8 Foods You Need for an Oktoberfest Feast

Oktoberfest food includes a lot of meat and soft pretzels to pair with German beer.

Bavarian Beer Hall Pork Shanks

If you were in Bavaria, you wouldn't be reading this right now. It's Oktoberfest, so you would be out celebrating with lots and lots of beer and just as much food. While you can't have the full Oktoberfest experience (unless you are, in fact, in Bavaria — in which case, stop reading this now), you can eat like you're there. Here, eight traditional Oktoberfest foods.

Roast chicken

During Oktoberfest, chickens are spit-roasted until the skin is golden brown and crispy. Most people don't have a rotisserie set up at home, so instead make this classic lemon-thyme roast chicken in the oven. Rubbing a lemon-and-thyme butter over the chicken before roasting ensures superbly crispy skin.

Schweinebraten (roast pork)

A classic Bavarian dish, schweinebraten can be made with a variety of pork cuts, like shoulder or even loin. It's traditionally roasted with dark beer and onions. For a quick and easy take on the dish, try this pounded Pork Tenderloin Smothered in Onion and Mustard.

Schweinshaxe (roasted ham hock)

A beloved beer hall classic, roasted ham hock or shank (pig knuckles) are crispy on the outside with tender meat. They're surprisingly easy to make at home. Try it with chef Andrew Zimmern's delicious Bavarian Beer Hall Pork Shanks.

Würstl (sausages)

Würstl refers to a variety of classic Bavarian sausages. Try them at home sautéed in a skillet with bacon and apple sauerkraut. Serve with plenty of mustard.

German-Style Pretzels
© Antonis Achilleos

Brezen (pretzels)

You can't have Oktoberfest without pretzels. Large and soft, they're the perfect accompaniment to beer. Try making your own with this über-authentic recipe for German-style pretzels.

Käsespätzle (cheese noodles)

This is a savory, cheesy version of spätzle, a traditional egg noodle. This recipe, made with small-curd cottage cheese, is topped with tangy quark for a doubly cheesy dish.

Reiberdatschi (potato pancakes)

These potato pancakes are served both savory with a salad or sweet with apple sauce. Reiberdatschi are a lot like latkes, so follow Andrew Zimmern's latke recipe for hot and crisp results.


If you're attending Oktoberfest, you're eating this pickled cabbage with almost anything. This homemade version mixes cabbage with sweet apples and aromatic caraway.

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