Guide To German Street Food
Guide To German Street Food
Guide to German Street Food
Ich platz gleich!
Germany has a diverse food culture. Many immigrants to Germany have brought their regional cuisine with them and Germans have embraced it. I find almost all German food particularly yummy and German street food is no exception.
Whether at the Christmas market, the Bahnhof, a festival, or any of the market squares across the country the choices are almost endless. You must try anything and everything that appeals to you (and even some that don’t). One of my favorite things to do is what I call “eating my way through Germany”. Don’t worry about gaining weight because first, you are on vacation and second, you will do so much walking that your waistline won’t know the difference.
Doner Kebab– No visit to Germany is complete without eating at the Kebab shop at least once and chances are you will have Kebab several times. This is probably the most well-known German street food and even though it has its roots are Turkish Doner Kebab is very, very German.
So what the heck is Doner Kebab? Well, the best way to explain it is to say it is similar to a gyro. The seasoned Kebab meat’s cooked on a vertical rotisserie and then sliced to order. Traditional Kebab meat is lamb, but usually you will find a mixture of lamb and beef and some Kebab shops offer chicken or turkey.
You can get the Kebab meat in a pita with all the fixin’s like lettuce mix, cabbage, and different sauces or you can get a Doner Teller which is basically Kebab meat on a plate of salad and mixed veggies with sauce poured over the top. The Doner Kebab or Doner Teller is typically served with Pommes (french fries). Speaking of french fries Germans LOVE eating their french fries with mayonnaise or mit mayo. Literally a big squirt of mayonnaise that they dip their french fries into. So if you are a mayonnaise lover then you will fall in love with Pommes.
Kebab is such a tasty and affordable item. In the price range of 3 to 7 euros it is a great value for your money. The Doner Kebab is also popular in the bigger cities as a late night bite.
Flammkuchen- Mmmmm Flammkuchen ones of my most loved German street foods. To be fair, I love pizza and Flammkuchen is like Germanys version of pizza. It has very, very thinly rolled dough baked to a crisp, a layer of crème fraîche, finely chopped onions, and lardons. However, with most things, Flammkuchen has many variations. I have had it with mozzarella, with potatoes, Hawaiian style and all were DELICIOUS. If you love pizza like I do then trying Flammkuchen is a must. Be warned…there are often very long lines at the Flammkuchen Christmas market stalls but it is SO worth the wait.
Currywurst- Currywurst was one thing that I was actually reluctant to try at first. Why? Well, I think the idea initially just didn’t appeal to me but once I had my first bite I couldn’t get enough. Essentially it is a sausage (either whole or chopped up) that is swimming in Curry Ketchup with a dusting of curry powder on top. Even though its origins are in Berlin, you can find Currywurst everywhere in Germany much like the Doner Kebab. Currywurst is a great, cheap snack but you can also order it mit pommes (with fries) as a meal. In Berlin you can find currywurst from many street vendors often for 1-2 euros.
Brezel- The Pretzel. Of course most of us know what a pretzel is but this is not your Auntie Anne’s mall pretzel; this is the German brezel. 🙂 There are different pretzels in different regions of Germany, each slightly different in shape or ingredient, but also very similar. You can find them just about anywhere from the Christmas market with mulled wine to the traditional Bavarian restaurant served with weisswurst and sweet mustard.
Wurst- German sausages come in many shapes and varieties but all are equally tasty. Whether it is bockwurst, bratwurst, frankfurter, weisswurst, or Thuringer they are all equally wonderful. Please know this is not a comprehensive list. Germans are serious about their sausage. You can find wurst stands at every festival or major happening in Germany. The region you are in will typical decide what kind of sausages you will eat. Check out The Reluctant Gourmet’s article “The Best of Wurst.”
Schnitzel Brötchen- Schnitzelbrötchen is essentially a schnitzel sandwich. I have to admit this was something, that for a time, I think I was truly addicted to. I am not sure why but there is something about the schnitzelbrötchen that was so appealing to me. The best schnitzelbrötchen I ever ate was at the Christmas market in Marienplatz (see photo below) in Munch. Mmmmmm. You can find them all over and in every train station. It is a great eat if you are in a hurry and need something on the go.
Fisch Brötchen-FischBrötchen is similar to a schnitzelbrötchen, but with fish instead of schnitzel. The fish is usually herring and it is typically served with white onions and sometimes rémoulade or pickles. Fischbrötchen is most commonly found in Northern Germany however I have eaten one at the Christmas market in Munich. I have to admit it is something I would have passed over if it was not for my friend who ordered one and I took a bite. Thankfully she let me have a taste because it is truly delicious. Fischbrötchen is also served using other fish such as salmon or mackerel but this is less common. When you have stuffed your 15th schnitzelbrötchen in your mouth perhaps the next time try a fischbrötchen.
Reibekuchen- These potato pancakes or potato fritters are better than the average. So freaking good. If you are at a Christmas market or festival and happen upon a food stand serving these do yourself a favor and try them. You can get them a few different ways like with applesauce or sour cream or sprinkled with powdered sugar. I recommend trying all of them and you can thank me later.
Berliner- Don’t confuse this delicious concoction with a person from Berlin, the Berliner is basically a jelly filled donut. It is most commonly filled with marmalade or jam and sprinkled with powder sugar. If you love doughnuts then you will love this. One thing to note is that German doughnuts, even from Dunkin Donut, tends to taste less sickening sweet then their American counterparts. Perhaps you will like this difference or not but either way it is worth a try.
Eis- Eis is German for Ice cream. During the summer everyone loves Eis and there are Eis shops seemingly on every corner of every city. Eis is yummy and not that much different from American ice cream except that it seems a little lighter in taste and texture. I am not sure if this is a difference in ingredients or if is just my funny taste buds. One thing to try that is unique to Germany is Spaghetti Eis which is vanilla ice-cream “noodles” with strawberry sauce on top to mimics the spaghetti and marinara sauce look. There are other variations of Spaghetti Eis, all are popular option among Germans and tourists.
This is just a small list of all the yummy yums you can find in Germany. My biggest tip would be to step outside of your comfort zone, unless of course you have a specific food allergy. Try something new. If you don’t like it fine, but you might just find something so amazing that after your vacation you’ll be inspired to try to recreate the dish at home. Or, if you are like me, you will be plotting exactly what you need to eat again and in what order on your next vacation. Guten Appetit!