What's on the Menu? - Germanfoods.org (2024)

What can you expect on the menu when you go to a traditional German restaurant or pub?

More often than not, classic dishes likeWiener Schnitzel, Würstchen mit Sauerkraut,and, of course, potato-based dishes in various forms, like in Bratkartoffeln (Roasted Potatoes), Pommes Frites (French Fries), or Kartoffelauflauf (potato cassseroles).

But have you tried Kalbshaxe (Veal Shank), Pinkel mit Grünkohl (blood sausage with kale), Leberkäse (loaf of finely minced pork sausage) orMaultaschen (German-Style Ravioli)? Broaden your knowledge of the traditional German menu with our collection of German restaurant dishes.

Potato Dishes

What's on the Menu? - Germanfoods.org (1) Dill Potatoes with Quark
(Pellkartoffel mit Dill und Quark)
Germans love their indigenous 200+ types of Kartoffeln (potatoes). In Munich, you can even visit the Kartoffelmuseum. Restaurants serve boiled peeled potatoes with dill and quark. If they are tossed in butter they are also known as Schwenkkartoffeln (tossed potatoes) or Butterkartoffeln (buttered potatoes).

What's on the Menu? - Germanfoods.org (2)
Potato Casserole
The German generic term for baked “casserole” is “Auflauf” (lit.: piling up).

What's on the Menu? - Germanfoods.org (3)
duch*ess Potatoes
A French delicacy, adopted to German taste. Made with mashed potatoes, eggs, salt and pepper, piped into rose-leaf shapes and baked in the oven.

What's on the Menu? - Germanfoods.org (4)
Farmer’s Breakfast
Diced potatoes with onions and ham, browned in a skillet and covered with beaten eggs.

What's on the Menu? - Germanfoods.org (5)French fries
(Pommes Frites)
French fries usually called just Pommes. In Germany, French fries are generally eaten with mayonnaise but are also eaten with ketchup like in the US. Pommes rot-weiß means fries covered in both ketchup and mayonnaise.

What's on the Menu? - Germanfoods.org (6)
Fried Potatoes
Bratkartoffeln are raw or cooked potatoes fried with bacon and onion, often seasoned with salt, pepper, marjoram or caraway seed. Bratkartoffeln are served as a side dish with many types of entrees and also make a good breakfast dish when served with scrambled eggs (Rühreier). They are similar to what Americans might call “home fries”.

What's on the Menu? - Germanfoods.org (7)
German Ravioli
Pockets of noodle dough that are stuffed with various fillings such as spinach, meat or cheese. They are very popular all over Germany and originate in Swabia. You can eat them in a beef broth or soup or also as a main course.While Maultaschen could be thought of as copied from the Italian ravioli, there are many legends surrounding their origins. It is said that in the 17th century, monks from the Maulbronn monastery wanted to hide some meat from God during Lent, so they mixed the meat with spinach and herbs and hid the mixture in dough pockets, thus creating the “Maultaschen.”

What's on the Menu? - Germanfoods.org (8)Sweet Vanilla Dumplings
Germknödel are similar to Dampfnudeln except that they are boiled in salted water or steamed over hot water. They are filled with Pflaumenmus (plum jam) and garnished with melted butter or vanilla sauce.

What's on the Menu? - Germanfoods.org (9)
Grießklöße / Grießknödel
(Grießklöße / Grießknödel)
These are small dumplings made with Grieß (semolina), milk, eggs and butter. They are usually added to soups but can also be eaten as a side dish topped with cheese and butter or fruits.

What's on the Menu? - Germanfoods.org (10)
Falscher Hase
(Falscher Hase)
While this means “false hare/rabbit”, the dish is actually a meat loaf (Hackbraten) that is made with ground pork and beef, breadcrumbs, eggs, salt and pepper. It is served with potatoes and gravy. Sometimes a boiled egg is placed in the center of the meat mixture so that it makes a nice surprise when you cut the meatloaf.

What's on the Menu? - Germanfoods.org (11)
Holsteiner Schnitzel/ Schnitzel nach Holsteiner Art
(Holsteiner Schnitzel/ Schnitzel nach Holsteiner Art)
Holsteiner Schnitzel, a veal fillet (pork can be used instead) breaded and browned in butter and topped with a fried egg and an anchovy was the favorite meal of the great 19th-century Prussian diplomat Friedrich von Holstein – who liked to eat in a hurry – so he had his appetizer and main course all on one plate.

