Foods to Try at German Christmas Markets

Half the fun of visiting the Christmas markets in Germany is trying the food. There are, of course, lots of traditional things to try that are found throughout Germany, but many markets also have local favorites that you can buy as well. Aaron and I each have a couple of favorites, and sometimes, when I don't feel like cooking dinner, will just run down to the market and get stuff there to eat. Now, it's not necessarily healthy, but it sure is tasty! If you're planning a trip to Germany this December and are planning on visiting the Christmas markets, here are some foods that you should definitely try. Depending on the market, you may find all of them, or just a few. In any case, I'm sure that you will find something warm and tasty to eat. Guten Appetit!


1. Glühwein

Ok, not a food, but a drink, but you will find this in every single market that you visit. It's a staple. Glühwein is mulled (spiced) wine, is typically red, but I have seen white, and is served hot in little mugs. Each market, and sometimes each stall, has different mugs and different styles of Glühwein. You pay a deposit (Pfand) for the mug (usually 2€), and then when it's empty, you take it back to either get more (my usual choice) or get a refill. Technically, you aren't really supposed to keep the mugs, but it's not unheard of either. If you don't want wine, they also serve a non-alcoholic version called Kinderpunsch (kid's punch). That's what this pregnant lady will be drinking this season, while convincing myself that it's the real stuff.

enjoying my first mug of glühwein last year!

2. Potato Pancakes

These are a personal favorite of mine. Shaved potatoes are mixed with a batter, formed into pancakes, and fried. They are usually served with apple sauce or a jelly of some sort. My mouth is water just thinking about them!

3. Wurst

Germany is known world wide for it's sausage, and the Christmas markets are a great place to get one. Wurst are highly regionally specific, but will always be available. They are usually served in a Brötchen (roll), but the size of the roll does not always match the size of the wurst.

Currywurst, served cut up with a tomato sauce and curry powder

Rote Wurst in Brötchen

4. Feuerzagenbowle

Another drink and not a food, but worthy of being listed nonetheless! This is like Glühwein on steroids. In addition to the wine, there is a rum soaked sugar cone that is set on fire and drips into the wine. More rum is also added to the wine, you know, cause Germany.... It's strong, and not really my drink of choice, but you should try it at least once, especially if you are a rum fan.


Copper kettle with Feuerzangenbowle


5. Lebkuchen

Lebkuchen, or German gingerbread, can be found at just about every market, fair, wine festival, or Oktoberfest celebration in Germany. It's usually sold in heart shaped pieces ranging from the size of my hand, to bigger than my torso, and is decorated with frosting. You will usually find things like, ''Ich mog dich'' (I like you), or ''Ich liebe dich'' (I love you), or even more complex sayings written on them. They are completely edible too, so you can let your loved one eat your feelings :)

lebkuchen are usually sold with sweet saying on there. Here, these ones say sweet devil and my sweetness. Ok, so maybe not all of them are nice :)

6. Stollen

I think German's invented fruit cake. Now, I can't back that up with anything scientific, other than the fact that I love their Christmas fruit cake, called Stollen. Unlike many that I have had, it's not drenched in rum, but is a rather tasty, not too sweet (despite being coated in powdered sugar), Christmas bread. It's dense, often made with dried or candied fruit, nuts, or marzipan, and comes in wide, thin loaves. Each region has their own unique variation, so make sure you try them all!

one variety of Dresdener ChristStollen 

Another variation of Dresdener Christstollen

What are some of your favorite foods to eat at Christmas time?