Historic cafe helps preserve and promote Texas-German culture

Krause Café and Beer Garden

Central Texas attracts visitors for its legendary barbecue and Tex-Mex cuisine, but few know that the region also has deep German roots. They may be familiar with Luckenback, a town made famous by Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson, or know that bustling Fredericksburg is a tourist hub full of antique shops and nearby wineries. But the true heart of the German-Texan community is a little further south in New Braunfels, where many cultural traditions are preserved and celebrated, including the annual Wurstfest. And at the center of it all is Krause’s Café and Biergarten.

Krause’s coffee

Eugene Krause opened the historic restaurant in downtown New Braunfels in 1938 as Gene’s Place and moved it to the location of a former lumber yard in 1943. His son Kermit, who owned and operated a meat market, bought the company in 1959 changing the name to Krause’s Café. . It became a popular place where locals gathered over a beer, card games and dominoes, or to share an afternoon meal. It also housed the iconic ‘Stammtisch’ (German for ‘regulars’ table’) where many of the city’s leaders met and made decisions. Kermit ran the family business until the cafe closed in 1995. He remained almost forgotten for many years until Ron Snider, who had championed the revitalization of downtown New Braunfels for decades, sought to revive and reopen the monument in early 2017.

Antti Jäkälä

Today, the original café serves as an indoor dining room with wooden floors and a warm ambience, honoring the restaurant’s earlier traditions with the addition of a ‘bierhalle’ and ‘biergarten’ which accommodate live music and many family events. creating an Oktoberfest atmosphere all year round. “We are thrilled to bring such an iconic restaurant back to New Braunfels,” says Snider, a fabulous storyteller who is as laid back and personable as his establishment. “We’ve integrated the restaurant into the town’s German traditions, adding banners featuring the coats of arms of New Braunfels’ founding families to the brewery.”

Claudia Alarcon

The bar offers around 80 beers, 70 on tap, with a focus on German beers as well as craft options from the surrounding region. A simple yet thoughtful wine list, including draft selections, is designed to complement an extensive menu that reflects German, Mexican, and South Texas flavors. Executive Chef Jeremy Acuna and staff prepare comfort food using as many local ingredients as possible, including items from vendors who set up shop in Krause’s parking lot for the Saturday Farmer’s Market.

Claudia Alarcon

A plate of smoked, black pepper and jalapeño sausage samples is accompanied by pickles, four house mustards and a basket of Saltines. The creamy potato soup tastes straight out of Oma’s kitchen, while hearty dishes like schweinhaxe – a pork knuckle cooked gently and slowly and served with a hash brown, cabbage sautéed curly and melted leeks – might make you cry with joy. Want a Texas accent? Try Bandera’s grilled quail or a beef stew made with Shiner Bock beef broth. Groups can choose family-style options that feed up to six people, like the Munich platter – pork belly, pork knuckle, chicken cutlet, assorted sausages, sauerkraut, red cabbage and dunkel reduction. For a German-Texan touch, the Solms Platter grilled quail, filet mignon skewers, kartoffel poppers, assorted sausages, barbecue shrimp and Brussels sprouts is a safe bet.

Krause Coffee

Locals are already adopting fun new traditions at their neighborhood beer garden. Jason Hurta of New Braunfels has become national champion in masskrugstemmen, the traditional beer mug holding competition, after winning first place at Krause’s Oktoberfest. And if you’ve never seen dachshunds racing, you have to; Krause’s hosts them four times a year by popular demand.

Krause Coffee

“Krause’s serves as a gathering point for visiting German nationals and ethnic German locals looking for an authentic experience,” says Snider. “In addition to offering our traditional decoration like family flags, entertainment, German bands and year-round cuisine, we also pursue educational opportunities that preserve the German heritage of our community. For example, German lessons are now offered at the biergarten.Krause’s Cafe and Biergarten is a corporate sponsor of the Sophienburg Museum, named after Princess Sophie, wife of New Braunfels founder Prince Carl Solms, and a member of the German Association -American Society of New Braunfels, a group of German immigrants who respect the customs and traditions of their ancestors.

If only every history lesson was this much fun.

Krause Coffee