Oktoberfest is officially here, and is ready to help you embrace Teutonic culture by arming you with enough beer to forget the fact that it's actually still September. To help you get the best of that delicious culture, we've put together this list of London's finest brats, beers, and b-lederhosen. Behold!
Best Brats: The Wurst Club
These dudes have their own dedicated butcher in Germany that slices & dices oinkers into their signature brats, Riesenbocks, and smoked Krakauers. If you're feeling frisky, you can get them topped with their hot & sweet pineapple/habanero Club Sauce.
Best Pretzel: Backhaus Bakery
Baking all manner of Teutonic treats (from strudels to Berliners), Backhaus is currently putting out these huge Oktoberfest special pretzels. If you can't make it out to Richmond, they'll deliver, and if you can't even deal with that, then, A) your standards are too high, and B) they'll send you a half-cooked one that you can finish in the oven yourself.
Best Beer Garden: Steins
Taking the medal on account of the fact that it's a dedicated beer garden (rather than simply a pub with a garden out back), and its river-abutting location, Steins offers you just that, and they fill them with delicious German brews like Pauliner and Erdinger.
Biggest Drinking Vessels: Bavarian Beerhouse
The BB celebrates their 10th year of oompah music, pork shanks, dirndl-wearing waitresses, and most importantly, glasses that're so big that when you see them, you'll think you've forgotten yours.
Best Party: Oktoberfest in Kennington Park
There is a 28,000L truck of beer. Let that sink in for a second. And a massive tent filled with people in lederhosen. And music. Expect the full effect to kick in mid-afternoon. It's highly suggested to get a packaged deal (plus more beer!), so that you have a reserved seat to land at, too.
Best Brewery: London Fields
As well as launching their Hefeweizen/IPA combo 3 Weiss Monkeys (created by their very own German "brau master"), LF's 'fest celebrations will see them holding a free party on the 5th of October, w/ live Bavarian beer hall music, and a German vs. British beer throw-down.
Best (er… maybe only) Oktoberfest Cabaret: The Zeppelin Club at Underdog
Despite being a fiercely contested category, the folks at The Zeppelin Club came through, thanks to their October 3rd event at Brewdog's subterranean Shoreditch joint -- there'll be burlesque, live music, and a risque stage show, and all women are banned (unless they are "convincingly disguised as a gentleman").
Best Pub: The Oktoberfest Pub
No prizes for guessing what these guys have themed their joint. Open all year round, TOP will furnish your belly with pork knuckles, brats, pretzels, and 55 Teutonic beers including wheats, bocks, dunkles, kolshes, and even a lineup of smoked beers.
Best Lederhosen Hire: Escapade
Get your non-sexual leather shorts at Escapade in Camden to complete the festivities. They also have an amazing beer mug outfit, which will fit people who're 5-6ft, in case you're pint-sized.
1. Backhaus175 Ashburnham Road, Richmond
2. London Fields Brewery374 Helmsley Place, London
3. Bavarian Beerhouse190 City Rd, London
4. Octoberfest Pub678-680 Fulham Road, London
5. Escapade Fancy Dress & Party Store45-46 Chalk Farm Road, London
6. The Wurst Club56-57 Cornhill, London
7. Stein's55 Petersham Road, Richmond
Here you'll find all manner of teutonic baked goods, from go-to pretzels and strudels, to the more obscure cameroon doughnuts (made from "quark-dough" and covered in cinnamon).
Conceived by a pair of barley-pop enthusiasts over a pint of the very thing they're so enthusiastic about, Fields is housed in an open East London space with its own outdoor seating area, where they'll be crafting six different beers, a number whittled down to after an initial "experimental mass fermenting effort" -- oddly not a euphemism for uni.
Labeling themselves as "the UK's only German restaurant chain", the BB offers traditional pork shanks & knuckles, oompah bands, and waitresses in dirndls alongside a huge selection of Teutonic draught beers.
A pub that "celebrates Oktoberfest all year around", the OP's menu has traditional pork knuckles & shnitzels & 85 German beers, while also holding poker tournaments & pool competitions during the non-october months.
North London's finest fancy dress outfitters, Escapade will outfit you with everything from steampunk to The Stig.
It's well-known that Germans produce the best wurst & easiest to swallow pils, so consume them together along with more meaty & wheaty Teutonic delights in a nice-smelling WC: The Wurst Club, a snug fast-casual foodery in The City.