It all started in 1952 when Josef Bischof, a German developer, came to California with the dream of bringing a piece of his homeland with him. He fell in love with Huntington Beach (like anyone would), and he and his family built 50 homes and shops in their traditional Bavarian style. Old World opened its doors in 1978, and it’s still a thriving shopping center today.
The Old World German Restaurant & Bakery will tempt you with the scents of freshly baked bread and pastries. Stop by for a bratwurst lunch or some apple strudel.
The imported lanterns, cobblestone streets, vibrant murals and garden gazebo add authenticity to this charming German village.
Some German traditions are still honored here. On Sundays in October you can celebrate Kinderfest, a family-friendly affair with wiener dog races, carnival games, face painting, and the Chicken Dance.
Photo credit: Old World Facebook
Needless to say, Old World really comes alive during Oktoberfest, which typically goes from the mid September until the first weekend in November. Drinking ice cold German beer, enjoying hot pretzels and other German fare, doing shots of Jagermeister and enjoying live music makes for an unforgettable experience.
The shops in the village are filled with all kinds of artisanal products like brats, cold cuts and fine cheeses. You’ll find plenty of holiday gifts and souvenirs ranging from crystal and clocks to Birkenstocks.
Photo credit: Old World Yelp
You might even see Josef Bischof himself. Though his wife passed away in 2010, he and some of his family members still reside on the property.
The next time you’re in Huntington Beach, stop by Old World and explore. You’ll feel like you’re in a beautiful Bavarian village that just happens to have sunny California weather.