Stuttgart Pub Guide
Bars - Beerhalls - Beer gardens


Stuttgart Beer
Stuttgart Pub Map
Stuttgart Pubs
The City
I'm not going to pretend that Stuttgart city centre is the most beautiful in Germany. It's certainly not the prettiest in Baden-Württemburg. It's not even the prettiest in Stuttgart. The town planners have a lot to answer for. Personally, I would like to see a commando snatch squad abseiling down the council offices to drag those responsible off to the Hague, where they could be charged for crimes against humanity.

Much of the city has been designed for the convenience of motor vehicles. It's just a pity that most of you, like me, are human beings. Consequently, you're likely to find yourself ushered into a maze of underground rat holes, where you can't obstruct the cars. The area around the Hauptbahnhof (itself a handsome stone building) is particularly bad in this regard. Those with less that perfect orienteering skills may be down there a few days before finding an exit. The city I'm most reminded of is Birmingham: strangely somewhere else where the car industry plays a key role in the local economy. Though there are limits to this comparison: I can't imagine there are many vineyards within the boundaries of England's second city.

On the positive side, the Schloßgarten is a very pleasant tongue of green poking into the city. It's just a shame that the main roads either side of it can make it seem like little more than a giant central reservation. There is also a minuscule old town hidden away behind the Rathaus. Here are the city's most attractive buildings. Though for some reason the planners have allowed the construction of Europe's ugliest multistorey car park on the opposite side of the street. Nice one.

It's People
You could be forgiven for thinking, after reading the above description, that I don't think much of Stuttgart. Well, you'd be wrong. Ignoring the comically inept planning, the city has a charm and warmth which are remarkably disarming. It may not win any beauty contests, but it does have lots of personality. I found the inhabitants to be a very friendly and courteous bunch, who made my stay a lot of fun. I ended up having a real affection for the place, warts and all.

Public Transport
Like all large German cities, one thing the planners have most certainly got right is public transport. Stuttgart has a well-organised system of U- and S-Bahn trains that will take you any where you need to go in the city. A day ticket for the two central zones will set you back 4.70 euros

Stuttgart Beer
Large Breweries
Stuttgart has two regional breweries: Dinkelacker - Schwaben Bräu AG and Stuttgarter Hofbräu AG, plus five home brew pubs.

Dinkelacker - Schwaben Bräu markets beers under four different brand names: Dinkelacker, Schwaben Bräu, Sanwald and Cluss. These are the local breweries which combined to form the current company. Schwaben Bräu only merged with Dinkelacker in 1996 but their brewery site is already being redevelopped as a shopping centre and car park. For "technical reasons" (wanting a nice cleared site) the developer was sadly unable to retain the historic Zum Ochsen brewery tap. All production is now concentrated at the Dinkelacker brewery, situated on the edge of the city centre. I can't say that I was impressed by the Dinkelacker beers. They are all far too buttery for my taste. Schwaben Bräu I found significantly better. The group's wheat beers are sold under the Sanwald brand and are reasonable enough. These are found in bars badged both as Dinkelacker and Schwaben Bräu.

Stuttgarter Hofbräu AG, which also owns Moninger in Karlsruhe, is slightly larger than Dinkelacker, but its beer is oddly difficult to find in pubs (as opposed to snack bars and other such outlets) in Stuttgart. Their pils isn't bad at all with a decent dose of bitterness not always found in South German attempts at the style.
Small Breweries
I tried two of the home brew pubs - Calwer-Eck and Sophie's Brauhaus - and all their beers were poor. Far too yeasty and tasting as if they were brewed from malt extract. I didn't bother with the remaining three brewpubs.

Other Breweries
There is a reasonable selection of beer from outside the city, some from elsewhere in Baden-Württemburg, some from Bavaria. I have tried to feature as wide a range of these as possible in the pub guide below.

Paulaner and Löwenbräu both have tied houses in the city serving a wide range of their beers.
Cannstatter Volksfest
Munich has its Oktoberfest, Stuttgart the Cannstatter Volksfest. Held in September, it's stayed truer to its origins than its Bavarian cousin: a fair with beer tents, rather than the other way around. The festival began in 1818 as a present from Queen Katharina of Württemberg to her starving subjects.

