The Top Ten Edible Reasons to go to the Christmas Markets in Germany

Last December, I took an unexpected trip to Cologne, Germany, one of the many places in Europe which hold Christmas Markets. Let’s just say that it was difficult for me to contain myself once I set eyes upon the beautiful, magical scene of red stalls and twinkling lights below the cathedral, and all the treasures which awaited my discovery!

German Bratwurst over coals Christmas markets

Here are the top ten foods I enjoyed immensely (in no particular order), and I strongly recommend visiting Germany in December, whether it’s this year or sometime in the future (more to come on the markets and my trip in a future post).

The Top Ten Edible Reasons to go to the Christmas Markets in Germany

1. Bratwurst.

Yes, you can get bratwurst in Germany all the time, but not cooked outside on grills over hot coals.

2. Mushrooms with garlic sauce.

Can I just tell you that this is simply “awesomeness in a bowl”?

3. Market plates.

When you’re at the markets, there’s no need to step foot inside a restaurant if you don’t want to.

4. Raclette.

No words. Just tears of joy.

5. Baked potatoes with herb butter.

This was my dinner one evening and I was in potato heaven.

6. Apfelstrudel (Apple Strudel with Vanilla Sauce)

Warm and wonderful; you absolutely cannot go to Germany and not have apfelstrudel!

7. Baumkuchen (Tree Cake)

The most intriguing way of making a cake that I have ever seen. And it tastes fantastic, to boot!

8. Waffles.

One of the things I loved most was not having to ask if they use real cream. OMG, yes!

9.  Hot Chocolate.

So, technically “potable” and not “edible”, but how could I leave this out?

We’re talking real chocolate, People, and real cream–again!

10.  Stollen.

Last, but certainly not least, I present to you a perfect specimen of Stollen.

There are many more market foods which you may fall in love with which are not on my list, as I was not able to try everything I wanted to try, but the German Christmas markets are definitely a food lover’s paradise, and I plan to return, over and over again.

Some more food photos, for those of you who can’t get enough…

Smoked Salmon

Don’t know how this compares to Scottish Smoked Salmon, but it looked great!

Open faced sandwiches

I could have eaten half of these myself.

Potato pancakes (fritters) which are served with applesauce.

These seemed to be the “hottest” item going, at the market (no pun intended) as the lines for these were the longest and everyone appeared to be eating them more than anything else. However, I didn’t find them very appealing as they were too greasy for me (trust me I have no problem with most fried food), but I also found the combination with applesauce not to be to my liking, but that’s what is so wonderful about experiencing other cultures and their food–it’s all different or else we’d all be eating the exact same thing!

A steamed sort of pudding/dessert.

Deep fried fish! Now I’m kicking myself for not trying this, but there was only so much I could eat!

As you can see, there’s something for everyone, and as this kind stranger let me know–it’s all good!

Life in LA…

A beautiful Brazilian Plume Flower in my garden.


26 Responses

  1. wrote on

    That tree cake looks really interesting. I think it would make a great blog post. (hint, hint)
    Your photos are so inviting. I must get to Germany at Christmastime!

    • wrote on

      Absolutely going to happen, Cathy (posting about the baumkuchen) and it really should happen (you going to the Christmas markets)! :)

  2. wrote on

    Dear Christina, I remember when you went on that trip in December. I loved all the photos you shared at that time. One of my friends went to Germany to see the Christmas markets, She agreed with you, that the food was incredible! What a lovely post and your photos are awesome! I would love to go there someday! I would love that waffle! My friend brought me back from Hungry crocheted coasters, and I am going to display them in a shadowbox. I can’t see anyone using them, they are gorgeous. Thank you for sharing your story and the photos…Hope that you enjoyed your Easter with your family. We had a wonderful day, but I was so tired today. It was worth it to see the smiles on my families faces and to make them happy. Enjoy your week ahead…Dottie “)

    • wrote on

      Thank you, Dottie! Yes, we had a nice Easter, and glad you did too. I’m glad you enjoyed my German food photos…it really was a treat to go there. I hope you can go yourself sometime. Thanks, again!

