Visiting Oktoberfest or are you looking for some delicious original Oktoberfest food ideas for your party?
I compiled a collection of the best Oktoberfest recipes, savory and sweet.
Grab some ideas for your Oktoberfest food party further below, or learn about the food offering before your Oktoberfest visit!
This is an updated version, inspired by our recent trip to the Oktoberfest in Munich in 2023.
We live in Tyrol, Austria, right next to the Bavarian border and Tyrol, and Austria in general, shares a food culture with Bavaria.
I'm originally from the region and visited a culinary school there, and therefore I can say I'm an expert in homemade Austrian and German recipes.
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- 📕 What is Oktoberfest?
- 🥙 What foods are served at Oktoberfest?
- 🧀 Obatzda (Cheese Dip)
- 🌭 Bratwurst Semmel (Bratwurst Sausage in a bun)
- 🥨 Brezen (Pretzel)
- 🍲 Schweinebraten
- 🥔 Reiberdatschi (German Potato Pancakes)
- 🥬 German Coleslaw
- 🥟 Semmelknödel (Bread Dumplings)
- 🍖 Schweinshaxn (Pork knuckle)
- 🍗 Brathendl (Roast Chicken)
- 🍠 Kartoffelknödel (German Potato Dumplings)
- 🥗 Warm Bavarian Potato Salad
- 🍛 Sauerkraut
- 🤍 Weißwurst (White Sausage)
- 🐟 Steckerlfisch (Fish on a stick)
- German Cucumber Salad
- 🥜 Roasted Almonds
- 🥘 Leberknödelsuppe (liver dumpling soup)
- 🧅 Gulaschsuppe (Goulash soup)
- Beef Goulash
- 🧡 Lebkuchen heart
- 🧆 Wurstsalat (sausage salad)
- 🐖 Schnitzel
- 💜 Blaukraut or Rotkraut (Braised Red Cabbage)
- Buttered Parsley Potatoes
- 🍑 Marillenknödel (Apricot Dumplings)
- 🍏 Apfelradl (apple fritters)
- 🥕 Radi (Radish)
- 🥞 Kaiserschmarrn
- 🧈 Kassspatzl (Cheese Spätzle)
- 🥩 Ochs am Spiess
- 🥯 Leberkasssemmel (pink meatloaf sandwich)
- 🧄 Currywurst
- ♨️ Dampfnudeln or Buchteln with Vanillesauce
- 🍞 Lye bread roll
- 🍎 Apfelstrudel (Apple Strudel)
- Black Forest Cake
- ❔ Cost of Food and Beer at the Munich Oktoberfest
- ⁉️ Oktoberfest words and their meanings
- 💬 Comments
📕 What is Oktoberfest?
Oktoberfest is a German fall folk feast celebrated during and after the harvest season.
The largest and best known Oktoberfest is the gathering in Munich, Bavaria in South Germany.
Yet, folks Oktoberfest celebrations are held all over south Germany during that period and some are either called Oktoberfest, folks fest or Herbstfest (autumn festival).
The Oktoberfest in Munich beats it all due to its global popularity and size.
The Munich Oktoberfest starts on one of the last Saturdays in September and ends 2 weeks later on a Sunday in October.
Other Oktoberfest celebrations happen during different times, for example the Rosenheim Herbstfest, which lasts for 2 weeks before the Munich Oktoberfest.
Oktoberfest's parties and celebrations have caught on importance all over the world, and a real trend has emerged over the last decades.
German immigrants brought it to other parts of the world too, such as to the North and South American continent.
🥙 What foods are served at Oktoberfest?
The Oktoberfest is a food and beer celebration.
You celebrate the fact that the summer is over and that the harvest was bountiful, that's how Octoberfest came to be (And because of the German beer but more about that at the end of the post).
That means food and drink from the regions made of wheat, cabbage, meat, and cheese are turned into crazy good specialties.
Below I have compiled a list of all the foods you will find at the Oktoberfest and which you can add to your Oktoberfest menu at home.
South Germany and Austria share many food specialties, hence why you will find plenty of Austrian specialties at the Oktoberfest.
Don't forget to keep loads of cold beer ready, you can't celebrate fall big without beer.
🧀 Obatzda (Cheese Dip)
The original cheese dip to be served as an appetizer with radi (radish) and beer. Your oktoberfest party can't miss this classic.
