Meaning “sausage kitchen” in German, fast-casual Wurstküche serves a variety of encased meats and imported German brews to customers in Denver and the Los Angeles area. With over 1,000 Yelp! reviews for its two California locations, the popular brand is seeking to introduce a third market to its sausages and beer, possibly Chicago. Here’s what makes Wurstküche a concept to watch.
A focused menu
Sausage, beer and fries—these three components are the foundation of Wurstküche’s menu, whose limited scope allows the concept to play to its strengths and establish itself as a destination for sausage- and beer-lovers. The brand’s Belgian-style fries, served with an optional truffle glaze and a choice of housemade dipping sauces like curry ketchup and pesto mayonnaise, have garnered a cult following.
Those unwilling to dine on snake or rabbit, even in familiar sausage form, can order a traditional Bratwurst or Italian sausage. The concept also offers a selection of gourmet sausages in varieties like Chicken Apple & Spices and Sun Dried Tomato & Mozzarella for those seeking elevated flavors without the exotic meats. In true California fashion, Wurstküche caters to non-meat eaters by offering vegan sausages in flavors like Smoked Apple Sage and Mexican Chipotle.
Patrons can pair sausages with their choice of beer, all but a handful of which are imported from Germany and Belgium, and served in the appropriate beer glasses for each brand. While “local” is a key buzzword right now, Wurstküche’s global beer list is a refreshing option amid competitors primarily serving domestic and local brews. Adding to the German theme, the lively restaurants resemble German beer halls, featuring an open layout and long communal tables with seating for up to 200.
Wurstküche’s restaurants are ideal for group occasions, thanks to their large spaces and variety of food and beverage options. Units commonly host large parties—during which guests can sample a range of menu items—and late-night hours spotlighting onsite DJs make the locations popular beyond traditional dayparts.
With its focus on German fare and beer-hall format, Wurstküche taps into a market not yet breached by fast casuals. Additionally, the concept foregoes casting itself as “the Chipotle of” a specific cuisine type, eschewing the assembly-line format in favor of something truly unique: a simple menu of sausage, fries and beer. Guests have some opportunity to customize, but the limited menu takes the tough work out of selecting something to eat.