German Food – 15 Traditional dishes to Eat in Germany

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Want to know more about German Food? I’ve traveled around quite a lot in Germany and have had my fair share of traditional food from Germany, and there are so many nice dishes and flavors to experience. 

When speaking of German food, most people tend to think of sausages, beer, and sauerkraut, but that’s not all that this wonderful country has to offer your taste buds. Each region has its own traditional recipes and dishes, but there are also some national dishes that are eaten all over Germany. 

To make things a bit easier for your trip I will share what to eat in drink in Germany. I will also tell you some more information about German Cuisine as well as where you can eat traditional food from Germany. 

Food from Germany

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List of traditional food from Germany

Rouladen

A list of traditional German food wouldn’t be complete without the mention of Rouladen. Rouladen is a typical German dinner, often served with potato dumplings, red cabbage and gravy. It can also be served with vegetables or mashed potatoes.

The rolls are made of thin beef slices that are rolled around bacon, pickles, onions, and mustard before they are roasted with red wine. It’s a time-consuming dish to prepare, but it’s definitely a traditional food from Germany that you should eat while visiting.

The origin of Rouladen is unknown, but it has been a common German dish for centuries. 

Rouladen - traditional german food

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Sauerbraten

Sauerbraten is considered as the national food of Germany, and unless you’re vegetarian or vegan, you should definitely have yourself some sauerbraten when you travel to Germany. 

It’s a true traditional German food that takes quite a lot of time to prepare. It’s made of meat, which is cooked slowly in the oven for hours and results in soft and tender meat that will give you an amazing culinary experience.

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Sauerbraten is usually served with potato dumplings, boiled potatoes or spätzle, Rotkohl (red cabbage), and sauce. 

Sauerbraten

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Spätzle

Spätzle is made from eggs, flour, salt and a dash of fizzy water. It’s a kind of pasta, and Spätzle is usually served as a side dish, and it can also come topped with cheese.

Spätzle

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German Sausages

When it comes to food from Germany, the sausages is one of the most classic samples, and they come in several varieties. The most recent introduction to the German sausages is the Currywurst, which has quickly become a countrywide favorite. 

Some other classic sausages that you should eat in Germany include the following: 

  • Currywurst
  • Bratwurst
  • Frankfurter
  • Weisswurst
  • Nürnberger Rostbratwurst
  • Blutwurst
  • Landjäger
Currywurst

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Jägerschnitzel

Schnitzel originated in Austria but is still considered as a traditional food of Germany and you can find it served in restaurants all over the country.

One of the most common German variants is Jägerschnitzel, which is schnitzel in mushroom sauce, often served with potatoes or sauerkraut. 

Jägerschnitzel

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Schweinshaxe

Schweinshaxe, also known as pork knuckle is one of the most traditional dishes from Germany, especially in the region of Bavaria. It’s usually served with potatoes and some type of cabbage.

The meat is marinated for days before it’s finally roasted at low temperatures for a few hours.

Schweinshaxe

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Kartoffelpuffer

A fried potato pancake that can be served with eggs for breakfast, but also with applesauce and sour cream.

Kartoffelpuffer

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Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut is basically fermented cabbage and it has a special place in German cuisine, but it didn’t originate here although Sauerkraut is a German word.

It is believed that the Mongol emperor Ghengis Khan brought it to Europe, but nonetheless, today it’s one of the most traditional foods from Germany, and you should definitely have some while visiting. 

Sauerkraut

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Maultaschen

Another traditional German dish that originated in the Swabian region. It’s basically a kind of pasta dough, which is filled with meat, spinach, bread crumbs, onions, and various herbs and spices.

Maultaschen

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Flammkuchen

Flammkuchen (French: Tarte flambée) is basically the German version of pizza. The dish originated in Baden and is considered a specialty of Baden-Württemberg and Rheinland-Pfalz as well as the Alsace region.

Flammkuchen

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Hasenpfeffer

I love a good old’ stew and Hasenpfeffer is one of my favorite German dishes. It’s a rabbit stew where the meat is braised with wine and onions before it’s cooked for hours.

