30 Popular German Dishes and Common Foods

German dishes are a diverse blend of hearty meats, unique sausages, seasonal vegetables, and regional specialties.

Lastest Updated April 19, 2024
Home » Dishes A-Z » 30 Popular German Dishes and Common Foods
Basic Information

German Food: Basic Overview

Common Ingredients

Pork, poultry, beef, seafood (herring, tuna, mackerel, salmon, trout, carp), vegetables (potatoes, carrots, cabbages, white asparagus).

Common Cooking Methods

Boiling, braising, grilling, pan-frying, roasting, baking, steaming, stewing, deep-frying.


Appetizer, main course, dessert.


Breakfast, lunch, dinner.

Key Taste

Savory, neutral, sweet, sour.

Eating Etiquette

Fork in left hand, knife in right, used simultaneously; Napkins on lap, beside plate when leaving temporarily.

Meal Presentation

German meals typically include meat, a starch like potatoes, and a vegetable side such as sauerkraut, served on plates arranged for sequential utensil use from the outermost to innermost with each course.

Culinary Festivals

Christmas, Easter, Lent, Oktoberfest and Bavarian festivals.

Influence and Fusion

influences from Danish, Austrian, and Swiss cuisines.
Origin and Region

German Food: Origin and Region



Cuisine’s Geographical Territory

Central Europe

Country’s Region

Northern Germany, Southern Germany, Central Germany, West Germany, East Germany.
Germany Map
Ingredients and Preparation

Popular Types of German Food

  • Cakes and Pastries

    German cakes and pastries are renowned for their richness and variety.

    These baked goods are not just limited to sweet varieties; some incorporate savory elements.

    They range from light and airy to dense and moist.

    Seasonal ingredients play a significant role, with special versions appearing during festivals and holidays

  • Desserts

    German desserts are characterized by their inventive use of ingredients and presentation, offering a wide range of flavors from sweet and creamy to tangy and fruity.

    They often incorporate dairy products like cream and cheese, creating textures that are both rich and satisfying.

  • Fried Dishes

    These dishes often feature meats or vegetables that are breaded and fried to perfection, resulting in a crispy exterior and tender interior.

    Potatoes, a staple in German cuisine, are also commonly prepared in various fried forms, serving as a beloved side dish.

  • Charcuterie and Cheese Boards

    German charcuterie and cheese boards feature an assortment of sausages and cheeses that reflect regional traditions and flavors.

    The charcuterie component is highlighted by a variety of wurst, such as bratwurst, wiener, and blutwurst, each offering a distinct taste and texture.

  • Stews

    German stews are a cornerstone of the cuisine, known for their robust flavors and the use of a variety of meats and vegetables.

    These slow-cooked dishes are a testament to the German approach to comfort food, offering warmth and heartiness in every spoonful.

  • Bread and Doughs

    Bread and dough-based foods hold a special place in German cuisine.

    From dense, dark ryes to light, fluffy wheat breads, the diversity is a reflection of Germany’s rich agricultural heritage.

    Doughs are also expertly crafted into a range of shapes and sizes for pastries, pretzels, and other baked goods.

German dishes are delicacies widely consumed in Germany, a nation nestled in the heart of Central Europe. German cuisine is diverse, shaped by regional differences and historical influences.

Blending Central European traditions with influences from neighboring countries, German cuisine features varied dishes across regions like Bavaria and Swabia, showcasing similarities with Danish fare, Austrian treats, and Swiss gastronomic delights.

Meat, especially pork, poultry, and beef, is central to German food, with a rich tradition of over 1,500 types of sausages, including Bratwurst and the Bavarian Münchner Weißwurst, adhering to centuries-old quality standards.

In coastal areas, seafood, including herring, tuna, mackerel, and salmon, plays a prominent role. Freshwater fish such as trout and carp are also common, especially inland.

Vegetables like potatoes, carrots, cabbages, and particularly white asparagus, are key components of the diet, used in a variety of dishes from stews to side dishes.

