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Top Ten German Foods

Rudi’s Pick For Top Ten German Foods

Each region of Germany has its own specialty dishes and variations of typical German cuisine. Here are our top ten traditional German foods to try.

German food is rich, substantial and delicious, with each region having its own specialty dishes and traditional cuisine.Guten Appetit!

Top Ten German FoodsApfelstrudel

Apfelstrudel (apple strudel) is a delicious pastry filled with apples flavored with sugar, cinnamon, raisins and breadcrumbs – and has been popular since the 18th century. The delicate flakey pastry is made from an elastic dough, which is kneaded and stretched until it’s as thin as phyllo pastry. The pastry is wrapped round and round the filling building up many layers, and then baked. It’s served warm in slices sprinkled with powdered or icing sugar.


A steaming bowl of eintopf  will warm you up on a cold day. The name of this traditional German stew literally means ‘one pot’ and refers to the way of cooking rather than a specific recipe. However, most recipes contain the same basic ingredients: a broth, some vegetables, potatoes or pulses and then some meat (commonly pork, beef or chicken) or sometimes fish. There are regional specialties, for example,lumpen und fleeh (which means ‘rags and fleas’) in the Kassel area, which is similar to Irish stew.


Spatzle, noodles made from wheat flour and egg, are popular especially in the South. They’re often served topped with cheese (kasepatzle) – rather like macaroni cheese – and sometimes with roasted onions as well. They can be served boiling hot, straight from the pan – so be careful!


These are shallow pan-fried pancakes made from grated or ground potatoes mixed with flour, egg, onion and seasoning. You can enjoy them either salty as a side dish to a main course of meat or fish, or sweet with apple sauce, blueberries, sugar and cinnamon. Look out for them in outdoor markets in the winter.

Rote grutze

This red fruit pudding is a popular dessert in the North. It’s made from black and red currants, raspberries and sometimes strawberries or cherries, which are cooked in their juice and thickened with a little cornstarch or cornflour. It’s served with cream, vanilla sauce or milk.


Germans love their meat – andsauerbraten (meaning ‘sour’ or ‘pickled’ roast) is a pot roast that’s regarded as one of the country’s national dishes. It can be made from many different meats (originally horse), which are marinated in wine, vinegar, spices, herbs and seasoning for up to 10 days. Schweinenbraten is a delicious roast pork dish, usually served with braised cabbage orsauerkraut and dumplings (knoedel), and washed down with a pilsner beer.


Brezel are soft, white pretzels, made from flour water and yeast and sprinkled with salt (and sometimes different seeds), and great to eat as a side dish or snack – or with a beer. They’re in every bakery and on street stands, sold plain, sliced and buttered (butterbrezel) or with slices of cold meats or cheese.

Schwarzwalder Kirschtorte

You’ll find lots of cakes and tarts to tempt you in Germany, commonly made with fresh fruit. Few can resist a huge slice or two of the most famous of them all: the delicious schwarzwalder kirschtorte – Black Forest cherry cake. The cake is named afterschwarzwalder kirschwasser, which is a liqueur distilled from tart cherries. Alternating layers of rich chocolate cake, cherries and whipped cream are topped off with more cream, maraschino cherries and chocolate shavings.


A schnitzel is a thin, boneless cutlet of meat, which is coated in breadcrumbs and often served with a slice of lemon. You can choose aWeiner schnitzel, which is made of veal, or a schnitzel Wiener made of pork. If you order a Hamburg-styleschnitzel, it will arrive with a fried egg on top; while a Holsten-styleschnitzel will come with an egg, anchovies and capers.


There are more than 1500 different types of wurst (sausage) made in Germany and you’ll find street stalls selling them everywhere. The most popular include bratwurst (fried sausage) made of ground pork and spices, Weiner (Viennese), which is smoked and then boiled, and blutwurst and schwarzwurst, which are both blood sausages. Look out for regional specialities like Berlin’s currywurst (sausage with curried ketchup on the top), Bavaria’s weisswurst, a white sausage that you peel before eating with sweet mustard, and Nuremberg’s grilled rostbratwurst, served with fermented shredded cabbage known as sauerkraut.i

Other Resources for German Cuisine and German Food Information

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German Apple Strudel - Apfelstrudel

German Apple Strudel: Strum-Strum-Yiddle Ye Yum Apfelstrudel

Apple-StrudelApfelstrudel is commonly referred to today as apple strudel.  The dough used to make strudel is similar to the flaky texture of baklava, a popular pastry from the Ottoman Empire during the late 18th century.  The dough used to make baklava is very similar to phyllo dough that got its name from the Greek word “leaf”.  Rudi Lechners Restaurant takes pride in making traditional German cuisine.

