Germany has a unique cuisine which has been made famous around the world and probably stereotyped into something that is dominated by big, brown and hearty flavors with a lot of meat and sauerkraut served with every dish. However, whilst stereotypes are often based on truths to a certain extent, there is also a lot that is different and exciting about food in Germany. It is certainly worth going and exploring the various restaurants and eateries, no matter which part of the country you visit. There are of course lots of Michelin starred restaurants which you should look out for, but the best food, in our humble opinion, is often the food that people eat everyday. In this article we outline five food experiences that you simply have to have in Germany. In fact, if you don't have them all at least once in your life you will leave this Earth slightly poorer for the lack of experience! They range from specific places to visit to foods to eat.
1. Find a perfect apfelstrudel
Apple strudel in Germany is an institution in itself and if you can find a really good one it will probably be one of the best pastries you will ever eat. It consists of flaky pastry which is wrapped in layers around the apples and is flavored with sugar and cinnamon and there are often lots of raisins hidden among the pastry. It truly is a delicious dessert, especially when served warm with cream. It is usually coated in sugar and is sometimes served with fruit.
Everyone's grandmother or mother will report as being able to make the best apple strudel! Some of the best restaurants to eat an apfelstrudel include Mio in Hamburg, Kutscherschaenke in Dresden and Cafe-Haus Koch Berlin in the capital. There are of course lots of small restaurants around the country that will almost certain serve a brilliant apple strudel and it is worth shopping around. Why not even go on your own tasting adventure?!
2. Eat some currywurst...even if you don't like it!
Without a doubt, currywurst is another German institution. Created by Berliners, it has become a staple in the diet of many Germans. You will probably love or hate this dish and it pretty much consists of sausage covered in a curried ketchup. It is often served with chips. Not the most refined of dishes but you cannot really go to Germany without even sampling some currywurst.
3. Attempt to finish an entire Wienerschnitzel
Wiener schnitzel is literally a thin cut of veal which has been breaded. If served 'Hamburg style' then it will often have a fried egg on top of it. It is usually an experience because of its size. When eating wiener schnitzel in a restaurant they will usually give you a schnitzel that is quite enormous. It will usually be served with chips and a huge salad, if that wasn't enough! It is usually a challenge to finish an entire wiener schnitzel in a single sitting given that it is usually the size of your face!
4. Eat Breakfast at Cafe Paris in Hamburg
Cafe Paris in Hamburg is famed for its amazing breakfasts. Set in an art deco saloon and butcher's hall, the cafe provides a unique ambience and is a great place to take someone out to breakfast. You will feel like royalty as you are served with all varieties of meats, cheeses, breads, fish, fruit and all sorts of other delicious foods. It might seem odd to go to Germany to end up eating French food but this place is certainly worth it. You might have to wait a little for the food as it can get quite busy but this is simply a mark of its popularity. It is good value and they serve fantastic food. What more could you want?! If you are in Hamburg then definitely check this place out.
5. Have lunch at Restaurant Bareiss in Bavaria
Located in a village known as Baiersbronn in the middle of Bavaria, with a population of just sixteen thousand people, this restaurant is one that is not to be missed if you can help it (and if you can afford to eat there!). Despite its small size, Baiersbronn has become one of the food capitals of the world with this restaurant in itself having achieved an incredible three Michelin stars. It is a tiny place and the dining room will only seat eight people. It is a beautifully intimate space and your experience will certainly be unique. However, it will set your bank balance back a bit with the charge per head set at €125. The chef is Claus-Peter Lumpp who trained with some of the best chefs in the world, including Eckart Witzigmann and Alain Ducasse. His food is opulent and extravagant and he puts a great emphasis on the aroma of the food. However, he thinks that it should also look amazing and have that wow factor. If you can afford it then it is certainly worth making a special trip to this fabulous restaurant.
So, we have presented you with a range of culinary experiences that you should try and have when you visit Germany. Of course, they range across regions so you might not be able to cram all of these in to a single trip. However, lock them away in you travel or eating bucket list for another time. In many ways, trying to select five experiences from all of the thousands available in an unenviable task. The whole joy of culinary adventures is going out an exploring and trying new things. This is what we suggest you get up to when you are in Germany. Put yourself out of your taste comfort zone and try some new flavors. If you don't try then you never know what you might be missing out on!
Wherever you are heading in Germany we hope you have a brilliant trip and try and fill some of these culinary experiences within it. Whether you are in Berlin or the Black Forest, Hamburg or Hanover, you can enjoy the best that this wonderful country has to offer.
Written by Garrett Parker
Read more posts by Garrett Parker