German Foods

Most Popular 30 German Foods

Traditional German cuisine and drink are probably more interesting than most new residents and visitors imagine. While food culture varies by location, most German recipes emphasize bread, potatoes, meat, particularly pork, as well as lots of greens. Coffee, cake, and beer are all popular features of German food. This post will lead you through German foods, notable regional cuisine worth trying, and, of course, beer.

Each part of Germany has its traditional foods. The north is mostly centered on fish and seafood, while the south is more based on red meat and game.


Baked foods such as Bavarian pretzels, whole wheat bread, and various types of rolls are common in German.

Also, as stated earlier, Germany has lots of delicious cakes, like cheesecake, bee-sting cake, and poppy-seed cake. All are classics that surprise and delight both visitors and locals.


Popular German Foods

When visiting Germany, you should try as much regional and national food as you can. Here are the top 30 most popular German foods that you should try:

1. Eintopf

Eintopf kitchenfrau

The German word eintopf literally means “one pot” and refers to one-pot German meals.

These are full-meal soups and stews that generally include legumes (such as beans, peas, or lentils), vegetables (usually swede, carrots, cabbage, and potatoes), and grains (pasta, barley, or bread).

German eintopf is traditionally made by cutting veggies and sautéing them in a saucepan before introducing the softer vegetables, meat, and potatoes.


After that, the stock is added and the stew is boiled until the meat is cooked and the stew has thickened to the appropriate consistency.

Since eintopf can be prepared from anything, it’s usually made as a clean-out-your-fridge dish. It’s usually seasoned with parsley, black pepper, and salt, as well as cumin seeds for digestion.

2.  Maultaschen

Maultaschen WSJ

Maultaschen is a German dumpling pocket filled with onions, meat, and veggies fashioned from pasta dough. They are an EU-protected dish that originated in Swabia, which is presently part of Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg.

To be labeled the original Swabian maultaschen, at least one production stage must be done in the region of origin.

The pasta dough is first rolled out to produce maultaschen. The stuffings are made according to the recipe and mashed together to make a smooth filling.

The stuffings are then stuffed into the pasta dough, which is folded before being cooked in soup or salty water.

3. Schnitzel (Breaded Cutlet)

Schnitzel (Breaded Cutlet)
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Schnitzel (Breaded Cutlet)

A schnitzel is a thin slice of meat that has been pounded into a flat slice. The meat is then breaded before being fried. Schnitzel can be deep-fried or pan-fried. In Germany, the meat of choice is primarily pork.

Wiener Schnitzel is one of the most popular German foods in North America, though it is considered more of an Austrian cuisine. This is a cutlet that has been breaded and pan-fried after being loaded with ham and cheese.

Weiner Schnitzel is traditionally made with veal, but you can use any meat you choose. Schnitzel is popularly served with fried potatoes and cream sauces in Germany. If you want to cook Weiner Schnitzel at home, this is a terrific recipe.

4. Bratwurst (Grilled Sausage)

Bratwurst (Grilled Sausage)
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Bratwurst (Grilled Sausage)

When you think of classic German food, you generally think of bratwurst. Bratwurst is a kind of sausage prepared from ground pork, beef, or veal. After that, the sausages are roasted or pan-fried until crispy.

Bratwurst can be served with mustard on top. Many Germans enjoy their sausages with potato salad or sauerkraut at bars. They are also often eaten as fast food.

5. Kartoffelsalat (Potato Salad)

Kartoffelsalat (Potato Salad)
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Kartoffelsalat (Potato Salad)

German potato salad is a comforting and tasty dish made with onions, potatoes, and a tangy dressing often containing bacon and vinegar.

It can be served warm or cold and is a popular side dish at gatherings and celebrations.

6. Hamburger Labskaus

Hamburger Labskaus
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Hamburger Labskaus

Boiled and riced potatoes are simmered with meat and onions, and the meal is boosted with gherkins – with finely sliced beetroot on the side!

Before frying, the mix is seasoned with pepper, salt, and allspice. It’s typically served with a fried egg on top or pickled herring!

7. Braised Cabbage

Braised Cabbage
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Braised Cabbage

Braised cabbage is a popular dish in Germany. For extra flavor, most German meal recipes blend cabbage with broth and veggies.