The local breweries all brew a special Festbier of around 5.5%. The litre servings make it easy to drink far more than you intended.

The next Fest takes place 29.09.2007 - 14.10.2007.
Stuttgart Pubs
My intention has not been to provide a systematic or comprehensive catalogue of Stuttgart's pubs, bars and beer gardens. This is just what the Yellow Pages, some internet research and a helping of dumb luck came up with.

If you know any exceptional Stuttgart bars or pubs that I've missed, please email me the details and I'll include them in this page.

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You can purchase a printed copy or pdf file of this guide (which includes pub guides to other towns in the vicinity) here:

Trips! (South)

Stuttgart Pub Guide
Pub Listings

Map Index

Calwer Eck - Bräu
Calwerstr. 31,
70173 Stuttgart.
Tel. 0711 - 222 4944-0
Fax: 0711 - 222 494422
Opening hours: Mon-Sun 11:00 - 01:00
Number of draught beers: 3
Number of bottled beers:
Regular draught beers:
Food: Snacks 4-8 euros, meals 7-13 euros, beer 2.60 euros 0.3l.
Calwer Eck is situated on the first floor of a modern building on one of Stuttgart's pedestrianised shopping streets. The street is one of the city's better ones, with a whole row of attractive old houses opposite this pub.

That was, as they say, the good news. The bad news follows. Inside is a rumble-jumble of raised booths with high tables, half-partioned off areas and a long bar snaking along one wall. It's the sort of fake 19th century tat to be found in crap circuit pubs the length and breadth of the UK. This German version is no worse and no better. Too dark, far too noisy and far too full. It has all the charm of a sixties tower block.

If the beer were any good, this might all be bearable. Sadly, it isn't. The beer is possibly even worse than the ambiance. Far too yeasty and very homebrew in taste. I could easily brew better myself. Not that the young trendies stacking the place out seemed to mind: they were slurping the stuff down by the pitcherful. I was grateful, at least, that the menu explained that the Braumeister Bier is supposed to be a märzen. I had been puzzling over the question as to what style this turgid, sweetish, amber liquid was supposed to be.
Rating: * Public transport: U/S-Bahn Stadtmitte.

Sophie`s Brauhaus
Marienstr. 28,
70178 Stuttgart
Tel. 0711 610962
Fax: 0711 611875
Opening hours: Mon-Thur 11:00 - 01:00
Fri.-Sat. 11:00* - 2.00 Uhr
( *June - August from 16:00)
Sun. 10:30 - 24:00 Uhr
Number of draught beers: 3
Number of bottled beers:
Regular draught beers:
Food: 3-8 euros, meals 7-13 euros, beer 3.20 euros 0.4l.
Stylistically there's little to choose between Sophie`s Brauhaus and Calwer Eck. It's another barn of a place on the first floor of a crappy modern building. Here you can at least see the brewing vessels stuck against one wall. It didn't look the most practical kit I've ever seen, but I'll believe that they do brew here. There are various partitions that partially divide the room, but not quite enough to remove the impression that you're on a railway station concourse. Everything is retro in a quite unconvincing way with lots of wood and bits of old kack hanging from the ceiling.

The beer was another big disappointment, the Schwarzbier having the consistency of soup it was so yeasty. But it wasn't quite as full of yuppies as Calwer Eck, the food wasn't bad and the service OK, so I'll give it one more star.
Rating: ** Public transport: U/S-Bahn Stadtmitte.

Nil Café am See
Cannstatterstr. 26,
Tel. 0711 - 223 8021
Fax: 0711 - 223 8025
Opening hours: Mon-Sun 11:00 - 19:00
Number of draught beers: 3
Number of bottled beers: 2
Regular draught beers:
Food: Snacks 3-7 euros, meals 6-10 euros, beer 2.90 euros 0.5l.
I had best warn you that the address of the Nil Café is deceptive: the pub is really located inside the Schloßgarten. If you walk along the Canstatter straße and take the only entrance into the park from that street then you'll be in pretty much the right spot.

