German food: 20 traditional dishes to try in Germany or at home

German food: 20 traditional dishes to try in Germany or at home


When you think of European food you usually think of the fine dining of Italy and France, but you will be surprised how good the food scene is in Germany too. With more than 83 million inhabitants and diverse traditions, German food is much more than just schnitzel and bratwurst.

On our travels through Germany we often had problems ordering our meals in the past. To make your culinary experience easier, we have compiled a list of the best traditional German cuisine. We also link to recipes so you can prepare them at home. With a combination of rich and hearty ingredients, most German dishes are relatively easy to prepare.

Traditional German food

the best German dishes

When we think of traditional German dishes, they are often rich and heavy and almost always contain meat. It’s usually paired with beer and some type of creamy sauce. This is particularly evident in Bavaria and the mountain region, but not all German dishes are like that.

We have compiled a list of the most popular foods in Germany that will appeal to all gourmets. Whether you’re looking for an authentic German dessert or something a little more creative, these are 20 German dishes to try today.

1. Bratwurst (grilled sausage)

German bratwurst

Think of traditional German food, and you probably think of bratwurst. Bratwurst are sausages made from pork, veal or beef. Then the sausages are fried or fried in the pan until they are crispy.

You can serve bratwurst with mustard on top. Many Germans like to eat their sausages in pubs with sauerkraut or potato salad. They are also popular as fast food.

2. Schnitzel (breaded schnitzel)

Schnitzel in Germany

A schnitzel is a thin piece of meat that is beaten into a flat slice. Then you bread the meat before frying it. You can eat fried or fried schnitzel. In Germany, pork is the main meat of choice.

Wiener Schnitzel, more of an Austrian dish, is probably the most popular here in North America. This is a schnitzel that is layered with ham and cheese, then breaded and pan fried. A traditional Weiner schnitzel is made with veal, but you can substitute any meat you like. Many Germans like to eat schnitzel with fried potatoes and cream sauces. That’s a great one Recipe for Weiner Schnitzel if you want to do it at home.

3. Pretzels (pretzel)

German food pretzel

A pretzel (or pretzels) is better known in English as a pretzel. It is a pastry made from wheat dough that is then tied in a knot.

German pretzels are soft and baked. You can add sea salt and ground cheese on top for a hearty snack. You can also top yours with cinnamon sugar or nuts.

4. Braised cabbage

Braised cabbage is a very popular German food. German food recipes differ, although most combine cabbage with broth and vegetables for added flavor.

Braised cabbage can be an acquired taste. Some recipes call for apple cider vinegar, which can be overwhelming. But it complements the smoky-spicy taste of the bratwurst very well. You can find a quick and Easy braised cabbage recipe here.

5. Labskaus

Labskaus German food

Labskaus is a beef dish. It was developed by German sailors in the 18th century, and it became popular with many people on land. Try to make your own Labskaus at home with this easy to follow recipe.

It’s a combination of salted beef, onions, and potatoes. These ingredients are mashed together and combined with cucumber and other ingredients such as pickled beets. It resembles a pink porridge, but is a good dish when you have leftover ingredients that you want to combine.

6. German potato salad

German potato salad in Germany

The most notorious German ingredient is potatoes. There are many German potato varieties because southern Germany is an area conducive to potato cultivation. Many Bavarians have come up with a number of recipes and used everything that was available to them.

In contrast to other potato salads, the German potato salad is based on bacon, sugar and white vinegar. This will add more salt and fat to the dish without it being too high in calories.

Potato salad complements many German main dishes. If you want an Americanized German dish, you can find American-style German potato salad recipes online.

7. Fried potatoes (fried potatoes)

Fried potatoes is also known as french fries. The term literally means “fried potatoes” and is a good recipe for less experienced cooks.

You combine chopped potatoes with bacon and onions and fry everything together in butter until crispy. Some people like to eat their potatoes with fried eggs or a light salad.

8th. Potato dumplings (potato dumplings)

Potato dumplings potato dumplings German food

Potato dumplings is the German name for potato dumplings. Potatoes serve as the base for the dumplings, but you can add any seasonings and croutons you want.

Then the dumplings are cooked. You can then put more croutons on top or eat your dumplings with your favorite sauce. See how to do it Make them at home with this recipe.

9. potato pancakes (potato pancakes)

Potato pancakes are German potato patties or pancakes. If you’ve eaten latkes before, you’ll find potato pancakes that are very similar to them.

You can grate potatoes, then combine them with eggs and flour. Once you’ve formed the mixture into patties, you can fry them in the pan until crispy. Potato pancakes work as a side dish, and you can have them with applesauce or ground beef. Get the full recipe here.

