Skip to Content

14 Best Traditional German Christmas Foods

14 Best Traditional German Christmas Foods

Germany is famous for many things. Their castles, mountains, and much more. But German cuisine is often considered some of the best food in the world.

When you think of German food, you may or may not think of German Christmas food, but it is delicious!


There is both classic German Christmas food, and Christmas foods that are not quite as well-known globally, but that are loved nationally and among tourists.

List of the Best Traditional German Christmas Food

Without further ado, here is our list:

The “Classics” of German Christmas Food

1. Christstollen or Weihnachtsstollen

A dry cake shaped like a loaf of bread filled with marzipan and raisins and covered with powder sugar. You can find this bread in any supermarket in Germany during the Christmas season.

2. Lebkuchen (Gingerbread) 

Served in all different shapes, sizes, and toppings.

3. Weihnachtsgebaeck (German Christmas Cookies)

Christmas cookies are made in many different variations and flavors throughout Germany. You are sure to find some that suit your taste buds when visiting and enjoying an array of things to do in Leipzig and Germany. Here are two of the more popular types:

  • Zimtsterne: These are star-shaped cinnamon cookies and they are THE traditional German Christmas cookies.
  • Spekulatius: Traditional spicy Christmas cookie.

4. Weihnachtsgans (Christmas goose)

This dish traditionally consists of a stuffed goose (prepared just like a Thanksgiving Turkey,) potato dumplings, red cabbage, and a wine-flavored sauce.

There is no special technique in preparing this dish but the sauce consists of wine, the juices produced while cooking the goose, and a gravy. You can find this at many German restaurants during the Christmas season and many German families make it as well.

5. Gluehwein

Hot red wine seasoned with cloves, cinnamon sticks, peel of a lemon or orange, and sugar.

This is a very popular drink in Germany during the Holidays, served at all of the Christmas markets in all parts of Germany.

6. Weinachtspunsch (Christmas punch) 

Hot black tea spiced with cloves, lemon juice, orange juice, sugar, and red wine.

7. Fondue 

Can be prepared in different ways:

  • Cheese Fondue: use forks to dip bits of food (i.e. bread) into the warm and thick liquid sauce (usually a cheese mix).
  • Meat Fondue: spike raw meats (i.e. chicken, beef, pork) on a long fork and fry them into hot oil until done. Usually eaten with other dips (i.e. Garlic Sauce, Ketchup, etc.)

8. Raclette

Frying slices of cheese and lunch meat on tiny pans, which sit on a small, round stove that sits in the center of the table. There are typically 6 or more of these small “pans.”

Each person has their own pan. Food is cooked and eaten by each individual.

See Related: Best Castles in Germany

9. Rehruecken (roast saddle of venison)

Deer meat is usually served with slices of pears, spaetzle, and Brussels.

10. Kartoffelsalat mit Wurst (Potato salad with sausage)

A classic and fast recipe for Christmas. There are many different ways to fix potato salad. Sausage can be any kind, usually is smoked.

See Related: Best German Beer Options

Not “Classic” but still Authentic German Christmas Food

11. Karpfen (carp)

Baked Fish served with boiled potatoes and some steamed vegetables (low-fat Christmas food.)

12. Bratapfel

(baked/roasted candy apple)

Pitted apple, not peeled. The hole in the middle will be filled with raisins, honey, and chopped almonds. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes.

13. Heisse Maronen 

Hot or roasted chestnuts.

14. Marzipankartoffeln (marzipan potatoes)

Ball-shaped marzipan rolled in Cocoa powder.

Typical German Holiday Meal

Here is a typical German meal that you might find during the Christmas holiday season:

  • Appetizer: Bratwurst, Leberwurst or Weisswurst (sausages)
  • Salad
  • Main Course: Roast goose, roast pork, baked fish or, carp
  • Dessert: Christmas cookies, apple strudel, cake or, pudding.
  • Drink: Gluehwein, Weinachtspunsch or hot chocolate.
  • Christmas sweets: Marzipankartoffeln, Heisse Maronen, Lebkuchen, Spekulatius.
  • Cheese: Usually served as a fondue.
  • Meat: Usually served as a fondue.
  • Potato salad: With or without sausage.
  • Vegetables: Usually served boiled or steamed.
  • Dessert wine: Riesling, Spatburgunder, Portugieser or Bustenhalter.
  • Schnapps: Usually served with or after dessert.
  • Coffee or tea (with cream and sugar) may be served as well.
  • Beer is also available throughout the meal, usually is reserved for special occasions like New Year’s Eve.

