Culinary tourism has become very popular in recent years and many travelers and vacationers make sure to combine, during their stay in any destination abroad, a visit to reputable and good restaurants, food tours in the markets, among the local food stalls and exposure as much as possible to the food, which was grown there. Food is given a place of honor in all A trip You almost don’t have to visit an expensive Michelin restaurant or pay so much money to enjoy it and soak up a good atmosphere. Even in Germany, and especially in its large and touristic cities, such as Berlin and Munich, today you can find hot and striking culinary trends and a whole world of food, which teaches a lot about history , on the local culture and even on the raw materials, which exclusively characterize it. You can be exposed to the local food of Germany anywhere in it, in restaurants, food stalls, fast food chains, the local small cafes, the food markets and, of course, wherever the residents hang out.
These can be innovative dishes, based on various international ideas and developments, and these can be traditional dishes, which have been passed down from generation to generation and have characterized German food for hundreds of years. Either way, each such dish has a great influence on the culinary world and can tell us a lot about the country itself.
In order to understand the culture and learn about the place, it is important and even highly recommended to be exposed to traditional German food, which is often considered relatively heavy food and also very rich in its flavors. The traditional meals will usually include a portion of meat at lunch and dinner, and sometimes also at breakfast (sausage of some kind, for example). A home-cooked meal or a meal in a traditional German restaurant will offer a meat dish with rich and creamy sauces on the side along with fresh bread and butter, and also oven-roasted pumpkin as a complementary side dish. Of course, next to all these will come a big, chilled glass of beer, which will successfully beat the entire celebration.
The famous curry sausage (currywurst) and common everywhere in Germany
Traditional dishes from German cuisine
Roast beef stew (Sauerbraten) is one of the most popular dishes in Germany, one that you will find in any typical German restaurant. It is a delicious dish of soft and tender beef, which is cooked in a vinegar marinade with a variety of local spices. This rich stew is traditionally served with red cabbage on the side, potato dumplings (Kartoffelklöße) or boiled potatoes. This is one of Germany’s national dishes, which will often star on restaurant menus.
Another popular meat dish is the Schweinshaxe. This is soft and juicy pork on the fast, with crispy and crispy skin. This dish, which is very popular in Bavaria, is offered quite a bit in other restaurants throughout the country and is considered one of the favorite peasant dishes in the distant past. So, very cheap cuts of meat were used, although those that often required a long preparation period. Today, of course, these are very high-quality cuts, but the preparation still remains relatively long (for large cuts, for example, preparation of up to a week is required). This dish is also served with potatoes and different variations of cabbage. Munich’s famous Hofbraeuhaus brewery is known as one of the best places in Germany to try this dish.
Beef roulade is another local dish, which came from Saxony, one of the German provinces. The roulade consists of thin slices of beef rolled around bacon, onion, pickles and mustard, which are roasted with red wine to obtain rich and good flavors. The beef roulade is traditionally served for dinner, along with potato dumplings or mashed potatoes and pickled red cabbage. Sometimes also roasted root vegetables. And it’s hard not to mention the schnitzel, which although came from neighboring Austria, is also considered a typical and beloved German dish. The schnitzel that is coated in moist crumbs with cheese and pieces of ham, is served with a vegetable salad usually and potatoes.
It is impossible to talk about the food in Germany without also mentioning the curry sausages (currywurst), which you will meet in different variations, in small and large restaurants, on the streets of the touristic cities and also in the small and lesser known settlements. They are called curry sausages after the famous curry sauce that is splashed on them, although the sausage itself is completely meat and can be found served with dozens of different types of sauces. The tradition of making sausages in Germany is an ancient tradition, and it includes the preparation of over 1,500 different types of sausages. Each region in Germany has a specialty in making a different type of sausage, with the sausage itself usually eaten as street food. At the same time, you will also find it in the various restaurants served on a plate together with sauerkraut and mustard and at quite affordable prices. Boiled hot dogs, grilled hot dogs, bacon hot dogs, hot dogs with curry sauce and more… the options are many and varied.
