Whether it’s tall swinging pitchers spilling beer, lederhosen-clad foreigners singing Bavarian folks songs after a few too many, or Clark Griswold doing the slap dance in European vacation, we all have our images of Oktoberfest. But let’s move away from the beer and focus on one of the festival’s often overlooked attractions.
German food is heavy, frequently less than healthy and even more frequently delicious. While we’re a travel site, we want to make sure that if you book that ticket to Munich this September/October, you know what food to look for. With that thought in mind, we’ve created a list of seven Oktoberfest foods you have to try. So make sure your belt can go a notch looser and get ready to grub.
1. Bratwurst and Sauerkraut
Bratwurst and Sauerkraut is about as typical a combination as you will find on the Oktoberfest menu. Whether they’re beef, veal or pork, these sausages go great with some sour cabbage. If you’re looking for a meal that’ll stick to your ribs and fend off the not so great effects of the beer, this combo fits the bill.
2. Beer Braised Brisket
We can’t quite get away from the beer. But maybe that’s for the best. The slow cooking process lets the beer find its way into every part of the brisket, taking it to a level of tenderness and juiciness that can only be understood after a few bites. Oh, and the rib-sticking factor is high once again.
3. Potato Salad with Horseradish
Potatoes are a staple in the German diet and they’re at their best in this potato salad. Parsley, peppers, a little bit of bacon and some kick from the horseradish means this isn’t your typical potato salad. It complements pretty much everything, so pile it on.
4. Fried Apple Pie
Pretty self-explanatory. We don’t have to describe it to get you interested. However, we do strongly suggest that you throw a scoop of vanilla ice cream and top, let it melt, and somehow make a perfect creation better.
We’re gonna leave this one open. Schnitzel in its most basic form is breaded veal, but Oktoberfest has been known to spice it up. Be on the hunt for Creamy Jaeger Mushroom Schnitzel and Schnitzel Burgers if you’re looking to break from the typical schnitzel and potato salad combo.
6. Laugenbrezel (soft pretzels)
It’s 4 p.m. and the satisfying lunch you took down four hours ago is a distant memory. Hunger is kicking in, you want something to go with that pitcher of beer, but dinner is nowhere in sight. Insert the soft pretzel. A simple, yet delicious Oktoberfest classic, the soft pretzel is the perfect festival snack to hold you over until schnitzel time.
7. Cheese Spätzle
Essentially the German version of macaroni and cheese, cheese spaetzle is a Bavarian dish made with egg noodles and Emmental cheese. This is the kind of carb load up that will keep you going into the wee hours.