What are other things in German Christmas Traditions?

Christmas Markets are a big part of the German Christmas tradition. You can find them in all parts of Germany and they are a great place to buy Christmas gifts, eat traditional food, listen to Christmas music, see Christmas lights and decorations, and enjoy the company of friends and family.

Another popular German Christmas tradition is the Weihnachtsmann (Christmas man). He is a man dressed in a red suit who delivers presents to children on Christmas eve.

In some parts of Germany, it is also popular to have a Christbaum (Christmas trees). The Christmas tree is usually decorated with ornaments, lights, and tinsel. Some families also hang up wreaths or put up a nativity scene.


Not only do delicious Christmas recipes represent a typical German Christmas but also other things like Christmas Markets and Christmas Trees.

They also spend Christmas with family and treat guests. You can add German Christmas elements to your holiday meal by trying deliciously authentic German recipes.


What is the most popular dish eaten on Christmas Eve in Germany?

The most popular dish eaten on Christmas eve in Germany is roast pork.

What is still a typical dish on the evening of December 24 in many German families based on old traditions?

Many German families still eat roasted carp on the evening of December 24th.

What is a Weihnachtsmann?

The Weihnachtsmann is the German equivalent of Santa Claus. He is a man dressed in a red suit who delivers presents to children on Christmas eve.

What is a Christbaum?

A Christbaum is a Christmas tree. The Christmas tree is usually decorated with ornaments, lights, and tinsel. Some families also hang up wreaths or put up a nativity scene.

What are some other popular German Christmas traditions?

Some other popular German Christmas traditions include the Weihnachtsmarkt (Christmas market), the Weihnachtsbaum (Christmas tree), and the Weihnachtsmann (Santa Claus).

What is Chistkindl?

Chistkindl is the German word for Christmas.

What is Gluehwein?

Gluehwein is a type of wine that is served warmly. It is usually served with Christmas cookies or cake.

What are some other popular German Christmas cookies?

Some other popular German Christmas cookies include Lebkuchen, Spekulatius, and Marzipankartoffeln.

How do Germans celebrate Christmas?

Germans celebrate Christmas by decorating their house with wreaths, nativity scenes, and lights. They also eat traditional German food like roasted pork or roast goose. Additionally, Germans are known for lighting up their home with candles.

The Germans observe both March 21st and December 23rd as public holidays. Many people have split their Christmas Eve on December 24th into two parts, with a busy day before the holiday and an enjoyable party afterward. Christmas is celebrated at noon on Christmas Day, although some shops may still be open to visitors.

Our German Food Recipes

Related Articles

Lock In Your Travel Now
Looking for Extra Travel Perks?
My favorite travel companion is The Platinum Card® from American Express, which gives me lounge access, Uber credits, upgrades, and plenty of other travel perks. If you want to find out the best travel rewards credit card for you, consider using CardMatch to instantly get matched to a travel rewards credit card that meets your travel needs.
Booking Flights

Use Skyscanner to book the cheapest flight possible. Skyscanner is my favorite flight search engine as you can find flights around the globe and from every airline possible. You'll be in great shape to get the best price possible.

You must grab a free trial or join Scott's Cheap Flights Premium to get cheap flight alerts directly to your email inbox. My favorite cheap flight alert was 25,000 Delta SkyMiles to London non-stop.

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance
Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It's a low cost way to ensure your travel plans go smooth no matter what's thrown at it. Use World Nomads to find the best policy for your travel schedule.
Book Your Accommodation
In order to capture the widest selection of properties and the best price, use as they have the cheapest rates for guesthouses, hotels, luxury condos, B&Bs and so much more.
Want More Destination Ideas Direct to Your Inbox?
Be sure to join the ViaTravelers Newsletter for expert tips, tricks and inspiration for your next travel journey!