Broom on the house. What is Besen?

Last Updated on June 26, 2022

Riddle from the series “Do you know Germany well?”

What do the owners want to say if they hang a broom on the house?

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In fact, this is a eatery that only locals often know about, because it may not have absolutely any signs on it and it may not appear on the list of restaurants.

As, for example, in village where we lived. There is a farm with cows, near city center. Periodically, this farm is occupied by long lines of cars that park on all possible sidewalks and in alleys during the day and evening, creating problems for both pedestrians and cars on the narrow street.

Occasionally coming on this “gathering” in the evening, I thought for a long time that some kind of young people lived there, that love parties. But then I had to walk by regularly, pick up the child from the kindergarden, and then it became obvious that these “parties” were daily, and the clink of the washed dishes clearly indicated that this was a canteen.


Eateries of this type are called Besenwirtschaft (in other regions also Kranzwirtschaft, Radlewirtschaft, Hackerwirtschaft). Local dishes are prepared there, often from local (or even their own) ingredients, and washed down with wine of their own production.

Actually, the desire to get rid of own wine is the main driving force of Besen. If you really know Germany, then you know, that Germany is not only beer country. Wine production is since Romans hier und quite popular (on the west und south – in the border of Roman part (Limes)).

Besen work not all year round, but in 1-2 weeks periods in spring, summer and autumn. The fact that the Besen is open is indicated by the hanging broom. A flashlight can also be suspended from the broomstick.

If you come across such a house somewhere in a small town, with one broom and no advertising signs, then you can be sure that the food there is good, and it will be very authentic.

Hope for good luck, but don’t make a mistake yourself. To be sure to get to such a restaurant, look for Besenkalender in the region you want. You can find it in Baden-Würrtemberg, Hessen, Rheinland-Pfalz, Main Region in Bavaria.

All topics about traditions in Germany – #tradition

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