I went with a few friends on a Saturday night and it ended up being a great time. Massive beer, tons of happy drunk people, and best of all a live brass band playing amazing cover songs. It's a really great atmosphere
One of my German friends, Marcus held his leaving do here. He felt that a German Bierkeller was an appropriate venue for his last hurrah
The underground location made it a potentially sweltering venue on a hot July evening but there was a giant fan, which was helpfully directed at our table, so it wasn't too bad. The acoustics make it very loud and difficult to converse though
My dining companions were impressed by the range of German beer on offer and some decided to get into training for their visit to Oktoberfest later on in the year. I like the German theming with the staff dressing up in German costumes. There are also German music evenings held here
I opted for the schnitzel and a side order of spaetzle. The schnitzel here is made from pork and not the traditional veal. The good news was that it was large but could have done with a touch more seasoning in the batter. The spaetzle wasn't like mom makes it, according to Marcus and was basically pasta with cheese
The food wasn't top class but I think that's more the fault of German food rather than the venue. Nevertheless, I had a fun evening
Good luck with the move, Marcus!
Katzenjammers (for ease I'm calling it KJ from now in) is one of the main Bavarian Bierkellers in London - the other being the Bavarian Beer House in Aldgate. They've taken the term "beer cellar" literally and stuck it under ground in an insulated, poorly ventilated, basement which boasts a thick miasma of sweat and other bodily fluids. It's not a good entrance but luckily everything looks up from there.
They stock two well known Oktoberfest beers on tap - Paulaner and Hacker Pschorr. These are the ones every tent goes knows and perhaps loves and are characterised by a slightly sweet taste and a lightly carbonated body that makes for easy drinking. In keeping with the theme, beers can be obtained in pints or steins and it's a fairly easy guess at what most guys will order.
KJ also offers up a range of standard Bavarian foods (think meat and potatoes in various forms) so it really could be a one stop place for your casual night out. If it wasn't for the oppressive humid atmosphere I'd be happy to stay down there, but when the weather is good take your stein and get up to street level.
Prices are fairly reasonable but don't expect too many frills. And for you single guys (or maybe girls) out there, you can't help but appreciate the thought process that went into making the Drindl. If there is a more flattering waitress outfit, I'm yet to see it.
It's pretty hot in there, quite literally. Probably not a great move ducking into the cellar on a hot day, but is certainly a welcome refuge in those London winters. The large selection of German brews and processed meats will keep the boys plenty occupied.
The vaulted cellars of the old Hop Exchange provide a marvelous environment for this bierkellar. It really does feel quite German. The lagers are great and the food is astoundingly good value. A large plate of saurkraut with five big German sausages is about £12 and is enough for three to share if you each have a bowl of their very crispy frites.
The only thing that really lets it down is the staff, they're fine, but they're not German and the barmaids wear very fake durndle T-Shirts which moves the needle on the authenticity-o-meter over to cheesey.
It's a great place for groups but can get just that little bit too loud when it fills up.
All in all, I'm a fan
Katzenjammers has excellent German beer, so-so food and sometimes suspect service. But the beer makes it worth stopping by. I had some superb wheat beer (pictured) and an unusual smoked beer on tap, but there were various other beers I saw there that I recognised and can vouch for. Beer on tap can be ordered in quarter litre, half litre and litre measures and the crowd seems to be predominantly twenty-somethings.
The food served centres around medium-grade frankfurters in low-grade rolls. It fills a gap rather than wows you with quality. And the service can be slow, covered as it was when I was there by just one person.
Overall though, one of the better bars in the area thanks to its excellent range of beer.
Having been to a horrible tacky 'Bavarian beer house' in the city, I was fearful that we would encounter more bad food and frightened looking young waitresses in plunging fancy-dress shop dirndles.