The pub is quite an odd place. Housed in a modern, single-storey building, most of the seating is outside overlooking a small lake. The building itself has two rooms, one of which has a huge high roof and is a bit like a theatre in the round or a village hall. The bar counter is in a hallway between the two rooms and is functionally contemporary (lots of shiny metal, I mean). It's too bland for my taste, but the outside seating is very pleasant, with its soothing view of ducks swimming around. By the way, the "Nil" in the name means Nile rather than zero. One interesting touch are the warnings on the table umbrellas, advising pregnant women of the dangers of drinking alcohol.

There is a decent range of Distelhäuser beers, with Hefeweizen Dunkel and Kristall Weizen in bottles.
Rating: ** Public transport: U-Bahn Neckar-Tor.

Biergarten im Schloßgarten
Am Schlossgarten 18,
70173 Stuttgart
Tel. 0711 - 226 1274
Fax: 0711 - 226 1275
Opening hours: Mon-Sun 11:00 - 01:00
Number of draught beers: 3
Number of bottled beers: 4
Regular draught beers:
Food: Snacks 2-6 euros, meals 6-10 euros, beer 3.40 euros 0.5l.
About a hundred metres or so back towards the town centre from Nil Café about slap bang in this section (Mittlerer) of the Schloßgarten is a beergarden. Now it doesn't have the most inspired name in the world, but it is in a rather pleasant spot. Sadly, it isn't as peaceful as it could be. The park is quite narrow at this point and the traffic noise from the main roads along either side is hard to ignore. It's also quite easy to make out announcements from the railway station, which is on the other side of Canstatter straße.

OK, now I've described the location, I'll continue with the pub itself. Obviously, being a beer garden there is little in the way of a building. It's nothing more than a little kiosk, with a counter on three sides. Other than that, there are just lots of long tables and benches under the open sky. It's all self-service and there is a 2 euro deposit on each glass.
Rating: **** Public transport: U-Bahn Neckar-Tor.

Brauerei-Gaststätte Dinkelacker
Tübingerstr. 48,
70178 Stuttgart.
Tel. 0711 - 603797
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 10:30 - 01:00
Sunday closed
Number of draught beers: 4
Number of bottled beers: 4
Regular draught beers:
Food: Snacks 4-8 euros, meals 7-16 euros, beer 2.70 euros 0.4l.
We're talking here not just about a Brauerei-Ausschank but a genuine brewery tap: the Dinkelacker brewery is directly behind this pub. It's a broad but shallow building, no doubt restricted in shape by the brewery.

It's decorated in a very familiar brewery tap style - it bears more than a passing resemblance to some of the ones in Düsseldorf. For those of you who don't know what that means, I'll explain briefly. Those of you who have read one of my guides before can now safely skip ahead to the next paragraph. There are red tile floors, pine wall panelling and big pine tables. In the windows are some colourful bits of leaded glass that I particularly liked. The bar counter is at the rear, up a couple of steps. By the entrance are a couple of weird bits of old brewing kit on display.

On my visit, it had a mostly older clientele, though that could have been because I was there at midday. It's a pleasant enough place, if ever so slightly upmarket (tabelcloths). You would also expect a brewery tap to have a little more beery atmosphere. My waiter was attentive enough, but not exactly informative in response to my queries as to which beers were on sale. In particular, he neglected to mention the unfiltered Kellerpils, easily the most interesting beer on offer.

The bottled beers are: Sanwald Kristallweizen, Sanwald Weizen Dunkel, Sanwald Hefeweizen Leicht and (another connection with Düsseldorf) Diebels Alt.

Rating: **** Public transport: U-1/14 .

Brauereiwirtshaus Sanwald
70178 Stuttgart.
Tel. 0711 - 610863
Opening hours: Sun-Thur 09:00 - 01:00
Fri- Say 09:00 - 03:00
Number of draught beers: 3
Number of bottled beers: 4
Regular draught beers:
Food: Snacks, meals.
Dinkelacker-Schwaben Bräu, because of the many mergers that formed the today's company, has more than one brewery tap in Stuttgart. This is the one from Weißbierbrauerei Sanwald, which was bought up in 1977.