Embarking on a culinary journey, I’ll guide you through the rich tapestry of German cuisine, from its traditional food to popularity, and healthiness. I also introduce meal structures to dishes’ festive roles during celebrations.

Additionally, you’ll discover the influencers of German dishes and the renowned German beverages that complement them.

Below are 30 famous dishes of Germany, listed according to how well-known they are:

Traditional German food has three key aspects:

  • Common Ingredients: German cuisine uses fresh, seasonal, and regional ingredients. Pork, chicken, and beef are the most consumed meats. Freshwater and saltwater fish varieties are also staples in the local diet.
  • Bread as a Staple: Bread, ranging from white to dark rye, is a staple food on every meal.
  • Sausages Variety: Germany is renowned for various sausages (wurst), from breakfast weißwurst to snack-time currywurst. German sausage is also famous not only within the country but also in other parts of the world.

Check out the three main factors below that make German food famous in the world of cuisine.

  • Michelin-Star Restaurants: By November 2017, Germany ranked fourth globally in the number of Michelin three-star restaurants, behind Japan, France, and the USA. This demonstrates Germany’s culinary excellence on a global scale.
  • Beyond Sausages and Beer: This cuisine is also beyond stereotypical sausages, beer, and sauerkraut. Regional specialties add to the cuisine’s richness, like Rouladen (beef rolls), Sauerbraten (marinated roast meat), and Spätzle (pasta).
  • Global Presence: German food’s global popularity is increased by festivals like Oktoberfest, which is celebrated worldwide.

On the other hand, nutritional benefits are also a factor that makes these foods popular.

Consuming German food can bring different health benefits. These are the reasons for it.

  • Local Produce and Balanced Diet: Germans focus on fresh, local produce and a balanced mix of meat and plant-based foods.
  • Fruits and Vegetables: Many Germans eat fruits and vegetables daily, with a growing trend towards vegetarian and vegan diets.
  • Fermented Foods: Sauerkraut and other fermented foods are key for digestion and gut health due to their probiotic content.
  • Whole Grains & Healthy Sides: Rye pumpernickel bread and radishes are dietary staples, providing fiber and supporting digestive health.

Now, it’s time to take on the journey to explore the most famous delicacies in Germany.

30 Most Popular German Dishes with Filters

Let’s uncover Germany’s 30 most famous delights with advanced filters to sort by name, main ingredients, taste, cooking methods, dish types, courses, etc.

Overall, German-based recipes are worth trying, whether they are the most popular, traditional, national, exotic dishes, or street food.

Meat-based dishes, sausages, soups, baked dishes, desserts are very common in Germany.

This cuisine has several national dishes, from sandwiches and sausages, to stews

They are typically made from local ingredients and simple to complex cooking methods, showcasing time-honored recipes.

Currywurst and Döner Kebab are popular choices for street food. These snacks are perfect for those looking to enjoy a tasty bite while exploring German cities.

Döner Kebab

Döner Kebab

  • National
  • Street Food

Döner kebab, although of Turkish origin, has become a beloved fast food item in Germany, particularly known for its adaptation in Berlin during the 1970s.

It consists of meat, usually lamb, beef, or chicken, that is seasoned and cooked on a vertical rotisserie. Thin slices are shaved off and served inside a flatbread or a roll, accompanied by a variety of vegetables like lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and cabbage.

Sauces such as yogurt, garlic, or spicy sauces are often added to enhance the flavor. Döner kebab is a popular choice at any time of day and is especially common as a quick meal or late-night snack.

Schnitzel Breaded Cutlet


  • National
  • Street Food
  • Traditional

Schnitzel is a dish consisting of a thin slice of meat that is tenderized, coated in breadcrumbs, and then fried. Originating from the German-speaking regions, it’s a versatile dish that can be made with various types of meat such as veal, pork, chicken, or turkey.