Meat, of almost all types, is very prominent in German cuisine, but next to it, the side dishes also star, which serve as a perfect addition to any meal. The “typical” side dishes of traditional German cuisine can be pure vegetables or carbohydrates. They can be cold or hot, very rich or basic. The potato, in its various types, is the main and very prominent ingredient of traditional German food. It entered German cuisine at the end of the 17th century, was almost everywhere from the 19th century and has maintained a place of honor on the menu ever since.
Dumplings, known in the northern part of Germany as Klöße, and in the southern part as Knödel) are also popular, and wheat flour and egg noodles are very common in the local cuisine, especially in the southwestern part of the country. Potato fritters (Kartoffelpuffer) are a perfect addition to any meal and are known to us as “latkes”. It is a fried mixture of grated red apples or mashed potatoes, mixed with eggs, onions and sometimes parsley. Pancakes are usually served at breakfast together with eggs and can be served as a dessert or as a sweeter dish with applesauce and sour cream on the side. Potato dumplings are also a traditional German dish and are based on mashed boiled red apples, which are cooked in salted water. This is a wonderful vegetarian dish on its own or a perfect addition to a good meat meal. The sauerkraut is also a very famous side dish and one of its advantages is its long shelf life (it is fermented cabbage). It is served alongside sausages and various meat dishes and it brings with it good sour flavors.
The local beer
And now a little (or a lot) about alcohol. German beer is known all over the world and the Germans themselves are known to be fans of this alcoholic drink. It stars everywhere in almost the entire country and comes in different flavors and qualities. The beer is part of the local culture and many times we will see it served at festivals and events of all kinds.
Among the variety of types of beer you will find in Germany, the most prominent and common are: Pale Lager – with 4.5-5 percent alcohol and a relatively light body. Served in colored glasses usually, in the amount of 300 or 500 ml. In this list you will find: Helles and Pilsner for example.
The Dark Lager tends to be bitter, sweet and also more salty and its alcohol content ranges from 5 to 12 percent. Here you will find Altbier and Bock.
The wheat beer is a light beer that is sold in bottles and served in glasses that can hold about 500 ml of drink. It comes in a light version (WeisBbier) and a dark version (Dunkel. Unfiltered lager tends to be very strong in taste and is also loved by Germans. In this list you will find the Kellerbier and the milder/weaker Zwicklbier.
Beer that is mixed with other drinks is also in demand in Germany (surprisingly) and here you will find the Radler, a mix of lager and lemonade (50/50), which is very similar to the British Shandy. In addition, the drink known as Diesel, Krefelder or Colabier, which is a mix of cola and beer (also 50/50).
Due to the Germans’ great love for beer and to celebrate its excellent flavors, quite a few events related to this drink are held in Germany. From the end of September to the beginning of October (inclusive), beer festivals are held throughout Germany, which are considered a center of attraction for many locals and tourists from all over the world. The most famous of these is Munich’s Oktoberfest, which attracts over six million visitors each year. It is not only a big celebration of beer, but a celebration of local (Bavarian) tradition, of food and of good music. At the festival, only beer that contains more than 6 percent alcohol is served that was brewed in Munich, beer that is served alongside great local foods (sausages and cabbage, among others). Additional beer festivals are also held in Berlin, Frankfurt and Stuttgart.
The culinary scene in Germany
Befitting a modern, strong and very central country, visitors to Germany get to be exposed to an excellent culinary scene, which does not stop for a moment. Restaurants, especially in its big cities, and especially in Berlin, invest a lot to attract diners to them and bring to the table interesting and varied menus. The culinary scene of Germany, and similar to other European countries in general, includes quite a bit of emphasis on vegan and vegetarian food, which has received a lot of attention in recent years, and dishes based on fresh and good ingredients. The return to nature is reflected in many menus, but all without abandoning of course the local flavors, the traditional German dishes.
In Germany there are restaurants of all kinds and even food trucks in the big cities that offer a variety of dishes to passers-by. Food with organic vegetables is very “strong” in Germany, but meat eaters will also find quite a few in the various restaurants. Germany is a country of quite a few immigrants, and as such, alongside the traditional German cuisine, it is hard not to pay attention to cuisines characteristic of other countries, such as Asian cuisine of course, Lebanese cuisine, African cuisine (from various African countries) and even Israeli cuisine, which is quite represented there, With hummus and falafel restaurants.