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World Travel Guide > Guides > Europe > Germany

the fp is food-and-drink

Germany Food and Drink

The archetypal German snack is a cooked sausage (Wurst) with a bread roll, though sandwiches are also popular. You won't have to look far to find pretzels, sauerkraut or schnitzel also, but there's genuine reinvention and creativity behind much of the cuisine these days, particularly with many Germans becoming vegans.

First-time visitors tend to be taken aback too by the variety of regional specialties, from the fresh seafood of the far north and the lamb dishes of Lower Saxony to the casseroles and stews of Rhineland-Westphalia and the noodle-based cuisine of the southwest.

Elsewhere, expect a dash of Mediterranean flair, no shortage of healthy options and – perhaps best of all – prices that compare favourably to other Western European nations. And to wash it down? Beer, of course, although the Germans are also proud and rather fond of their wines.

Specialities

Bratwurst: Grilled sausage typically made from a combination of pork, beef and/or veal.
Eisbein mit Sauerkraut: A cured and boiled leg of pork accompanied by mashed potatoes.
Schwäbische Maultaschen: A large savoury meat-stuffed ravioli from Stuttgart.
Butterbrez’n: A soft pretzel sliced in two and slathered with butter.
Käsespätzle: Hot egg noodles tossed with cheese.
Eintopf: A hearty, warming stew made by cooking vegetables, pulses and meat in a broth.
Eierpfannkuchen: Pancakes commonly served with jam and sprinkled sugar, fruit or cream.
Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte: Black Forest gateau – a cake with layers of chocolate sponge, cherries and whipped cream and lashings of cherry liqueur.
Lebkuchen: Gingerbread biscuits typically eaten around Christmas.
Ebbelwoi: An apple wine from Hessen.
Schnapps: Clear fruit-flavoured brandies available in hundreds of varieties.
Kirschwasser: A colourless cherry-flavoured spirit that originates from the Black Forest region.
Bier: There are literally thousands of varieties of German beer on offer, from Weissbier (a cloudy light-coloured wheat brew) to Kölsch (a top-fermented beer brewed exclusively in the Cologne region) to Altbier (a dark copper coloured pour most popular in Düsseldorf).

Things to know

Bars can either have table service and/or counter service.

Tipping

It is customary to tip taxi drivers, hairdressers, cloakroom attendants, bar and restaurant staff; a 10% tip is standard.

Drinking age

16 if consuming undistilled alcoholic beverages, such as beer and wine without their parents or a Custodian.

18 for any other alcoholic beverages.