🌭 Bratwurst Semmel (Bratwurst Sausage in a bun)
Bratwursts are super common sausages from Germany. They come in all sizes and shapes, but the most iconic Bratwurst are the small sausages from Nuremberg in Bavaria.
At local folks feasts in Bavaria, you often come across Bratwurst Semmel, which is grilled Bratwurst in a Kaisersemmel bun.
🥨 Brezen (Pretzel)
You can't have an Oktoberfest without Brezen.
Pretzel are called Brezen in Bavaria and Bretzl in Austria and the rest of the German-speaking world.
At the Wiesn (that's what the place of the feast is called) you get the regular-sized soft pretzels which are eaten with sausages and sweet mustard or the giant Breze, which are great as a snack when walking around.
Homemade German Pretzels are dipped in lye before they are baked, and that's how they turn out brown on the outside.
At the Oktoberfest, you can take a seat in the main tent to enjoy a glass of beer with Schweinebraten or Schweinshaxn.
Schweinsbraten with Sauerkraut is one of the most wholesome meals, that you have to try if you are into this kind of food.
🥔 Reiberdatschi (German Potato Pancakes)
🥟 Semmelknödel (Bread Dumplings)
🍖 Schweinshaxn (Pork knuckle)
Crispy Pork Knuckle, known in Germany and Austria as Schweinehaxe, is a hearty dish that’s best served with roasted vegetables in the fall.
You can also make it at home year-round.
🍗 Brathendl (Roast Chicken)
Brathendl is super popular at the Oktoberfest, and it's basically roasted chicken pieces.
The chicken is seasoned with salt, black pepper and sometimes paprika and slow-roasted until the skin turns crispy
You can also get roasted duck, seasoned just like roast chicken, at the Oktoberfest.
🍠 Kartoffelknödel (German Potato Dumplings)
Potato dumplings are a classic side dish all over Germany and Austria. Fortunately, they are easily prepared with leftover cooked potatoes.
Bavarian potato salad contains soup broth (yes, you read that right) and it's served at room temperature.
This fantastic side dish goes really well with roast chicken, roast duck and pork knuckles.
Sauerkraut is fermented cabbage with spices, which is further cooked with other spices and beer. Meats, such as bacon pieces and sausages, are often added to the cooking process.
The soft-cooked cabbage is then served with other main course meals as a side dish.
Real Sauerkraut is made in a large clay pot and takes months to ferment.
🤍 Weißwurst (White Sausage)
The Weißwurst is a specialty from Munich and is made of pork and veal meat.
The name means white sausage, and it's most definitely the whitest sausage out there.
🐟 Steckerlfisch (Fish on a stick)
Grilled fish and other seafood, such as giant shrimp and small octopuses, are a common sight at the various folks' feasts in Germany.
Steckerlfisch is most certainly the most popular, which is grilled fish on a stick.
You can simply grill or pan fry a whole trout to recreate this Oktoberfest classic at home.
A fantastic, refreshing and creamy side dish to serve with most main course meals.
The German cucumber salad, called Gurkensalat, can vary from region to region, but it's most certainly a side dish option at the Oktoberfest.
Dill herb takes it to a different flavor experience!
🥜 Roasted Almonds
Roasted almonds are a common delicacy at the fall fairs.
These are almonds coated in sugar and roasted and stirred continuously over a fire.
They come in different flavors, with the chili roasted almonds being my ultimate favorites.
Those almond stands also sell other regional sweet treats, such as the Magenbrot (which is a honey cake Lebkuchen)
🥘 Leberknödelsuppe (liver dumpling soup)
Leberknödelsuppe is sometimes considered a poor men's food because its inexpesnive and wholesome.
It's a clear soup with round-shaped large dumplings which are made of liver. It's one of the least expensive foods at the Oktoberfest.
Yet, locals love it, and it's still a hit at smaller Bavarian village autumn feasts.
🧅 Gulaschsuppe (Goulash soup)
The Hungarians invented the Goulash soup, and the Austrian and Germans created a version of their own.
As a vegan option, you will come across the Goulash potato soup on an Oktoberfest tent menu. A true classic in Austria, it actually includes sliced Frankfurter or Wiener sausages.
Beef goulash is a spiced saucy flavor-packed dish prepared with chunks of soft and tender cooked beef cuts.
