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Top 5 Cheap Eats in Germany

There are plenty of cheap eats in Germany, and that’s one of the many reasons why I love this country. And since I have had a surprising number of people ask me what dishes they should try when they visit Germany, I decided to put together a list of my favourite frugal meals.

Coming from Vancouver, Canada – where most of my meals were vegetarian – my biggest surprise was how “meaty” all German meals were. Most dishes are comprised of greasy meat covered in sauce. But that being said, there are some real gems on most German menus – if you know what to look for. And for a more “international” flavour, there are plenty of amazing restaurants in the bigger cities, as well as a big Turkish influence.

Bratwurst mit Brötchen

Bratwurst is a pork sausage that is either grilled or fried and served in a bun. You can find multiple street vendors selling bratwurst in any city you go to in Germany, and what’s great about this street food is that each region in the country has its own version. There are over 50 different kinds available throughout the country, differing in size, texture, and seasoning.

My boyfriend excited for his first bratwurst in Germany, February 2012.
My boyfriend excited for his first bratwurst in Germany, February 2012.

Flammkuchen

This is a traditional dish in Southwest Germany, and is basically Germany’s answer to the pizza. Flammkuchen translates literally to “Flaming Pie,” and is a lot thinner than the traditional pizza that you might be used to. The classic topping includes bacon, onions, and sour cream, but there are usually other variations available as well. Try this dish as a snack to share, or as a light dinner option.

The Flammkuchen bread tastes a lot like toasted pita.
The Flammkuchen bread tastes a lot like toasted pita.

Currywurst

Currywurst is a typical German dish made of pork sausage covered in curry sauce (usually a combination of ketchup and curry powder), and served with bread or fries. It is sold throughout Germany – although it originated in Berlin – at cheap restaurants, street vendors, festivals, and take-away stands. Not surprisingly, this dish goes well with beer.

Currywurst combines my two loves together: ketchup and curry.
Currywurst combines my two loves together: ketchup and curry.

Döner Kebap

Doner meat comes in lamb, chicken, or beef. It is baked, and then shaved off of a rotating spit, and stuffed into a warm pita or wrap (yufka) with lettuce, cabbage, onions, cucumber, tomatoes, chili peppers, and a variety of different sauces. Germany has a huge Turkish population, so you will be able to find a döner kebap take-away restaurant in any city you visit. Remember that meats, toppings, sauces, and breads vary between restaurants and regions.

Döner kebaps are my”cheap eat” food of choice in Germany.
Döner kebaps are my”cheap eat” food of choice in Germany.

Maultaschen

This is a regional specialty in the Swabian state of Baden-Württemberg, Germany. It is a large pasta similar to ravioli (except it’s usually 3-5 inches across), stuffed with minced meat, spinach, spices, bread crumbs, onions, and herbs.

A dish like this usually sells for €6-10, depending on the type of restaurant you go to.
A dish like this usually sells for €6-10, depending on the type of restaurant you go to.

What are your favourite cheap eats in Germany?

Krystal Yee

Krystal Yee is a travel blogger and personal finance expert with substantial media credits to her name. Lover of off-beat travel, hiking, French macarons, barefoot shoes, and her iPhone. Excel spreadsheet addict. She is currently living in Vancouver, plotting her next adventure.