The most renowned variant is the Wiener Schnitzel, which is traditionally made from veal and served with a lemon slice and a side of potato salad or buttered potatoes. Other popular variations include using pork (often referred to as Wiener Schnitzel vom Schwein) or chicken.

This dish first appeared in Germany at the end of the 19th century, and it was represented in the cookbook in 1831. Besides Germany, this is a national dish of Austria. September 9 every year is chosen as National Wiener Schnitzel Day.ermangerrman

Brezeln German


  • Street Food
  • Traditional

Brezel, known as Pretzel in English, is a baked pastry that originates from Germany and is famous for its unique knot-like shape. Traditionally topped with coarse salt, they now come with diverse toppings like mustard, cheese, and chocolate.

Pretzels are available as soft, fresh varieties or as crunchy, hard snacks, with dough options including whole wheat and rye.

There are also sweet versions of pretzels, made with different types of dough and toppings, especially around Christmas when they might be made from gingerbread and coated in chocolate.

They are particularly celebrated in Germany on National Pretzel Day (April 26) and during National Pretzel Month (October).

Introduced to America in the late 18th century by German immigrants, pretzels are also part of various traditions, including New Year’s and Palm Sunday celebrations.



  • Street Food
  • Traditional

Wurst is a key element of German cuisine, encompassing a wide variety of sausages made from different types of meat and seasoned with various spices.

The tradition of sausage-making in Germany is extensive, with over 1,500 types of Wurst available. These sausages are typically encased in natural casings made from the intestines of pigs, sheep, or lambs.

some of the most well-known and widely consumed varieties include: bratwurst (brat), wiener (vienna sausages), blutwurst (blood sausage), schwarzwurst (blood sausage), münchner weißwurst (munich white sausage), currywurst.

Germany has strict regulations regarding the ingredients and preparation methods of sausages, ensuring high quality and safety standards. The diversity of Wurst reflects the regional culinary traditions within Germany, with each area boasting its own unique recipes and variations.



  • National
  • Street Food
  • Traditional

Bratwurst is a German sausage variety made from pork, beef, or veal, with a history dating back to the 14th century. It varies by region, with over 40 types across Germany.

Notable varieties include the franconian bratwurst, known for its size and marjoram flavor; the coburger bratwurst, made with pork and beef and seasoned with nutmeg and lemon zest; and the kulmbacher bratwurst, a finely ground veal sausage with a secret spice blend.

Another notable variety is the nürnberger bratwurst, small and flavored with marjoram, is a protected specialty from nuremberg. These sausages are traditionally grilled over a beechwood fire and often served with sauerkraut or potato salad.

Currywurst German


  • Fusion
  • National
  • Street Food

Currywurst is a popular German fast food dish consisting of steamed, then fried pork sausage cut into slices and seasoned with curry ketchup—a sauce made from spiced ketchup or tomato paste topped with curry powder.

This dish was invented by Herta Heuwer in Berlin in 1949, who created the curry sauce after obtaining ketchup and curry powder from British soldiers. Currywurst quickly became a beloved snack among Berlin’s reconstruction workers due to its affordability and filling nature.

It is commonly served with french fries or bread rolls and can be found at snack stands and fast-food restaurants throughout Germany.

Schwarzwalder Kirschtorte

Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte

  • Traditional

Schwarzwälder kirschtorte, also known as Black Forest Cherry Cake, is a German dessert made from layers of chocolate sponge cake, whipped cream, and cherries, often decorated with more cream, chocolate shavings, and maraschino cherries.

A key ingredient is Kirschwasser, a cherry brandy, which is essential for the authentic flavor. The cake is linked to the Black Forest region, known for its cherries.



  • Traditional

Apfelstrudel is a beloved pastry in German cuisine, known for its flaky crust and sweet apple filling. Originating from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, it’s a traditional Viennese strudel that has become a staple in both Austrian and German bakeries.

