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Berlin Christmas Food

Enjoy German Christmas food in Berlin

There’s much more to German Christmas food than bratwurst and lebkuchen. A visit to Berlin during the festive season will give you the opportunity to try a wide range of traditional fare, as well as modern takes on the Yuletide theme.

Of course, it’s the Berlin Christmas markets that specialize in classic seasonal treats. There are several to choose from, including typical examples of the German Christmas food market. Therefore, it’s unlikely you’ll have much difficulty in seeking out somewhere that’s conveniently close at hand to enjoy hot street food snacks, sweets, cookies, confections and baked goods. You can also warm yourself up with a glühwein or a cup of hot chocolate.

Away from the markets, Berlin is renowned for its culinary variety and, with a wide range of eateries, the city caters well for everyone, from fans of traditional meat dishes to pescatarians, vegetarians and vegans. Christmastime is no exception and you’ll find plenty of menu options to entice you from the cold, crisp air of the city streets into the warm and welcoming atmosphere of a weinstube, brauhaus, café or restaurant.

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Traditional German Christmas food

To experience the authentic flavors of the festive season, head for one of the pop-up Christmas markets, which will most likely incorporate a German Christmas food market. Typical savory options include the ubiquitous bratwurst and currywurst, as well as flammkuchen (a kind of flatbread pizza), sautéed mushrooms, steckerlfisch (fish grilled on a stick), pretzels and potato dumplings. Alternatively, there’s käsespätzle. It’s a regional dish from Swabia, Baden and Allgäu in which gnocchi-style dumplings are layered with grated cheese, topped with fried onions and then heated in an oven until the cheese melts.

For the sweet-toothed there are all kinds of tempting creations, from sweet cookies and schneeballen (snowball cakes) to strudel and stollen. Fruchtspieße, or fruit skewers, are particularly eye-catching and difficult to resist. Usually beautifully decorated, they comprise all kinds of chocolate-coated fruits, from bananas and strawberries to melons and grapes.

As for drinks, alongside the old favorites, glühwein and hot chocolate, you’ll find some less well-known brews and infusions that also have a real Christmassy feel. Try eierpunsch, Germany’s answer to the British snowball or American eggnogg. Mixing eierlikör (the local version of advocaat) with white wine, it’s a warm holiday classic topped with whipped cream and ground cinnamon. There’s also a Christmas drink specially for children or those who prefer a non-alcoholic option. Kinderpunsch is a mulled alcohol-free cider with fruit juices and spices that’s usually widely available at the Christmas markets.

Another must-try German Christmas drink is feuerzangenbowle. If you like your glühwein with extra punch, this is for you. With a name that translates literally as ‘fire-tongs punch’, it’s made by taking a rum-soaked sugar cube, setting it on fire and dropping it into the glühwein.

feuerzangenbowle

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Dining out with a Christmas theme

When it comes to a sit-down meal rather than take-away snacks, German Christmas food is rooted in a tradition of hearty dishes to provide winter fuel for your body and comfort for your soul. While in the UK roast turkey has become firmly established as the Christmas staple, the Germans have traditionally tended to go for goose, often served with dumplings and red cabbage. However, these days many people also choose duck, rabbit or pork.

Another seasonal favourite is sauerkraut strudel (often shortened to krautstrudel). Served as a starter or a main course, it’s a savoury variation on a sweet strudel, featuring a filo pastry case filled with shredded cabbage, diced onion and red pepper, bacon and caraway seeds. For veggies, it can be adapted with omission of the bacon.

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Destination eateries

If you want to enjoy traditional German Christmas food in a romantic setting, Berlin has lots of restaurants that combine great cooking with classic décor and a special atmosphere.

Hidden away in a historic building on Berlin’s Mariannenplatz in the city’s hip, bohemian Kreuzberg district, 3 Sisters serves authentic regional seasonal cuisine in an elegant, spacious dining room.

Housed in a traditional townhouse in the Gendarmenmarkt, Borchardt is a stylish restaurant that serves both German and international dishes. Faithfully recreating the feel of a 19th century dining establishment, this is a favourite haunt of celebrities and VIPs.

Situated in the western district of Charlottenburg, Dicke Wirtin is a classic German pub-restaurant that’s been part of the fabric of the city for decades. Its name translates as ‘fat landlady’ and is a tribute to the original owner, Anna Stanscheck, who faithfully served a coterie of local artists, authors and actors, as well as students from the nearby Art Academy.

Whether you choose to get into the seasonal spirit at a market or treat yourself to a festive meal out, Berlin is a great place to get a real taste of Christmas.

Stay at a Park Plaza hotel in Berlin this festive season and enjoy a feast of German Christmas food. Book now!

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