Top 10 German foods – with recipes

Top 10 German foods – with recipes

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Each region of Germany has its own speciality dish and variations of typical German cuisine. Here are our top 10 traditional German foods to try, do-it-yourself recipes included.

German food is rich, substantial and delicious, with each region having its own speciality dishes and traditional cuisine. And what better way to explore German culture than creating your own German specialties? That's why we have searched far and wide for the best German recipes – both athentic and with a twist. Guten Appetit!

Apfelstrudel (apple strudel) is a delicious pastry filled with apples flavoured with sugar, cinnamon, raisins and breadcrumbs – and has been popular since the 18th century. The delicate flakey pastry is made from an elastic dough, which is kneaded and stretched until it’s as thin as phyllo pastry. The pastry is wrapped round and round the filling building up many layers, and then baked. It’s served warm in slices sprinkled with powdered or icing sugar.

Top ten foods in Germany: Best traditional German food to try

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Top ten foods in Germany: Best traditional German foods to tryEintopf

A steaming bowl of eintopf will warm you up on a cold day. The name of this traditional German stew literally means ‘one pot’ and refers to the way of cooking rather than a specific recipe. However, most recipes contain the same basic ingredients: a broth, some vegetables, potatoes or pulses and then some meat (commonly pork, beef or chicken) or sometimes fish. There are regional specialities, for example, lumpen und fleeh (which means ‘rags and fleas’) in the Kassel area, which is similar to Irish stew.

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Spatzle, noodles made from wheat flour and egg, are popular especially in the South. They’re often served topped with cheese (kasepatzle) – rather like macaroni cheese – and sometimes with roasted onions as well. They can be served boiling hot, straight from the pan – so be careful!

Top ten foods in Germany: Best traditional German foods to try

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Top ten foods in Germany: Best traditional German foods to tryThese are shallow pan-fried pancakes made from grated or ground potatoes mixed with flour, egg, onion and seasoning. You can enjoy them either salty as a side dish to a main course of meat or fish, or sweet with apple sauce, blueberries, sugar and cinnamon. Look out for them in outdoor markets in the winter.

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Rote grutze

This red fruit pudding is a popular dessert in the North. It’s made from black and red currants, raspberries and sometimes strawberries or cherries, which are cooked in their juice and thickened with a little cornstarch or cornflour. It’s served with cream, vanilla sauce or milk. 

Top ten foods in Germany: Best traditional German foods to try

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Top ten foods in Germany: Best traditional German foods to try Germans love their meat – and sauerbraten (meaning ‘sour’ or ‘pickled’ roast) is a pot roast that’s regarded as one of the country’s national dishes. It can be made from many different meats (originally horse), which are marinated in wine, vinegar, spices, herbs and seasoning for up to 10 days. Schweinenbraten is a delicious roast pork dish, usually served with braised cabbage or sauerkraut and dumplings (knoedel), and washed down with a pilsner beer.

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Brezel are soft, white pretzels, made from flour water and yeast and sprinkled with salt (and sometimes different seeds), and great to eat as a side dish or snack – or with a beer. They’re in every bakery and on street stands, sold plain, sliced and buttered (butterbrezel) or with slices of cold meats or cheese.

Top ten foods in Germany: Best traditional German foods to try

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Top ten foods in Germany: Best traditional German foods to trySchwarzwalder Kirschtorte
You’ll find lots of cakes and tarts to tempt you in Germany, commonly made with fresh fruit. Few can resist a huge slice or two of the most famous of them all: the delicious schwarzwalder kirschtorte – Black Forest cherry cake. The cake is named after schwarzwalder kirschwasser, which is a liqueur distilled from tart cherries. Alternating layers of rich chocolate cake, cherries and whipped cream are topped off with more cream, maraschino cherries and chocolate shavings.

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SchnitzelTop ten foods in Germany: Best traditional German foods to try
A schnitzel is a thin, boneless cutlet of meat, which is coated in breadcrumbs and often served with a slice of lemon. You can choose a Wiener Schnitzel, which is made of veal, or a schnitzel Wiener made of pork. If you order a Hamburg-style schnitzel, it will arrive with a fried egg on top;  while a Holsten-style schnitzel will come with an egg, anchovies and capers.

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There are more than 1500 different types of wurst (sausage) made in Germany and you’ll find street stalls selling them everywhere. The most popular include bratwurst (fried sausage) made of ground pork and spices, Wiener (Viennese), which is smoked and then boiled, and blutwurst and schwarzwurst, which are both blood sausages. Look out for regional specialities like Berlin’s currywurst (sausage with curried ketchup on the top), Bavaria’s weisswurst, a white sausage that you peel before eating with a sweet mustard, and Nuremberg's grilled rostbratwurst, served with fermented shredded cabbage known as sauerkraut.

Top ten foods of Germany: Best traditional German foods to try

Make your own:



Read more on local and traditional foods in Europe:


Photo credit: StaraBlazkova (apple strudel), Josef Türk Jun. (Eintopf), Hans (kasespatzle), (kartoffelpuffer), Olaf Simons (rote grutze), kochtopf (Sauerbraten), Mikelo (schwarzwalder kirschtorte), Benreis at wikivoyage shared (schnitzel).

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27 Comments To This Article

  • Asad posted:

    on 30th May 2016, 11:13:23 - Reply

    Amazing German recipes! Nice collection..

