drink German beer and eat German food. Who goes here to have their “socks knocked off?”

      The food at Blob’s Park is better, more authentic, and you get a floor show.

      • heffieb

        I’m part of the floor show at Blob’s. It’s nice to see us mentioned as a selling point. 🙂

    • anon

      You MUST be an investor in Biergarten Haus.

    • Anon

      There is no way anyone can say the food at Biergarten Haus is good and especially when compared to Old Europe.

      I’ve never had any food, german or not, as bad as at BH. A german from Germany who doesnt like german food should still be able to recognize terrible food.

    • Ronald

      OE is amazing. Until my German buddy moved back to Europe, my friends and I schedule a special trip there every spring and fall. We’ve never had food there that wasn’t great.

      BH, on the other hand, is just crap bar food with some sausages that I would expect to be served on paper plates at some potluck.

      I get drunk at both places.

      At OE, I keep drinking beer because the food is so good that I don’t want to leave and end up staying for 2, 3 hours. “Take that to go? No, just bring me another schwartzbier and I’ll keep working at it.”

      At BH, I keep drinking beer because the food isn’t worth my time so there’s nothing else to do. “Doggie Bag? No–I don’t want to finish that. Just bring me a beer instead.”

  • Rumsfeld

    I prefer New Europe further East

  • David

    Love it.

  • Anonymous

    Maybe it’s gotten better in the meantime, but I ate there only once back in 2004, and I thought the food was pretty awful. Loved the decor though.

  • RnR

    This restaurant is intensely nasty. I have never had a good meal here and it is very overpriced. The decor is pretty, but can get kind of creepy if you are drunk and the blind piano lady starts singing. It kind of reminds me of Disneyland or a Halloween store-Cuba Libre in Chinatown has the same problem.

    • GDopplerXT

      Maybe you just don’t like German food?

      • Anonymous

        or halloween.
        why do you hate halloween?

  • Anonymous

    if this were in disney land or a theme park or inside a crazy vegas casino or any other place that caused me to put any discerning sense of taste and expectations beyond just having a trashy fun time on the back burner, i would eat there.

    but it’s not.

    • Rick

      Actually the food in the German Restaurant at Epcot is a lot better than what I’ve had at Old Europe.

  • Oats

    Go Wednesday night for the live polka music.

  • blazing sun

    I thought the food was bad, and I love German food (lived there for most of my 20’s). You just can’t get good German food in the District. And please don’t mention Biegartenhaus, I recently had their Obatzda and it was not even Obatzda, just some weird soupy cheese thing.

  • The Heights

    I like this place. The food is somewhat expensive but the portions are big, so you can share an entree and still get a lot of food. As for the decor, it’s definitely different, but fun. Everything doesn’t have to be sleek & modern anyway.

  • laurentcov

    Much prefer the food here to food at Biergarten, but atmosphere at Biergarten is my fav. I find neither to be particularly authentic. I’ve also had lots of Old Europe catering and it’s good stuff. The people behind the biz at this joint are quality. Therefore…yum.

    • Anonymous

      It really is a shame that the food at Biergarten Haus is so monumentally awful. Actually, it was pretty good right after they opened, but something caused it to go WAY downhill soon after. I also love the atmosphere there more than just about any other bar in DC, but the lousy food keeps me from going back very often.

  • JW

    great beer selectio and seasonal choices. Good herring salad, and terrific sausage plates. big helpings of straight forard fiood. no, it is not high cuisine, but filling, tasty and served by nice family owners.

  • SS3345

    I’ve been twice and enjoyed it thoroughly on both occasions. I’m not sure what others are talking about – I thought the food was delicious. Service was good as well – very friendly staff. I think some of them are native Germans, in fact. I also enjoyed the piano playing in the background and felt it made the place even more cozy than it usually feels.

  • andy

    i like the hassenpfeffer.


    Here’s a thought: enjoy it while it lasts. Old Europe is a DC institution. It might even be mediocre….WITHOUT TRYING! Now, imagine the cacophony of ‘boooooos’ that will follow on POP once an ‘impressario’ – complete with his mezzamine, artisanal microbrews and OVER-HYPED shitty food – arrives to save the day. I’ll take the dusty plastic plants and beer steins over ‘NEW DCs’ New York City-fake-me-out-copy-cat-but-not-succeeding antics any day of the week.

    And, yes, I get to Old Europe about twice a year…because I appreciate the entire experience of dining there.

    And, yes, I already miss Hawk N Dove….for exactly the same reasons….

  • JB

    I don’t know who wants German food more than once or twice a year, but for those few times the place is pretty good. I like the Wiener Schnitzel, the brown bread, and the odd atmosphere.


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