Munich may lay claim to the original, but Oktoberfest is also an excuse for food and beer lovers everywhere to drink up and gorge on meat, potatoes, and doughy things with the rapaciousness of a squirrel in the days before hibernation. Between the platters of wurst and stacks of knotty pretzels, the celebration is a glutton’s dream come true. It’s also a great occasion to reacquaint yourself with all of those classic German dishes that you haven’t had since your last visit to the biergarten. So pour yourself a Märzenbier and get into the Oktoberfest spirit with these nine recipes that are all about feasting without reservations, Bavarian style .
1. Beer-Braised Bratwursts with Onion
Beer and sausages are the backbone of many a German-style feast. With this recipe, you get a bit of both by braising brats in dark beer, which infuses them with tons of malty and yeasty flavor. Get our Beer-Braised Bratwursts with Onion recipe.
2. Slow Cooker Pork and Sauerkraut
Oktoberfest isn’t exactly the best time of year to be of pig: many of the festival’s signature dishes revolve around some form of Schweinefleisch. This traditional recipe features pork two ways, with sausages and ribs surrounded by a steamy bed of sauerkraut and potatoes. Get our Slow Cooker Pork and Sauerkraut recipe.
3. Basic Whole Roasted Chicken
One alternative to all the pork is Hendl, a simple roast chicken. Don’t expect to get your choice of white or dark meat, however. The bird is usually split down the backbone and served by the half, so that you can get your fill of each and every part. Get our Basic Whole Roasted Chicken recipe.
4. Braised Red Cabbage with Vinegar
In between all those rich meats, you’ll want something to cut through the grease. Braised cabbage brings a shock of tartness (and color) to a landscape otherwise populated by brown foods. Get the recipe here.
5. Warm German Potato Salad with Bacon
Bavarian potato salad eschews the mayo in favor of vinegar (and lots of it). Our take amps it up even further, adding in capers, bacon, and other ingredients that pack a wallop. Get our Warm German Potato Salad with Bacon recipe.
6. Warm German Potato-Cucumber Salad with Dill
If you’re worried that your celebration spread is short on vegetables, there are ways to sneak them in. This cucumber and potato salad hybrid brings a welcome bit of green to the feasting table. Get our Warm German Potato-Cucumber Salad with Dill recipe.
7. Fresh Herbed Quark Spaetzle
Take a break from all the meat and vinegary sides with spaetzle. Browned and coated in a slick of butter, the chewy, pasta-like nubbins of dough bring a stomach-filling comfort to help buffer against the excesses of all that beer. Get the recipe here.
8. Soft Pretzel
Get ready to do the twist. Oktoberfest snack time means grabbing a pretzel, preferably one with a touch of salt and a squiggle of hot and spicy mustard. Get our Soft Pretzel recipe.
9. Traditional Radler
Staunch traditionalists wouldn’t be caught dead quaffing anything other than malty märzenbier by the liter. But if your tastes lean toward something lighter, go for a radler, the low-alcohol mix of lager and sparkling lemonade that is believed to have been invented in Munich. Get our Traditional Radler recipe.
Miki Kawasaki is a New York City–based food writer and graduate of Boston University's program in Gastronomy. Few things excite her more than a well-crafted sandwich or expertly spiced curry. If you ever run into her at a dinner party, make sure to hit her up for a few pieces of oddball culinary trivia.See more articles