Black Forest Inn, Minneapolis MN

Our Story

The Black Forest Inn has been owned and operated since May 15, 1965 by Erich Christ and family. Born, raised, and professionally trained in and around Mannheim, Germany, he continues to make our famous Bratwurst and all our German specialties right here in our kitchen from scratch using time-honored southern-German recipes and techniques.

We have always strived to provide excellent, handmade food at an accessible price for as long as we've been open. To that end, our business has steadily expanded from its humble beginnings. Whether through the addition of our beloved outdoor dining area, or selling our spätzle through grocery stores (still only three ingredients!), we are committed to bringing you the very best, most authentic German food we possibly can.

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Our "famous" billboard campaign; 12 years running!

Our restaurant itself has seen many changes over the last fifty years. When it began our kitchen was literally in the front closet, but we started expanding almost immediately. The first decade saw many changes to inside of the restaurant. A new and improved kitchen and later a new bar established roughly the floor-plan we still have today. Then in the mid-seventies, we expanded into the property next door which had fallen into disuse. This became one of the Twin Cities' first outdoor dining patios, the Beer Garden. The eighties and nineties saw our business expand into local grocery stores and the opening of our banquet space next door. After the turn of the century we looked outward. You can now find the Black Forest Inn at nearly every German themed outdoor event in the Twin Cities metro, and a few that aren't that German because they're fun!

Situated near the historic Minneapolis Institute of Art and Minneapolis College of Art and Design, the Black Forest Inn has been steeped in the art and culture of the Twin Cities since it was established. Over the last half-century, the restaurant has become home to the artwork of several notable local artists including, but not limited to, Michael Lynch, Chuck Huntington, Jack Barkla, Bernie Quick, and world-famous photographer Richard Avedon. Additionally, the restaurant's banquet space, the Festsaal, is frequently home to theatrical and musical performances such as recitals and concerts; as well as plays, play readings, and storytelling shows. We not only take great pride in our connection to the artistic community in the Twin Cities, we know our customers appreciate the unique atmosphere it affords our restaurant.

Fifty years is a long time to be in the restaurant industry, and while we've put in a lot of patience, hard work, and good old fashioned stubbornness; we all know that there's no way we could have done it without all of you, our loyal customers. The excellent support we have gotten from the community is both humbling and gratifying, and from the bottoms of our hearts we thank you for fifty years of fun, and eagerly anticipate the next chapter in our story.