15 Best Traditional German Foods

You would imagine France and Italy’s exquisite dining when you think of European cuisine, but you’d be shocked at how excellent the German culinary scene is as well. German cuisine is much more than just Schnitzel and Bratwurst, with a population of more than 83 million people and a wide range of traditions. Most newcomers and visitors don’t realize how wonderful traditional German food and drink can be. The bulk of German recipes lay a heavy focus on bread, potatoes, meat, notably pig, as well as a variety of greens, including several types of cabbage and kale, despite regional variations in culinary culture. German cuisine also includes the wildly popular ingredients of cake, coffee, and beer.

Each dish showcases a unique blend of flavors, and often, a glimpse into the country’s diverse cultural heritage. Join us as we embark on a delightful exploration of some of the best traditional German foods, offering a taste of Germany’s unparalleled culinary prowess.

Best German foods

Here is the list of unique and best traditional foods of Germany:

1. Brezeln (Pretzel):

In English, a Brezel (or Brezeln) is more commonly referred to as a pretzel. It is a wheat-dough pastry that you then tie into a knot. Pretzels from Germany are cooked and soft. For a savory snack, sprinkle sea salt and cheese powder on yours. You can also sprinkle cinnamon sugar or nuts on top of yours.

2. Brot & Brötchen:

All around the nation, people love eating bread. Being that, most meals include bread, especially when it comes to breakfast and dinner. Moreover, the lunch is also served with rolls on the side and interestingly, it is regarded as the main meal of the day. At times, it is consumed in the shape of loaves that are called Brot, or small, typically crusty rolls (Brötchen), which forms an essential component of German cuisine. There are many types of bread that Germans like to eat, some of them are grain, Pumpernickel, rye, and white bread. As compared to bread from Italy, Spain, or France, German bread tends to be heartier and heavier.

3. German Potato Salad:

Potatoes are the most iconic German food item. Due to the favorable growing conditions in southern Germany, there are many different varieties of potatoes grown there. Using everything at their disposal, many Bavarians have developed a variety of recipes. German potato salad uses bacon, sugar, and white vinegar instead of other ingredients. This enhances the dish’s salt and fat content without adding too many calories. Numerous German main dishes are enhanced by potato salad. You may discover recipes for Americanized German food online, such as German potato salad.

4. Käsespätzle:

Käsespätzle is a southern German meal that is produced by piling little Spätzle noodles with grated cheese and frying onions on top. This exotic dish is mostly served with a salad, however, it can also be consumed with applesauce. People travelling to Germany from the United States or the UK will observe that this is the closest thing to Mac & Cheese i.e., macaroni and cheese. Moreover, the taste that this dish offers is undoubtedly better than what is offered to them in their own country.  

5. Schnitzel:

Schnitzel is made from tenderized meat (such as chicken, beef, veal, or pork). The meat is marinated with eggs, flour, and breadcrumbs and then the same is fried in oil to create a schnitzel. Notably, the Schnitzel is sometimes compared to a French escalope due to its shape and texture. However, it is actually an Austrian dish. This dish not only tastes great but is also the perfect epitome of traditional German cuisine that is offered in pubs, restaurants, and fast food outlets. Fries and schnitzel are a very popular and pleasant combination.

6. Maultaschen (Meat Dumplings):

You can eat maultaschen if you desire dumplings without any potatoes. They are from the German state of Swabia, which borders Austria and Switzerland. Italian traders frequented the region, hence there are some Italian influences in Swabian food. Maultaschen are little pasta sheets stuffed with a variety of fillings. Some individuals enjoy adding beef mince, while others add smoked meat, such as sausages. Your dumplings can also include onions and seasonings. Some folks stew their dumplings in broth to prepare them. They can, however, also be fried in butter. They frequently eat braised cabbage as a side dish.

7. Currywurst:

Many towns and cities sell currywurst from street vendors and fast food restaurants, and if you want to know what dish the capital city of Berlin is known for, you will immediately learn that it is currywurst. It is a food that Germans consume “on the go,” not something they prepare and enjoy at home. Even though it has little nourishment, this platter of shredded sausage, chips, and hot ketchup sauce is a favorite dish in Germany, especially after a few pilsners.

