Friday 4th January 2013
To avoid confusion, let me say that this pub is named after the neighbourhood that it is located in. It's a stone's throw from the Marienplatz, which is the lower terminus of the impressive Stuttgart rack railway.
I first became aware of this pub whilst reading Steve Thomas's excellent Good Beer Guide to Germany in which there is a section with various city guides. The attraction is not necessarily its beer selection, yet that is perfectly acceptable, but is more about the feel and atmosphere the pub exudes.
It is reassuring that a pub like this still exists. Once there were many more like it, but a lot in German cities have either closed completely, turned into ethnic restaurants or have become mini-casinos full of slot machines. It's a rather familiar story. This pub however, appears to be the centre of the local community, as people drop in for one beer or stay longer. When I visited there were groups of customers playing cards and some were dining. The age range was completely across the board with some local residents who had probably been coming here all their lives to groups of students.
The pub is on the corner of a typically turn-of-the-century tenement block. Inside there is the main bar room and two ante-rooms at each end, one of which contained a pool table and in which smoking was permitted. I was joined by fellow imbiber Steve, whom I had loosely arranged to meet that evening.
As alluded to earlier, the beer range is solid without being exceptional. There were three German beers to choose from, all from the very local Dinkelacker brewery. They had their Privat Hell, CD Pils and Sanwald Hefe Weizen. If you had a bit of spare cash there was also Guinness available. We stayed on the Privat all night and it was served without any additional CO2, just as nature (and the brewer) intended.
The pub is only open at lunchtimes between Monday and Friday and in the evenings all week. See below for the full details. Food at lunch-time consists of a different menu of specials for each day, Monday to Friday. In the evening there is a fixed menu that consists of pasta dishes including the local Maultaschen (like large ravioli) or Flammkuchen, which are thin flat breads as large as pizzas, spread with cream and yoghurt plus your toppings of choice, then oven baked. There are also some cold sausage dishes.
If you are a pub person, you will like Lehen.
Das Lehen, Lehenstrasse 13, Stuttgart-Lehen 70180. Tel: 0711 640 7291
Open: Monday to Thursday 11.45-14.15, 17.00-01.00; Friday 11.45-14.15, 17.00-02.00;
Saturday 17.00-02.00; Sunday 17.00-01.00
The kitchen is open Lunchtimes: Monday to Friday 11.45-14.00;
Evenings (all days): 18.00-22.30
Marienplatz station is on U-Bahn (Metro) lines U1 and U14 and is about five minutes away. Marienplatz, above ground, is also served by the Stuttgart Rack Railway (Zahnradbahn), also known as line U10.
There are many ways to leave Marienplatz, but you have to find Filderstrasse. Look for the street underneath the road bridge, close to where the rack railway climbs up the hill. Walk along Filderstrasse and turn first right into Lehenstrasse. Walk up the hill and the pub is on the next left-hand corner.
Update October 2017. Hours: Monday to Thursday: 17.00-01.00; Friday: 11.30-02.00;
Saturday: 17.00-02.00; Sunday: 11.30-23.00.
Because of these changes, references above to lunchtime meals only apply to Friday and Sunday.