Forget kartoffel and bratwurst (well, don’t, they’re delicious…) when it comes to German cuisine there’s plenty to delight in beyond potatoes and sausages and vinegary cabbage. The country has made a fine art out of comfort foods, filling, warm and nutritious. On top of that, German food can also be elegant. Here is a rundown of the best foodstuffs Germany has to offer; from the best street food to fine dining and the rest.
Spätzle are handmade noodles that are fried up and served with a number of traditional dishes, including Käsespätzle, Spätzle mixed with grated cheese (typically Emmenthal) and fried onion and sweet dishes like Apfelspätzle, Spätzle with grated apples in the dough, dressed with clarified, browned butter, sugar, and cinnamon. In the Allgäu, this is served as a one-dish supper in autumn.
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.
Literally, ‘green sauce’, this condiment is native to the German federal state of Hessen. Enormously popular in the region, this blend of herbs is traditionally consumed with hard boiled eggs. Such is the fascination with green sauce that Frankfurt am Main hosts an annual festival in its honor.
For reasons best known to the people of its native Hamburg, this sweet jam-like substance translates as ‘red groats’. Rote grütze is a blend of potato starch, red summer berries, black cherries and a very generous portion of sugar. This is a typical topping for grieß (a German desert similar to rice pudding) or for dampfen.
Not to be confused with a traditional doughnut, a Magdeburg Schmalzkuchen is a fried pastry treat. Made up of fried pastry made from yeast dough, topped with confectioner’s sugar and usually consumed for carnival, this is a classic treat from the Saxon-Anhalt region.
Germans love their bread. In fact, the most common complaint for most Germans living abroad is that they miss the bread of home. Pumpernickel is extremely unusual anywhere else in the world, it is a hearty, heavy bread that turns black when baked as the sugar becomes caramel.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.