Visiting the Christmas markets in Germany? Here is a list of all the best German Christmas market food and drinks that you simply MUST try while you are there!
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I’ve been lucky enough to visit quite a few different Christmas markets across Europe over the years. While the markets in each country have their own unique charms, the German Christmas Markets are by FAR my favourite.
The reason is simple. The German Christmas markets have the absolute BEST selection of festive food and drink on offer in the world! From cheese-stuffed baked bread topped with sour cream to a version of mulled wine that tastes like apple strudel, German Christmas market food is what dreams are made of.
Without further ado, here are 41 delicious German Christmas market food and drinks that you simply MUST try when visiting Germany’s incredible markets!
- Savoury Christmas Market Food
- 1. Kartoffelpuffer (Potato Pancakes)
- 2. Champignons (Mushrooms)
- 3. Flammkuchen (Flatbread Pizza)
- 4. Schupfnudeln (Potato Dumplings)
- 5. Wurst (Sausages)
- 6. Currywurst (Curried Sausages)
- 7. Dresdner Handbrot (Stuffed Bread)
- 8. Pfaffenglück (Rye Flatbread)
- 9. Käsespätzle (Cheese Egg Noodles)
- 10. Pommes Frites (Fries)
- 11. Knoblauchbrot (Garlic Bread)
- 12. Langos (Fried Dough)
- 13. Raclette
- 14. Kartoffellanzen (Tornado Potatos)
- 15. Stecklerfish (Fish on a Stick)
- 16. Laugenbrezeln (Pretzel)
- 17. Semmelknödel (German Bread Dumplings)
- Sweet Christmas Market Food
- 18. Schaumkuss (Marshmallows)
- 19. Gebrannte Mandeln (Roasted Almonds)
- 20. Lebkuchen (Spiced Cookie)
- 21. Elisenlebkuchen (Soft Cookies)
- 22. Marones (Chestnuts)
- 23. Fruchtspieße (Fruit Skewers)
- 24. Paradiesäpfel (Candied apples)
- 25. Marzipan
- 26. Mutzenmandeln (Fried dough)
- 27. Crepes
- 28. Waffles
- 29. Apelstrudel (Apple Strudel)
- 30. Schneeballen (Snowballs)
- 31. Dampfnudel (Sweet Dumplings)
- 32. Stollen
- 33. Plätzchen (Sweet Cookies)
- Christmas Market Drinks
Best German Christmas Market Food: Savoury
1. Kartoffelpuffer (Potato Pancakes)
One of the most popular snacks you’ll find at the Christmas Markets is kartoffelpuffer, which are fried potato pancakes. They basically taste like really crispy hash browns and are just as delicious as they sound.
Traditionally, they are served with apple sauce, however you’ll commonly find a range of sweet or savoury condiments to go alongside (I personally enjoyed the sour cream option).
2. Champignons (Mushrooms)
Do yourself a favour and get a bowl of champignons from the Christmas markets in Germany. Mushrooms are fried up with butter and garlic in massive frying pans and then are typically topped with a delicious creamy garlic sauce.
This was hands down my favourite dish that I consumed at the German Christmas Markets. Don’t miss it!
3. Flammkuchen (Flatbread Pizza)
If you want to try Germany’s version of pizza, you’ve got to try flammkuchen. This thin flatbread is topped with various cheeses, meats and/ or vegetables and baked in the oven.
The great part is the base is so thin that you can easily eat your way through one of these without getting overly full!
4. Schupfnudeln (Potato Dumplings)
As is the case with most great German foods, schupfnudeln is another dish made of potato. The best way I can describe schupfnudeln is finger-shaped potato gnocchi.
Typically, the dish is served with sauerkraut, however, vendors will serve up all types of toppings!
5. Wurst (Sausages)
If there is one thing that Germans LOVE, it’s their sausages. There is certainly no shortage of them at the German Christmas Markets. You can basically find a wurst stand everywhere you turn your head (alternatively, just follow your nose).
