Oktoberfest food is just as important to the world famous festival as is Oktoberfest beer. In this round-up of traditional Oktoberfest fare we have also included links to the recipes so you can make them at home for your own Oktoberfest party.
Oktoberfest Food in General and Most Popular Dishes
Oktoberfest is not only about the beer, the singing, the dancing and the fair attractions. Many of the best known and most loved Bavarian specialties are sold during festival.
The food served in beer tents and stalls around Theresienwiese occupies a well deserved status of great respect. Natives often say that to drink beer like a German one must eat like a German. Certainly a ring of truth to that!
Below are some of the most popular items on an Oktoberfest menu organized by course.
To learn more about Oktoberfest beer read Oktoberfestbier vs Märzen.
Oktoberfest Appetizers and Sides
Obatzda – the famous Bavarian beer cheese dip is made with Camembert and Weissbier or a dark lager such as Dunkel. Served with rye bread, radishes and other veggies or pretzels. Classic Oktoberfest appetizer. Recipe here.
Bite-sized Frikadellen – these fried meat patties, typically made with a pork and beef combination ground meat, are often served along with radishes and Schnittltauchbrot (open faced chives sandwiches). Recipe here.
German Potato Salad – with bacon of course. This one by Brenda Score for the Pioneer Woman is traditionally prepared – mayo-less, with vinegar and whole mustard based dressing. Can be served warm or cold. Recipe here.
Oktoberfest Main Courses
The main courses are typically filling, simple fare with tons of flavor and incredible affinity for amber lagers. Below are some of the most iconic options, but no Munich Oktoberfest is complete without a lot of game options such as venison and duck. Stuffed roast suckling pig is also a popular delicacy.
Half Roast Chicken – known as Oktoberfest Brathendl or Wiesnhendl. Typically whole chickens (about 482,000 per fest) are spit roasted, then split in half and served. All sides are purchased separately. Recipe here.
Käsespätzle – spätzle tossed in butter or smothered in rich gravy is a very traditional side to many of an Oktoberfest dish. Käsespätzle (cheese spätzle) however is an entree dish in its own right. Fresh spätzle is smothered with regional cheeses and butter, baked and topped with caramelized onions and chives. Recipe here.
Pan Fried Trout – this dish is very popular in beer gardens across Bavaria, especially in the areas nearest the mountains. Sometimes whole char is used, brought down from the cold waters of the North Sea. This is a very easy recipe from Burrata and Bubbles.
Steckerlfisch – grilled fish on a stick (frequently mackerel) is one of these dishes that create powerful memories. A must try on the Wiesn and easy to recreate on the grill in your backyard. Recipe here.
Other key entrees include brats and other wurst varieties, plated or tucked inside fresh bread rolls (but you already knew that:), Beef Roulades, Sauerbraten, Roasted Duck with Apples and Onions, Braised Lamb Shanks, Venison Stew, Stuffed Veal Breast and so many more.
Check back because we are making a few of the above soon. We are constantly adding to our Beer Garden Menu and Oktoberfest Bash recipes here on Craft Beering and more traditional Oktoberfest food is on the way.
Candied Almonds – these pan roasted sweet almonds are extremely popular as a snack or dessert. Once you smell them on the Wiesn you will buy some! Add a pinch of cinnamon if you so please, just like Dawn the Gourmand does. Recipe here.
Strauben – this Bavarian favorite is a predecessor of the funnel cake. Typically dusted with confectioners sugar, but delicious with a dollop of Nutella. Our version coming up here on the blog in September, for now presenting you with Vera’s version from Nicest Things. Recipe here.
Bavarian Cream Donuts – this decadent treat is a must try. Bavarian custard cream is commonly piped in puffs, donuts or used as a cake frosting. These donuts from Pies and Tacos are the prettiest we have ever seen. Recipe here.
Streusel Muffins – if you love streusel you will enjoy whipping up a batch of these. They even come with an aromatic hefeweizen glaze drizzled on top. Get the recipe from Kelly Lynn’s Sweets and Treats.
Other Oktoberfest dessert options include Apple Fritters, Almond and Pistachio Nougat, Candied Apples, Quark Donuts…There are just so many, we included the most popular ones.
For more Oktoberfest menu ideas be sure to visit our curated board on Pinterest – Oktoberfest Recipes and Party Ideas.
Also check out our Oktoberfest Party Tablescape for styling ideas.
Oktoberfest Party Food Suggestions
- Links to recipes for:Obatzda, Frikadellen, Wurstsalat, German Potato Salad, German Potato Dumplings, Bavarian Braised Red Cabbage, Schweinshaxe, Schnitzel, Pork Cordon Bleu, Oktoberfest Roasted Chicken, Steckerlfisch, Käsespätzle, Candied Almonds, Strauben, Apple Strudel, Bavarian Cream and more.