The ‘Straussenwirtschaft’

It is about time to introduce something very popular for locals and tourists in our area of Germany.

The so called ‘Straussenwirtschaften’ (Strauße, Straußior you may also hear people calling them ‘Besenwirstchaften’ are pop up restaurants (often in a barn, a living room or any other make-shift restaurant area) in Spring as well as in Autumn, serving their own wine and local food. The word ‘Strauße’ comes from the fact that in old times people would tidy up their living room and then hang out a bouquet or a wreath to signal to people the opening of the pop up restaurant.

Straußen‘ do not count as a proper gastronomic businesses, meaning they do not need a licence nor pay extra tax. However, they are subject to some regulation. One has to say though that different regions in Germany have slightly different laws regarding the Straußen. The most common laws are:

  • They are only allowed to open 4 months per year
  • They are only allowed to have a maximum of 40 sitting places. This is somewhat interesting though because there is no law to say how many people are allowed to squeeze on one bench or stand around on the premises 😉 therefore feel free to loiter around on the premises of a Strauße, without sitting down ;).
  • The third main rule is that the Straußen have to sell mostly their own produce (wine and food). One owner of a Strauße told us 50% of what they sell has to be their own produce (this is mostly the wine and the also vegetables, cheese and sausage).

We really got into visiting a lot of these restaurants this Spring.  It is a way to enjoy local wine and food in a relaxed atmosphere.  The food served is simple (for example Flammkuchen, asparagus, cheese and meat platters, sausages) but most often very well prepared. Often there are sitting places outside, set amid vines. Could not be a better way to enjoy the warm Spring evenings!

We have found three Straußen in our area which we have been going to many times now and would recommend to people:

Berner’s Strausse, Mauchen

Weingut Wiesler, Staufen

Probst’s Strausse, Staufen (however, it must be said, this is the oldest Strausse in the Markgräflerland which has by now turned into an actual restaurant)

Therefore, if you ever come to the black forest area of Germany in Spring or Autumn, enjoy the countryside, wine and food by doing a tour of these pop up restaurants 🙂

 

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