Braised cabbage requires some getting used to. Some recipes call for apple cider vinegar, which has a strong flavor. It does, however, complement the smokey and spicy flavor of bratwurst nicely.

8. Knödel

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Knödel are boiled dumplings usually made from potatoes, flour, bread, or quark.

They’re popular in many Central and Eastern European countries, including Hungary, the Czech Republic, Austria, and Bosnia and Herzegovina, but they hold a special position in German cuisine.

Tasty choices are typically served as a side dish with roasted meats and sauces, but some, such as leberknödel (“liver dumplings”), can be served in a classic clear broth in place of noodles or maultasches.

Semmelknödel (bread dumplings), kartoffelknödel (potato dumplings), palatinate dampfnudeln (yeast dumplings), and thüringer klöße (raw potato dumplings), are some typical delicious variants of knödel.

9. Spätzle

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Spätzle are soft egg noodles, similar to dumplings, commonly found in Southern German cuisine.

They are often served as a side dish or main course, complementing hearty stews and meats.

10. Kartoffelpuffer

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Kartoffelpuffer, reibekuchen, and kartoffelpfannkuchn are all names for a sort of German potato pancake, akin to hash browns, Irish boxty, latkes, and Swiss rösti. These fried potatoes are typically served as a side dish in German restaurants.

Kartoffelpuffer is made by shredding raw potatoes and onions and then squeezing as much water as possible out of the potatoes. This step is critical because it ensures that the pancakes’ exteriors remain crispy after frying.

The potatoes are then battered with flour, salt, onions, and egg. They’re usually seasoned merely with nutmeg, salt, and parsley. The batter is then spooned into heated oil and cooked until all sides of the fried potatoes are crispy.

Potato pancakes are typically served as a single dish with sauerkraut and sour cream, lettuce, or sugar and apple sauce. They can also be eaten with meat as a side dish.


11. Bratkartoffeln

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Bratkartoffeln is a delectable German meal made of thinly sliced pan-fried potatoes. The potatoes are not deep-fried in the same way as French fries are.

They have the texture of crispy roasted potatoes. They’re a must-have in any German restaurant, and they go great with steaks, sausages, and roasts.

To create bratkartoffeln, thinly slice potatoes are placed in a cold water bath for a few minutes to drain and wash away any starches. Following that, the potato slices are fried in a covered pan with clarified butter or oil.

Before the potatoes are done, onions are added to the pan, which is then left uncovered to crisp up.

12. Zwiebelkuchen

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This is a sort of cake made with steamed or raw onions, sliced bacon, cream, and caraway seeds. Shortcrust pastry or yeasted dough can be used to make the cake.

Swabian zwiebelkuchen is often round and shaped like a French quiche lorraine, but zweibelkuchen from other regions of Germany might be square or rectangular.

Except in Saxony-Anhalt and Saxony, where the onions are used uncooked, most regional versions simmer or sauté the onions before baking.

Zwiebelkuchen is a staple of autumnal German cuisine traditions. It’s usually served at wine festivals in the German wine-producing parts of Württemberg, Saar, Nahe, Baden, Palatinate, Hesse, Rhine, Moselle, and Franconia.

13. Weisswurst

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Weisswurst are generally small sausages, about 12 cm long and three to four cm thick. They’re cooked for about ten minutes and often served in warm water to keep them from cooling down too much.

The word weisswurst translates to “white sausage” in German. This German sausage, a classic Bavarian dish, is made with minced veal and bacon and derives its name from its light hue.

Traditional seasonings include parsley, onions, ginger, lemon, mace, and cardamom.

Weisswurst is generally made in the morning and eaten by midday. Originally, this was due to the fact that they were not smoked or preserved, making them exceedingly perishable.

Weisswurst are little sausages that are around 12 cm long and three to four cm thick. They are heated for 10 minutes and are usually served in warm water so they cool too quickly.

14. Currywurst

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The currywurst, one of Germany’s most popular snack foods, was invented in Berlin shortly after WWII. The cuisine is made up of boiled or fried sausage served sliced or whole, with a tomato-based sauce and ketchup or curry powder on the side.

Currywurst is a national cuisine in Germany, and you can buy it anywhere from street vendors. It’s also a popular option on bar and restaurant menus.