What's on the Menu? - Germanfoods.org (12)
Kassler Rippchen
(Kassler Rippchen)
Smoked pork chops. Kassler does not come from the city of Kassel but was named after a butcher from Berlin by the name of Cassel at the end of the 19th century. They are served with sauerkraut and/ or mashed potatoes.

What's on the Menu? - Germanfoods.org (13)
Königsberger Klopse
(Königsberger Klopse)
These are meat dumplings in a white sauce with capers. The are a specialty from Königsberg which was the capital of East Prussia. They are made with a mixture of minced veal, beef and pork mixed with herrings or anchovies, onions, egg and seasonings and cooked in hot water. The water used for cooking the dumplings is then used to make a sauce with flour, cream, anchovies and capers. The meal is then usually served with potatoes or rice.

What's on the Menu? - Germanfoods.org (14)Leberkäse
Although the translation of this is “liver cheese” this Bavarian specialty does not contain either liver or cheese. It is a meatloaf made with lean pork and beef, onions and marjoram. Other words for Leberkäse are Fleischkäse and Fleischlaib. It is eaten warm, spread with mustard in a Semmel (bread roll) and is often topped with a fried egg and accompanied by potato salad.

What's on the Menu? - Germanfoods.org (15)
Leberknödel are liver dumplings made with beef liver, onions and marjoram. They are traditional all over Germany but particularly in Bavaria and Rhineland Palatinate (Pfalz). In Bavaria large-sized Leberknödel are eaten usually in a broth, which is served as a main meal. In the Pfalz region they are served with Sauerkraut or mashed potato.

What's on the Menu? - Germanfoods.org (16)
Leipziger Allerlei
(Leipziger Allerlei)
A vegetable dish served as a side dish. It consists of young peas, carrots, asparagus and morels. Often green beans, cauliflower and kohlrabi are added, too. A classic Leipziger Allerlei also contains crab meat and is made with a crab butter.

What's on the Menu? - Germanfoods.org (17)
Mashed potatoes
Mashed potatoes are also known as Stampfkartoffel, Kartoffelpüree, or Kartoffelmus. It is made by mashing boiled potatoes. Other ingredients such as milk, cream, butter, vegetable oil, garlic, cheese, bacon bits or sour cream are often added.

What's on the Menu? - Germanfoods.org (18)
Meat balls
This is a generic term for a meat ball made from pork or beef or a combination of both. The words Buletten (Berlin), Klopse (Eastern Prussia), Fleischpflanzerl and Fleischküchle (Bavaria) are also used. They are fried and eaten hot although they also taste delicious when cold.

What's on the Menu? - Germanfoods.org (19)
Potatoes are boiled in their skins and served with butter and/or Quark.

What's on the Menu? - Germanfoods.org (20)
Plum Dumplings
Plum dumplings are made by covering a large blue plum (Zwetschge) with a potato dumpling mix. This is then cooked in boiling water and browned in melted butter and either garnished with fried breadcrumbs or sprinkled with confectioner’s sugar or cinnamon sugar.

What's on the Menu? - Germanfoods.org (21)
Pork Knuckles
This is also known as Eisbein. It is the German name for a culinary dish involving the lower part of hams hocks. It is also known as Hachse, Hechse, Haxe, Hämsche, Bötel or Stelze.

What's on the Menu? - Germanfoods.org (22)
Potato Dumplings
(Kartoffelknödel / Kartoffelklöße)
These dumplings are made with raw, grated or cooked potatoes. Some are also made with both, such as in the case of specialties such as Thüringer Klößen and Sonneberger Klößen. Kartoffelknödel are served with a variety of entrées and can also be eaten served with fruit sauce or jam.

What's on the Menu? - Germanfoods.org (23)
Potato Gratin
It is a gratin made with layers of potatoes, bacon cream and/or eggs and cheese then baked in the oven.

What's on the Menu? - Germanfoods.org (24)
Potato Pancakes
Also known as Reibekuchen, these are potato cakes made of grated potato which are then fried golden brown and usually served with apple sauce.

What's on the Menu? - Germanfoods.org (25)
Potato Salad
In southern Germany potato salad is made with oil, vinegar and meat broth. Onions, chopped bacon and diced gherkins are also added and the salad is served warm or at room temperature. This version is what Americans call “German potato salad.”In northern Germany potato salad is, however, made with mayonnaise and diced gherkins, hard boiled eggs and apples are often added.

What's on the Menu? - Germanfoods.org (26)
Quark Dumplings
The main component of these dumplings is Quark, a type of unripened cured cheese which is like a mixture of ricotta cheese and sour cream. After cooking in hot water, these dumplings are rolled in bread crumbs and browned in butter. They are used in both savory and sweet dishes.

