Classics Revisited: Old Europe

The restaurant world is notoriously fickle, but these15 places—all a half century old or more—have withstood the test of time.


An array of sausages with mustard, sauerkraut, and potato dumplings at Old Europe. Photograph by Scott Suchman

About Old Europe


2434 Wisconsin Ave NW
Washington, DC 20007
NW Northwest Dr
Silver Spring, MD

The name doesn’t lie at this Bavarian stalwart. Enter to the tune of the pianist playing waltzes and you’re transported both to the Fatherland and the restaurant’s inaugural year in 1948. The walls remain hung with a clutter of oil paintings, decorative plates, family crests, and a cuckoo clock, while wooden model ships float from the ceiling. Waitresses in dirndls roam the room carrying liter steins of weissbier.

It’s tempting to fill up on baskets of dark rye bread slathered with schmaltz, but remember that most dishes here are fit for winter on the Rhine. Crisp potato pancakes crowned with chunky applesauce and house-smoked fish are both satisfyingly restrained ways to start. Classic Wiener is the best of the schnitzels; a spritz of lemon is a better complement to the pounded veal’s crisp crust than the hollandaise offered on one variation.

Sample the many wursts in a sausage combo with house-made brats, rustic bauernwurst, and creamy veal weisswurst served alongside potato dumplings and tangy sauerkraut. We could eat a plate of such sides, including cheese spaetzle, cooked red cabbage, and bacon-studded potato salad. Meals end with a fitting Old World touch: a dessert tray that tempts with the likes of warm apple strudel, followed by a spin of a “schnapps wheel” to let fate determine your digestif.

Open Tuesday through Sunday for lunch and dinner.

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