German Food: Must-Taste Dishes & Drinks

German Food:

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Last updated:
04.04.2022

Fairytale castles, gorgeous nature, unique culture, historical towns - Germany is an outstanding European destination to set off on a journey to. Luckily, yummy German cuisine is just as rich as the country's heritage. In this piece, we'd like to take a closer look at the delicious things to eat and drink during your Germany travel.

German Cuisine & Delicious German Dishes

First thing's first, it must be mentioned that the gastronomy in Germany varies depending on region and is quite diverse.

Meat dishes

In general, traditional cuisine tends to have "heavy" high-calorie foods and recipes dominate the menu. Of course, the number one dish to taste in Germany is the legendary Wiener Schnitzel, this delicious flat meat, often veal, is a "must".

Grilled or fried German sausages, such as Bratwurst and the renown Currywurst, are a great choice as well. Roasted Sauerbraten made of different meat is surely among the unmissable German food dishes to have while you're visiting the country.

Hamburg is the second-largest city in Germany and is believed to be the origin of the popular American dish, Hamburgers. According to various references, the first "Hamburg steak" was served between two pieces of bread on the Hamburg America Line, the transatlantic shipping line connecting Germany and America. A mixture of ground beef and pork is usually used in hamburger recipes.

The typical German dish consists of thinly sliced beef or veal, mustard, and pickles wrapped in bacon, onions, and mustard. Rouladen is also considered to be part of traditional Polish cuisine in the Upper Silesia region.

Wiener Schnitzel

Leberkese

The name of this dish translates as "liver cheese", although in fact it is something like meat bread. Leberkese is popular in the south of Germany. As a rule, it is prepared from salted beef, but sometimes pork and onions are added. Small minced meat is baked in a mold until a brown crust appears.

Leberkese is an ancient dish: its author is considered to be a butcher, whom Elector Karl Theodor brought to Bavaria in 1776. Leberkese, which German guests consider a real delicacy, is served as a full-fledged hot dish with scrambled eggs and potato salad or as a cold appetizer with pickled cucumbers.

Leberkese

Maultaschen

The name of the traditional German dish means — dumplings, and their recipe is as follows — knead the dough, prepare a filling of minced meat, bacon, pork, and spices. Then the filling is wrapped in small envelopes, which are boiled in meat broth. Maultaschen is served as a first course, thanks to which you can "warm-up" before hearty second courses and traditional desserts.

Maultaschen

Quick Germany Facts

  • Location: Western Europe
  • Capital: Berlin
  • Population: 83.02 million
  • Currency: Euro (EUR)
  • Member of EU: since 1957

Apart from meat, potatoes are among the basics too, thus local dumplings, fries, and Bratkartoffeln are a perfect fit and side dish.

Snacks

As for snacks, make sure to stop by a bakery to taste a large German Pretzel. The origins of this salted pastry go way back and are highly popular in numerous German regions, especially in Bavaria. Often served as an appetizer, they are usually soft and large, similar to bagels.

pretzel

Flammkuchen

Germany has its own pizza analogue – Flammkuchen, or "Fire Pie". A thin layer of dough is covered with bacon, onion, and cream cheese and then baked on an open fire. Nowadays, the traditional recipe of Flammkuchen has been supplemented, and now ham, chicken, and other ingredients are added to the filling. You can try this dish while walking around the city and admiring the sights of Germany or when visiting an authentic restaurant. In general, you can enjoy Flammkuchen in any German city and compare the recipe of which region you like the most.

Flammkuchen

Fact:
Unsalted pretzels have earned the nickname of “baldies.”

Rippchen

Listing everything eaten in Germany with beer and served as a snack, it is impossible not to mention the famous ribs - German Rippchen. For a long time, the sternum was considered one of the most "useless" parts of the carcass and was used only for cooking broths. But in the 50s of the last century, one of the German butchers found an old recipe for cooking ribs on a "slow" fire. Since then, not only Germans have been drinking beer with this unpretentious dish, but also fans of foam in other countries.

Rippchen

Fact:
There is an unspoken tradition to order ribs, not in portions but "meters" in Germany.

Desserts

For dessert, save some room for a mouth-watering rum cake, called Rumkuchen.

This German Käsekuchen (German Cheesecake) is made with homemade Quark cheese (or store-bought Quark) and lemon flavoring. Just one bite will make you think you're in Germany!

You won't go wrong by having a slice of the delicious Black Forest cake either. This traditional chocolate cake with a sweet cherry filling is among the most authentic German dessert recipies.

black forest cake

Stollen Cupcake

The Stollen cupcake is a classic Christmas treat. The cake contains many spices, spices, raisins, nuts, and candied fruits. The dessert is generously sprinkled with powdered sugar on top so that the cupcake resembles a newborn Jesus Christ wrapped in a white diaper.