8. Rouladen (Beef Rolls):

The term “roulade” refers to braised beef that has been rolled up. The meal is called rouladen in Germany, although it is also widely consumed in Poland and the Czech Republic. It has thin and large slices of beef, just like schnitzel. The meat chunks can then be rolled up, covered with mustard, and filled with bacon and other ingredients. Gravy is the key to rouladen. When the meat rolls are finished cooking, make a beef or vegetable gravy and serve it on top. Rouladen goes nicely with mashed potatoes and is hearty and flavorful.

9. Kartoffelpuffer & Bratkartoffeln:

A Kartoffelpuffer is a shallow-fried pancake made from grated potatoes, egg, and flour, comparable to a Swiss “Rosti.” It is occasionally consumed in Germany for breakfast along with eggs and bacon, as a side dish with meat at lunch or dinner, or all by itself with applesauce. On the other hand, bratkartoffeln are more similar to sauté or hashed potatoes, where little chips or chunks of potato are parboiled and then fried with onion and occasionally bacon. Again, you can eat bratkartoffeln for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

10. Eintopf:

A one-pot stew known as an Eintopf can contain a wide range of ingredients. It is a complete meal that often includes broth, potatoes, vegetables, and meat. Occasionally, it may contain legumes like lentils, and it is typically eaten with bread (with bread). An Eintopf is a popular food enjoyed nationwide, but the flavors and ingredients used to make it vary greatly by area. It is one of the simplest German recipes and is frequently eaten at home as a family dinner. This is arguably one of the simplest German dishes to make, so those who are just starting out in the kitchen might want to start with it.

11. Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte:

A mouthwatering cake that you may probably be familiar with as a Black Forest Gateau. Cherries, jam filling, and cream are used in these chocolate sponge layers. It comes from southwest Germany, where the Black Forest is located, as the name says. In Germany, drinking coffee and eating cake in the afternoon, or “Kaffee und Kuchen,” is a popular pastime, especially on the weekends with family. During this period, Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte is frequently consumed.

12. Sauerbraten:

German pot roasts are called sauerbraten, which means “sour roast” in English. The sour component refers to the meat being pickled in a sauce that is similar to a sweet and sour gravy before being slowly roasted in a dish. Meats are often made of veal, beef, or pork and are first marinated for several days or even weeks. It can be found all over Germany and other German-speaking nations.

13. Spaghettieis (Ice Cream):

Modern German desserts like spaghetti are gaining popularity in many European towns. It resembles Italian spaghetti, as the name suggests. Ice cream noodles can be created by pushing vanilla ice cream through a potato ricer. After that, you can cover the meal with strawberry sauce to make it look like spaghetti with tomato sauce.

14. Black Forest Gateau:

The Black Forest region in southwest Germany is where the Black Forest gateau is from. However, the popular alcoholic beverages there are what its name refers to, not the forest. The gateau is a cake with whipped cream and a few layers of chocolate sponge cake. Over the top, kirschwasser, a liquor produced from tart cherries, is added. It is a delicious treat that mixes fruit and chocolate flavours.

15. Apfelstrudel (Apple Struedel):

When people hear about German pastries, many of them immediately think of strudel. “Swirl” or “whirlpool” are the meanings of the word “strudel.” An apple filling is used in apfelstrudel, a swirling pastry. It is sweet, fluffy, and buttery. Even though many people like to eat their strudel on their own, you can also eat it with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

Read More, Top Things to do in Germany

Immersing yourself in the world of traditional German foods is a true celebration of the country’s love for gastronomy and cultural identity. Whether it’s the comforting aroma of sauerbraten filling the air or the crisp bite of a pretzel, these culinary delights beckon both the curious traveler and the seasoned food enthusiast. Each dish encapsulates the essence of German traditions and reflects the passion and pride that Germans hold for their culinary heritage. So, why not take a culinary expedition and savor the delightful array of flavors that make German cuisine a timeless delight for the taste buds? Prost to the culinary delights of Germany!