While beer may be the highlight of Oktoberfest, I have to say: if you leave without sampling Oktoberfest food, you have done it all wrong.
Why? Well, without exaggerating, Oktoberfest food is some of THE most satisfying, indulgent grub you’ll ever experience. All the better when used to absorb the literal litres of beer sitting your stomach. I mean, it’s by no means cheap (most entrees will be in the 15-20 euro range) but the food choice at Oktoberfest is staggering. Besides a bunch of food stalls outside the tents, each tent has a food menu, and there are even some tents solely dedicated to special foods.
So all that totals up to mean YES, there is amazing Oktoberfest food to be had. Here are a few highlights and basic musts.
FYI, most of these foods can be found around Munich (outside of Oktoberfest) for much cheaper prices, so if you plan to spend more time in the city than just at the festival, be sure to save some of these for having at a restaurant or elsewhere!
1. 1/2 Roast Chicken
There is no joy greater than ripping at a roast chicken with your fingers after a few litres of beer. This is the most common thing to order and you’ll see the servers pedalling these out like clockwork at all hours of the festival. Best consumed after a few beers, when you start feeling a little peckish.
2. Pork knuckle
Truly, one of the most beautiful meals on this Earth, and a real Bavarian classic. Words fail to describe the joy of devouring a roasted pork knuckle served in a pool of gravy, so you better just try it for yourself. Usually served with a delightful Knödel, a boiled dumpling that has a really weird but addictive chewy texture.
FYI, if you don’t like crispy skin and just prefer juicy slabs of meat, see if they have Schweinsbraten instead (they’re like pork chops soaked in gravy). It’s pretty much the same meat but without the crackly skin.
3. Sugary, roasted almonds
AKA Gebrannte Mandeln
These are like Oktoberfest’s version of crack. They are so ridiculously addictive and delicious. You can catch the smell from a mile away. While they’re more of a Christmas market treat, they are amazing to have while walking around/scoping out the different stalls.
4. Sausages galore
Welcome to Bavaria, where sausages are important. You can’t go wrong with ordering sausages at Oktoberfest, but there are a few that you should definitely keep an eye out for, such as Weißwurst and Currywurst (see below).
I mean sure, it’s not the most photogenic food in the world, but it’s a Bavarian classic (typically consumed at breakfast with some sweet mustard, pretzel and wheat beer), and damn delicious too. It is a bit of an acquired taste, but if you can get over the sorta weird appearance/texture, you’re in for a treat.
IMPORTANT: the skin must be removed before eating! There are a few “proper” ways to do this, but the easiest in my opinion is making a cut along the sausage lengthwise, then peeling the skin off.
Not Bavarian, but seriously so good (and usually one of the cheaper offerings on the menu). It’s a simple sausage doused in curry ketchup and curry powder, usually served with a hot pile of fries. It’s not fancy by any means, but it does the job deliciously.
An Oktoberfest classic. Foamy beers and a salt-studded pretzels are among the most stereotypical images of Germany, but for good reason… They go damn well together. Don’t bother getting the small pretzels, you’ll want one of the REALLY big ones so you can slowly peck away at it while you down your beer. It’s nice to get a few to share… Trust me, once it’s on the table, everyone will be having “just a little piece” until there’s none left. This is why I have trust issues.
The best way to describe this is like a Bavarian take on mac and cheese. It’s these amazing doughy dumplings that are covered in sharp cheeses then topped with caramelized onions. It is simply one of THE best comfort foods (and hangover cures) in existence. Also, one of the few classically Bavarian dishes that are vegetarian-friendly.
Speaking of comfort foods, you need to get some Kaiserschmarrn for dessert. It’s like a cozy hug for your tastebuds. While it may be Austrian, it’s still a staple delight of Oktoberfest and a real must-try. Essentially it’s a fluffy shredded pancake that’s dusted off with powdered sugar and other fix-ins. I love it with apple sauce. You can get it at the Café Kaiserschmarrn, which is the one that looks like a giant gingerbread castle filled with whimsy and sweet delights.
Yes, seafood is a thing at Oktoberfest too. Bavarians love roasting their fish on sticks, and this is the perfect main course to try if you want something lighter than a giant slab of meat drowned in gravy.
Last but not least, skip the giant gingerbread cookie things…
These taste terrible. They’re much prettier as decoration or a nice souvenir. Actually eating one is a mistake.
Soo… you hungry yet? 😉
I hope you enjoyed this post about Oktoberfest food! As a final tip: be sure to bring stretchy pants to change into when you get home. You’ll need them. Have an amazing time, and prost!
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