This classic German dish comes in two varieties: with and without casing. In both cases, they are fried whole, then cut into rounds and served with sauce, or sliced into two parts and served with sauce.

Curry powder is then sprinkled over the sauce (or, in some cases, the sausage first).

15. Rouladen

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Rouladen means “rolled” in German and refers to a type of meat roll made with either beef or veal.

Rouladen is made with a single thin long slice of pork that is packed with onions, bacon, mustard, and pickles before being wrapped. After that, the rolls are fried on the fire and simmered in a stew.

The rolls can be served split or as separate rolls called fleischvogel, which literally means “meat birds.”

Sauteed red cabbage or sauerkraut are popular accompaniments to German pork roll recipes. Depending on the region, mashed, boiled, or spätzle, roasted potatoes, or dumplings may also be served.

16. Sauerbraten

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Sauerbraten is a German pot roast meal made with meat that has been marinated in a mixture of vinegar, water (or wine), bay leaves, cloves, onions, carrots, and peppercorns for many days.

It was traditionally preserved in a cool cellar for a couple of days to allow the cut of beef to tenderize and become flavor-infused.

Sauerbraten, like many other classic German foods, varies greatly by area. The cooking method, though, is much the same.

To make sauerbraten, the meat is seared first to give it color. After that, the saucepan is deglazed with the leftover marinate and filled with stock or water to simmer.

Traditional sweeteners such as sugar beet syrup, apple sauce, raisins, and special sauce-thickening gingerbread cakes are then added to the sauce.

17. Hasenpfeffer

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Hasenpfeffer is a ragout made from rabbit or hare meat that has been marinated in wine and vinegar.

To begin making the stew, marinate the rabbit meat in oil, brandy, and selected spices. After that, the beef is braised with lemon juice, onions, red wine, and chopped liver. Hasenpfeffer’s final and most significant ingredient is rabbit or pork blood.

The blood is used to thicken the sauce giving it a creamy, smooth texture, harkening back to a time when every part of the animal was used.

As it has grown more difficult to locate blood to use in the meal, hasenpfeffer is now mostly made using wine. Traditionally, the stew is served with red cabbage and knödel.

18. Hamburger Pannfisch

Hamburger Pannfisch
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Hamburger Pannfisch

Hamburger Pannfisch is made primarily of fish, usually coalfish or redfish. It also includes spring onions, sliced low-starch potatoes, and vegetable stock.

This fishy treat also contains mustard and cream, elevating it to something very exceptional. Finally, a rasher of fried bacon is usually added to enhance the flavor of the dish.

19. Turnip Stew: The Winter Stew

Turnip Stew: The Winter Stew
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Turnip Stew: The Winter Stew

This hearty stew has a long history in Germany and may be found in any Grandmother’s kitchen. It’s mostly eaten in the late autumn and winter when turnips are the most available vegetable.

The turnip was once considered a poor man’s diet, but it has recently gained popularity owing to its high mineral and vitamin content.

Turnips, which are abundant in vitamin C and fiber, assist the immune system fight off winter colds and flu.

20. Pork Knuckle with Sauerkraut

Pork Knuckle with Sauerkraut
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Pork Knuckle with Sauerkraut

Sauerkraut is a well-known German vegetable dish. To make the sauerkraut, white cabbage is chopped into thin slices and then pickled with pepper, spices, and salt until soft.

Fruits can be added for an extra kick. Potatoes are typically offered on the side. Sauerkraut, as a fermented food, is now recognized as being beneficial to digestive health.

21. Swabian Raviolis with Fried Onions

Swabian Raviolis with Fried Onions
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Swabian Raviolis with Fried Onions

Swabian ravioli is a popular dish in Germany’s southwest. It is similar to the renowned Italian ravioli pasta dish and can be made with a variety of ingredients, both meat and veggies.

To boost the flavors, Swabian ravioli is usually served with fried onions.

22. Baden Brägele with Bibliskäs

Baden Brägele with Bibliskäs
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Baden Brägele with Bibliskäs

This classic Gericht from southwest Germany ranks as one of the most popular dishes in the country.

The dish is made up of fried potatoes with delectable fresh herb cheese. The cheese is usually made from scratch and flavored with a variety of herbs.