The pastry is made by wrapping thinly rolled dough around a mixture of tart apples, sugar, cinnamon, and sometimes raisins or nuts, creating a roll that’s then baked until golden.

Apfelstrudel is particularly popular during the fall and winter months and is a common sight at Christmas markets and festive gatherings.

Tangy Sauerkraut


  • National
  • Traditional

Sauerkraut is a traditional dish made from finely chopped cabbage that undergoes fermentation by various lactic acid bacteria. This process gives the cabbage a long shelf life and imparts a distinctive sour taste due to the lactic acid produced during fermentation.

Although commonly associated with German cuisine, where it is considered a national dish, sauerkraut did not originate in Germany. The history of fermented foods like sauerkraut dates back to ancient times, with references to preserving cabbages with salt found in Roman texts.

The term “sauerkraut” itself translates to “sour cabbage” in German. It is also a traditional dish in Central and Eastern Europe.

Sauerbraten German


  • National
  • Traditional

Sauerbraten is a classic German dish known for its tender, marinated meat, often beef, but also made with venison, lamb, or pork.

The meat is soaked for several days in a tangy marinade made from wine or vinegar, combined with water, herbs, and spices, which tenderizes the meat and infuses it with flavor.

The dish is traditionally served with rich gravy and accompanied by sides like potato dumplings or red cabbage.



  • Traditional

Stollen is a traditional German fruit bread, rich with dried or candied fruit, nuts, and spices, and often filled with marzipan. It’s dusted with powdered sugar, giving it a snowy appearance, fitting for its association with Christmas.

Originating from Saxony, stollen is particularly famous in Dresden, where it’s known as Dresdner stollen, a prized variety that carries a special seal.

Initially a simple, less flavorful bread, its evolution over centuries has incorporated more luxurious ingredients like butter, thanks to a papal decree known as the “Butter-Letter.”

Today, stollen is a festive staple during the Christmas season, celebrated at events like the Stollenfest in Dresden.



  • Street Food
  • Traditional

Berliner is a traditional German pastry similar to a doughnut without a hole, known for its sweet, jam-filled center. Made from a yeast dough, it is deep-fried until golden and then filled with various jams, typically raspberry or plum.

The outer layer is usually dusted with powdered sugar, making it a delightful, sweet treat. Variations of the Berliner include fillings of custard or chocolate and toppings of icing sugar or regular granulated sugar.

Berliners are particularly popular during the Carnival season and New Year’s Eve, where they are enjoyed as part of the festive fare. In some regions, it’s a fun tradition to fill a few Berliners with mustard as a prank.

Spaghetieis German


  • Fusion

Spaghettieis is a delightful German dessert that playfully mimics a plate of spaghetti. Vanilla ice cream is passed through a Spätzle press or potato ricer to create “noodles,” which are then topped with strawberry sauce to represent tomato sauce.

White chocolate shavings, coconut flakes, or grated almonds are sprinkled on top as a stand-in for Parmesan cheese. This inventive dessert was created by Dario Fontanella in the late 1960s in Mannheim, Germany.

While traditionally served with strawberry sauce, there are variations like using dark chocolate sauce to simulate spaghetti carbonara.



  • Traditional

Lebkuchen are traditional German spiced cookies, somewhat similar to gingerbread, made with a variety of spices like cinnamon, ginger, and cloves, as well as honey or molasses for sweetness.

They come in many shapes and sizes, with some of the most common variations including Elisenlebkuchen, which are often softer and richer due to their higher nut content, and Oblatenlebkuchen, which are baked on a thin wafer.

Lebkuchen are particularly popular during the Christmas season and are a staple at German Christmas markets, where they are often decorated with icing or chocolate and sometimes filled with jam or marzipan.



  • National
  • Traditional

Schweinshaxe is a hearty German dish featuring a roasted ham hock, or pork knuckle, which is the part of the pig’s leg just above the ankle. Particularly beloved in Bavaria, this dish is known for its crispy skin and tender meat, achieved through slow roasting.

