Adding to Footscray’s rich multicultural heritage is the popular German themed restaurant The German Cafe at 79 Paisley Street. Located opposite the library, the Café was established in June 2020 by Herbert Hahn and his wife Susanne first as Café Hahn, later renamed The German Café as people had difficulties saying Hahn. 

    Translated, Hahn means Rooster. A proud Rooster is standing in front of the Coffee Machine, along with the chooks which apparently were handed from owner to owner. During lock down the German couple changed the interior to being cosy and unique with a calming Forest room in the back where people can relax and forget the busy life outside.

    The Christmas-village on display in the window for Xmas in July adds to the ambience and it will be back for the coming Christmas season so come and have a look. 

    Herbert learned to be a pastry chef in Germany and migrated to Australia in 2000 working as a plumber, his other trade. Unfortunately, in 2014 a back injury prevented Herbert from continuing in plumbing. Working as a volunteer in a nursing home and at a radio station he got back to his hobby of making cakes. In 2018 Herbert painted a chocolate rendition of the RRR Radio station presenter’s face Steven Walker on a cake made for him.

    In 2020 the dream of having a café to be able to make cakes became true and for that Footscray can be very grateful! 

    As you would expect, the German Cafe specialises in German food with a rich variety of German delicacies on the menu. These include kransky with sauerkraut, bratwurst in a roll with mustard, Berlin style currywurst (pork sausage with curry Worcester shire sauce), kaese spaetzle (German style pasta with cheese sauce) and jaegerschnitzel (German style chicken schnitzel). There is also a wide range of vegan options on offer. To quench your thirst The German Café has a large assortment of beverages including various types of coffee, milkshakes and soft drinks. The German Café is a fully licenced restaurant where you can enjoy a glass of beer or wine with meals. 

    The German Café’s real specialty, though, is Herbert’s rich tapestry of cakes. Herbert takes great pride in his work which, amongst other creations, includes his wondrous black forest cake, buttercream cake, cheesecakes and B52 cocktail in a cake (not for youngsters!!). 

    The German Café caters for all tastes and requirements in cakes and takes orders for Brandy Christmas Cakes or Cocktail New Year celebrations cake, birthdays and other occasions (adult only cakes are especially popular with a little something ‘extra’ in them!). Herbert has a very simple perspective about his cakes – they are there to be eaten and make people happy! 

    Although The German Café’s current hours are 9am – 5pm on Mondays to Fridays (with an extensive breakfast menu including German options) Herbert and Susanne plan to transition to open in the evenings for dinner. Watch this space.

    The café can also be booked for after-hours functions such as birthdays etc.

    The wide range of customers The German Café gets from the library, nearby medical clinics and people passing by is testimony to Herbert and Susanne’s philosophy of providing an enjoyable gourmet experience. Footscray is all the better for that! 


    The German Café
    79 Paisley Street, Footscray
    Instagram: @germancafemelbourne



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