A robust dinner should be accompanied by a glass of Schorle, a fruit juice mixed with fizzy water, or some wine that has been diluted with water.

23. Stuffed Cabbage Filled with Millet

Stuffed Cabbage Filled with Millet
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Stuffed Cabbage Filled with Millet

Vegetarians looking for a delicious roulade might try this meatless dish made with only two ingredients: cabbage and millet. However, for added flavor, a little cheese and crème frâiche can be included in the sauce.

The dish is typically served with boiled or mashed potatoes, which enhances the flavor. Since it is rich in vitamin C, it is beneficial in the winter to protect against colds and flu.

24. Bauernbrot

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Bauernbrot is the German word for a crusty “farmer’s” bread produced from a combination of flours, typically rye and wheat flour. The bread is made with a sourdough starter made of salt, yeast, and water.

Bauernbrot is a popular variety of German bread that can be found throughout the country. It’s usually a round loaf that hasn’t been scored and is baked without a tin. Its distinctive crust is floured and crackly, lending it a rustic aspect.

The flours and proportions vary by area, but the most unique regional form of bauernbrot comes from Saxony.

It is occasionally cooked with potato flour or mashed potatoes in the dough, which gives the bread an exceptionally soft and consistent crumb to contrast with its crusty appearance.

Germans adore bread, and the tastiest bread is always gotten early in the morning at the neighborhood bakery. So, on your next trip to Germany, remember to get up early!

25. Vollkornbrot

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Vollkornbrot is the German word for whole-grain bread. This German bread is darker than any other kind of bread and is available in a range of sizes and shapes, with or without seeds.

Vollkornbrot, like bauernbrot, is a popular bread in Germany, and the nicest loaves are always snapped up early from the local bakery.

26. Döner with Curried Sausage

Döner with Curried Sausage
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Döner with Curried Sausage

Döner with curried sausage is now an authentic national dish in Berlin. Döner, although having a Turkish name, was invented in Berlin. This dish is unique in that it combines two traditional snacks: döner and curry sausage.

The curried sausage is also popular in the west of the country, albeit without the döner. It is usually accompanied by ketchup or tomato sauce flavored with curry powder.

27. Saxon Mustard Meat

Saxon Mustard Meat
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Saxon Mustard Meat

Saxon mustard meat is a true Eastern German dish. Although meat was prohibitively expensive in the past, particularly during the GDR era, it was served on special occasions.

A wonderful vegetable broth was used, as well as pig or beef.

To mop up the juices, cucumber, wholemeal bread, potatoes, onions, or Pumpernickel are incorporated. Hot mustard, salt, pepper, cloves, and caraway spice up this hearty and comforting dish.

28.  Königsberger Meatballs

Königsberger Meatballs
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Königsberger Meatballs

These meatballs originated in Königsberg, a town in eastern Germany. Meatballs prepared from stale bread, minced meat, and onions are used in the traditional recipe.

They’re accompanied by a white sauce comprised of cream, eggs, broth, and capers. It’s not the most visually appealing dish, but it’s excellent. It tastes even better when served cold!

29. Tarte Flambée with a French Influence

Tarte Flambée with a French Influence
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Tarte Flambée with a French Influence

The German tarte flambée is like the French onion tart and is made in the same manner. The basis is a sour cream-coated thinly folded bread dough. Onions and bacon cubes seasoned with salt and pepper are placed on top.

In addition to the traditional savory tarte flambée, sweet versions are available.

30. Curry Sausage

 Curry Sausage
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Curry Sausage

Curry sausage is popular in Berlin and other Western German cities, like Cologne, Bochum, and Düsseldorf. It is regarded as a true delicacy wherever it is prepared.

The spicy sauce can be hotter or thicker, and it can contain more or less tomato depending on personal preference.

It’s usually served with a roll in place of a döner in western Germany.


German cuisine is a delightful journey through a tapestry of flavors and traditions that have stood the test of time.

Whether you’re savoring the savory delights of Bratwurst and Schnitzel, enjoying the tangy taste of Sauerkraut, or relishing the spiced aroma of Lebkuchen, exploring these 30 popular German foods is a culinary adventure you will remember fondly.