For the first time, the dish was prepared in 1329. The recipe caused many complaints because the dough's uncomplicated taste from oats, water, and flour did not impress the demanding Germans. After all, it was decided to add butter to the dough and flavor the cupcake with spices and candied fruits. This is how this dessert has come down to our days, and to try it is the must-have of your journey through Christmas Germany.

Stollen Cupcake

Lübecker Marzipan

Marzipan is present in many national cuisines, and countries are arguing about the importance of its creation. But if you are in Germany, you have to try German desserts called marzipans, the capital of which is considered to be Lubeck. Very high requirements are put forward for the quality of Lubeck marzipan: it should contain no more than 30% sugar. The rest is almond paste. But many manufacturers have set even stricter limits for themselves, so there is even less sugar in their sweets and various marzipan sweets. As a result, German marzipans are considered one of the best in Europe. After trying it once, you will fall in love with them forever!

Lübecker Marzipan

German Wine

A glass of fine German wine is for sure something you should have during your Germany trip. The country is #10 among the planet's biggest wine producers and there's a total of 13 German wine regions, the most famous of them is Franconia. Moreover, the region of Baden-Baden allures travelers not only with its healing thermal areas and the Black Forest but also with its high-class wine.

The tradition of wine-making in Germany boasts centuries of history. Among the wine highlights of the country are the white Riesling wine, the red Spätburgunder, and sweet ice wine called Eiswein. If you're among the people who prefer the bubbly, treat yourself to some Sekt.

German wine

Traditional German Drinks

Contrary to common belief, the most popular drink of Germans is actually coffee, not beer, not wine, nor any other! Didn't see that one coming, huh?

German drink culture is very developed and varied, therefore, you'll definitely find a beverage to complement your meal or brighten up your evening after a day of rich sightseeing. Numerous popular cocktails are made with the base of Brandy, cognac, and German liquors, we advise tasting the cocktail Asbach Alexander.

A sip of refreshing German punch, called Bowle, or some Apfelwein apple cider (a Frankfurt specialty) is a great idea as well. Plus, who hasn’t heard of Schnaps? A shot of this fruity beverage is a must-do.

And those who plan to go to this country during the Christmas season should surely taste the local winter specialties: mulled wine, which they call Gluhwein, as well as the special hot wine plus rum punch, Feuerzangenbowle.

Apfelwein

German Beer

The overview of German drinks, of course, wouldn't be complete without the mentioning of beer. This beverage has for centuries been integral in Germany as back in the day it was even considered beneficial for health purposes.

Not many people know this but before the 20th century water in Europe wasn’t always pure and safe to drink, thus its further processing, for instance, in breweries was not only a craft, it was somewhat a necessity. Nevertheless, German mineral water is of great quality today. It's no surprise that among the world’s beer nations, Germany proudly ranks among the top positions.

Not only do locals annually consume about 100 liters (about 26 gallons) per person on average but they are also proud of the country's shocking number of around five thousand German beer brands.

Among the best-known ones are the German beer Steins, Paulaner, Kolsch (produced in Cologne), Augustiner, Berlin's Berliner Weisse, Erdinger, Bavarian Hefeweizen, and numerous German Pilsners are just the tip of the iceberg.

German Beer

Best-known German beers:

  • Steins
  • Paulaner
  • Kolsch
  • Augustiner
  • Berliner Weisse
  • Erdinger
  • Hefeweizen
  • Pilsner

Apart from the big names, "Bier" enthusiasts are also welcome to taste many of the types of beers crafted in small breweries across the country. There are about 1500 of them dotting Germany, therefore, no matter which part of this European beauty is on your travel radar, you'll always have a chance for unique high-quality beer tasting.

And by "high-quality" we really mean the real deal thing as the German law of beer purity, Reinheitsgebot, which has been around for about 500 years, states that if the drink isn't made only of water, yeast, hops, and barley, it’s not beer. What does that mean? That ordering German beer even in a small privately owned brewery somewhere in the tiniest village you avoid artificial components.

Basically, no trip to Germany would be complete without a glass of local beer, there are even special German beer tours!

Not to mention the beer event which has gained world popularity and welcomes thousands of visitors from across the globe, the famous German beer festival, Oktoberfest, held every year in the Bavarian city of Munich in autumn. And it's needless to say that it is by far not the only beer fair and festival in Germany which you can visit.

German Beer

A trip to Germany is certainly an experience you'll remember for years in terms of pretty much everything: gastronomy, sightseeing, culture, and more. Browse our Firebird selection of tailor-made Germany vacation packages and don't hesitate to contact our expert travel specialists who'd love to help you build the perfect worry-free program you've been dreaming of.