It's a classic in Austria and Bavaria, and it does go well with plain Spätzle noodles or parsley potatoes.
🧡 Lebkuchen heart
Lebkuchen hearts are giant decorated heart-shaped Lebkuchen cookies.
Lebkuchen is a spiced honey cake and the forefather of the Gingerbread.
It's a special Christmas treat, but Lebkuchen hearts are eternal favorites at the Oktoberfest.
Those can be dried as well in a cold climate and make a great decoration and souvenir from Germany.
I still have mine that I got when I was 5 years old. 🙂
🧆 Wurstsalat (sausage salad)
Yep, the Wurstsalad is indeed a sausage salad.
Cold cuts are a considerable thing in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria that we end up buying 100 grams of various sausage varieties every week.
So, before the sausage turns bad, we cut them into strips and season the wurst salad with tangy vinegar and oil dressing. Nothing gets ever wasted in our country!
A schnitzel is a flattened meat steak that is breaded and fried in the pan.
The original Schnitzel is made with veal, and that's the famous Vienna Schnitzel from Austria.
The Pork Schnitzel, on the other hand, is common in the Austrian and Bavarian German Alps.
FYI the Israelis and Jews have their Schnitzel, the Sesame Chicken Schnitzel.
AND it's not the only Schnitzel that will find its way on an Oktoberfest menu, there are plenty of other Schnitzel that are not breaded such as the Jägerschnitzel (Hunter's Schnitzel).
💜 Blaukraut or Rotkraut (Braised Red Cabbage)
Braised Red Cabbage is an autumn specialty that can't be missed at the Oktoberfest.
The side dish has many names, depending on the region in Central Europe.
The red cabbage is made with apples usually and goes great with chanterelle cream sauces, wild game meat, fish and Sauerbraten.
A simple to prepare and side dish with boiled potatoes coated with butter and freshly chopped parsley in a pan.
This is a classic side dish that can be served instead of fries with meats and seafoods. So, if you don't know what to serve with your food, this is a good side dish option.
🍑 Marillenknödel (Apricot Dumplings)
Marillenknödel are an Austrian dessert specialty that is rather popular in Germany.
Apricots are wrapped in a choux pastry before they are cooked in water and lastly rolled in a butter bread crumbs mixture.
🍏 Apfelradl (apple fritters)
Fall is indeed the season for apples, but you can definitely make this yummy treat the whole year-round!
German Apple Fritters, called Apfelradl or Apfelküchle, with vanilla sauce is great for snack or dessert!
Kids and adults would be asking for more!
🥕 Radi (Radish)
Radi is the local name of the large white radish in Bavaria, which resembles Asian Daikon radish. Furthermore, the small round pink radish are called radi in the area.
The pink radi is dipped in salt and eaten with butter, and it's a popular beer snack, often while served with the Obatzda cheese dip.
White radi is turned into a simple side dish salad, which goes really well with beer, hence why it's also known as Bierradi in the local German dialect.
The Kaiserschmarrn is an Austrian classical dessert with regions serving up their variations, and Oktoberfest visitors seem to love this sweet treat!
It's basically scratch pancakes, and the original recipe includes raisins.
🧈 Kassspatzl (Cheese Spätzle)
Kassspatzl means cheese Spaetzle and is a well-known Après ski meal in Austria and Germany.
We adore this dish in the Austrian alps, yet Schwaben in Germany call it their own as well.
It's served with crispy fried onions and plenty of cheese, and small strips of local bacon (aka Speck) can be added as well.
Munich Oktoberfest visitors from around the world tend to enjoy this savory, addicting meal in the beer tent.
🥩 Ochs am Spiess
Ochs am Spiess is a traditional Oktoberfest delicacy.
It's a whole ox slowly turned on a stick, smothering in the heat.
This is a dish you need to try when you are at the Oktoberfest because it's a bit hard to recreate it at home.
🥯 Leberkasssemmel (pink meatloaf sandwich)
I had to mention the Leberkasssemmel because when you are on a budget, and you want something delicious, you go for this.
It's a pressed pink meatloaf in a Kaisersemmel sandwiched with a topping of your choices such as pickles, mustard, ketchup, vinegar peppers or mayonnaise.
The Leberkasssemmel is not a traditional Oktoberfest food in fact, the opposite, it's people's everyday lunch. Yet, you will most definitely see this delicious budget sandwich on the Oktoberfest menu.