This place is brilliant. It feels like a secret - tucked away down some steps, with a discrete sign out front. The vaulted ceiling and big wooden tables make it feel authentic and cosy, the beer menu is long, and the food is yummy. My dearly beloved and I went for valentine's day and enjoyed tall mugs of lager and an unhealthy amount of sausages, sauerkraut and pretzels with mustard for under twenty quid. It was very quiet on the week night we went, so I recommend Katzenjammers as a nice place for a date or a chat with friends in the week. Or just pop in on your own for a quiet pretzel and a pint.
I tried to get in on a Friday however, and it was RAMMED. Seemed a nice crowd, all happily tucking in to food and beers. I'd happily go with a group up for a boozy night, but would want to reserve a table or get there early.
There have been a few attempts to create a "Bavarian Bierkeller" in London, but most, frankly, have been unconvincing - dressing waitresses in Dirndl and piping in Oom-pah music does not a Bierkeller make.
Katzenjammers, a cellar bar near London Bridge station (with an entrance that is quite easy to miss) is therefore a refreshing change, in actually delivering what it claims. It does feel authentically like the archetype, and offers a good selection of German biers, food and schnapps.
Well worth a visit if you fancy something convincingly Deutsch.
Oktoberfest in London! Everyday!
Now Katzenjammers may not have the debauchery and drunken shenanigans of the true Oktoberfest, but as an authentic german beer hall it nails it!
From the vaulted ceilings, to the beer maids in leiderhosen, to the giANT STEINS(liters) of beer I felt I was back in Munich.
Let me tell you my sad story. I am studying abroad at a University in London right now until December. One of the main reasons I came in the Fall was to make it to Oktoberfest at least one time in my life. I had a room booked with some friends(usually one of the hardest parts), but could NOT find a flight.
I was devastated.
Katzenjammers almost made up for it. Almost.
My Frankfurter was nice a tasty with a great snap. My hacker pschorr liter was outstanding(if not expensive at 9 pounds) and the hot pretzels were great.
I hear that some nights that have a true german band come and play some tunes. Wouldn't that be nice.
Next time I get a pain in my heart that I didn't make it to Oktoberfest on my time abroad, I am going to head back to Katzenjammers.
This place is awesome. Get a stein-sized glass of beer (2 pints)! We tried a little bit of everything... giant plates of sausage with sauerkraut, mac and cheese, bavarian ravioli, pretzels (the BEST pretzels ever!), and the cheese board. The cheese plate and mac and cheese were unnecessary at the end, but the pretzels and sausages were the best by far.
A little cheesy with the servers dressed in german costumes, but this basement bar is an awesome hideaway from the crowds from borough market.
I had the impression that Katzenjammers would be (a) tiny and (b) really gimmicky. But really it's quite large with loads of seating and the only gimmick is the silly tiny uniform they make the waitresses wear. I was initially distressed at the lack of cider, because I'm not a beer/lager drinker in general but they had a wide range of fruit beers suited to my sweet tastes and the one on tap was liked delicious slightly alcoholic Ribena. The food is hearty and reasonably prices - the sausage and chips option (you can choose 2 different sausages) is particularly good value for money and both the bratwurst and bockwurst were excellent. A fun place! (ps hot men here too)
This is a wonderful german-style bierkeller with the perfect setting in the cellar of of the Hop Exchange at London Bridge. They have a superb lineup of German beers, with 7-8 on tap and dozens more in bottles, as well as a selection of German wines. The food is tasty and an incredible value. The freshly baked pretzels with a cold pint of wheat beer is a glorious treat.
Katzenjammer's gets very busy on Thursday and Friday nights, but is usually not too crowded at other times. It's a great place to stop in for lunch on a rainy weekend day. We go often, and usually just order a sausage on a roll to go with our beers. The sausages (choice of 6 varieties) are really good, and come served on a generous roll slathered with sauerkraut and fried onions and a salad on the side. For £5, it's hard to beat this meal. They also have some great dinner mains, including schnitzel, pig's knuckle, ham loin, and roast pork. These meals are hearty and huge. I especially love the spaetzle and, and the thin cut pomme frites are usually excellent. And whoever decided to deep-fry the dumplings that come with the pork knuckle is a genius. Skip the gulaschsuppe, though, as it is completely bland and more of a dry stew than a suppe.