I haven't visited this pub myself, but have included it in this guide as it is bound to be of some interest. If anyone out there can provide me with some more details, I will be very grateful. (Thanks to Peter Seal for doing just that.)

The bottled beers are: Sanwald Kristallweizen, Sanwald Weizen Dunkel, Dinkelacker Alkoholfrei and Schwabenbrau das Schwarze.
Rating: Public transport:

Hacienda (TÜ 8 Bräu)
Tübingerstr 8,
Tel. 0711 - 295 949
Opening hours: Mon-Sun 17:00 - 03:00 (brewpub part)
Mon-Sun 11:00 - 01:00 (pasta part)
Number of draught beers: 3
Number of bottled beers:
Regular draught beers:
Food: Snacks, meals.
About the biggest thing going for Hacienda is that it's on the same street as the Dinkelacker brewery tap, on the way back into town. Another brewpub in a crappy modern building that left its charm back on the architect's drawing board. This time the brewpub/Mexican restaurant is down in the cellar while the ground floor is occupied by a icecream parlour/pasta restaurant under the same management.

I have to admit that, though I had intended to go inside, I just couldn't bring myself to do it. Modern (in the perjorative "modernist" sense of the word), bland, tacky and totally without appeal is how I would describe it. I couldn't help myself from keeping on walking. Calwer Eck, Sophie's Brauhaus and Hacienda are all so terrible in exactly the same way that they could be a chain. A chain with the theme of crap, obviously. Please tell me that I'm wrong, but I couldn't help assuming that the beer would be as awful here as in the other two brewpubs.
Rating: * Public transport: U/S-Bahn Stadtmitte.

Zum Paulaner
Calwerstr. 45,
70173 Stuttgart.
Tel. 0711 - 224 150
Opening hours: Mon-Sun 11:00 - 23:00
Number of draught beers: 6
Number of bottled beers: 4
Regular draught beers:
Food: Snacks 4-8 euros, meals 8-17 euros, beer 3 euros 0.5l.
I stumbled upon Zum Paulaner when looking for Calwer Eck, which is a bit further along Calwer Straße from Stadtmitte S-Bahn station. If I had had any sense, I wouldn't have bothered going any further.

Zum Paulaner is in a pretty three-storey building and has a decent sized "beer garden" on the little pedestrianised square in front of it. The seats here have, on one side, an excellent view of yet another main road. Having your own private fountain, as they effectively do here, is a feature more likely to tempt customers. Inside it's a typical Paulaner tied house. There's lots of dark wood and a cosy, if slightly old-fashioned, atmosphere. There are rooms on both the ground and first floors.

If only more of Munich's (or Germany's) regional breweries would follow Paulaner's lead and build up a chain of outlets across the country. The number of times a Paulaner outlet has been the best I could find is a sad reflection of the state of pubs in many German cities.

The food is excellent and only slightly above the price in most pubs in the city. You can't argue with the selection of Paulaner beers. The bottled beers are: Paulaner Original Münchner Märzen, Paulaner Original Münchner Dunkel, Paulaner Hefeweißbier kristallklar, Paulaner Roggen.
Rating: **** Public transport: U/S-Bahn Stadtmitte.

Geißstr. 12,
70173 Stuttgart.
Tel. 0711 - 242 397
Fax: 0711 - 236 8585
Platzhirsch, Stuttgart
Opening hours: Mon-Thur 10:30 - 24:00
Fri-Sat 10:30 - 01:00
Sunday closed
Number of draught beers: 4
Number of bottled beers: 4
Regular draught beers:
Food: Snacks 5-9 euros, meals 7-12 euros, beer 3 - 3.20 euros 0.5l.
Ah, tempus fugit and akll that. This used to be one of my favourite pubs anywhere. Sadly, new owners have transformed it from cosily traditional to blandly modern. Very, very sad.

Looking on the bright side, the seating outside is pretty good, with a great spot on one of the few attractive squares in the centre of Stuttgart. The food isn't bad and pretty cheap. And there are plenty of local dishes oin the menu. Spätzle, Maultaschen, that sort of thing. Tasty stuff. But I still can't help regretting the passing of a great pub.