  • Steven posted:

    on 5th May 2016, 16:32:14 - Reply

  • John posted:

    on 28th April 2016, 17:03:45 - Reply

    There are a lot of German people in Austria so.... a German could have made it.
  • Recipes posted:

    on 15th April 2016, 08:58:23 - Reply

    these are really nice recipes

  • aimee posted:

    on 5th April 2016, 23:26:32 - Reply

  • awesomeness posted:

    on 11th March 2016, 16:19:53 - Reply

    everything was so gooood
  • SissieA posted:

    on 9th January 2016, 05:19:51 - Reply

    Both filo and phyllo are correct!
  • AdolfSkroatler posted:

    on 24th December 2015, 15:25:54 - Reply

    Sarah, I do appreciate your clarification on the origin of these 2 foods. In this case, people associate them with German cuisine, and that is why they are here. Much like the Burrito is American and not Mexican, and the Fortune Cookie is American, and not Chinese, they are associated as such, so included with their respective countries. Auf Wiedersehen
  • priscilla posted:

    on 7th December 2015, 19:35:19 - Reply

  • Marion posted:

    on 28th September 2015, 23:10:10 - Reply

    Rouladen certainly are NOT cooked in water. They are browned on all sides in a fry pan in hot fat, vegetable oil, I have done in butter/vegetable oil mix. When nicely browned on all sides they are transferred to a casserole dish. Then a gravy is made from the pan drippings and, if needed, beef broth, then poured over the rouladen, covered and simmered about 1 1/2 hours, or until tender.
  • Worschti posted:

    on 7th July 2015, 11:54:05 - Reply

    The usage of the word "Wurst" is just fine. It's right that "Wuerstchen" is the diminutive and as in 16. is said, USUALLY used for cold-cuts, but not exclusively. That's just common speech, the correct word for cold-cuts would be "Aufschnitt". In my opionion "Wuerstchen" means small or thin sausages, while "Wuerste" means thicker/bigger ones. "Wurst" is jused correct, because it's the generic term.
  • David posted:

    on 8th June 2015, 18:47:18 - Reply

    Actually, your usage of the word "wurst" is incorrect in this context. Wurst usually refers to cold-cuts. Sausages are referred to as "Würstchen", the diminutive of "Wurst", unless it is used in Words like Bratwurst, Rostbratwurst etc. If you wanted to group them under Title then you should have certainly used "Würstchen". You also spelled a lot of dishes wrong. The correct names would be "Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte", "Rote Grütze" and "Käsespätzle". You left out of all of the "Umlaute".

  • mallory posted:

    on 28th May 2015, 04:14:01 - Reply

    thanks alot i need this so much i [me] have to march around sara j anderson for a culture parade
  • dgfgfsg posted:

    on 5th May 2015, 20:22:52 - Reply

    i love german foods!!!!
  • ReggieJenkins3434 posted:

    on 8th April 2015, 01:20:12 - Reply

    German foods don't really matter to me... I'm just using this for my ... imaginary journey project at school. Although, I would like to go there and learn how to speak some german.

  • Joshua posted:

    on 12th March 2015, 17:21:52 - Reply

    What the heck pork hock is not listed here, the musket in Etobicoke serves excellent pork hock
  • Joanna posted:

    on 28th February 2015, 15:23:45 - Reply

    Rouladen are NOT cooked in WATER..................they are fried

  • Kisadance posted:

    on 25th February 2015, 07:34:49 - Reply

    Thanks for putting this together I think there is just so a big regional variety....but as some mentioned before Rouladen und Kloesse is a "Must" on that list and what about Thureringer Bratwurst in the section about sausages....
  • LeckerBiss posted:

    on 24th October 2014, 17:33:41 - Reply

    Hm... German cuisine has soo much more to offer. The Rote Grotze is a good tip, but otherwise the list is so unhealthy... What for example about all the krauts and salad recipes, for example:

  • sarah posted:

    on 9th October 2014, 11:19:04 - Reply

    wiener schnitzel and Apfelstrudel are austrian ad NOT german...just saying
  • Adolf's Suicide Note posted:

    on 30th April 2014, 17:39:12 - Reply

    I absolutely love this recipe. So delicious!
  • Connie posted:

    on 29th April 2014, 18:47:08 - Reply

    I am German. The Germans themselves voted Roladen as their favorite dish. It is missing here. They are sooooooooooo good!!!
  • Cheyenne posted:

    on 2nd April 2014, 19:37:53 - Reply

    my Gramma is from Germany, so german food for dinner is nothing big, but my FAVOURITE dish is Ruladen. it is a thin steak, smeared with mustard, and lined with one quarter of a dill pickle, bacon, and a small amount of onion, then rolled. it is then boiled in water, making a gravy, then served with potatoes and usually she makes Bloukraut with it.
  • Sofia posted:

    on 20th December 2013, 11:16:14 - Reply

    Good variety, looks great! I just saw a post on how to get creative with Kartoffelpuffer - check it out.
  • Marc posted:

    on 7th December 2013, 17:35:11 - Reply

    First: nice collection! I justed wanted to provide some comments and tips for a great schnitzel. A schnitzel made of pork mear is called "Schnitzel Wiener Art". It's definitely the cheaper version but can be as good as made of veal with these tips: Add some whipped cream to the eggs. That will make the coating extremely fluffy. Use a big scoop of clarified butter (if you can't find it at the grocery store, use a mix of vegetable oil and butter, but no olive oil). The schnitzel has to swim in fat. These are the main points to make your schnitzel original. Trust a German native !;) [Edited by moderator]
  • Misslolzxx posted:

    on 19th September 2013, 19:42:55 - Reply

    Good but it wasn't very detailed and it is Filo no Phyllo
  • susesusi posted:

    on 12th April 2013, 12:57:50 - Reply

    Just two little things about this good article: It's Wiener Schnitzel and Wiener Würstchen (not Weiner), and there are loads of regional dishes altering the top 10 dependent on where one's eating.