Munich’s Food Classics and Bavarian Menu Glossary Photo: Benreis, Creative Commons

Munich’s Food Classics and Bavarian Menu Glossary

By  Friday, 24.6.2016, 12:11    Food

It’s probably no surprise to hear that traditional Bavarian cuisine is a hearty and robust affair, reflecting the agricultural and also the royal traditions of the region. Yet while the calorie count might be high, so is the comfort factor. Walk into any of the numerous Bavarian restaurants or beer cellars in the old town and above the friendly hum of conversation, the first thing you’ll notice are the mouth-watering, savoury aromas wafting from the kitchen. Munich classics include whole roast knuckle of pork, known as (Schweins)Hax’n. Served piping hot with potato dumplings, gravy and a crisp raw cabbage salad, the exquisite crackling alone can reduce grown men to tears of joy! Pot roast is also a favourite, pork, lots of gravy, bread or potato dumplings and red cabbage.

A Real Classic Munich Meal – The Brotzeit

A further Bavarian staple beloved by Munich locals is the Brotzeit. Literally meaning “bread time”, Brotzeitis the general term for a collection of cold cuts, cheeses, sausages, salads, salami and pickles, generally served on a wooden platter with fresh breads and pretzels. It can be as grand or as simple as you like, but Brotzeit is always about taking time to enjoy – either alone or with friends. To experience Brotzeitin its purest form, take a warm summer’s evening, a beer garden and a group of friends. Next find a shady corner, lay the picnic on the table and pick up some cool beers from the bar. When everyone’s diving in to the freshly baked pretzels, scooping up the Obatzda soft cheese with bread crusts, nibbling on chunks of radish and clinking glasses, then you’re experiencing a real Munich moment. Our city is the only place in Germany where beer garden guests have the legal right to bring their own Brotzeit with them!

It is never easy to understand the menu of a traditional Bavarian restaurant. Unfortunately, Bavarian restaurants do not usually provide bilingual menus, only those affiliated to a hotel usually do. However, that should not deter you from trying Bavaria's unique cuisine - this little glossary can help you to find your personal favourite.

Bavarian Menu Glossary

Hauptgerichte – main courses

Apfelblaukraut/Apfelrotkohl: cf. Rotkohl

Auflauf: casserole

Blaukraut: cf. Rotkohl

Blumenkohl: cauliflower

Bohnen: green beans

Braten: roast

Bratwurst: fried sausage

Breze/Brez'n: soft pretzel, normally hand-sized, at Oktoberfest and in beer gardens pizza-sized

Dorsch: cod

Ei: egg

Ente: duck

Erbsen: peas

Erbsensuppe: pea soup

Essig: vinegar

Fisch: fish

Fleisch: meat

Forelle: trout

Gans: goose

Gebraten: fried

Geflügel: fowl

Glühwein: mulled wine

Gurkensalat: cucumber salad

Hackbraten: meatloaf

Hauptgericht: main course

Huhn/Hendl/Hühnchen: chicken

Jägerschnitzel: cutlet with mushroom sauce

Kalbfleisch: veal

Karotten: carrots

Kartoffeln: potatoes

Kartoffelknödel: potato dumplings

Kartoffelsalat: salad of sliced cold potatoes, with cucumber, onions and vinegar

Käse: cheese

Käsespätzle/Kaasspatzen: Swabian noodles with melted cheese and fried onions

Knödel/Klöße: dumplings

knusprig: crunchy

Kraftbrühe: broth

Krautsalat: sour cabbage salad with vinegar and caraway seeds

Krautwickerl/Kohlroulade: cabbage leaves stuffed with minced meat

Kraut: cf. Sauerkraut

Kutteln: entrails

Lachs: salmon

Lamm: lamb

Lammkotelette: lamb cutlet

Leber: liver

Leberknödel: liver dumpling

Leberwurst: liver paté

Lüngerl: sour lung casserole

Möhren: carrots

Nieren/Nierchen: kidneys

Nudeln: noodles

Nürnberger: traditional pure pork sausages from Nuremberg

Obatzda: camembert and butter spread with pepper and caraway seeds

Ochsenschwanzsuppe: ox tail soup

Pfifferlinge: chanterelle

Pilze: mushrooms

Pommes (frites): chips, french fries

Pute: turkey

Radi: horseradish

Reherl: Bavarian for chanterelle

Reis: rice

Rindfleisch: beef

Rippchen: smoked ribs

Rosenkohl: Brussels sprouts

Rösti: fine chopped potatoes, fried with onion and butter

Rotkohl: sweet and sour red cabbage, cooked in vinegar, with apple chops

Salat: salad or lettuce

Sauerbraten: beef roast braised in wine or vinegar

Sauerkraut: fermented sour white cabbage, cooked with red wine, bayleaf and juniper, rich in vitamin C

Saure Zipfel: sour fried sausages

Schinken: ham

Schlachtplatte mixed sausages, sauerkraut and potatoes

Schmankerl: delicious all-time favourites

Schnitzel: scallop

Scholle: plaice

Schwammerl: Bavarian for mushrooms

Schwein: pork

Schweinsbraten: pork roast with crust in beer sauce

Schweinshaxn: grilled knuckle of pork

Semmel: roll

Semmelknödel: bread dumpling

Spargel: asparagus

Spätzle/Spatzen: Swabian noodles

Spiegelei: fried egg

Spinat: spinach

Suppe: soup

Surhaxen: boiled knuckle

Tafelspitz: braised beef with horseradish

Thunfisch: tuna

Truthahn: turkey

Vorspeise: starter

Weißwurst: white veal and herb sausage (traditional Bavarian breakfast)

Wirsing: savoy

Wurst: sausage

Wurstsalat: savoury salad of sliced sausages, cucumbers and onions with vinegar

Zwiebeln: onions

Nachspeise/Süßspeise/Süßes: Desserts

Apfelkücherl: deep fried apples with cinnamon

Apfelmus: thick sweet and sour apple sauce

Apfelstrudel: apple and raisin compote baked in puff pastry

Bayerische Creme: Bavarian vanilla creme

Eis: ice cream

Dampfnudel: fluffy warm yeast dough with vanilla sauce

Erdbeeren: strawberries

Himbeeren: raspberries

heiß: hot

Johannisbeeren: curran

Kaiserschmarrn: hot chopped pancake with raisins

Kirschen: cherries

Kuchen: cake, tart

Obstsalat: fruit salad

Reiberdatschi: potato pancakes

Rote Grütze: red berry and cherry compote, usually served with vanilla sauce

Schlagsahne: whipped cream

Schokolade: chocolate

Stachelbeeren: gooseberries

Süß: sweet

Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte: Black Forest Cake, a chocolate cake with cherries and whipped cream

Topfenstrudel: sweet white cheese and raisins baked in puff pastry


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Vilijam Zufic

Translator (German, Croatian, English), guide and unacknowledged blogging genius. Born and lives in Pula, Istria, Croatia. Educated in Germany, Croatia and the United States, economics graduate. Currently beginning to prepare to train for pulling himself up by his bootstraps. Married with children. Father of Croatia’s greatest football talent. Knows all there is to know about Istria, camping and bratwurst. At the verge of something big with the only German language blog on Istria No sense of humour. Here to meet like-minded people.

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