Food quality does vary somewhat from one visit to the next (and I wish they would take the time to wash the salad leaves, which are almost always full of grit). But service is usually quick and servings are generous for the price. The service is friendly, if sometimes a bit blasé, but the manager often makes rounds to tables to make sure patrons are happy. The place gets very noisy and boisterous when there are a few large groups, but it can also be enjoyably quiet. On weekend nights they have a brass/oompah band that is fun and actually avoids being too cheesy, but it does tend to make conversation impossible.
If only the pints here were 50p cheaper than I might have given this place 5 stars!
The selection of German beers here is unparalleled (especially on draught) and the menu lists them in the most user friendly manner. The food is excellent German fare at what I consider a reasonable price (unlike the drinks). The place is not too noisy as can happen in such bars. The traditional accordion player was a pleasant diversion. The waitresses' costumes are unfortunately a little less revealing than the dirdel (?) but I suspect they prefer the more basic serving wench look. The big tables are what you expect to find, perfect for a groupotherwise you might have to share and make some new friends.
But when 2 pints comes to almost 10 pounds.you just can't drink here often!
When I was at Katzenjammers it was very crowded, and I was happy to get a place at all. I found myself amidst a rugby team. Well, interesting experience. A lot of strong and drunk guys, shouting, singing and all that. Not the most relaxing dinner, but a funny experience anyway.
The Schnitzel I had was okay, but nothing special. The pretzel I ordered as a main arrived as kind of dessert. So the timing was not perfect. I guess, I should go there again to see how it tasted and feels without a crowd of drunk rugby players around. But then, I guess, it will be really boring
Katzenjammer is apparently the German term for hangover (or literaly "misery of cats"), and judging by the fact that you can order a stein (actually 2 pints rather than 1 ltr) of 6% Oktoberfest beer you can understand why!
The bar is laid out with large benches and tables in a typical Bavarian style, and is attractively decorated. You can either order at the bar or have table service. The range of beers is a large and excellent selection from Germany. The bar staff wear traditional Bavarian dress, adding to the atmosphere.
I've been several times since its opening about a month ago. On a Friday night visit, a brass band played pop music - sounds cheesy but does create an excellent atmosphere.
I can recommend the food. Especially ordering a large pretzel with every drink (£1.10). Also good are the sausage platters (served with lots of sauerkraut), cured meat selection. They do have at least one vegetarian dish.
Overall a highly recommended bar with a great atmosphere. Would be particularly good if you booked a whole table for a large group or party.
I really really like it here. Although somehow ending up in here on a hot summers night wasn't very clever. But, it was my friend's birthday, he likes all the many many types of beer, so here we came.
Thing is, every time I've been here, I've been not drinking very much. I can attest that the cherry beer is excellent, but that's it. Everyone else seemed happy though. And I here good things about the food. Had I not had a nap late on Saturday afternoon, I wouldn't have missed dinner...
The tables are huge, it gets loud, the service can vary between good and crappy (if you're waiting at the bar AND having a conversation, they'll ignore you) but it's fun. Really really fun.
The opening hours confuse me. First time I came here everyone left at 12:30. Saturday everyone was out by 11. But, it's not cheap so you'll have spent all of your beer pennies by then anyway.
Raucous beery subterranean fun.
Surprisingly there aren't many genuinely awesome watering holes around Borough Market, and since it opened a few months back, K-Js has become our haunt of choice.
They do the important stuff: sausage, steins and a good fresh pretzel.
This place is pretty good, but not amazing. They had a large selection of bottled beers, but disappointingly only a few on tap. The sausages are delicious and come in large portions, but the schnitzel was much too thin with too much breading. I'd go again for a beer, but not the food.
