an enchanting german cafe + biergarten

by Avivah with Offline

Guglhupf Café & Biergarten 101

Guglhupf: the only thing more delightful than saying its name (google-hoof), is being there. What once started as an authentic Germany bakery and patisserie, is now a beloved local spot known for its striking architecture and exceptional all-day dishes. They’ve recently added a new full-service bar that’s the perfect complement their whimsical Biergarten and expanded Brotzeit menu (an explainer on that later—for now, just trust that you’ll want in on it). Snag a sweet treat and coffee in the AM or escape after work for a cocktail and some innovative eats–no matter the time of day, you’re sure to enjoy outstanding eats and an ever-charming ambiance.

During the day, their a café’ with counter-service, barista bevs, and all-day brunch (!!!), making a great spot for working remote or grabbing a casual bite. In the evening, Guglhupf transforms into a magical, full-service Biergarten with sharable plates, German brews, exquisite entrees, and more. 

BTW, we’re not the only ones fawning over this blissful spot. Guglhupf has been recognized and praised by local and national media–from the Indy to the Food Network and New York Times–for their exquisite German delights.

What to order

Open since 1998, Guglhupf continues to shine by taking local ingredients and giving them a contemporary South German twist. Yeah, you’ll find traditional grilled bratwurst here, but you’ll also discover lots of unexpected dishes too (we’re looking at you celeriac schnitzel). It’s an all scratch-made menu, which changes often based on seasonality.

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Their all-day brunch menu (avail. Tues-Sun, Open-3pm) features everything from sandwiches (shoutout to our fave: the Leberkӓse Sandwich made with traditional German meatloaf, fried egg, Emmenthaler cheese, curry ketchup, and sweet mustard) to local eggs, seasonal salads, hearty entrees. It’s an expansive menu with plenty to choose from (dietary restriction folks and kids, you’re covered too), so you’re sure to find something for everyone in your party. So don’t fret over the multitude of choices—whether you go for simple Bircher Muesli or the elaborate Alsatian Potato Leek Tart, you’re guaranteed a good meal.

The Dönerkebab is—hands down—their top seller. It’s a traditional Turkish-German dish made with warm, griddled pita that’s filled with spiced lamb kebab, feta, garlic-yogurt sauce, and a slew of veggies. This baby ain’t Germany’s number one street food for no reason.

In the evenings, Guglhupf transforms into a Biergarten, which features a dinner menu focused on the concept of Brotzeit, which literally translates to “bread time.” (We’re already sold). It’s a traditional German style of nighttime dining that emphasized breads, charcuterie, cheeses, smoked and marinated fish, and savory spreads. Think of it as the German version of tapas, antipasti, nosh, etc.

And now that Guglhupf has brought (or should we said brot?) Brotzeit stateside, it’s safe to say we’re hooked. Here’s the deal: you choose any meats, cheeses, and/or pâtés (veggie options available) you want, then go to town dunking, spreading and slicing over grilled bread, made in-house. Basically, it’s a BYO board and we’re 100% here for it. 

They also feature a number of small plates that are ideal for sharing. (If you haven’t noticed yet, this is a great group spot) Our faves? We loved the Maultaschen, which is kind of like perogies, but way better. Here, they come with locally-smoked cheese, peas, and a rich caramelized onion broth that’s to die for. Other top contenders include the Messer Steak with a horseradish sabayon and the Seitan, made with smoked shitake mushrooms. 

And if you don’t feel like sharing, they’ve got larger plates with more traditional fare too: grilled knackwurstschnitzel and plenty of other hearty fare you can enjoy all by yourself.

They’ve also got an extensive drink menu full of cafe specialtiesGerman BrewsEastern European wines, and inventive cocktails. During the day, you’ll find all your standard barista drinks (matcha lattes, cold brew, etc) or you can sip on something more interesting, like a homemade organic tangerine-lavender-honey limeade. And if you’re really looking to kick things up a notch, they’ve got a daytime cocktail menu full of easy-drinking German classics and innovative bubbly drinks. Word to the wise: their Carrotmosa is a gamechanger. 

Their evening cocktails are more refined, robust and booze-forward. We’re privy to the Cantaloupe Lime Gimlet with homemade cordial, and the Pink Drink, which features scotch, sherry, grenadine, and lemon. 

On the off-chance you haven’t stuffed yourself silly, do save room dessert. It changes daily, with dangerously tempting homemade options. When in doubt, opt for their namesake dessert: a miniaturized Guglhupf that’s moist, chocolatey and worthy of the reputation that precedes it.

Lastly, it’s worth pointing out that while we’re purely talking about the restaurant here, the bakery is not to be missed. You can’t use your Offline offer there since they’re actually entirely different entities, but just look at these baked goods and try to tell us you don’t want to pop inside the shop next door. They make 300+ different types of bread each year (including a super authentic Rye Bread), plus cakes, pastries, cookies, and more. 

Pro Tips

  • They don’t advertise them, but they do offer daily lunch specials. While you won’t know exactly what they’re cooking up until you get there, you do know it’ll be damn good. 
  • Dinner and Brunch are SUPER busy. Reservations for dinner are highly recommended but they don’t take any reservations for brunch (but we promise it’s worth the wait!).
  • The patio is both dog and family-friendly, so if you’re not into dining with little creatures, it’s probably best to sit inside.  
  • Tucked inside the bakery, they’ve got specialty grocery items you won’t find elsewhere. The hunt for clotted cream and Schaller + Webber Pâté is over! 
  • A warning: the bakery closes at night so if you were planning on coming for dinner and snagging some dessert to-go on the way home, you’ll find yourself out of luck. 
  • While it’s totally cool if you work there during the day if you’re there for too long (I.E. approaching dinner time), they may ask you to move. 
  • They’ve got a NO LAPTOPS ON THE WEEKEND policy. Put the work away and enjoy yourself, hunny.