German Schnitzel with fries

If this is your first time in Germany you may be wondering which foods are good and what are the must try foods for first timers in Germany. First let me just say this, I don’t think I’ve ever had a bad meal in Germany. Germans are by nature craftsmen, taking pride and special care in everything they do, and fortunately for our taste buds, that includes their food!

I’ve listed here

the top 16 best German foods to try on your next trip to Germany

Guten Appetit!

#1 Schnitzel

Schnitzel will forever be my favorite go to in the land of the Deutsche. I can’t seem to get enough of it. I personally think it is best in its purest form: a cut of meat, usually veal or pork, pounded thin, breaded and fried to golden brown perfection and served with lemon slices. There are actually many other versions of the schnitzel: a couple of my favorites are Jägerschnitzel topped with mushrooms and a brown gravy sauce and Rahmschnitzel with a cream sauce. The list goes on, why not try them all!

German Schnitzel with fries

#2 Pommes mit mayo and curry

Pommes, the German name for fries, with the addition of curry ketchup and mayo makes for a popular street food in Germany. A lot of people I talk to seem to be put off by the thought of mayo on fries. I think it is delicious. Skip the mayo if you must but you simply have to try the spicy curry ketchup. Don’t want to try either? well then my friend, you are left with just French fries and all together nothing special!

german french fried pommes pomme frits with curry ketchup and mayo

#3 German potato salad

There are as many versions of German potato salad as there are days in a month and they are all delicious. Some are served warm or at room temperature, others cold, some with a sour cream base, others oil or mustard and the list goes on. I haven’t met a German potato salad I didn’t like yet!

german schnitzel with german potato salad

#4 everything at the bakery!

There’s something you should know about German desserts. They are less sweet than their American counterparts. I actually prefer them to the uber sweet desserts here in the US. Apple strudel and the Black Forest cake are two of the most popular but at a German Bäckerei (bakery) you’ll find a large selection of offerings that are a veritable feast for the eyes as well as the taste buds!

germany desserts germany black forest cake apple strudel strawberry and raspberry fruit tortes

#5 Spätzle or Spaetzle

Spaetzel, a favorite in my house, is a tiny egg dumpling. It’s often served with butter and parsley for a simple yet delicious side dish. Other ways to dress them are with a different sauces such as cheese sauce. Other popular ingredients are bacon, or onion.

spatzel and schnitzel best german food

#6 wurst is the best!

Wurst wurst wurst! Germans are known for their wurst as much as their beer or lederhosen. Some wurst I like, some not so much. If you find one you’re not crazy about just keep trying because with well over 1,000 different types in Germany, there is no shortage of wurst to choose from. Everyone has their own regional specialty so make sure you try the local favorites. Wursts are served in a variety of ways. Some examples are with mustard and/or kraut with a side of Brötchen or a pretzel.

selection of german wurst bratwurst weisswurst with kraut and german mustard and pretzels

One of my favorite wursts is currywurst.

german currywurst with french fries pommes curry ketchup and mayo

#7 Doner kebab

Doners are actually Turkish and not German but regardless you’ll find these little slices of heaven all over Germany (and the rest of Europe.) Seasoned meat (usually lamb, beef, or chicken) that’s spit roasted until it is incredibly juicy, is shaved thin and then stuffed into soft delicious flatbread. Popular toppings: lettuce, tomato, onion, and a delicious tzatziki type sauce. With the smell of roasting meat permeating the air your nose will efficiently guide you to your new late night craving!

doner kebab german street food from turkey

#8 German breakfast

These huge breakfast buffets are commonly offered to overnight guests at inn’s (gasthauses, pensions etc.) Skip the chain hotels for a cozier option and you’ll be treated to a smorgasbord of delectable breakfast items. You’ll find a variety of breads with butter, jams and jellies, sliced meats and cheeses, eggs, wurst, fruit, quark, granola and more! For me a cup of hot chocolate makes a nice compliment to this meal but you’ll usually have a selection of juices and of course coffee and tea as well.

german breakfast

#9 flammkuchen

Flammkuchen is basically a German pizza with a cracker thin crust. You’ll run across many versions of this popular German dish but I am kind of partial to the traditional version with sour cream, bacon and red onion. Delicious!

flammkuchen german food

#10 Italian ice

Italian ice is NOT gelato and while similar to a sorbet it doesn’t contain any dairy or egg like American sorbet. Common ingredients are water, sugar and fruit flavors so it is indeed as the name would suggest a flavored “ice.” My favorite flavor is zitrone (lemon)!)

italian ice german food germany

#11 spaghetti ice

Spaghetti ice may sound a little strange but stay with me here. Spaghetti ice is vanilla ice cream that has been squeezed through a potato ricer to form long spaghetti like strands and then topped with strawberry sauce and sometimes shaved white chocolate to resemble Parmesan shavings AND IT IS YUMMY! It’s no mystery why it’s so popular in Germany.

spaghetti ice cream german food germany

#12 Rouladen

Rouladen is another very popular German dish. Thin strips of beef are slathered with spicy German mustard stuffed with bacon, onion and pickles, rolled up, and cooked to perfection in a rich savory brown sauce. Give it a try!

rouladen german food

#13 kartoffelklöße or kartoffelknödel

Potato balls or dumplings! No description needed but you should probably give them a try!

german potato balls potato dumplings germany

#14 brötchen

Bread is a huge part of the German diet. Brötchen are small bread rolls that come in a variety of flavors. They are served at breakfast with meats and cheeses or fresh butter and jams. At lunch they are often an accompaniment for wurst, or various types of sandwich fixings. No matter which way you try them you’re going to love brötchen!

german bread brotchen

#15 Bavarian kraut

I prefer the Bavarian version of sauerkraut. It’s milder and sweeter than what you might be used to and often has caraway seeds. It’s a very popular side accompaniment for wurst.

bratwurst with sauerkraut and german potato salad germany

#16 white asparagus

Germans love their white asparagus! Usually available in spring it is often served with a Hollandaise sauce.

white asparagus german food

Hungry yet? I know I am! I enjoy eating my way across Germany and I believe you will too. If you’re new to Germany and wondering what you should eat on your first trip, give the items on this list a try because they are all delicious! Bis bald freunde, see you soon friends!

Interested in traveling in beautiful Germany? Here is some suggested reading:

Germany, Switzerland and Austria: A highlight packed two week whirlwind vacation.

Rothenburg ob der Tauber, fairy-tale town in Bavaria: a must see and do travel guide.

Explore more Germany travel destinations on my Germany page.

Want to hear more about my travels around Germany and the rest of our amazing planet? Be sure to submit your email to my subscriber sign up at the bottom of the page and you’ll be the first to know when a new article publishes!

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