Fabulous, fabulous place to grab a bite to eat or have a merry old time with your friends!! The sausages are delicious but what's even better are the Bavarian Beers they have and for great prices! Bringing friends here all the time now for a great night out. Missed out on Oktoberfest, but it feels like I haven't missed a thing at Katzenjammers, especially with the live music.
Full review at grumblinggourmet.com
Barvarian style bierkeller in Borough. The name translates as caterwaul, appropriate for somewhere designed around low slung ceilings and loud, communal conversation. It was half full but still verging on too loud, not somewhere to take a date certainly, but the kind of place an office party could get their vocal chords limbered up before heading to a discotheque. The beer list is solid, lengthy, German and available in steins. The food list is perfunctory and pig flavoured. A number of different sausages come with (badly) fried chips, the other specials include Wiener Schnitzel, a plate size slice of pork, covered in breadcrumbs and forced into the fryer. Germany perversely manages more Michelin starred restaurants than any other European country other than the UK and France, but manages to have a universal reputation for bad, fried food. Katzenjammers offers a fun night, but won't change your mind about the cuisine.
I had my birthday here on a Friday night which was very busy as expected but a really great atmosphere and we did manage to get a bench for most of the evening. Lots of German beer to choose from served in traditional german style. An oompa band played pop songs which was great and I even got a rendition of happy birthday! Fantastic place to have drinks with friends, good atmosphere, great place, different music but most importantly lots of different drinks to try. Certainly aptly named.
This place is awesome, all around. Went here for dinner on a Wednesday, grabbed a giant table and was greeted immediately with a friendly bier garten lady. Ordered a Stein of the dunkel, which was delicious and the lady had a Weissbier, which was equally delicious. Had a pretzel for an app which was good, probably should have gotten 2. Then dinner.
Ordered the sausage platter which came with 5 different types of sausage and sauerkraut. All of them were delicious and tasted great with the medium senf (mustard) provided. Had the side salad (ok) and kartoffel salad (potato salad) which was awesome. Overall it was a great meal with a great atmosphere and got out of there for about 30 pounds for 2 people. This place was AS good as the Paulaner's that I went to in Bremen, Germany about 2 weeks ago.
I really wish I could rate this place higher given it's amazing (amazing!) beer list, and I do end up here more often than I think I will. But I just have a couple (minor) issues with this place: one, the acoustics--it's cavernous and a bit stark and so as the room fills, you and your friends will find yourself increasing in volume as the night goes on to be heard by one another. My second complaint is unfortunately staff-related: for some reason the girls seem to be required to dress in your typical white-frilly-low-cut-top and corset while the guys seem to have complete freedom in attire--or at the very least, their attire seems to be 'whatever tee-shirt isn't too wrinkled today.' I personally would like to see either all of the servers in German garb or none of them. Also, the same heaving girls don't seem to have been hired based on their knowledge of beer or given much in the way of training, as none of them were equipped to answer a single question I had (and none of my questions were crazy, like wanting to know the percentage of malt to hops or anything--it was more like 'So what IS this beer, exactly? Is it similar to an ale?'). (At least, the two I spoke two couldn't help; I can't speak for the rest.) I'll of course continue to return due to the fantastic beer selection, but it would be really nice to have this be a more professional bar given its potential.
I can understand that this doesn't have the best reviews. It's a big and loud Bierkeller in London Bridge that can get very hot and very packed very quickly. But go on a Monday to Wednesday night early and you can get a better deal on your meal and beer. Beer selection is good (better selection of German beers than you can find in most other places!) if a little pricey. While the sausages and schnitzel might not be to everyone's taste, they are good for a quick bite or to help cut through all the steins you are drinking!
Somewhat luckier than 3stripe I was in there about 15 minutes after it opened and only had a wait at the bar of about 5 minutes. Didn't risk the waitress service as the place was like a madhouse, so just had the one drink. Looking forward to re-visiting on a 'normal' night.
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