The month of October is just days away, and that means it's time to make plans for Oktoberfest! In Southwest Florida, there’s plenty of opportunities to enjoy this worldwide celebration of great beer, fall food, and bountiful harvest. Here are three local events to consider attending.
1. Cape Coral Oktoberfest
2101 SW Pine Island Rd
Cape Coral, FL
17 miles from Springs at Six Mile Cypress
This family-friendly celebration is organized by the German American Social Club and takes place over two weekends: October 21 to 23 and October 28 to 30. There will be live music on two stages with performances from several German bands. On Saturday October 23, the Kellyn Celtic Dancers perform at 2:30 p.m., and Lee County Pipes & Drums take the stage at 3 p.m.
One of the best attractions, of course, is the food. You'll find sausage platters, bratwurst, and German potato pancakes along with some American fare. Cape Coral Oktoberfest boasts an outdoor biergarten where authentic German wine, beer, and spirits are served, as well as a carnival area offering rides and games for the kids along with handmade crafts, beer steins, and other memorabilia for sale.
2. Austrian-German Restaurant
Royal Palm Square Center
1400 Colonial Blvd
Fort Myers, FL
13 miles from Springs at Six Mile Cypress
Oktoberfest gives you the perfect excuse to visit this culinary masterpiece in Fort Myers. Austrian-German restaurant offers authentic Austrian and German cuisine in a fine dining atmosphere. The pork schnitzel, apple strudel, and German potato salad all have quite a following, and everything is made in-house.
Outside, you'll find a beer garden, which is the perfect place to enjoy a pint (or three) in honor of Oktoberfest. The owners have carefully crafted their draft menu, and also offer a great selection of German wines for the non-beer-drinkers in your group. Sausages and some other basic fare is available in the beer garden, but if you want to dine inside, reservations are highly recommended.
3. Duke of Germany
3816 Chiquita Blvd
Cape Coral, FL
22 miles from Springs at Estero
Family owned and operated, Duke of Germany opened in 2010 and focuses on bringing homemade German cuisine and beer to Southwest Florida. Bratwurst, schnitzel, and sauerbraten are all prepared daily, and customers love the traditional pureed potato soup. The restaurant has a family-friendly atmosphere and even offers a kids' menu with selections like bratwurst and potato pancakes. From 4 to 5:30 p.m., you can enjoy an Early Bird Special discount on all schnitzel entrees.
If you really feel like pushing your limits, take on the Meter Bratwurst Challenge. It's a full meter of bratwurst with mashed potatoes, sauerkraut, and beer. If you eat it all, you get a free beer and a certificate hung on the wall.
Whether you love beer or just German food, this is the time of year to enjoy it to your heart's content. If you dine at one of these restaurants or attend the Cape Coral Oktoberfest, we'd love for you to share your experience in the comments below.