Bavarian cuisine

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Bavarian cuisine

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Here is a list of some traditional food and drink in Bavaria.

Breads and salads

A Bavarian Lunch.
  • Kalter Braten is cold Schweinsbraten (roasted pork) cut in thin slices usually served with bread and horseradish
  • Wurstsalat is marinated cold sausage cut in thin slices with onion rings.
  • Schweizer Wurstsalat same as above but with cheese.
  • Krautsalat mit Speck is marinated white cabbage slices with bacon.
  • Kartoffelsalat is salad made from marinated boiled potatoes. It is a common dish in southern part of Germany, but the Bavarians tend to add more vinegar than others.
  • Obazda is a cheese creme with onions and paprika powder, served with bread or a pretzel.
  • Leberknödelsuppe is a typical Bavarian soup with a dumpling from pork liver.
  • Leberspätzlesuppe is the same as above, with many small pieces instead of a dumpling.

Main courses with meat

  • Weisswurst [1] is a traditional Bavarian sausage made from very finely minced veal and fresh pork bacon. As it is very perishable, Weisswurst is traditionally manufactured early in the morning and prepared and eaten as a snack between breakfast and lunch.
  • Schweinsbraten, the most common dish in upper Bavaria, is pork served in slices with gravy, accompanied by Knödel.
  • Krustenbraten is Schweinsbraten. The people just want to emphasize the great crust that you normally get with a Schweinsbraten.
  • Schweinshaxe is grilled pork joint often served as half or quarter Schweinehaxe.
  • Rollbraten is pigs' belly rolled up served with Kartoffelsalat and Brezels usually. Can be very fat!
  • Steckerlfisch is smoked fish, usually mackerel or pike.
  • Nürnberger Bratwurst mit Sauerkraut is probably the smallest among all sausages in Bavaria and is become famous all over Germany. Fried sausages served with sauerkraut is a speciality from Nürnberg.
  • Leberkäse looks like bread but is meat. Literally translated, it would be "liver cheese", but there is no liver and no cheese in it. It has a texture similar to cooked Spam. It is normally served with bread or Kartoffelsalat, of course, a good mustard.

Without meat

  • Kässpatzen is made of flour, eggs, salt, water and much Bavarian cheese. * Kratzat is made of flour, eggs, milk and salt.
  • Kaspatzen Spätzle is made of eggs, flour, water, salt with sauerkraut, if you want with bacon.
  • Apfelkrapfen is made of flour, eggs and apples.

Please taste also the Southern Bavarian cheese named Bergkäse (mountain cheese).

These and much other meals are really traditional Southern Bavarian as before 1900 the Allgäu in the south of Bavarian was a poor region, and meat was very expensive for the farmers.

Bavaria cuisine, unfortunately, is not very vegetarian friendly, but there are plenty of Asian restaurants that can cater to vegans and vegetarians. Furthermore, lax vegetarians can consider the numerous Italian restaurants.


  • Apfelauflauf is apple fluff
  • Dampfnudeln mit Vanillesauce
  • Semmelschmarrn mit Zwetschgenkompott is fast-food bread.
  • Münchner Apfelstrudel is apple strudel.
  • Prinzregententorte

  • Kletzenbrot



The standard serving for a beer is 0.5L, called eine Halbe or a Hoibe (Bavarian). Unlike in other parts of Germany or even Franconia, where you can get 0,2l or 0,33l of beer, there is no really "small beer" in Munich or upper Bavaria. If you order a "small beer", you will show that you have no idea of drinking Bavarian beer and get 0.5L anyway. Sometimes, you might be able to get einen Schnitt, which is a normal 0.5L glass filled half with beer and half with foam.

If you see a restaurant in Upper Bavaria selling beer (except pilsener) in quantities of only 0.3L you should know the only reason why they do this is because they can ask for a higher price (per litre) without you noting it.

Bavarian taverns do usually offer 0.3L servings, but they are considered women's servings. A man ordering such a small serving would probably get a chuckle from the bartender.


There are two main types of Bavarian beer: Helles and Weißbier.

Helles - which literally means "pale" - is the most popular Bavarian beer. It is a type of lager beer, similar to the pilsener, but contains less hop and tastes sweeter. The "Reinheitsgebot" (purity law) allows only water, barley and hop to be used to brew this beer, which is like the Helles is the Dunkles (meaning "dark") that has a stronger taste because it is brewed with more malt.

Weißbier, literally meaning "white beer", is made of barley and wheat. Because of the use of wheat it is called Weizenbier (meaning "wheat beer") in other regions of Germany, but do not use this word in Munich or Upper Bavaria - the locals insist of using Weißbier. It tastes more sour than Helles. Because the yeast is still in the beer, it looks more cloudy then Helles but it is not lighter in color as the name would imply. If you order "eine Halbe Weißbier", you usually get it in a special glass. Normally, you do not order "eine Maß Weißbier". There is also a version brewed with more malt with the paradox name dunkles Weißbier meaning "dark white beer".

Normally, in a restaurant, you will order and get "eine Halbe". At festivals, you usually get "eine Maß" which is 1 litre. On some (like the Oktoberfest), it is the only quantity you can get. At festivals and in beer gardens, it is very common to share "eine Maß" with your partner or a good friend.

Mixed with non-alcohlic drinks

Radler (meaning "cyclist") is Helles mixed with lemonade.

Russn (meaning "Russian") is Weißbier mixed with lemonade.

(Note that 'lemonade' is the British term for what Americans would refer to as 'lemon-lime soda'.)

Diesel oder ein dreckiges (meaning 'a dirty one') is Weißbier mixed with coke.

Strangely, nobody sells Helles mixed with coke.

Popular with young people is eine Goasnmaß (meaning "a goat's Maß"). This is 0.5L Weißbier mixed with 0.5L coke and an unknown quantity of cherry brandy. It tastes very sweet, and you can swallow it like water, but at least it has the quantity of alcohol as does pure beer.


Augustiner is the oldest brewery in Munich, founded in 1328. Though it does no advertising or sponsoring, it is very popular among young people. Maybe this is due to the fact that it is one of the sweetest Munich beers. You find mostly Helles, called "grüner August" or "green August" (Bavarian) by the locals because it has a green sticker on it. Often, you can get Edelstoff too, slightly more bitter than Helles. There is also a Weißbier brewed by Augustiner, but it is served only in a few restaurants.

Franziskaner the Weißbier section of Spaten. Popular with the locals, young and old.


Hofbräu Because all the tourists think Hofbräu (and the famous Hofbräuhaus) is the real Bavarian beer culture, there is no Hofbräu beer left for the locals. If you drink Hofbräu beer, you are a tourist.

Löwenbräu Like Spaten, this beer is not so popular with the younger people.

Paulaner A popular beer (both Helles and Weißbier) especially liked the elders.

Spaten You will find this beer in many Munich clubs and discos. Nevertheless, the young locals do not really like it.

Ayinger is not truly a Munich beer because it is brewed in the rural district of Munich, but it is served in some restaurants in the city.

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