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5 best German foods

Modern Germany cherishes meticulously prepared, elegantly served dishes just as much as it relishes the convenience of a quick, delicious snack on the move. This is a nation that revels in food markets brimming with fresh produce, the conviviality of beer gardens, the charm of wine festivals, the immersive experience of food museums, and the exquisite indulgence of high-end restaurants.

Explore our curated list of five traditional German dishes that demand your attention when you embark on a culinary journey through this captivating land.


Maultaschen, hailing from Swabia in southwestern Germany, resembles ravioli but boasts a bigger size. These palm-sized, square pockets of dough encase a variety of fillings, spanning the spectrum from savory to sweet, and meaty to vegetarian.

One traditional filling combines minced meat, bread crumbs, onions, and spinach, seasoned with a blend of salt, pepper, and parsley. They're often gently simmered and served in broth rather than sauce, resulting in a tender, creamy delight. On occasion, they are pan-fried and generously buttered for an extra touch of richness.

Maultaschen has extended its presence throughout Germany, even appearing in frozen sections of supermarkets. However, their true heartland remains in the southern regions.

These delectable dumplings have garnered such significance that in 2009, the European Union bestowed official recognition upon Maultaschen as a regional specialty, acknowledging their profound cultural heritage in the state of Baden-Württemberg. 


Labskaus, while not winning any beauty contests, stands as a unique representation of northern Germany's seafaring heritage. In the 18th and 19th centuries, when ship provisions leaned heavily on preserved foods, labskaus emerged as a flavorful way to prepare them.

This distinctive dish combines salted beef, onions, potatoes, and pickled beetroot, all mashed into a porridge-like concoction. It's typically served with pickled gherkins and roll mops. Labskaus has held a special place in the hearts of Baltic and North Sea sailors for generations.

Today, labskaus graces the tables of northern Germany, with Bremen, Kiel, and Hamburg as its strongholds. Even with the advent of refrigeration on modern ships, this dish hasn't lost its charm and is renowned as a go-to hangover cure.


Germany and sausages are inseparable companions.

Within the realm of wurst-loving Germany, a smorgasbord of cured, smoked, and diverse sausages beckons. In this culinary journey, we'll steer our focus toward one of the finest German street foods: bratwurst, the beloved fried sausage.

With a plethora of over 40 bratwurst varieties to explore, these sausages sizzle on barbecues or in pans. They're then snugly nestled in a white bread roll, adorned with zesty mustard for a quick, on-the-go delight. Alternatively, they harmonize exquisitely with potato salad or sauerkraut, becoming the perfect companions for German beer.

Some of the notable bratwurst renditions include:

Fränkische bratwurst hailing from Fraconia, graced with the distinctive flavor of marjoram.

Nürnberger rost bratwurst, petite in stature but mighty in flavor, often kissed by the grill's flames.

Thüringer rostbratwurst originating from Thuringia, is renowned for its spicy kick. Thuringia boasts the honor of hosting Germany's inaugural bratwurst museum, opening its doors in 2006.

Yet, the crowning jewel of bratwurst, which commands the limelight, is our next gastronomic revelation.


An emblem of German gastronomy since 1945, currywurst carries a heartwarming tale attributed to Herta Heuwer. In the post-war landscape of 1949 Berlin, she ingeniously secured ketchup and curry powder from benevolent British soldiers. Her culinary alchemy, blending these newfound ingredients and drizzling the concoction over grilled sausages, birthed an instant German street food classic.

Modern iterations of currywurst feature boiled and fried sausages, retaining their status as one of Germany's most cherished sausage-centered street foods. The fervor for currywurst remains particularly fervent in cities like Berlin, Cologne, and the Rhine-Ruhr region. Here, it's commonly paired with chips, and the choice of condiment can be ketchup, mayonnaise, or a humble bread roll.

While not a paragon of culinary sophistication, currywurst's humble origins and hearty appeal resonate with Germans to this day. The nation's unabated love for this simple street snack is evident, with a staggering consumption rate of approximately 800 million currywurst devoured each year.

Döner kebab

The inception of Döner kebab in Germany can be traced back to the 1960s and '70s when Turkish immigrant laborers introduced this culinary gem. One of the pioneering street vendors in this savory journey was Kadir Nurman, who, in 1972, kickstarted the trend by offering Döner kebab sandwiches at West Berlin's Zoo Station. From this point onward, the dish rapidly conquered both West and East Berlin before making its triumphant march across Germany.

In its early Berlin days, a Döner kebab was a simple amalgamation of meat, onions, and a modest salad. However, over time, it transformed into a multifaceted creation adorned with copious amounts of salad, an array of vegetables (sometimes grilled), and a tantalizing selection of sauces to cater to diverse palates.

While the traditional lamb Döner remains a perennial favorite, veal and chicken spits have also gained prominence. Moreover, the contemporary food scene has witnessed a rising tide of vegetarian and vegan variations, making Döner kebab an inclusive delight for all.

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  1. A very nice list. Definitely try to eat if you go to Germany.