Contrary to the name, Oktoberfest starts much sooner than October. In fact, the 16-day festival kicked off Saturday. The main fairground is Munich’s “die Wiesn”— or for English speakers, The Meadow—but cities around the world host their own boisterous celebration. Whether you’re headed to the big event or to one closer to home, seek out the best hearty Oktoberfest food using our handy guide.
No Oktoberfest celebration is complete without sausage. Bratwurst, a German staple since old times, is made of seasoned, chopped meat in casing which is then grilled or pan fried. Not always served with a bun, bratwurst can be a standalone dish, topped off with onion and mustard. While sampling sausage, try the ghostly Bavarian specialty, Weisswurst, a white sausage made with veal, bacon, and parsley. See where Bratwurst has been spotted near you.
Steckerlfisch is a long name for fish on a stick. Made with a some variety of white fish, it is seasoned with spices and oil, placed on a fire and roasted until crispy.See where Steckerlfisch has been spotted near you.
Schweinshaxe is a classic Bavarian dish. To make the succulent pork knuckle, it’s boiled, then baked. The final result is knobby pork bone covered in a crisp, crackly skin. It is often accompanied by a side dish or two like sauerkraut, Knödel, a doughy noodle ball, and topped with gravy. If you like the sound of the sides but not the bone, instead get Schweinebraten, roast pork slices. See where Schweinshaxe have been spotted near you.
You know what to order if you want beef or pork, but if you prefer something feathered, don’t miss the Hendl at Oktoberfest. Germany does roast chicken right. See where Hendl has been spotted near you.
5. Brezlen (Pretzel)
When you’re between meals or wants something to wash down that liter, grab an enormous pretzel. This knotted treat is made from sturdy bread that’s flecked with salt on the outside. Served with butter? That’s a Butterbrezel. You could also enjoy the Bavarian delicacy Obatzda with your pretzel. It’s a creamy herb cheese spread. See where Brezlen have been spotted near you.
Rounding out this collection of rich foods is cheesy spatzle. If you love mac and cheese, get a friend to help you eat a bowl of the ultra-rich Käsespätzle. See where Käsespätzle have been spotted near you.
On your way out, pick up a souvenir for your sweetie. Lebkuchenherzen is made from gingerbread but is intended more for decoration than eating. Think: conversation hearts for the beer-swigging, Schweinshaxn-consuming masses. See where Lebkuchenherzen has been spotted near you.
There you have it—over a half dozen foods to eat in between the drinking songs and toasting. Have you been to an Oktoberfest celebration? What’s your favorite food from the festivities? If we missed it, let us know!