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Here Are the Must-Hit Oktoberfest 2023 Parties in San Francisco and the Bay Area

Here are all the parties, biergartens, and steins to indulge in throughout NorCal for Oktoberfest 2023

Time to raise a stein during Oktoberfest in the Bay Area.
Sierra Nevada
Paolo Bicchieri is a reporter at Eater SF writing about Bay Area restaurant and bar trends, coffee and cafes, and pop-ups.

It’s that time of year again, the time of year when fans of hitting the darty before eating chewy pretzels dipped in cheese can let loose and let live. That’s right: Oktoberfest 2023 is upon us. While the Bay Area might not be Munich, Bavaria, it is a dining and drinking destination for a reason, and from the North Bay to Redwood City to San Jose there are parties, biergartens, and beer releases to appease any hardcore schnitzel savant. Here are all the finest ways to partake in the German festival in Northern California.

Check out these Oktoberfest parties in the Bay Area

In San Francisco, the city’s western-most brewery Park Chalet is hosting Oktoberfest in the Park, a.k.a. Parktoberfest, on Friday, September 22 from 5 to 9 p.m. Silicon Valley’s German music band Alpine Sounds will start ripping at 6 p.m., and head brewer Marco Tapiz will pour exclusive beers throughout the night. Yes, there’ll be a steinholding competition with a prize for the winner, and Oktoberfest-inspired menu items including a schnitzel plate and soft pretzels with beer cheese will be served all day long. Tickets go for $48 a person with reservations for groups up to six available, too.

Also in the city, the 130-year-old German restaurant Schroeder’s is hosting another over-the-top party on Friday, September 15 from 3 p.m. until closing. The FiDi bar is closing down the block on Front Street and hosting three outdoor beer gardens, with DJ Jerry Ross spinning and band Pop Rocks taking the stage at 5 p.m. At 8 p.m. the party moves inside, where the music and drinking will continue. The event is free to attend with beer and dishes — including the classic bratwurst in a pretzel bun and less classic Kartoffel tots with caraway sea salt — available to order a la carte.

A group of people. Sierra Nevada Brewing

Sierra Nevada Brewing’s Chico brewery is throwing a lederhosen-laden Oktoberfest 2023 part,y and there are simply so many wacky things going on at the event. At the company’s Festival Field, fans can not only get litty on brew, but also enjoy food such as brats and pretzels, live music, glass-blowing demos, and even a Chicken Dance and mustache competition. The party is on for multiple days of the Oktoberfest season — September 29 and 30, and again October 6 and 7 — and while Saturdays are sold out Friday tickets are available for $60.

Also further afield, Benicia is ringing in its third annual Oktoberfest on Saturday, September 16. Tickets cost $10 in advance or $15 at the door for the block party on the corner of 1st and East B streets. Redwood City’s Oktoberfest stays strong from September 20 to September 24, with tickets for myriad events costing $10-17 for all ages, and $16-27 for those 21 and older. Just outside San Jose, Campbell’s Oktoberfest goes hard October 21 and 22 starting at 10 a.m. both days.

Fill up a stein at one of these biergartens

There are plenty of places to enjoy Oktoberfest vibes without dressing up or buying a ticket. Temescal Brewing’s taproom is open every day in Oakland, with rotating food trucks parked outside, and Bayview’s Speakeasy Ales & Lagers keeps the good times going on the regular, too. Not so much a garden, but recently reborn Enterprise Brewing is up and running, and even hosting guests on Howard Street for an Oktoberfest BYO stein party on September 23.

Zeitgeist might be San Francisco’s spiciest and vibiest beer garden. While there are no events on the calendar for Oktoberfest so far, the Valencia Street hangout is open to event inquiries and ideal for big groups. Mission Bay’s Spark Social is great for taking the gang outdoors for a few brews, but the food truck park is hosting its Fall Cider Fest in November rather than an Oktoberfest engagement. Still, both venues are open to guests and events of all stripes throughout the fall.

Less a biergarten and more a glittering coastal beer haven, Fort Mason’s Radhaus has daily specials running September 16 to October 3 including smoked bier, $5 half liters of beer, cookies at sunset, and free face painting on Saturdays. Treasure Island’s Woods Island Club threw its shindig in early September but remains an ideal place to kick back with a beer by the Bay. And Gilroy’s first-ever beer garden Bitter TapHouse opened in May 2023 for those traipsing along Highway 1 this fall.

Save the date for these seasonal releases

It’s not Oktoberfest without local breweries trying out a few new concoctions. Sierra Nevada’s seasonal Oktoberfest Lager is available for the season, with plenty flowing at the aforementioned party in Chico. In addition to the block party, Schroeder’s is unveiling its 130th Anniversary German Pilsner created by East Brother Beer Company. And San Francisco’s 21st Amendment Brewing just released its fall-tastic Pumpkin Haze IPA, too.