  3. wrote on

    I have no doubt I need to go to Germany.. :)

  4. wrote on

    Wow! I don’t think I’d ever leave!
    Mary x

  5. wrote on

    Christina, you are KILLING me! I WANT TO GO HOOOOOOOOOME!!

    Seriously so, so, so homesick!

    LOVELY write-up, such a wonderful job – thanks for sharing!


    • wrote on

      I can only imagine what this is like to you, Kimberly. It would be like me seeing posts of Italian or Scottish food I grew up with and haven’t been able to have in years…torture! I hope you get over there again very soon!! CC

  6. wrote on

    I love the Christmas Markets in Germany and have only been to Cologne once. It was definitely one of the nicest I visited but Heidelberg holds my heart because I lived there! Thanks for sharing these beautiful memories! ~ David

    • wrote on

      Oh lucky you, David! I visited Heidelberg twice and just adored it! I hope to go back more often when my kids are both off to college/law school (soon)!

  7. wrote on

    Such a beautiful post Christina and I love foodie trips like this!! Take a look at that Stollen!! Perfect :-)

    • wrote on

      Thank you, Jo! I do too and wish I could do it much more often! CC

  8. wrote on

    I could totally eat my way through that everything looks delicious, except the cold lard, I’m with you, love to cook and bake with it but eating it cold, no thanks. How beautiful it is in Germany!

  9. wrote on

    Thank you, Tausend Dank – this is the best time to visit Germany. I am so homesick right now, ich will nach Hause :(

    • wrote on

      Oh, I’m so sorry, Marion! I totally understand that feeling as I was born in Scotland, and even feel that way about Italy as my family is there and we used to go every summer when I was a little girl. I hope you are able to get home soon!

  10. wrote on

    ntime You go to the Christmas Market try the Gluehwein.It is a hot Redwein with a verry good arome, it is bruhed with Cinnamen annis many other good will You warm You up from the insid out.

    • wrote on

      I did! I had it last year, Anita! Loved it! :)

  11. Stacy

    wrote on

    Oh my Heavens! You didn’t put Gluhwein on the list! Did you try it? My husband and my boys and I lived in Germany for 3 years, and we so looked forward to these Christmas Markets every year. They are one of our fondest memories. We visited those in several different cities but always loved the one in our town the best, Wiesbaden. We all LOVED the potato pancakes and the applesauce, but my husband’s favorite part was the Gluhwein. It is warm, mulled wine served in commemorative mugs–all the markets had the same mugs; brown ceramic with the name of the city and the year stamped on them. You bought your first mugfull for 4 marks (yes, I lived there before Euros), and as you wandered up and down the street enjoying the sites, you stopped periodically for refills for 2 marks. He kept the mugs and every year the collection comes out. Wonderful, wonderful memories!

    • wrote on

      Hi Stacy! Oh trust me, I had the gluhwein, several times! As I put “edible” reasons and crossed the line by including the hot chocolate, I really didn’t want to put another drink on the list, but I agree: it’s a huge reason to go! I came home with so many different mugs from all the different markets I went to. They still do the same thing as far as charging a deposit on the mug, and you forfeit it if you want to keep it, which I did. I can’t wait to go back! CC

  12. don loustel

    wrote on

    my mother used to make the best applestrudel,but I was told in Germany it was an Austrian recipe from dad,s side of the family but that apple strudel shown looks very like mom,s .where in Germany did you get it. I was inwilhlemshave,gunnstadt,heidelberg,berlin papensburg bakies looking and I couldn,t find it. I need some so I guess the Christmas time markets must be done. german Canadian,no speek it but my stomach loves the german food,so part of me is german

    • wrote on

      Hi Don, this was in Cologne, but I’ve had excellent strudel in Boppard, as small town along the Rhine. Yes, apfelstrudel is an Austrian dessert, but it is very popular in Germany. I would love to make the authentic version, but I don’t know if I can actually roll out the dough properly!


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