I love German food, especially Bavarian food. Meat and carbs are my life! Clearly, I could never be a vegetarian or vegan…my Bavarian food lust is way too strong. The following Bavarian food guide will help you understand the menus.
Before each trip to Munich, I mentally and physically prepare myself to indulge in the required 6000 calorie a day diet while there. Bavarians don’t mess around, they are the German food heavyweight champions. Five square meals a day is the norm: a hearty breakfast, a second mid-morning breakfast with a beer, lunch is the main hot meal, coffee and cake in the afternoon, and the evening Brotzeit (bread, cold cuts, salads, pasta salads, Wurst) followed by dessert, of course. Small wonder that Bavarians are “sturdy” people!
Restaurants and beer gardens in Bavaria serve many of the same specialties. Just be sure to wear your elastic waist fat pants so you can keep up with the natives!
Bavarian breakfasts are very hearty. Soft boiled eggs, bread, cold cuts, cheese, yogurt, Muesli, fruit…bring it on!
My Onkel Fritz is a farmer. He’s up at 5 am to feed the livestock and then has a typical breakfast. By 9 am, he’s ready for his “second breakfast” consisting of pretzels, Weißwurst and a beer.
Weißwurst is made from ground veal and herbs and served with Brezn (soft pretzels), sweet Bavarian mustard and a Weißbier (wheat beer). BTW the German letter ß is the same as a double “s”. There’s your German grammar lesson for the day!
TIP: A Bavarian NEVER eats Weißwurst after 10 am, and you MUST peel them!
Liver dumpling soup is a typical Bavarian food. Bavarians make the dumplings with ground liver mixed with spices, bread, egg, and serve them in a rich beef broth. Unbelievably delicious, especially on a cold day! It’s a great appetizer at lunch, or dinner! I won’t eat liver and onions, but I’ll happily wolf down a bowl of this soup on a cold Bavarian winter day.
In English…pork roast, Schweinebraten is available practically everywhere in Bavaria. It is usually served with a delicious gravy, Kartoffelknödel (potato dumplings, pictured above) and Blaukraut (sweet and sour red cabbage). In case you haven’t noticed, Bavarian food is quite meat forward!
Personally, I prefer Semmelknödel (bread dumplings):
Kartoffelknödel and Semmelknödel are made with potatoes or bread, respectively, mixed with flour, eggs, spices, and are served with meat and gravy. They are dense tennis balls of yumminess that stick to your ribs and stomach…and soak up all the beer!
No Bavarian food guide would be complete without mentioning the famous, mouth-watering, slow roasted pork hock (not smoked). The outside skin is basted with beer and is super crispy, while the tender meat inside falls off of the bone. It’s served with Kartoffelknödel and gravy. Bavarian beer halls and gardens usually have this on their menus. Be prepared, these things are massive and could feed a family of four! During the famous Oktoberfest, more than 80,000 of these delicious hocks are consumed, along with over 7 million Liters of beer!
Spätzle are a staple in my house. I make this egg pasta/dumpling all the time, but it tastes better in Bavaria because the eggs and flour are better over there. These pillows of heaven are typically served with meat and gravy. Käse Spätzle are cheese Spätzle, Bavaria’s answer to Mac-n-Cheese, with Emmenthaler and crispy fried onions. Try it, you’ll be craving them forever! I’m drooling as I type.
Zwetschgendatschi is a plum cake, only available when Zwetschgen (Damson plums) are in season (late Summer). This amazing cake is made with a yeast dough crust, then topped with quartered Damson plums, sprinkled with sugar and baked to perfection. I like to eat it with an additional sprinkle of sugar and a large dollop (or complete blanket) of whipped cream! It’s one of my favorite cakes of all time. In September, I search out Damson plums at Farmer’s Markets in California just so I can make it…and I have a hard time sharing this one!
Obviously, Bavarians love to spend a summer afternoon, evening, or all day, in a Biergarten. It’s a great way to enjoy friends, warm weather, great Bavarian food and beer!
Beer in Biergartens and many beer halls, is served in Liter sized mugs called a Maß (pronounced Mas). You can ask for a small beer if that’s too much, just say “ein kleines Bier, bitte” (a small beer, please). But, seriously if you’re going to be there for a while go ahead and order a Maß!
Obatzda is a delicious cheese spread made with Camembert, butter and paprika and is served with Brezn and/or rustic bread and beer! This tangy Bavarian food is the perfect appetizer in a Biergarten.
Finally, nothing goes better with beer than a salty Brezn (pretzel). Bavarian Brezn are not related to the ones sold in the States, those mushy ones dripping in grease (yuck). These are crispier and dry on the outside, denser on the inside and soooo good. The ones in beer halls and gardens are huge, like large dinner plate sized. Bakeries have smaller individual ones. I eat them spread with either butter, Obatzda, liverwurst, or just plain. It’s the first and last thing I buy at the Munich airport, they make a great airplane snack!
Of course, now I am drooling and have to go eat some Bavarian food. Gummi Bears are the only thing I have handy! Guess I have to cook tonight. Have you tried any Bavarian food specialties? If you’re planning on visiting Bavaria be sure to read Fairytale Bavarian Castles and Ultimate Munich Food Shopping Experience before you go. Drop me a line, comment, or question! And as always, keep traveling my friends