Schweinshaxe is often accompanied by potato dumplings and red cabbage or sauerkraut and potatoes. Variations include the Bavarian Schweinshaxn and the Eisbein in other parts of Germany, where the ham hock is pickled and boiled.



  • Street Food

Kartoffelpuffer, also known as Reibekuchen or German potato pancakes, are a delightful dish made from grated or ground potatoes mixed with ingredients like flour, egg, and sometimes onion for flavor. These pancakes are shallow-fried until golden and crispy.

They can be enjoyed in various ways, either savory with toppings like sour cream, or sweet with apple sauce or sugar. This dish is versatile and has variations that include using mashed potatoes for a different texture or even sweet potatoes for a unique taste.

This dish is particularly popular at street fairs and Christmas markets in Germany, where they’re enjoyed as a warm, comforting snack.



  • Traditional

Käsespätzle is a comforting dish from the German-speaking regions, particularly Swabia, Baden, and Allgäu. It consists of Spätzle (soft egg noodles) layered with grated cheese and topped with crispy fried onions.

The dish is baked until the cheese melts, creating a gooey and delicious meal. Variations of Käsespätzle include different types of cheese, such as Emmentaler or regional varieties like Bergkäse.

In some areas, it’s served with green salads or potato salad, and in places like Vorarlberg and Liechtenstein, it’s traditionally accompanied by apple sauce. There are also pan-fried versions, known as Kasnocken, which are popular in parts of Austria.

Maultaschen Meat Dumplings


  • Traditional

Maultaschen are large Swabian dumplings filled with a mixture of minced meat, smoked meat, spinach, bread crumbs, and onions, seasoned with herbs. Maultaschen are usually square or rectangular and measure about 8–12 centimeters across.

They can be boiled or fried and are traditionally eaten during Lent, especially on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. The dish is humorously known as “God-cheaters” due to the hidden meat filling.

Rouladen Beef Rolls


  • Traditional

Rouladen is a traditional German dish that involves thin slices of beef rolled around a filling, which typically includes bacon, onions, mustard, and pickles. After being rolled, these beef rolls are browned and then slowly cooked in a broth or wine, enhancing their flavor and tenderness.

Its name “roulade” comes from the French word “rouler”, which means “roll”. It often appears during holidays or family celebrations.

Variations of Rouladen may use different meats such as veal or pork, and the filling can also vary by region or personal preference, sometimes including ingredients like carrots or celery for added flavor.

Labskaus German


  • Traditional

Labskaus is a traditional dish from Northern Germany, particularly associated with coastal cities like Hamburg and Bremen. It’s a hearty meal made from a base of corned beef, potatoes, and onions, often blended into a pinkish paste.

The dish has maritime origins, designed to utilize preserved ingredients available on ships. Variations of Labskaus may include beetroot, pickled gherkins, or herring, either mixed in or served on the side.

In some regions, Labskaus is garnished with a fried egg and served with pickled beetroot and rollmops (pickled herring fillets rolled around a filling) on the side.



  • Traditional

Bratkartoffeln, or German fried potatoes, consist of thinly sliced potatoes that are fried until they’re crispy. Often, they’re enhanced with savory ingredients such as bacon and onions, and seasoned with spices like salt, pepper, and sometimes caraway or marjoram.

This dish can be made with either raw or pre-cooked potatoes, with the choice often depending on personal preference or regional tradition. Bratkartoffeln is commonly served alongside dishes like schnitzel or sausages, making them a hearty and satisfying component of a meal.



  • Traditional

Mischbrot is a staple German bread that blends both wheat and rye flours, often leavened with sourdough or yeast. This bread is known for its balanced flavor, which is less intense than pure rye bread but more complex than standard wheat bread.

The texture of Mischbrot is characterized by a denser crumb and a chewy crust, making it a hearty and satisfying choice. There are two primary variations: “Rye Mischbrot,” which contains more than 50% rye flour, and “Wheat Mischbrot,” which contains more than 50% wheat flour.



