Traditional Oktoberfest Food to Celebrate at Home
In the 200+ years of the glorious Oktoberfest tradition, there have only been a handful of years that the celebration was canceled. Notable examples include WWI, WWII, and a cholera outbreak in the 1800s. We have the sad duty of adding 2020 to the years without Oktoberfest.
While we're dreaming of Oktoberfest 2021, we've pulled together some German Oktoberfest Food so you can still celebrate from home.
Cheese Spatzle (Käsespätzle)
You could argue that traditional Oktoberfest food is all comfort food, but cheese spaetzle has to top that list. It's made with homemade egg noodles and tons of delicious Emmental cheese.
Get the full recipe at Plated Cravings.
Soft Pretzels (Laugenbrezel)
Brown, crusty and salty on the outside but soft and warm on the inside, these German Soft Pretzels are classic Oktoberfest food and wash down perfectly when paired with a Marzen Ale. These German Soft Pretzels are called Laugenbrezel and make a perfect addition to your Oktoberfest party.
Get the full recipe at Oliva's Cuisine.
Potato Pancakes (Kartoffelpuffer)
Mmmmm. Called Kartoffelpuffer in German, crispy little hashbrown style potato pancakes topped with sour cream and applesauce make a perfect snack on fall days. These are perfect when they are fresh out of the pan and still hot and crispy!
Get the full recipe and Love and Good Stuff.
Schnitzel is a traditional German meal made from thin, breaded, and fried meat. There are many variations, such as Wienerschnitzel, made from veal, and pork schnitzel, but this particular recipe calls for chicken.
Get the recipe at The Stay at Home Chef.
Half Roast Chicken (Brathendel)
Half roasted chickens, called Brathendel, are an absolute staple in German biergartens, and one of the most recognizable specialties of Oktoberfest. Make it easy on yourself and roast a whole chicken, and share it with your favorite beer-drinking buddy.
Get the full recipe at Craft Beering.
Haters, hear me out. You need to try traditional Bavarian sauerkraut before you announce that you don't like sauerkraut. This recipe features bacon drippings and brown sugar for delicious homemade sauerkraut.
Get the full recipe at All Recipes.
Marzen (Oktoberfest Ale)
"What's a Marzen?" you might ask. In the United States we call this beloved drink Oktoberfest Ale.
Storytime: A wedding! Who doesn't love a wedding? Marzen directly translates to March which is the traditional time of year in which this beer is brewed. It is then lagered all summer long and served in the fall and it is enjoyed as an elevated alcohol content festival beer.
The origin story says this beer was originally brewed for a royal wedding, and the people had such a great time at the party, they kept coming back every year after. Basically all my favorite things rolled into one happy beer.
Tasting notes: This beer, like many of the greats, has evolved over time. Today it is a proud, bready, toasty malty beer. Not sweet. Not roasty. Quite delicious really.
Pair with: Think "German Party" and run with that. More Marzen would be the first place to start. Follow up with bratwurst and spaetzle piled with sauerkraut and tangy mustard. Rinse (with Marzen) and repeat. All weekend long. The reason this classic pairing remains such a classic pairing is that these items truly compliment each other. As well as a bratwurst pairs with a bun, it pairs with this bready, toasty beer. There's a delicious contrast with the snappy sauerkraut and mustard combo, and the lager keeps the imbiber from getting overly full from a day's worth of drinking.