10. Maultaschen (meat dumplings)

German food Maultaschen

If you want dumplings without potatoes, you can eat Maultaschen. You come from Swabia, a region in southwest Germany that borders on Austria and Switzerland. The area was a popular stop for Italian merchants, which means that Swabian cuisine has some Italian influences.

Maultaschen are small dumplings that are filled with various ingredients. Some people like to add ground beef, while others use smoked meat, including sausages. You can also add onions and herbs to your dumplings.

Some people prepare their dumplings by simmering them in broth. But you can also fry them in butter. Braised cabbage is a common side dish with them. Get the full recipe here.

11. Sauerkraut soup

Sauerkraut soup is a great option for people who like sauerkraut but find certain recipes too strong. The soup has sauerkraut in the core, but also bacon, vegetables and white beans. The broth is based on chicken, which you can make yourself if you have the time.

The soup is salty yet nutritious. You can have it with crispy bread or fried potatoes.

12.Roulades (beef rolls)

Rouladen German dishes

You may be familiar with roulade, which is rolled meat that is then braised. Roulades is the German variant of the dish, but is also popular in Poland and the Czech Republic.

As with schnitzel, it is thin and wide pieces of meat. Then you can cover the pieces of meat with mustard and roll them up before filling them with bacon and other fillings.

The secret of roulades is sauce. You can prepare a beef or vegetable sauce while frying your meat rolls and then pour the sauce over them. Roulades are hearty and filling and go well with mashed potatoes.

13. Asparagus (asparagus)

Asparagus White Asparagus Germany

Asparagus is German white asparagus. It is similar to green asparagus, but has a milder taste. You can boil your asparagus whole in water and serve it pure. You can also fry or fry your asparagus with butter and various spices.

14. Rollmops (Pickled Herring Rolls)

Many early Germans relied on pickled fish as a source of protein. Many of them commemorated Lent by giving up pork and beef, which meant they needed fish for food.

Rollmops are pickled pieces of herring that cooks roll into cylinders. Fillings are then poured into it. Some Germans like to fill their herring with cucumber and tomatoes to create salty flavors.

15. Farmer’s bread

Farmer's bread German food

Baurenbrot is German farmer’s bread. As the name suggests, it is a hearty bread that German farmers used to bake in order to work long hours.

The bread is made from rye flour and German bread spices. Bread seasoning is a mixture of spices, including cumin and fennel. It adds a sweet note without making the bread appear sugary. Do you enjoy baking bread at home? Get the recipe here.

16. Whole grain bread

Whole grain bread in Germany

Whole grain bread is black bread. It is made with whole wheat flour, not rye flour. It also contains wheat berries and seeds, including sesame seeds.

It’s a hearty and slightly sweet bread that goes well with sandwiches and toast. For a simple breakfast, you can take a couple of slices and put a jam on top.

17. Spaghetti ice cream (ice cream)

Spaghetti ice cream is a modern German dessert that is becoming increasingly popular in many European cities. As the name suggests, it is similar to Italian spaghetti.

You can make it by squeezing vanilla ice cream through a potato press to make ice cream noodles. You can then pour a strawberry sauce over it so that the dish looks like pasta and tomato sauce.

18. Stollen (fruit cake)

Stollen fruit cake German food

Stollen is an authentic German Christmas dinner. It dates from the 16th century and is most popular in Dresden. It is a flatbread made with dried and candied fruits. You can also add chopped or whole nuts and then sprinkle the bread with powdered sugar.

19. Black Forest cake

The Black Forest cake comes from The Black Forest in southwest Germany. But his name does not refer to the forest, but to the spirits that are popular there.

The pie is a cake that has a few layers of chocolate sponge cake and whipped cream in it. Kirschwasser, a liqueur made from sour cherries, is poured over it. It’s a juicy dessert that combines chocolate and fruit flavors.

20. Apple strudel (apple strudel)

Apple strudel German Foods

Many people think of strudel when they hear about German desserts. The word “vortex” means “vortex” or “whirlpool”.

Apple strudel is a swirled pastry with an apple filling. It’s buttery, light, and sweet. You can have your strudel with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, although many people enjoy it on its own too.

The best of German food

The best German food

German food is a phenomenon. Most people have tried hearty bratwurst, schnitzel, and pretzels. But you can also try braised cabbage and labskaus.

It’s true that German cuisine offers a range of potato dishes. German potato salad and fried potato pies are popular options. But you can try a lot of meat and vegetable dishes. If you want a dessert, you can make a stollen or apple strudel. If you want an authentic German food experience, you have to travel to Germany.

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Rachel Meadows

Rachel Meadows

Trending topics news writer who enjoys cooking, walking her dog and travel.

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