There are literally hundreds of different sausage variations throughout Germany. From the classic Bratwurst to the unique white-coloured Weisswurst, you’ll find all kinds of sausage options at the German Christmas markets!
6. Currywurst (Curried Sausages)
The other sausage-based dish you’ll no doubt see around is currywurst, which is basically sausage sliced up and tossed around in a sweet curry ketchup. Nowadays, you can even find vegan currywurst for sale at many German Christmas markets.
Alternatively, you can try your hand at making your own vegan currywurst with this recipe!
7. Dresdner Handbrot (Stuffed Bread)
One of my other favourite German Christmas Market foods was dresdner handbrot, or stuffed bread. These fluffy, doughy bread are stuffed with various fillings and baked in the oven.
They are then chopped into pieces and topped with sour cream and chives. Common fillings include cheese, mushrooms and ham.
8. Pfaffenglück (Rye Flatbread)
Pfaffenglück is another bread-based treat that you may see at some of the markets. However, what makes it unique is that this baked flatbread is mainly made of rye flour and has herbs incorporated in the dough. You can choose from all sorts of toppings to go on the bread and then it is generally doused in sour cream.
9. Käsespätzle (Cheese Egg Noodles)
A very typically Bavarian dish, käsespätzle is Germany’s answer to mac & cheese. These little noodle dumplings are combined with a rich, cheesy sauce and topped with fried shallots.
It isn’t quite as common to find this food at German Christmas Markets. However, any Bavarian beer hall will be sure to serve it up!
If you’re up for a fun challenge, I’d highly recommend making käsespätzle at home!
10. Pommes Frites (Fries)
Pommes frites (or fries) may not be a unique food at the German Christmas markets, but it’s a classic nonetheless. On a cold winter’s night, wandering around with a cone of hot, crunchy fries is hard to beat.
The Germans normally smother their fries in mayonnaise (which I highly approve of), but ketchup tends to also be available.
11. Knoblauchbrot (Garlic Bread)
It’s almost impossible to walk past a stall at the German Christmas markets selling knoblauchbrot without your mouth watering. The smell of garlic really never gets old.
The Germans tend to take their garlic bread to another level by frying it and smothering it in sour cream. How can you say no to that?
12. Langos (Fried Dough)
If you’ve never had langos before, you are seriously missing out. Dough is deep-fried and served hot, topped with garlic, sour cream and cheese to name a few.
Langos originates in Hungary, but it has become a popular German Christmas Market food. This is unsurprising, as this indulgent deep-fried dish is impossible to resist.
Raclette is another dish that doesn’t originate in the country but has become a staple Christmas market food in Germany. We have the Swiss to thank for this glorious food.
Raclette is essentially a giant wheel of cheese that is heated up and scraped off onto various foods such as potatoes, pickles, meat and/ or bread. It’s not for the faint-hearted, but its a Christmas market food you need to try!
14. Kartoffellanzen (Tornado Potatos)
Just in case I haven’t listed enough potato-based foods to eat at the German Christmas markets… Here is another one. Kartoffellanzen is basically deep-fried, spiralized potatoes on a stick!
They look amazing, taste amazing and are a novelty to eat… What’s not to love? Kartoffellanzen are just another reminder that the Germans really know what they are doing when it comes to potatoes.
15. Stecklerfish (Fish on a Stick)
Stecklerfish is definitely a local favourite food at the German Christmas markets. Different varieties of fish are put on a skewer and grilled over a blazing fire.
This is possibly one of the healthiest German Christmas market foods that you’ll find… Not a deep-fried potato in sight!
16. Laugenbrezeln (Pretzel)
This may not specifically be a Christmas market food, but you can’t leave Germany without trying laugenbrezeln. These giant pretzels are soft and doughy on the inside, crisp and salty on the outside. They make a perfect Christmas market snack!
17. Semmelknödel (German Bread Dumplings)
Semmelknödel are a type of bread dumpling made with stale bread, milk and eggs. They are a very common side dish served as part of a German Christmas feast. They originate from Southern Germany, so you’re likely to find them being served at the Christmas markets in Bavaria.
