For the obvious reasons, a trip to Germany to raise a stein to Oktoberfest isn’t in the cards this year — and even if it was, the event is canceled. But some spots on Long Island are offering a chance to celebrate closer to home (or even at home). If you’re craving pretzels, bratwurst, beer and a reason to toast to better days ahead, consider a pilgrimage to one of these local spots. As always in 2020, reservations are recommended.
Preston House & Hotel, Riverhead
In downtown Riverhead, this beautifully restored boutique hotel and restaurant has charm and history: It was once the home of Henry H. Preston, the first salaried sheriff of Suffolk County.
Starting October 1, Preston House will have picnic tables on its front lawn and an upscale Oktoberfest menu Wednesday through Sunday featuring small plates like beer-soaked sausages, Wiener schnitzel with quail egg, and vanilla Bavarian cream with caramelized apples. Reserve for Thursday night and you’ll get live music, too.
This East End staple is inviting guests to swap briskets for Bratwurst through Oct. 4. TownLine isn’t completely abandoning its Texas BBQ roots — it’s infusing them into its German fare. Think a smoked pork chop choucroute with sauerkraut, potatoes, onions, bacon and whole grain mustard BBQ sauce on the side (Sept. 24-30) and a Haxen, also known as a smoked pork shank (Oct. 1-4). It’s all served in a barn made of reclaimed wood. Curbside pickup is also available.
This spot feels like an English pub and is known for its French cuisine and burgers. But each year, it puts out an Oktoberfest menu worth driving to East Hampton for. This year’s specials run through Oct. 4 and include knockwurst, bratwurst, German butter pound cake and Black Forest torte.
The annual Oktoberfest celebration at this North Fork farm is on and happening Oct. 17-18. Guests can enjoy a special Oktoberfest menu that includes kielbasa and kraut. There will also be hayrides, pumpkin picking, local beer and a chance to see farm animals at the annual family-friendly affair.
Like many events in 2020, T.J. Finley’s 13th annual Oktoberfest celebration will be virtual — the popular Bay Shore restaurant will bring the party to you on Saturday afternoons through Oct. 4. The package includes bratwurst, .5L steins, pretzels and bratwurst. Choose a date and pick-up time and invite your pod over to clink steins.
This Stony Brook mainstay quickly pivoted in the spring and offered diners a new option: picnic baskets for two. Though the restaurant has reopened for indoor and outdoor dining, it will be continuing its picnic basket service into fall and this season, they’ll be Oktoberfest-themed.
The “Bavarian Feast” basket includes a Black Forest ham, while the “Octoberfeast” features pickled and smoked salmon and German potato salad. Both include a Bavarian pretzel, Black Forest cake and two large-format Bavarian beers. Call to order one hour in advance. The restaurant also plans to have additional specials in-house.