Sometimes when you go to a Mexican restaurant, or a French restaurant, or a Spanish restaurant, you try to throw out the accent you got your semester wherever and sound like you know what you’re talking about as you order. So unless you took German, good luck pronouncing anything correctly at Suppenküche, where everything on the menu is very authentically German. Unless you’re ordering the wiener schnitzel, in which case, free pass.
Suppenküche is a serious establishment, and has been holding down a discreet corner of Hayes Valley for over 20 years. We'd argue it's the best German food in town, and definitely less "how fast can you chug a beer" than Leopold's. You enter through a thick blanket hanging over the door, into a space with simple floors and wooden tables that feels like it would be completely appropriate to be wearing ski boots and clunking around with a tray of pretzels and chili.
But no snowsuits to be found here. Instead it's a chill mix of groups, dates, locals, and the friendly staff who serve up hearty, interesting, and overall excellent German plates. The nook behind the bar is a little darker and more chill, and can be a good moderately romantic spot for a date.
Besides the awesome food, we are all about the Suppenküche beer selection. It has a very, very long list of German beers, and if you thought you were headed into more of a Leopold's situation, don't fret, you can still get a boot to drown your sorrows in.
Bread & Butter
It just shows up so there’s not German name for it on the menu, but the brown, dense bread is killer and the creamy, whipped herb butter that comes with is fantastic. Pace yourself.
Reibekuchen mit hausgemachtem Apfelmus (Potato Pancakes)
Potato pancakes, yo. These are a bird's nest of shredded potatoes, with a tangy, not sweet, applesauce. Soft on the inside, crispy on the outside, these are spectacular. Do not skip.
Jägerschnitzel in Champignonsoße mit Spätzle und grünem Salat (Pork Tenderloin)
Tasty pork loin in a rich mushroom sauce. The spätzle is confusingly addictive too, buttery while simultaneously light enough to just keep eating it until it’s gone.
Wiener Schnitzel vom Schwein mit Bratkartoffeln und Grünem Salat (Breaded Pork Loin)
Whatever this is sautéed in is delicious, and the breading is appropriately thick. Not crazy exciting, but probably the safest bet if you are a novice German ski chalet menu consumer.
Gebratene Rehmedaillions in Rotwein-Pflaumensoße mit Rotkohl und Spätzle (Venison Medallions)
Here is something we do not like. Perhaps because the red cabbage is deeply, deeply marinated in the red wine plum sauce that comes with the venison. Inedible. Also, the venison is pretty tough.
Gegrillte Nürnberger Bratwurst mit Sauerkraut und Kartoffelbrei (Pork Sausage)
Translation: comes with sauerkraut and mashed potatoes. The pork sausage is perfectly cooked and nicely seasoned. And Jesus the sauerkraut is good. We’ve contemplating asking for more. Not weird at all.