BEST GERMAN CHRISTMAS MARKET FOOD: SWEET
18. Schaumkuss (Marshmallows)
I am not normally a big marshmallow fan, but schaumkuss won me at first bite. These adorable-looking chocolate-coated marshmallows come in an overwhelming variety of flavours.
It’s not just the coatings that are different is this German Christmas sweet. The actual marshmallows are flavoured differently in each one. I can attest that the caramel-almond flavoured schaumkuss is particularly delicious!
19. Gebrannte Mandeln (Roasted Almonds)
There really is absolutely nothing like the sweet, sweet smell of freshly roasted almonds. It is almost impossible to walk past a stall selling gebrannte mandeln and not buy a cone full.
This is definitely one of the most popular Christmas Market snacks, so you’ll find people stirring big cauldrons of sugar and nuts everywhere you go.
20. Lebkuchen (Spiced Cookie)
Possibly one of the most classic German Christmas sweets is lebkuchen. This is a type of cookie that is very similar to gingerbread, although it is not exactly the same. These cookies are sweetened with honey, infused with a range of spices and often dotted with nuts or dried fruit.
You’ll find all sorts of varieties of lebkuchen at the German Christmas markets. Popular variations include lebkuchen herzen, which are huge ornamental hearts, and pfefferkuchen, which are soft, round cookies.
21. Elisenlebkuchen (Soft Cookies)
If you want to try some of the best lebkuchen in the whole country, I’d highly recommend heading to the Bavarian city of Nuremberg. Here, you’ll find elisenlebkuchen, which are a flourless variation of lebkuchen.
Instead of flour, ground nuts and almond paste are used to provide a wonderful texture to the cookie. They are moist, chewy and absolutely delicious!
22. Marones (Chestnuts)
There is nothing that says Christmas like chestnuts roasting by the open fire. At the German Christmas markets, chestnuts really are roasting by the open fire.
Chestnuts themselves have a bit of an acquired taste but I personally quite enjoy the neutral taste and soft texture of these little gems.
23. Fruchtspieße (Fruit Skewers)
Fruchtspieße really are the eye candy of the German Christmas markets. It’s hard not to admire the beautifully decorated skewers of fruit presented at market stalls.
You’ll find everything from bananas and strawberries to melon doused in different kinds of chocolate. Perhaps a good detoxing snack before facing the next lot of fried potatoes?
24. Paradiesäpfel (Candied apples)
Often sold at the same stand as fruchtspieße are paradiesäpfel, which are candied apples. These are another classic German Christmas market food for kids (both young and old!) Just be careful of your teeth- that hard candy coating can be lethal.
Marzipan is another classic German Christmas market food. The confectionery dates all the way back to the 15th century! Marzipan is made from ground almonds, sugar and honey which is either sold in balls to moulded into shapes.
Keep an eye out for a stall selling marzipan- it can be moulded into some very intricate and elaborate shapes!
26. Mutzenmandeln (Fried dough)
Mutzenmandeln is a very typical German fair snack, which basically involves dough triangles being deep-fried and covered in confectioner’s sugar.
They are rather reminiscent of mini doughnuts with a little less flavour and density. They are a fun treat to share if you are into your deep-fried goods.
They may not be typical to Germany, but crepes are an ever-popular snack that you’ll find sold at most Christmas markets.
Most of the time the crepes will have a very expansive range of both sweet and savoury toppings. I personally can’t go past a good banana and Nutella crepe.
Like crepes, waffles are another very popular food at the German Christmas markets. If you can find Belgian liege waffles, don’t pass up the opportunity to try these delicious morsels!
If you LOVE waffles, you seriously need to try my recipe for Belgian Liege Waffles with Biscoff Sauce!
29. Apelstrudel (Apple Strudel)
It may originally be from Austria, but apelstrudel is still one of Germany’s favourite desserts, and for very good reason. Layers of pastry surround spicy poached apple and sultanas.
To make it even better, it is often accompanied by vanilla icecream or drizzled in custard. Again, it isn’t always sold at the Christmas markets, but you will likely be able to find it at most typical German restaurants.