Apfelstrudel was made popular through the Habsburg Empire in the 18th century.  Austrian cuisine was formed during this time and has been influenced by many cuisines such as Bosnian, Hungarian, Polish and Slovakian to name a few.  Apple strudel is the most commonly known kind of strudel in these cuisines although it can also be made with just about any kind of fruit.  Apfelstrudel is considered the national dish in Austria.

A handwritten recipe dating back to 1696 is the oldest known recipe and is housed at the Wiener Stadtbibliothek, the official library of the City and State of Vienna, the capital of Austria.  Rudi Lechners Restaurant proudly serves this traditional German desert

(See our apple strudel Apfelstrudel Recipe Here.)

This delectable pastry consists of a filling of tart crisp apples, sugar, cinnamon, raisins, and walnuts.  The traditional preparation of the dough is a difficult process.  It is kneaded and stretched very thin until it is almost transparent similar to phyllo dough.

The Hungarians and the Viennese improvised on this dough and perfected the strudel.  The filling wrapped inside this dough and baked to form this delicate, flaky dessert.  It is served as warm slices topped with powdered sugar or icing.  At Rudi Lechners Restaurant,  every effort is made to create this pastry in the traditional German way.

This traditional Viennese style pastry is substantial, rich and delicious.  The combination of sweet which is complimented by the slight spiciness of cinnamon along with the delicate pastry is sure to please the palate.  We invite you to try our Apfelstrudel after one of our many delectable German specialties as the finishing touch to your dining experience at Rudi Lechners Restaurant.   Guten appetite!


Berliner – the Tasteful German version of a Doughnut

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Berliner is a traditional pastry that comes from Germany and is very similar to the doughnut we all know, but it doesn’t have the central hole. It is made from sweet yeast dough and is fried in fat or oil. It has a marmalade filling or a jam filling and has a sweet icing made of sugar. They can be made with other fillings too, with chocolate, mocha, champagne, custard or they can be empty, with no filling.

Berliner - the Tasteful GermanThe Berliner contains a lot of milk, butter and eggs. The filling and the topping of the Berliner are always related. Plum-butter filling goes with powdered sugar icing, raspberry, strawberry and cherry jam fillings go with sugar topping. For other fillings, the sugar icing can be flavored with rum, for better taste. In the past, the Berliner was made out of two halves which were filled and then sticked together and fried. Today, there is only one part which is first fried and then the filling is injected with a syringe.

Also, in the past berliners were eaten only to celebrate New Year’s Eve and holidays like Rosenmontag and Fat Tuesday. Today, they can be bought throughout the whole year. A lot of Germans have a joke connected with the berliners, filling in some of the berliners with mustard instead of jam and put them together with the other sweet berliners.

Different areas in Germany have different names for this delicacy. Some part of Germany knows it as an berliner, but some parts call it a Pfannkuchen. And, this new word in the rest of the German places means pancakes. And in some other parts, because pfannkuchen is already taken, they call pancakes eierkuchen, which means egg cakes.

Berliners in English-speaking countries are called doughnuts and are filled with whipped cream, jam, jelly or custard. In North America, the term for this pastry filled with jam or jelly is “jelly doughnut”. But, this is somehow misleading because, the jam and jelly inside the doughnut looks more like a Bavarian cream. The doughnuts which are filled with cream or custard usually have chocolate icing and are called Boston cream doughnuts because of their resemblance to the Boston cream pie. The Boston cream doughnut is actually the official state doughnut of the state of Massachusetts.

In Canada, this type of filled doughnut is called “bismark”.

There is a legend connected with John F. Kennedy and the Berliners. Many newspapers have written about him saying “Ich bin ein Berliner”, which means “I am a Berliner”. The misunderstanding is in the fact that Germans do not use the article ‘ein’ when they express their nationality. And, it couldn’t be possible for Germans to get the wrong impression because they do not use the word Berliner for this sweet delicacy. For them, it’s a pfannkuchen.