What to eat at German Christmas markets?by | November 21, 2023
Embark on a sensory journey with this article about the delights offered at German Christmas markets. From the intoxicating aroma of grilled sausages to the comforting taste of festive desserts, immerse yourself in the charming world of dishes and beverages that are unique to the German holiday season.
What is special about German Christmas markets?
German Christmas markets are world-wide known for their festive decorations and ambience. If you love Christmas, you sure will fall in love with the enchanting atmosphere that these German Christmas markets create. You will be fully immersed in the Christmas spirit.
Through cobblestone streets and historical squares you will be able to buy festive ornaments like toys, handcrafted goods, figurines and marionettes, and irresistible Christmas specialties like Glühwein (spiced mulled wine) or home-made chocolates and candied almonds.
What to eat at Christmas markets?
One of the main attractive things to do in any of the best Christmas markets in Germany is to try out some of the Christmas traditional food and beverages. Here we give you a list of must-try delicacies in any market:
Bratwurst or any other Wurst are traditional German sausages. You can order your Bratwurst, Currywurst or other sausages by itself or “mit Brötchen” which means bread. Usually the sausage is much longer than the bun and you are offered to add mustard and ketchup.
Kartoffelpuffer are deep-fried, oval, crispy potatoes. Keep in mind that this dish has different names in different regions, such as Reibekuchen and Baggers. You can have them served with garlic sauce, Apfelmus (apple sauce), ketchup or plain.
Another option to get while attending some German Christmas markets is mushrooms. You can get a bowl of champignons fried up with butter and garlic.
Schupfnudeln is a type of potato gnocchi served typically with sauerkraut. Nevertheless, you can find other types of toppings like sauces made from cream, mushrooms and more.
This dish is fish on a stick. You can find different varieties of grilled fish on a skewer like sea bream, trout, smelt, or mackerel.
Gebrannte Mandeln are sweet and toasted almonds. You should have no problems finding them in any German Christmas market.
Any German Christmas market will have plenty of different Christmas cookies to enjoy. Some of the most known ones are Quarkbällchen or Schmalzkuchen that are a type of hot deep-fried cookies coated in sugar and Lebkuchen and Magenbrot that are a kind of soft gingerbread biscuits.
Marzipan is another delight to have in any German Christmas market. It is a sweet treat made from ground almonds, sugar and honey and you’ll find them in different shapes and sizes.
Laugenbrezeln is the traditional Pretzel. Traditionally, pretzels are salted, but you will be able to find combinations that include cinnamon sugar, poppy seed, and cheese.
Crepes and waffles
Although crepes and waffles are not exclusive Christmas desserts, you should try them at any German Christmas market. They can be topped with Nutella, sugar, fruit, and more!
Schneeballen are snowballs made of sugar, butter, eggs, flour, and cream. These shortbread cookie balls are traditionally dusted with powdered sugar, but you can find some that include marzipan, chocolate, caramel, and nuts.
Apfelstrudel is one of the most renowned treats from Germany. It consists of spiced apples and raisins tucked into a crust and baked.
Glühwein is the star of any German Christmas market. To drink this hot mulled wine with or without a shot of brandy is a staple experience. Usually, you must pay a deposit/ Pfand for your mug. You will then refill your mug through the market.
Some markets give the option of returning your mug and getting a refund. Nevertheless, we recommend keeping the mug since each market prints on it a festive design with the year of the market. It makes for a perfect souvenir.
If you are not into wine, you can try Glühbier, which is mulled beer.
Eierpunsch is an egg-based warm alcoholic drink. The drink is made up of egg yolks, white wine, spices, vanilla, citrus juice, rum and cream.
Heiße Schokolade is literally: Hot Chocolate. A hot chocolate mug will come in handy when you are walking through a German Christmas market and temperatures are freezing cold.
This drink is a spectacle for the eye. You will see how a large rum-soaked sugar cone is set on fire (creating mesmerizing blue flames) above a cauldron of Glühwein, and how the melty sugary rum drops into it.
Depending on the German Christmas market you are at, you can try some regional food specialties like:
- Christstollen (Stollen): It is a form of bread with candied fruit in Saxony.
- Dresdner Handbrot (Stuffed Bread): It is a type of bread stuffed with various fillings like cheese, ham and mushrooms in Dresden. It is served chopped into pieces and people tend to pour sour cream and chives.
- Hot Apfelwein and Frankfurter Bethmännchen in Hesse. Apfelwein is a German cider warmed up with cinnamon and star anise. The Frankfurter Bethmännchen is a type of marzipan sweet, decorated with powdered sugar and rose water. It is shaped like a ball and usually includes a hazelnut or almond.
- Kässpätzle: noodle dumplings combined with a rich, cheesy sauce and fried shallots in Bavaria.