Feasting at a German Christmas Market

In Christmas, En-Route, Europe, Food, Germany, Our Journeys, Sense, Trip-Types, World Travel by Janis3 Comments

What to eat while visiting a German Christmas Market

It's way more than just sausages

2017, for us ,was another bumper year for German Christmas markets. Not only did we revisit our old friend Cologne, but, we additionally travelled to Munich & Frankfurt. We also visited Strasbourg, I know, geographically it's France but hey, it's only a stones throw away.

The Bandstand at the Engelchenmarkt, Düsseldorf, Germany

This was one less destination than on our 2016 trip, however, for us “Christmas market lovers” it was still jam packed. We find it fascinating how one countries food, differs so much from region to region. There's an incredible variety  available, and you certainly won’t go hungry.

We learnt fairly early on that you don't need to be seated at a restaurant, to get the most out of the German Christmas market food experience.  You can feast on the markets themselves, or just graze in a bar whilst enjoying a beer or two - you are in Germany after all.

I think the theme here is stocking up for the winter.

Here is a sweet and savoury taster for you, but obviously only in the visual sense, sorry!!

A reference guide

I love nothing more than planning a trip and so often I use the DK Eyewitness books.  I find them  extremely informative, easy to follow and the pictures and maps tempt you into discovering more.

We used a previous version of this book to plan our Germany road trips, now you can grab the revised copy.

Food, glorious food

Top of the list has to be the much-loved German sausage.

Food, glorious food at the Christmas Markets, Cologne, Germany

There are so many different varieties available, bratwurst, currywurst, krakauer to name but a few.

Selecting your sausage at the Angel Christmas Market, Cologne, Germany
Currywurst with plenty of sauce, Cologne, Germany

In Nuremberg, they had their own rostbratwurst version; “Drei im Weggla” – “Three in a bun”

Three in a bun, Nuremberg, Germany
My first curly wurst, Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany

Honestly, there is fish as well

There are also some tasty fish options, particularly the flame cooked salmon.

We also came across mackerel in Stuttgart, which we hadn’t seen anywhere else.

Salmon, the traditional way at the Christmas Markets, Cologne, Germany
Cooked over charcoal, Stuttgart, Germany
The Flammlachs Stall,  Düsseldorf, Germany
Backfish in a roll, Cologne, Germany

Back to the grill

If the carnivores amongst us fancied a change from the sausage, other meats are available. There are the foot long kebabs in Cologne and the sticky doughy option in Stuttgart

Something new from the markets, Stuttgart, Germany
Bread & pork kebabs, Stuttgart, Germany
A meat feast, Cologne, Germany
Smoking grill, Cologne, Germany
Meat and Chicken Kebabs, Cologne, Germany
Steak at the Dom Christmas Market, Cologne, Germany

Food to Share

We find it enjoyable sharing a lot of these dishes, that way you get a taster of each.

Or just the pure meat in a roll

Amazing Pork, Cologne, Germany

The choices here were glazed baked ham or marinated pork steak.

A generous ham roll, Cologne, Germany

You certainly don't get short changed on the portion sizes

Hearty option

One of my favourite dishes is the gulaschsuppe (goulash soup to you and me, not too sure if you needed the translation), this one even came with its own edible bowl.

Gulaschsuppe & gluhwein at the Christmas Markets, Cologne, Germany
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Why not?

Start creating your own Christmas Market adventure and discover the culinary delights for yourself, easyJet & British Airways are just a couple of options.
Discover more of Germany on a road trip like us, SIXT car hire cover all budgets and allow you to pick up and drop off at different destinations.

Then there are the carbs

The reibekuchen is a deep-fried potato cake often served with apple sauce, in Cologne they are bought in 3’s. In my opinion, they have to be shared, but I'm not German.

Potato cakes with apple sauce, Cologne, Germany
Potato cakes with sour cream, Stuttgart, Germany

Different towns & cities have different 'rules' - Stuttgart, and it's two with a sour cream sauce.

Flammeckeuche to share, Cologne, Germany

The flammekueche or tarte flambée - it looks like a pizza, but the similarities end there. Quite light to eat, and you can even get a vegetarian option.

The flammbrot options, Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany
Oh Flammbrot, Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany

The flammbrot has a thicker base than the flammeckeuche; we tried this in Rothenburg ob der Tauber.

Pretzels, or Brezels, Cologne, Germany

A popular snack amongst many Europeans particularly in Alsace and Bavaria is the pretzel or Brezel, not only are they dusted with salt, but you can also get them grilled with cheese.


Gary and I did not sample all of these on one trip, with a have been visiting Cologne for years.

Finally, something sweet

There are so many choices here this is just the tip of the iceberg. Waffles, crepes, gingerbread or lebkuchen, baked apples, glazed apples, chocolate marshmallows, schneeball, sweet sticky nuts.

Now my mouth is watering.

Gingerbread hearts, Stuttgart, Germany
A waffle with cream and nuts, Cologne, Germany
A waffle selection, Christmas Markets, Cologne, Germany
Aachener Printen for sale at the Dom Christmas Market, Cologne, Germany
Carefully selecting the Lebkuchen hearts at the Christmas Market. Cologne, Germany
Sweet Stuff, Stuttgart, Germany
Gingerbread loaves for sale, Nuremberg, Germany
The nut seller, Nuremberg, Germany
The crêpe maker at the Angel Christmas Market, Cologne, Germany
Something sweet at the Christmas markets, Düsseldorf, Germany
Mum enjoying a baked apple, Christmas Markets, Cologne, Germany
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Tip of the Iceberg

To be honest each year more options seem to be added, and we've skipped a few because we don't want to spoil all the suprises do we.

Of the region

A selection of the sweeter delicacies can be found across Germany; however, some are more localised than others.

Such as the schneeball (a shortcrust pastry ball), which is quite synonymous with Rothenburg ob der Tauber & Nuremberg gingerbread, which traditionally I believe needs to be produced within the city limits to be classified as Nuremberg gingerbread.

Greeting and gingerbread from Nuremberg, Germany
The Schneeball and hot chocolate, Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany

While we were in Munich we came across Apfelschmarrn, apple pancakes with nuts and a plum sauce, you were even able to eat the bowl that it came in (it tasted like an ice cream cone).

This warming dish was very welcome, as boy, Munich was cold.

Trying Apfelschmarrn, Munich, Germany

Our Choice

Our preferred mode of transport for visiting these markets is always the car, that way it doesn’t matter how many Christmas treats we return with for family and friends; there’s room for it all. If you’re not taking your car save a little bit of room in your suitcase, surely everybody loves gingerbread.

Why not check out our post 'Your first German Christmas Market by car'

Have You?

Visited the real deal - a genuine German Christmans Market?  Have you been to many - What's your favourite? (It doesn't count if you're German because you always choose your local one)

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Inspired to visit the German Christmas Markets?

Something must tempt you? If you'd like more information on the German Christmas Markets then we've a few posts for you.

Feel free to have a look around and see what takes your fancy.

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Feasting at a German Christmas Market

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About the Author


Janis, the co-founder of Our World for You, was born in London and raised in Kent and the Isle of Wight. Along with Gary her partner, they have been travelling part time since 1995. In 2016, they decided that enough was enough with the 9 to 5, so armed with the knowledge and experience that they had gained on their adventures, that they wanted to inspire others to travel the world near and far.

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  1. Ooh that’s a few too many sausages for me!! But that goulash soup looks scrummy and the apple pancakes are just my cup of tea. This is a really useful post, Janis. We’re off to Austria in a few weeks so it’ll be interesting to see how the Christmas market foods compare. Thanks for sharing on #FarawayFiles

  2. Yes, I preferred the goulash soup, Gary enjoys trying the different kinds sausages.We’ve been toying with heading to Vienna for the Christmas markets, it’s meant to be lovely there at Christmas. Look forward to hearing your thoughts.

  3. I think my favorites were the he foot long kebabs in Cologne and the pretzels. Yes please! We’ve never been to a Christmas Market in Germany, but I think I must find my way to one at some point as it seems quite magical! #farawayfiles

  4. Yes, I must admit I do like the turkey kebabs. There’s just not enough time to try all the things you like, you end up picking your favourites.I highly recommend visiting a Christmas market in Germany, they certainly know how to embrace all the fun.

  5. Wow this took me back to our time at the Christmas markets a few years back. The food was simply amazing and it was great to experience the Cologne markets and all the unique foods.

  6. It is a fantastic experience; the Germans certainly know how to embrace Christmas. The only problem is that there is not enough time to try all the different foods. Although it’s a good excuse to keep returning.

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