This is my desciption of the pub as it was when called Mathäser:

It's time for a confession: there are times when I discover a pub so good that I'm tempted to keep it to myself. However, being an honest and generous soul, I feel obliged to pass on my knowledge.

I happened upon Mathäser after an hour of walking around the centre of Stuttgart getting increasingly frustrated by the city's inept town planning. Having wandered into the couple of streets that make up the old town, my spirits were raised by the sight of some attractive human-sized buildings. One of these is Mathäser. Once through the door, it was love at first sight. A down-to-earth pub with a red tiled floor, wood panelling and simple furnishings. Properly lit, no thunderous music, just the sound of happy human voices.

Noticing I was taking notes, a fellow customer (in fact, he's one of the two chaps sitting outside in the photo above) enquired what I was doing. When I told him that I wrote about pubs, he said "You must see upstairs - it's beautiful". With which he took me off on a tour of the dining area on the first floor. And he was spot on - it is beautiful. The bay window you can see on my photo houses a sublime little alcove. The little bridge stretching above the archway to the house next door is home to another charming eating area. Everything is done in a simple style totally in keeping with the building.

Back downstairs, the barman was very well-informed about what he was tapping. The beer selection - all Löwenbräu - is equally impressive, including some less fashionable parts of their range. There are six draught beers, including the Märzen which I have never found elsewhere. The barman was knowledgeable enough to know of its rarity and suggest that I try it. He was also interested enough in the subject to ask me questions about British beer.

All in all, a wonderful pub It's exactly what I hope - but rarely do - find when in a strange city. Friendly, sociable customers and staff, beautiful decoration, excellent beer, genuine local food. I can't praise the place enough - it's an absolute gem. One of the best pubs I know in Germany, or, for that matter, Europe.

The bottled beers are Löwenbräu Kristallweizen and Löwenbräu Schwarze-Weisse.
Rating: ** Public transport: U/S-Bahn Stadtmitte.

Stuttgart Hbf. Concourse,
Opening hours: Mon-Sun 08:00 - 23:15
Number of draught beers: 3
Number of bottled beers: 3
Regular draught beers:
Food: Snacks. Beer 3.10 euros 0.5l.
I'm including this pub not because I think it's the best in Stuttgart (which it isn't) but because of its very useful location. My reasoning is this: where is the casual visitor more likely to be than the main railway station?

Not that it's such a bad pub, either. It's modern and clean in design, without being totally bland. The bar counter fills a large part of the room and is surrounded by numerous high stools. Along one wall are a few raised booths with fixed benches. The bar itself has some attractive gleaming copper bits, including the beer taps. The pub itself doesn't sell food, but right next door is a sausage counter - Alles Wurst ("It doesn't matter" in colloquial German).

The bottled beers are: Schwaben Bräu Das Schwarze, Sanwald Hefeweizen Dunkel, Sanwald Kristsallweizen.
Rating: ** Public transport: U/S-Bahn Hauptbahnhof.

Geißstraße 7,
70173 Stuttgart.
Tel. 0711 - 2360200
Opening hours: Sun-Thur 09:00 - 01:00
Fri- Say 09:00 - 03:00
Number of draught beers: 4
Number of bottled beers: 1
Regular draught beers:
Food: Snacks 3-8 euros, meals 7-13 euros, beer 3.50 0.5l.
Deli inflicts a post-modernist interior (exposed ducts and all) on a lovely old stone house in the handkerchief-sized old town of Stuttgart. I can't say that I'm impressed by that sort of insensitive treatment in a building like this, especially given its rarity in this soul-crushingly modernist city.

The aforementioned "contemporary" décor is clean, bland and very martini - any time, any place, anywhere. There are some seats outside where, with one glance, you can see pretty well all the worthwhile buildings in Stuttgart. I include this pub as it's a handy place to try out the Stuttgarter Hofbräu beers before advancing on to the outstanding Mathäser opposite.
Rating: ** Public transport: U/S-Bahn Stadtmitte.

For more information on beer and pubs in Baden-Württemburg see Steve Heathman's Good Beer Guide to South West Germany.

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