Oktoberfest Food: Top 10 Things To Eat In Munich

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    Most people don’t even think about food at Munich’s Oktoberfest, focusing more on the festival’s reputation as a gratuitous, beer-soaked orgy of new friends and oompah music. And they’re right, that’s pretty much all it is – the best part of a month spent swilling the finest beer known to man and getting to know your German and out-of-town drinking buddies over a gregariously belted out, often belched, rendition of Sweet Caroline. But there’s a little more to it than that, and that little more is the Oktoberfest food, delicious and exciting and really, no trip to the beer halls is complete without at least trying one of these traditional German dishes on this list of things to eat at Oktoberfest.

    What exactly is Oktoberfest food?

    While we may know Oktoberfest to be the world’s biggest – and original – beer fest, for the locals it’s as much a celebration of Bavarian culture, tradition, family and food – and we’re here to focus on that last part. The Germans know that when you drink beer by the litre you need to make sure your stomach is full with hearty food, and that’s exactly what Oktoberfest food is: food that has been perfected over generations to fill you up with all the salty, fatty, (usually) meaty goodness you need to survive a marathon beer drinking session.


    In a sense, yes, as you’ll find many of these delicious treats repeated across Germany, but even more than that this is Bavarian food. Because when we’re in Munich we’re in the Bavarian state, an area that has sometimes played with independence from Germany and that is the most German part of Germany, in that it has given the world most of the stereotypes that we associate with the country (and this is because most international visitors come to Munich, specifically for Oktoberfest).

    Our Top 10 things to eat at Oktoberfest

    This is by no means an exhaustive list, but one that after 15 years of roaming these Oktoberfest beer halls we’ve come to rely on. In this you’ll find something for every taste, every budget, and we strongly recommend that you try at least two different things when you visit Oktoberfest.

    1. SCHWEINSHAXE aka Pork Knuckle

    This is the big daddy, the kaiser, of German beer drinking food. The schweinshaxe is a big hunk of pork, located on the joint of two bones. Which bones they are we don’t know. What we do know is that the meat is absolutely succulent, the crackling perfectly crisp, and the whole thing is drenched in delicious gravy. A pork knuckle is the perfect meal to add to your beer drinking session, filling you up with booze-absorbing goodness and giving you all the energy you need to dance the morning/afternoon/night away. Plus you will feel like Germanic tribal warrior royalty ripping your fangs into a big chunk of meat while holding onto the bone. You’re a savage.

    2. Hendle aka Roast Chicken

    It’s just a roast chicken, you’ve had roast chicken before, how special could this roast chicken be? The answer is very special. Plenty special. Amazingly fantastically wonderfully special. The way the Germans cook their hendel is a mystery to us, but whatever they do they take the humble roast chook and make it something to be desired. To drool over. To dream about after you’re done devouring it. Ripping into a hendel is also a great way to prepare your body for the drinking and dancing onslaught that’s to come, plus it’s more healthy than the pork knuckle, if only slightly.

    3. Brezel aka Pretzels

    Ok so pork knuckles and roast chickens are a little bit expensive in Oktoberfest’s beer halls, and really they are more of an event, or an experience, than something you do because you’re peckish. The humble brezel, however, is affordable and always available, carried from table to table by walking pretzel ladies wearing traditional dirndls. These pretzels are HUGE, bigger than your head by a long way, and thick, and salty. They’re just pure bread, crisped on the outside, so don’t expect many vitamins or minerals, but they’ll fill you up and absorb some of the beer you’ll be pouring inside your face. A perfect Oktoberfest food option for vegans, but not the gluten intolerant we’re afraid.


    Is this the odd one out of this list otherwise filled with delicious, hearty, filling and mostly unhealthy beer drinking food? Yes it is! But also, it isn’t. Radishes are sold in the beer halls by, mostly, ladies dressed in traditional garb who walk from table to table. You eat the rettich, which is literally just a radish, raw with plenty of salt. It’s got a real zest to it, and it’s fresh, and the salt makes you thirsty, and you’ll feel healthy because you ate a radish, so you can go back to beer and the occasional piece of someone else’s pretzel. This Oktoberfest treat is perfect for both vegans and the gluten intolerant, and while it’s a little sad that all you get to eat is a radish, they do manage to make them particularly delicious.


    Who doesn’t love a bit of German sausage? Everybody loves German sausage, except maybe vegetarians, who love sauerkraut. The combination is fantastic, especially when there’s a bit of potato salad on there, and covers all the food groups, from grilled meat-ish to fermented cruciferous vegetable, to mayonnaise. You can eat the bratwurst on a bun, with mustard and ketchup and some sauerkraut, or you can eat it on a plate with potato salad. It’s not healthy, but it’s hearty, and it’s a staple, so get it in your face in the name of being cultured.

    6. Steckerlfisch aka fish on a stick

    Pescatarians, we’re here for you. The humble fish on a stick is a beer garden staple across Bavaria, Germany and even in Austria. At Oktoberfest you’ll find trout, mackerel, whitefish and others shiskebabed on a skewer and then grilled. Poor fish. At Oktoberfest you’ll encounter steckerlfisch throughout, but the place that really specialises in it is Fischer-Vroni beer hall.

    7. Ochsenbraten aka Roast Ok

    Let’s stick with the Oktoberfest foods that you’ll find in speciality beer halls. Ochsenbraten is best found in the Ochsenbraterei beer hall, and if that feels like a mouthful (hehe) look for the beer hall with the big animatronic roasting ox above the entry. Roast ox is roast beef, cooked to perfection, accompanied with various sauces and sides, and a staple of the Munich locals and red meat connoisseurs from around the world. A curious quirk of the Ochsenbraterei beer hall is that the names and weights of all the oxen eat are immortalised on a board inside the beer hall. Hello Hans, i’ll be gnawing on your bones today.

    8. Spätzle aka The German Mac and cheese

    Here’s another one for the vegetarians, and a budget-friendly staple that will have you drinking two-three litres of beer without any dramas. Simply pasta and cheese, cooked to perfection, seasoned by the gods, and served to you steaming hot and ready to feed into your face.

    9. Whatever The Stoke Chef Is Cooking

    They’re always cooking something. Stoke Travel includes a cooked breakfast every day at both our Springfest and Oktoberfest camps. We’re being for real serious. The chef is a trained pro and we totally know that good food is a real deal maker when you’re travelling, and so we go to great lengths to ensure that not only do you have enough food lining your stomach but that the lining is also delicious to the point of considering to eat it again if you vomit it up.  We said considering.

    Bacon, scrambled eggs and a hashbrown are served at our Oktoberfest campsite as breakfast

    Stoke Travel’s included Oktoberfest breakfast

    10. Somebody’s Face

    Because of course you’re going to want to make out with somebody in this environment. So much beer to lower the inhibitions, combined with fun dancing music and buxom beauties in low-cut traditional dresses, and burly men emphasising their buttocks in the lederhosen. Making out with lovers and strangers alike and at the same time is 110% on the Munich menu. Stoke Travel is the biggest Oktoberfest and Springfest tour operator in Munich each and every year, and our campsite parties, inclusions and vibe are legendary. Make sure you reserve your place, because every year we sell out with thousands of beer fest newbies and return beer lovers. Oktoberfest with Stoke Travel is a dream soaked in beer. Check out our Oktoberfest trips, or here for Springfest, and we’ll see you soon, soaked in beer and filled with delicious food.

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