We call it Fleischkäsesemmel. This name is more common in the Southern parts of Bavaria, Tyrol, and Vorarlberg in Austria, and Lichtenstein.
I wasn't going to add Germany's favorite snack, the currywurst, but I had to after having seen it being sold at the Herbsfest in Rosenheim and also at the Oktoberfest in Munich.
Currywurst is made of roasted Bratwurst sausages topped with a ketchup curry sauce. It's a flavorful meat snack, and you can easily recreate it at home if you have curry powder in your spice pantry.
♨️ Dampfnudeln or Buchteln with Vanillesauce
Dampfnudel or Buchteln are stuffed sweet yeast desserts.
Dampfnudeln are prepared with steam and Buchteln in the oven.
The stuffing can be with poppy seeds or nuts, and they are served with a thick homemade vanilla sauce.
🍞 Lye bread roll
Lye bread rolls are a common sight at the Oktoberfest and are served with most meals.
You get them wherever you see Brezen or in the large tent hall with your food order.
Bread rolls are left in a base lye solution before they are baked, which gives them the characteristic brown color and the special flavor.
🍎 Apfelstrudel (Apple Strudel)
The Apfelstrudel is a dessert specialty from Vienna Austria but of course, this delicious treat is a hit at any feast across the country border.
Proper Apfelstrudel is prepared with a stretchable special strudel dough and not with a puff pastry.
Enjoy your apple strudel with whipped cream or a vanilla sauce.
Black Forest Cake
The true black forest cake is a layered Torte cake filled with sweet whipped cream, cherries and cherry liqueur.
It's a boozy cake that originated in the Black Forest region in Germany, near Switzerland and France.
Every cake lover will enjoy a slice of this soft and airy sweet treat.
❔ Cost of Food and Beer at the Munich Oktoberfest
Food and Beverages ain't cheap at the Oktoberfest Wiesn! Just be prepared to spend a lot on food and beer.
Most tents require you to spend a minimum of €75 per Person at the Munich Oktoberfest.
One of the most budget-friendly foods are the Weisswurst, Brezen, and Bratwurst with Semmel priced somewhere between 5-10 Euros.
Schweinshaxn, Sauerbraten, Schnitzel, Ochsenbraten, Leberkäsesemmel and Hendl cost about 12-20 Euros but the main course dishes come with a side such as sauerkraut and knödel.
The main reason why the Oktoberfest in Munich is the largest folks gathering in the world is because of the beer.
All the traditional Beer gardens produce their own beer.
Munichs traiditonal beer brewers are Paulaner, Löwenbräu, Hofbräu, Hacker-Pschorr, Spaten and Augustiner. Each one has a massive tent at the Oktoberfest.
In Munich, the beer is served in 1-liter glasses and there are no smaller glasses, these are known as a “Mass/Maß”.
The cost of a beer is currently set around €14,50per liter in the large beer tents. Other beverages such as a liter of water or lemonade cost about 12 Euro too.
Bring back the glasses, and you will get a €5 deposit back per glass.
⁉️ Oktoberfest words and their meanings
If you are planning to discover Munich and the Oktoberfest for yourself in the coming years, you will need to know typical Oktoberfest and Bavarian local words to get the most out of your trip.
Save this for a later date because you are going to need these translations! Here is a much bigger English German and Austrian German food translation, and you might need some English to German translations for travelers.
- Wiesn – Means fields. It's the place where Oktoberfest is happening. The original and old place is called the Oide Wiesn.
- Weißbier (also spelled Weissbier) – that's the wheat beer
- Prost - Cheers
- Maß (also spelled Mass) – 1-liter beer glass (because you only get a 1-liter beer at Oktoberfest)
- An Guadn or Mahlzeit – directly translated, “a good one”. It means “Good appetite” and you say that to folks at lunchtime.
- Ozapfn – puncture a beer barrel
- Dirndl – A girl is called a dirndl in German, but also the traditional dress is known as a dirndl dress (aka Trachten).
- Bua – A boy
- Lederhosen – local leather pants folk dress
- Kracherl – Lemonade
- Gaudi – fun
- Minga – The local name their city Minga, which means simply Munich, called München in German
- Servus – Hello
Global Food Recipes
with Spices and Herbs
Free E-Book available for a limited time. Grab yours now and get instantly inspired!
You missed out!