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It has a very rich flavor and tender meat. 

Hasenpfeffer

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Königsberger Klopse

This dish is traditionally made of finely minced veal that is made into meatballs, but it’s also common to use beef or pork. The meatballs are usually served with potatoes in white sauce with capers.

Königsberger Klopse

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Eintopf

Eintopf is yet another traditional food from Germany that you should try if you like stews. There are many regional versions of Eintopf, but it’s typically made with a variety of vegetables and some kind of meat.

Eintopf

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Leberkäse

Leberkäse is not really a meal in itself, but rather served as a snack in Germany with mustard and bread. The literal translation is liver cheese, and by German food laws, at least 4% of the Leberkäse has to consist of liver.

Basically, Leberkäse is a type of meatloaf made from pork. 

Leberkäse

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Brezel

The German Brezel, known internationally as pretzel is a type of baked bread with salt. It’s one of the most traditional snacks in Germany, and you can find it freshly baked in any Lidl store, and various small brezel shops around the country.

Brezel

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Where to eat traditional food in Germany

If you travel to the southern part of the country, I suggest visiting a Biergarten (Beer Garden) which is a place where you can eat traditional food from Germany and drink local beer. They are also known for having live music and a lively atmosphere with shared tables. 

In other parts of Germany, it’s a good choice to eat at a Gasthaus, which is a German-style tavern. Often, they will serve a traditional German meal of the day, and the dishes are likely to be homecooked. 

Of course, there are also lots of German restaurants which serves traditional food from Germany, although restaurants in bigger cities often serve international food. 

Where to eat traditional food in Germany

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More about German Food and the cuisine

Traditional German food is quite simple in appearance and isn’t too complicated to make yourself. Some of the traditional dishes are time-consuming to make though, so you should consider yourself fortunate if you’re able to eat a true home-cooked meal. 

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The German Cuisine goes back a long time in history and is heavily regional based. What all regions have in common is their love for meat, and many dishes, therefore, include some kind of meat.

Potatoes also hold a special place in German cuisine, and the Germans are true masters of preparing potatoes in various ways. The most common varieties of meat are pork, poultry, and beef. 

Traditionally, lunch was the main meal of the day, and dinner was a smaller meal. However, this has changed in the last 50 years or so where dinner and lunch have switched places.

Kartoffelsalat

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What is the national food of Germany?

Sauerbraten is regarded as the national dish of Germany. 

What is a traditional German meal?

A traditional German meal often consists of a type of meat, sauerkraut or potatoes as a side dish, and some kind of sauce. Vegetables are often served in casseroles, soups and side dishes. 

Some common German vegetables include carrots, spinach, peas, asparagus, beans, tomatoes, and cucumbers. Most traditional German meals will include some kind of potatoes, either fried, mashed, or boiled.

traditional German meal

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German Desserts

Now that you know about some traditional food from Germany, it might also be interesting to know about some of the most classic German desserts. 

  • Apple Strudel
  • Rote grütze 
  • Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte
  • Käsekuchen
  • Eiskaffee
Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte

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What do Germans eat for breakfast?

A typical German breakfast often consists of some kind of bread, butter, cold cuts, and cheese. Some of the toppings can also be Marmalades or Nutella.

Germans typically have a cup of coffee along with their breakfast. Milk and Orange- and Apple juice are also commonly served with a typical breakfast in Germany. 

German Breakfast

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Christmas Food in Germany

Every region and family has their own traditions, but traditional Christmas food in Germany includes duck, goose, rabbit, and a roast. The main dish is usually served with red cabbage, potato dumplings, and various kinds of German delicacies.

Germans also eat gingerbread, Santa chocolates, and home-made cookies during Christmas. 

german christmas food

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Which food from Germany is your favorite? Leave a comment below!

August 1st, 2019|

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Swedish Nomad

Hello! I’m Alex Waltner — A Swedish Travel Blogger & Photographer.

My vision with this blog is to inspire people to travel more and better by sharing useful travel guides and tips from my adventures around the world.

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