  • Traditional

Pumpernickel is a traditional German rye bread known for its dark color, dense texture, and slightly sweet flavor. Originating from the Westphalia region in Germany, Pumpernickel is made from coarsely ground rye flour and whole rye grains, often without any wheat flour.

The bread’s distinct dark color and unique flavor come from an extended baking period, typically 16 to 24 hours, at a low temperature in a steam-filled oven. This process caramelizes the natural sugars in the rye flour, contributing to the bread’s characteristic taste and color.

Pumpernickel serves as a robust base for various toppings, including cheeses, smoked meats, and fish. In some regions, Pumpernickel is also enjoyed during festive gatherings, particularly in Northern Europe, where it pairs well with traditional cold-weather foods.



  • Traditional

Zwiebelkuchen, translating to “onion cake,” is a savory German pie featuring a base of yeast or leavened dough topped with a mixture of caramelized onions, diced bacon, cream, and caraway seeds.

This dish is often associated with the wine harvest season and is popularly enjoyed in the fall alongside new wine. Variations include adjustments to the type of dough or the addition of other ingredients, but the essential components remain onions and a creamy, savory topping.



  • Traditional

Saumagen is a traditional dish from the Palatinate region of Germany, resembling a hearty stuffed sausage but made using a pig’s stomach as the casing.

The filling typically includes a mixture of potatoes, pork, and sometimes beef, seasoned with onions, marjoram, nutmeg, and white pepper, among other spices.

Saumagen is usually boiled and can be served sliced and pan-fried, often accompanied by sauerkraut and mashed potatoes. It’s known for its robust flavor and texture, with the stomach casing becoming crisp upon roasting or frying.

Grünkohl Mit Pinkel

Grünkohl mit Pinkel

  • Traditional

Grünkohl mit Pinkel (kale and pinkel) is a beloved winter dish in northwest Germany, particularly in regions like Oldenburg, Bremen, and East Frisia.

It consists of slowly cooked kale (Grünkohl) combined with Pinkel, a type of smoked sausage made from oats or barley groats, bacon, and pork fat, seasoned with onions and spices.

The dish is rich and hearty, often enjoyed during the colder months and traditionally served as part of “Kohl-und-Pinkel-Touren,” which are social outings that culminate in a communal meal of Grünkohl mit Pinkel.

Forelle Müllerin

Forelle Müllerin

  • Traditional

Forelle Müllerin is a classic German dish featuring trout prepared in the “miller’s wife” style. The trout is typically dusted with flour and then pan-fried to a golden crisp. It’s often served with a butter sauce, lemon, and parsley, highlighting the fish’s delicate flavor.

This dish is popular in regions with freshwater streams and is enjoyed year-round, especially in traditional German restaurants.

Rote Grütze

Rote Grütze

  • Traditional

Rote Grütze, translating to “red groats” in English, is a beloved dessert in Northern Germany and Denmark, made from a mix of red and black berries like strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and red and black currants.

The fruit is cooked with sugar and thickened with starch, such as potato or cornstarch, to create a pudding-like consistency. Rote Grütze is typically served chilled, accompanied by vanilla sauce, cream, or ice cream, making it a refreshing dessert especially in the summer months.



  • Street Food
  • Traditional

Brötchen, commonly known as a bread roll in English, is a small, typically round, or oblong loaf of bread fundamental to German cuisine, known for its golden exterior and soft interior.

In Germany, there are several regional names and variations. For example, in western and central Germany, as well as in Switzerland, they are affectionately called Brötchen or Brötli, respectively.

Other regional names include Rundstück in Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein, Semmel in Austria and parts of Bavaria, Weck in regions like Baden-Württemberg, and Schrippe in Berlin.

In terms of variations, some common ones include Kaisersemmel (emperor roll or kaiser roll ), vollkornbrötchen (whole grain roll), laugenbrötchen (lye roll), mehrkornbrötchen (multigrain roll).