What's on the Menu? - Germanfoods.org (27)
A very traditional Sunday meal. It consists of slices of beef, seasoned with salt, pepper and mustard rolled around a mixture of gherkins, onions and bacon. The rolls are then braised for about 1 1/2 hours. Sour cream is added to the liquid to make a sauce. In northern and western Germany this dish is served with potatoes and red cabbage. In the south and southeast it is served with dumplings (Knödel) and red cabbage.

What's on the Menu? - Germanfoods.org (28)
Roast Goose
Gänsebraten is a traditional dish eaten on St. Martin’s Day (Martinsgans) and on Christmas Eve (Weihnachtsgans). It is usually stuffed with apples, chestnuts, onions and plums and served with Rotkohl (red cabbage) and Klöße / Knödel (dumplings).

What's on the Menu? - Germanfoods.org (29)
Sauerbraten, which means “sour roast,” is often called Germany’s National Dish. It is made by marinating a beef roast in a sour-sweet marinade for 2 to 3 days before browning it, then simmering the meat in the marinade for several hours, resulting in a very tender roast and a delicious sauce. Different regions in Germany have different recipes for this dish but Rhineland Sauerbraten is the most famous. It is generally sweeter and contains raisins and gingerbread whereas Swabian Sauerbraten has no sweetening or raisins. Regardless of the ingredients used to make Sauerbraten, the most important ingredient is time. The roast must marinade for three to four days before it is cooked. Sauerbraten is traditionally served with dumplings, boiled potatoes or noodles. In Swabia it is traditionally served with Spätzle.

Sausage with Curry Sauce
One of Germany’s favourite dishes, currywurst consists of bite size pieces of sausage covered in a tomato-curry sauce. It was invented in Berlin on September 4, 1949 by a snack shop owner called Herta Heuwer grew in popularity over the years. Today more than 800 million Currywurst are eaten by Germans all over the country, particularly in Berlin, which claims to the the “Currywurst Capital” of Germany and where you’ll find the German Currywurst museum.

What's on the Menu? - Germanfoods.org (31)
This is a generic word meaning cutlet of either veal or pork. The most famous of Schnitzel dishes is, of course, the Wiener Schnitzel. However, genuine Wiener Schnitzel is made from breaded veal cutlets and only dishes that use veal can be called Wiener Schnitzel. If pork is used, the dish must be called Schnitzel nach Wiener Art or Wiener Schnitzel vom Schwein. Wiener Schnitzel is served with a wedge of lemon, which is squeezed over the top, parsley potatoes (Petersilienkartoffeln), potato salad (Kartoffelsalat) or cucumber salad (Gurkensalat). Less traditional side dishes are rice (Reis), mashed potatoes (Kartoffelpuree), french fries (Pommes frites) and fried potatoes (Bratkartoffeln). Other popular Schnitzel dishes:
Jägerschnitzel – pork or veal cutlet with a cream- or tomato-based mushroom sauce
Zigeunerschnitzel – pork or veal cutlet with a tomato-mushroom sauce spiced with paprika
Cordon Bleu – pork or veal cutlet stuffed with cheese and ham
Schnitzel Holstein – served with an egg and anchovies

What's on the Menu? - Germanfoods.org (32)
Semmelknödel are a specialty from Southern German, Austrian and Bohemian cuisine. They are made with bread rolls that are at least a day old, which are then soaked in milk.They are usually served with dishes such as Schweinsbraten (Pork roast) or other meats with gravy or mushroom sauce.

What's on the Menu? - Germanfoods.org (33)
Veal Shanks
This is very similar to the Italian Ossobucco. It is a shank (leg) of veal that is slowly braised to produce a succulent meat.

What's on the Menu? - Germanfoods.org (34)
Yeast dumplings
Yeast dumplings are made with milk, yeast, salt, sugar and butter poached in a small amount of sweetened milk and butter or salted water and butter. They can be eaten as a main dish served with a sauce, or as a dessert accompanied by vanilla sauce or a fruit sauce. They are also often eaten with potato soup.

What's on the Menu? - Germanfoods.org (35)
A savory tart made with onions, cream, eggs and bacon on a yeast bread base. It is a particularly popular dish in wine-growing regions around the time that Federweißer, the young, unfermented wine is available.

What's on the Menu? - Germanfoods.org (2024)


How many times a day do Germans eat? ›

Mealtimes: When and what do Germans eat? People in Germany generally have three or four meals a day: breakfast, a midday meal, an evening meal, and possibly Kaffee und Kuchen (we'll get to this in a minute) in the afternoon.