30. Schneeballen (Snowballs)
Schneeballen, or snowballs, are treats that involve dough cut into strips, formed into a ball and fried then covered in toppings. These toppings could be anything from chocolate to marzipan to nuts.
However, be warned. Schneeballen may look exciting and delicious. But they taste super flavourless and are very dry in texture. I wouldn’t recommend it (unless your curiosity really gets the better of you).
31. Dampfnudel (Sweet Dumplings)
Dampfnudel is a heavenly Bavarian dish that you’ll sometimes find served as a German Christmas market food.
Light, pillowy bread dumplings are soaked in creamy vanilla custard and often served with fruit compote. It’s hearty, comforting and absolutely delicious!
Stollen is a must-try German Christmas food! You’ll find it in almost every German household at Christmas. It’s a dense cake loaded with dried fruit, nuts and spices, and it is covered in powdered sugar.
Apparently, the loaves are meant to resemble Baby Jesus in swaddling clothes!
33. Plätzchen (Sweet Cookies)
Stroll through any German Christmas market and you’re likely to come across a stall selling plätzchen. These are sweet little butter cookies that are cut out in a variety of Christmas shapes. They may be decorated with icing sugar, chocolate, or be sandwiched with jam.
Not only do plätzchen make a delicious treat, they are also often used to decorate the Christmas tree in Germany. These cookies make a great Christmas market gift to bring back to your loved ones!
Best German Christmas market drinks
304. Gluhwein (Mulled Wine)
One cannot visit the German Christmas markets and not indulge in a glass of mulled wine, or as it is known in Germany, Gluhwein. This nectar of the gods is made from heating red wine, sugar and spices and is really the only way to stay warm in the winter chill.
If there is one drink I URGE you to try at the Christmas markets, it’s the eierpunsch. Just imagine a blended, alcoholic apple strudel. The drink is made up of egg yolks, white wine, spices, vanilla, citrus juice, rum and a topping of cream.
This makes for a very unique, rich and delicious drink that you really just have to try to understand. Thank me later.
If you want to try gluhwein on steroids, feuerzangenbowle is for you. Basically, they take regular gluhwein, top it with a sugar cube soaked in rum, and set the sugar on fire.
The result? A very alcoholic but delicious version of gluhwein. It’s certainly not for the faint-hearted!
37. Heiße Schokolade (Hot Chocolate)
There is nothing that warms the soul more than a big mug of heavenly hot chocolate. Except when said hot chocolate is topped with whipped cream and mini marshmallows.
If you want your soul to REALLY be warmed, I would recommend spiking your hot chocolate with Baileys or another liquor of your choice.
You can find a lot of different drinks at the German Christmas markets… Even alcoholic tea! That’s right, jagertee is a popular drink made of black tea and rum.
It’s meant to be rather potent so proceed with caution…
39. Glühbier (Mulled Beer)
One of the most unique German Christmas market drinks is glühbier, or mulled beer! Trust the German’s to combine two of their move beloved drinks- beer and mulled wine.
Beer is simmered with spices to create this warm, spiced, uncarbonated beer drink!
Perhaps one of Germany’s most simple Christmas drinks, grog is quite literally just hot water and liquor (normally rum). It’s particularly popular in the Northern part of Germany where it gets extremely cold.
After all, there is nothing like an alcohol blanket to warm you!
41. Kinderpunsch (Mulled Punch)
If you don’t drink alcohol, fear not. You can also find plenty of non-alcoholic drinks at the Christmas markets in Germany.
Kinderpunsch is a warm, spiced punch that makes the perfect alcohol-free alternative to mulled wine!
I hope you enjoyed this list of what to drink and eat at the German Christmas markets. Tag me @polkadotpassport on Instagram if you try anything on the list so I can get food envy!
For more Christmas market travel, read these next articles next:
- 5 Best European Cities to Visit at Christmas
- The Weirdest Christmas Traditions Around the World
- A Guide to Exploring the BEST Christmas Markets in Europe