Brötchen are deeply ingrained in German food culture, often served with butter, cheese, cold cuts, or jam, and are a key component of the traditional German breakfast or Abendbrot (evening bread meal).

Eintopf German


  • Traditional

Eintopf refers to a hearty, one-pot stew that is a staple in German cuisine. This dish is characterized by its simplicity and versatility, incorporating various ingredients such as meats, vegetables, and sometimes legumes or grains, all simmered together in a flavorful broth.

Common variations depend on regional preferences and seasonal ingredients, making Eintopf a comforting and adaptable dish. It’s a popular German dish during the colder months and can be found in many German households as a warming, filling meal.

What Are German Meal Structure?

The structure of German meals is characterized by traditional patterns that include several key meals throughout the day:

  • Breakfast (Frühstück): Typically the first meal of the day, German breakfasts are often hearty and may include breads, cheeses, cold cuts, and sometimes eggs. Beverages like coffee, tea, or juice are common.
  • Lunch (Mittagessen): Traditionally the main meal of the day, lunch in Germany is usually a warm, hearty meal that could include dishes like meats, vegetables, and potatoes. It’s often eaten around midday to early afternoon.
  • Dinner (Abendessen): German dinners tend to be lighter than lunch and may consist of cold dishes like breads, cheeses, and salads. In some regions and families, a warm meal may be served in the evening instead.
  • Snacks (Imbisse): Between the main meals, Germans might enjoy snacks, which can range from simple bread and butter (Brotzeit) to pastries or fruits.

This meal structure reflects a balance between hearty, warm meals and lighter, cold dishes, with a strong emphasis on breads, meats, and dairy products for both daily meals and important celebrations.

How Do German Dishes Contribute to The Celebration of Holidays

German Dishes Holiday Celebrations
Stollen bread is popular on German Christmas table.

In German holiday celebrations, dishes significantly contribute to the festivities by showcasing the country’s rich culinary traditions and regional diversity. Here’s a simplified breakdown:

  • Christmas: The holiday season is marked by traditional dishes such as the Christmas goose, served with red cabbage and dumplings, and stollen, a fruit bread filled with nuts, spices, and dried fruit, dusted with powdered sugar, embodying the festive spirit.
  • Easter: Lamb is a traditional Easter meal, symbolizing new beginnings and the spring season. White asparagus is also a favored dish, representing the arrival of spring with its delicate flavor.
  • Sausage Traditions: With over 1,500 types of sausage, German holidays often feature specialties like Nürnberger Rostbratwurst during Christmas markets and Münchner Weißwurst during Oktoberfest and Bavarian festivals.
  • Fish Dishes: In coastal regions and during Lent and Easter, fish dishes like pickled herring play a significant role, served in various forms and reflecting Germany’s northern coastal heritage.

These dishes not only enhance the festive atmosphere but also foster a sense of community and tradition, making them integral to German holiday celebrations and play a vital impact on worldwide cuisine.

What Are the Influences of German Cuisine Worldwide?

German cuisine has made a significant impact on culinary traditions worldwide, with its influence evident in various countries and regions. Here’s a breakdown of how German dishes have influenced global cuisine:

  • Central Europe: German culinary traditions have deeply influenced neighboring countries like Poland, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia. This is seen in shared dishes and ingredients, such as potato salads and various meat dishes.
  • Northern Europe: In Denmark, traditional Danish cuisine has been influenced by German culinary practices, leading to similarities in dishes between the two countries.
  • Western Europe: German cuisine shares many characteristics with Western European cuisine, particularly in the Low Countries (Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg), where common traditional dishes reflect this influence.
  • Southern Germany: Regions like Bavaria and Swabia have culinary ties with Austrian and parts of Swiss cuisine, showcasing a blend of traditions across borders.
  • Central-Eastern Europe: Countries like Hungary and Romania, which have German minorities, also reflect the influence of German cuisine in their traditional dishes, a testament to the historical and cultural exchanges.
  • Sausage Tradition’s Popularity: Germany’s long tradition of sausage-making, with over 1,500 different types of sausage, has found its way into international cuisine. Dishes like Bratwurst and Currywurst have become popular far beyond Germany’s borders.
  • Breaded Meat Dishes: The German tradition of breaded meat dishes, such as Schnitzel, has been adopted and adapted in various cuisines around the world.
  • Bakery Goods: German bakery goods, particularly bread and pastries, have influenced baking traditions in many countries, with German-style bakeries found in many parts of the world.
  • Beer Culture: German beer culture, including the celebration of Oktoberfest, has become a global phenomenon, with beer festivals and German-style breweries found worldwide.

