Landmark eatery serves authentic German cuisine in historic neighborhood
Schmidt’s Sausage Haus und Restaurant is a landmark eatery in central Ohio, drawing large crowds daily. Alongside the schnitzel, cabbage rolls and potato salad, you’ll find decadent, half-pound cream puffs and Schmidt’s signature Bahama Mamas – hickory-smoked sausage served on a bed of sauerkraut.
Located in a nationally registered historic site and tucked along a brick-laden street in Columbus’ neighborhood of German Village, Schmidt’s has been the go-to spot for authentic German cuisine for more than 120 years.
My family and I visited on a Sunday, when the line to get your name on a seating list went out the door. We passed a half hour’s time by posing for pictures behind wooden cutouts of a German couple – the male figure wearing lederhosen and holding a beer. We also had time to visit the nearby Schmidt’s Fudge Haus, offering handmade chocolates such as “Schmurtles” with chocolate, carmel, peanut butter and pecans.
When we finally got seated we were greeted by a female server wearing cheery German garb, who made the great suggestion of seating our children in their own double booth, allowing Mike and me and sister-in-law, Mary Jean, to dine comfortably beside them.
For those unfamiliar with German food, I’d suggest ordering the all-you-can-eat buffet, which allows guests to sample a variety of delicacies. The buffet also is offered on the children’s menu, along with grilled cheese without crust and Germany’s version of the hotdog called a frankfurter served on a split-top bun with chunky applesauce.
Schmidt’s has been operated by five generations of the Schmidt family since 1886, when patriarch J. Fred Schmidt ventured to America from Frankfurt, Germany, to open a meat-packing house. The restaurant opened nearby in 1967, serving passed-down family recipes by traditionally dressed servers.
Guests can experience an Oktoberfest atmosphere every Thursday and Friday as the energetic duo Schnickelfritz takes stage, performing German oom-pah-pah tunes on a horn and accordion.
Schmidt’s is located at 240 East Kossuth St., and is open seven days a week. No reservations are accepted.
For more information, call 614-444-6808 or visit www.schmidthaus.com.
Schmidt’s also sponsors Columbus’ annual Oktoberfest in late September at the Ohio State Fairgrounds. Admission is free. Learn more at www.columbusoktoberfest.com.