What is a typical German diet? ›

Whilst there are regional variations in food culture, most German recipes focus heavily on bread, potatoes, and meat, especially pork, as well as plenty of greens such as types of cabbage and kale. Cake, coffee, and beer are all highly popular elements of German cuisine too - which will be good news to most!

What does Germany eat for breakfast? ›

Breakfast is one the most important meal in German households. Start off with a warm beverage such as coffee, tea or hot cocoa. Next follow slices of fresh, crusty or toasted bread (Brot) or bread rolls (Brötchen) with various spreads and toppings.

How many eggs do Germans eat? ›

This statistic shows the average number of eggs consumed per head in Germany from 2006 to 2022. In 2022, average per capita egg consumption amounted to 230 eggs, based on preliminary figures.

What is the most common German lunch? ›

The main meal of the day is das Mittagessen, or lunch. The tradition is to have a hot meal during lunch. Sauerbraten, snitzels, Frikadellen (German meatballs), potatoes (such as Kartoffelsalat), green beans, soups, and stews are frequently served for lunch.

What is the number one dish in Germany? ›

Sauerbraten. Germans love their meat dishes, and Sauerbraten (meaning 'sour' or 'pickled' roast) is one of the country's national dishes. You can make a pot roast by using many different types of meat, which you marinate in wine, vinegar, spices, herbs, and then season for up to ten days.

What is the favorite meat in Germany? ›

The average annual meat consumption is 59.7 kg (132 lb) per person. The most common varieties are pork, poultry, and beef. Other varieties of meat are widely available, but are considered to be insignificant. Meat is usually braised; fried dishes also exist, but these recipes usually originate from France and Austria.

What is the most popular meat in Germany? ›

Germany. In Germany, the most consumed meat is pork.

What time do Germans sleep? ›

Most people in Germany start the day at 6–7 and get to sleep around 23. Most people take a shower, breakfast and then go to work / study about 8–10 hours in total (ways to drive included). People normally drive by car or public transportation depending on the situation. (Should be possible and make sense.)

What do Germans say before eating? ›

You'll find that most Germans begin the meal with a hearty Guten Appetit! Similar to Bon Appetit, it is an elegant way to phrase "Let's eat!". More informally, especially at lunch, you can expect an exclamation of "Mahlzeit!".

How do Germans eat bread? ›

The German bread and butter for breakfast is... well, bread and butter! Lightly toasted or freshly sliced, you add a generous spread of butter or margarine and then pick your topping. As a topping, Germans like it sweet, like jams, marmelade, Nutella or honey.

What do Germans eat with their coffee? ›

Coworkers often bring cake or pastries from a local bakery (Bäckerei) or a pastry shop (Konditorei) to share in the afternoon. German bakeries sell simpler, more rustic cakes, which are usually sheet cakes, as well as yeasted pastries such as cinnamon rolls and danish. These everyday pastries have different names.

What time is dinner in Germany? ›

The typical meals are divided in a rather copious breakfast (6 am – 8 am), lunch (12 pm – 2 pm) and dinner (6 pm – 8 pm). Breakfast usually consists of bread that can be topped with cheese, cold cuts, jam, honey, Nutella etc., if you prefer something salty.

What do Germans drink for dinner? ›

10 German Drinks Worth Sipping
  • Dunkel (Dark Beer)
  • Pilsner/Helles (Pale Lager)
  • Kölsch (Cologne's Beer) Additional German Beers.
  • Gluhwein (Mulled Wine)
  • Jägermeister.
  • Schnapps.
  • Wein (Wine)
  • Heiße Schokolade (Hot Chocolate)
Jan 29, 2022

How often does the average German eat out? ›

How often do you dine out?
CharacteristicShare of respondents
Once a month44.83%
A few times a month34.45%
Once a week13.03%
Several times a week7.69%
Jun 14, 2022

Do Germans eat out often? ›

The frequency of eating out in Germany can vary greatly depending on personal preferences and circ*mstances. However, on average, many Germans eat out a few times a week. Some people may dine out frequently, while others prefer to cook at home and eat out only on special occasions.

What are the eating hours in Germany? ›

Restaurant Etiquette. If you want a hot meal in Germany you'd better time your restaurant visit for “meal times,” from around 11:30 to 2 and 6 to 9. Germans don't eat at all hours as do their cousins across the Atlantic. Breakfasts, though, have become the rage of late, and many restaurants serve them at all hours.

How often do Germans eat meat? ›

Only 20 percent of people in Germany say they eat meat every day, down from 34 percent in 2015.


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