Which Are Famous German Beverages to Pair with Dishes?

German Dishes Pair With Beverages
Sauerbraten, German national dish, is usually enjoyed with beer.

In Germany, the art of pairing traditional beverages with local cuisine is an essential part of the dining experience. Here are some quintessential German pairings:

  • Beer: Germany is renowned for its wide variety of beers, with each region boasting its own specialty. A crisp Pilsner or a refreshing Weißbier (wheat beer) is perfect with lighter dishes like bratwurst, pretzels, or a traditional bavarian brotzeit platter.
    Darker beers, like Dunkel or Bock, complement richer, heartier dishes such as schweinshaxe (roasted pork knuckle) or sauerbraten (marinated beef roast).
  • Riesling: This versatile white wine, which ranges from sweet to dry, is a hallmark of German winemaking. A dry Riesling is excellent with freshwater fish dishes, like Forelle Müllerin, or with a light salad.
    The sweeter varieties pair wonderfully with spicy dishes, such as those influenced by global cuisines, or with traditional desserts like Apfelstrudel.
  • Spätburgunder (Pinot Noir): Germany’s answer to red wine, Spätburgunder, is elegant and pairs beautifully with dishes like roasted duck, game meats, or a hearty beef stew.
    Its versatility also makes it suitable for pairing with grilled sausages or a flavorful cheese platter.
  • Schnapps: This clear spirit, distilled from fruits such as apples, pears, or plums, is often served as a digestif after a meal. It complements a wide range of German pastries and desserts, offering a refreshing finish to a rich meal.
  • Glühwein: During the winter months, this mulled wine, spiced with cinnamon, cloves, and orange peel, is a festive choice that pairs wonderfully with traditional Christmas market fare, such as lebkuchen (gingerbread) or roasted nuts.

These pairings not only enhance the flavors of the dishes but also celebrate Germany’s diverse beverage options, from its world-famous beers to its esteemed wines and traditional spirits.

Enjoyed our German culinary journey? Like and share to bring these flavors to more food enthusiasts! Prost to good food and great company!

Jamie Scott

Jamie Scott

Editor in Chief, Senior Content Writer


Home Cooking, Meal Planning, Recipe Development, Baking and Pastry, Food Editor, Cooking-video Maker, Western Food Evaluation Expert


Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts

  • Program: Bachelor’s degree in Culinary Arts
  • Focus: Gained foundational knowledge in French and European culinary techniques. Participated in workshops and hands-on training sessions under the guidance of seasoned chefs.

Local Community College, New York, NY

  • Program: Associate’s Degree in Nutrition
  • Focus: Acquired basic understanding of nutrition principles, dietary needs, and the importance of balanced diets in daily life.

Jamie Scott is a skilled culinary expert and content creator specializing in Western cuisine. With over 15 years in the culinary field and formal training from Le Cordon Bleu, Paris, Jamie deeply understands how to blend nutrition with delicious flavors. His passion for cooking matches his commitment to making healthy eating accessible and enjoyable.

On Fifteen.net, Jamie brings a fresh perspective to classic dishes and beverages, offering readers insightful recipes, cooking tips, and a fresh view on meal planning that emphasizes taste, health, and simplicity.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *