Cuisine

A Kaleidoscope of Flavor
Booking Period: Today - 9/6/2024
Travel Period: 2023 - 2024

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Germany's Magic Cities are known for gastronomic diversity that represents both tradition and innovation. From the hearty delights of Bavarian sausages and pretzels in Munich to the aromatic blends of Cologne's Kölsch beer and Rhinish specialties, each city showcases its unique flavors. Frankfurt's iconic green sauce, Dresden's sweet Christstollen and Nuremberg's gingerbread cookies tell tales of local heritage.

The culinary adventure extends to bustling markets in Leipzig, where fresh produce and artisanal bites reflect the city's creative spirit. Meanwhile, Hamburg's seafood treasures and Düsseldorf's Altbier pair wonderfully with picturesque riverside scenes. In each bite, from Stuttgart's Swabian delights to Bremen's maritime feasts, travelers can immerse themselves in a culture that serves every flavor with a story.

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Elbe River's Wine Region ©Sven Döring

Dresden

Dresden is known for its Dresdner Christstollen (also known as Striezel) which was first introduced at a 15th-century Christmas market. The sweet cake is only produced in bakeries and pastry shops in Dresden and recognized by its golden seal of quality.

Must Try:

  • Dresdner Christstollen (Striezel): A beloved Christmas fruitcake enriched with spices and marzipan, reflecting Dresden's festive spirit and centuries-old baking tradition.
  • Eierschecke: Savor this delectable Saxon dessert, combining layers of quark, vanilla, and poppyseed.
  • Wine Culture: Dresden boasts a vibrant wine culture celebrated for its historic vineyards and exceptional Riesling wines along the Elbe River.

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Riquet Café, Leipzig ©Philipp Kirschner

Leipzig

Coffeehouse culture is nothing new in Leipzig — even J.S. Bach dedicated his Coffee Cantata to the social tradition back in the mid-18th century.

Must Try:

  • Coffeehouse Culture: Leipzig's coffeehouse tradition, dating back centuries, remains a thriving hub for intellectual exchange, echoing the city's legacy as a haven for scholars and creatives.
  • Leipziger Allerlei: A culinary delight, Leipziger Allerlei is a medley of peas, carrots, asparagus and more, celebrating Leipzig's dedication to fresh, seasonal ingredients and regional gastronomy.
  • Leipziger Lerche: For years, this pastry was made from the meat of a songbird until the practice was banned by the Saxonian King Albert I in 1876. Today's sweeter version consists of a shortcrust filled with a mixture of crushed almonds, nuts and a cherry.

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Nuremberg's Bratwurst ©Angela Ditze

Nuremberg

If Nuremberg had a signature scent, it would be the smell of wood-fired bratwurst. The definition of what makes a real bratwurst versus any other sausage has been protected since the Middle Ages.

Must Try:

  • Bratwurst: Nuremberg is famed for its tiny, savory bratwurst sausages, a culinary emblem of the city's rich gastronomic heritage.
  • Gingerbread: Nuremberg's intricate Lebkuchen gingerbread has a centuries-old legacy, embodying the city's sweet craftsmanship and festive spirit.
  • German Whiskey: German whiskey distilleries tap into modern trends while staying rooted in the city's spirit of innovation.

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Pretzel, Munich ©Frank Stolle

Munich

No matter where you’re headed for a meal — a restaurant, the iconic Viktualienmarkt or a Bavarian Biergarten — don’t leave Munich without trying its most iconic savory dishes.

Must Try:

  • Weißwurst: Munich's iconic veal breakfast sausage represents the city's traditional Bavarian culinary charm.
  • Viktualienmarkt: Viktualienmarkt is a lively open-air food market offering a wide variety of fresh produce, regional specialties and artisanal products.
  • Pretzels: No visit to Munich is complete without a warm pretzel.

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Maultaschen, Stuttgart ©Martina Denker

Stuttgart

Gastronomy in Stuttgart runs the gamut of dining experiences, from Michelin-star fine dining to traditional Swabian delicacies served in cozy holes-in-the-wall and Besenwirtschaften (broom taverns run by local wine growers).

Must Try:

  • Maultaschen: Stuttgart's beloved pasta is marked by a savory filling of meat or vegetables.
  • Zwiebelrostbraten: This tender roast beef dish with onion gravy captures Stuttgart's commitment to hearty, flavorful cuisine.
  • Broom Taverns: Temporary wine taverns that are only open for 12 weeks of the year. The name derives from the broom that hangs at the door, indicating the tavern is open for business.

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Apfelweinwirtschaft, Frankfurt ©visitrhinemain/David Vasicek

Frankfurt

When in Frankfurt, quench your thirst with apple wine, a 250-year-old tipple traditionally poured from an earthenware jug into a Gerippten, a special glass with a diamond pattern.

Must Try:

  • Ebbelwoi: Frankfurt's traditional apple wine is also called Schoppe or Stöffche.
  • Bethmännchen: These marzipan confections are a favorite of locals and tourists alike.
  • Grüne Soße: This Frankfurt green sauce uses a mix of fresh herbs to create a flavorful delight.

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Em Golde Kappes Pub, Cologne ©FRÜH

Cologne

If Cologne is famous for one type of beer, it’s a Kölsch. Though there are 25 brands of Kölsch, this easy-drinking beer can only be brewed within Cologne’s city limits.

Must Try:

  • Himmel und Äd: Mashed potatoes with apples and sausage, Himmel und Äd captures Cologne's knack for combining flavors in delightful ways.
  • Rheinischer Sauerbraten: This marinated meat roast with gravy embodies the city's savory traditions.
  • Kölsch: The local top-fermented beer, typically served in a tall cylindrical glass.

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Sushi in Little Tokyo, Düsseldorf ©Sabrina Weniger

Düsseldorf

With the “Longest Bar in the World” and more than 260 bars in its Old Town, Düsseldorf means business when it comes to pub culture.

Must Try:

  • Little Tokyo: Enjoy a taste of Japanese culture in an unexpected setting.
  • Altbier: Düsseldorf's traditional top-fermented beer celebrates the city's brewing heritage and distinctive taste.
  • Artisanal Mustard: Düsseldorf's artisanal mustards, ranging from sweet to spicy, add a flavorful touch to local dishes.

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Schnoorviertel, Bremen ©Carina Tank

Bremen

Bremen’s grand Ratskeller has a particularly long tradition of culinary indulgence. The wine list runs to over 70 pages and is regarded by aficionados as a veritable encyclopedia of wine, with 650 delicious varieties to choose from.

Must Try:

  • Labskaus: A traditional sailor's dish made from salted meat or corned beef, potatoes and onion.
  • Coffee: The coffee culture, shaped by historic coffeehouses, captures the city's intellectual and social legacy.
  • German Wine: In the Bremen Ratskeller you will find the largest collection of German wines.

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Fish Market, Hamburg ©Lisa Knauer

Hamburg

Unsurprisingly, fish is all the rage in a maritime city like Hamburg — especially the fish sandwich, a traditional dish dating back to 1703.

Must Try:

  • Matjes: Don’t pass on this young herring marinated in brine.
  • Fish Market: Visit Hamburg's lively Fish Market, bustling with fresh catches and local vendors.
  • Franzbrötchen: The sweet cinnamon pastry embodies Hamburg's bakery excellence.

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Vacation Code:  Germany Spotlight

Header Photo: Café Puschkin, Leipzig ©Leipzig-Travel, Philipp Kirschner

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