Wondering what to eat in Germany? Here’s a list of traditional German food that you should try.
Spätzle are handmade noodles that are fried up and served with a number of traditional dishes, including Käsespätzle, Spätzle mixed with grated cheese (typically Emmental) and fried onion and sweet dishes like Apfelspätzle, Spätzle with grated apples in the dough, dressed with browned butter, sugar, and cinnamon.
I know what you’re thinking: Schnitzel is Austrian, not German. Well as a matter of fact it’s Italian in origin, but that hasn’t stopped it becoming associated mostly with Austria - especially Wiener (Vienna) Schnitzel, which by actual law has to be made with veal - and Germany, where it is often made with tenderised pork and is a staple of most traditional restaurants.
A delightfully light steamed dumpling that can be served sweet or savory. Dampfnudels are typically served as a main dish with savory accompaniment such as cabbage, salad, gherkins, potato soup, lentil soup, or mushrooms in white sauce. They can also be served as a dessert with vanilla custard, jam, or boiled fruit.
The invention of currywurst is commonly attributed to Herta Heuwer, a Berlin resident who - in 1949 - managed to obtain ketchup and curry powder from British soldiers, mixed them up and served the resultant sauce over grilled pork sausage. Today it’s one of Germany’s most famous sausage-based street-food snacks - it even has its own museum - with some 800 million consumed a year, especially in cities like Berlin and Hamburg where it’s usually served with fries or a bread roll.
The apple strudel you'll find in Germany (apfelstrudel) features a flaky crust, a warm apple filling, and powdered sugar, all of which is bathed in vanilla ice cream or sauce.
Although Apfelstrudel (apple strudel) is one of Austria’s national desserts, Germany has also adopted it into its local cuisine. The popular dish consists of buttery pastry filled with apples that are flavored with sugar, cinnamon, and raisins. It is common to eat the dessert in slices with a sprinkling of powdered or icing sugar. Simply heavenly!
Spargel, the German word for asparagus isn’t exactly a German food, but the way it is served here is distinctly German. Spargelzeit (aparagus time), a six week period in which Germany consumes nothing but spargel (served with Hollandaise sauce and ham), is close to being a religious festival in Germany.
The ideal side to any wurst or schnitzel is some kartoffelsalat, or potato salad. Unlike in the US or the UK, German potato salad is made with vinegar and mustard.
These salty knots lovingly tossed by German bakers are one of Germany’s most famous exports. These “bretzels,” as the Germans call them, are widely beloved and just happen to go great with beer. They can be found throughout the country, and it’s worth trying them wherever you see them, as everyone does them a bit differently. You’ll find them with spicy mustard to dip, with white sausage in Bavaria, or sliced and served with butter.