Just as different parts of Germany have different accents and beers, many regions have their own sausage. There are an estimated 1,500 varieties, each with their own preparation, ingredients and unique blends of spices. However, there are a few commonalities you should know about German wurst.
- Most German sausage contains pork. Some are beef, venison,or even vegan, but pork is the classic.
- You can find sausage everywhere. It is a common street food, available at sporting events, grill parties, festivals, Christmas markets and even in fine dining.
- There are three basic types: Kochwurst (cooked), Brühwurst (scalded) and Rohwurst (raw). Brühwurst is the most common with around 800 types including Fleischwurst, Bierwurst and Zigeunerwurst.
- It can also be served in variety of ways - cold or hot, sliced or smeared.
Though the varieties are almost endless, here's a quick rundown on the most common types of sausage you can expect to come across on your trip to Germany and the best places to eat them.
When you think of German sausage, you're probably thinking of a bratwurst. Usually made from pork, the sausage has a history in Germany dating back to 1313.
Bratwurst is perfect kneipe (pub) food, pan-fried and cooked in beer with German classics of potatoes and rotkohl (red cabbage). But it is also an original German fast food, sold by grillwalkers. These industrious vendors offer their freshly cooked wurst from wearable grills in most city centers. For just 1.50, your bratwurst is served hot from the grill in a diminutive bun topped with senf (mustard) and/or ketchup. Start with a bite of pure sausage — hanging out both ends — and work your way to the delectable center.
Where to Eat Bratwursothe
The short answer is everywhere. They are popular throughout Germany, as well as internationally. In fact, we recommend you buy one from a grillwalker whenever you see one. For under 2 euros, this is a genuine German experience.
There are also many varieties of Bratwurst so try each regional version when you visit these areas:
Thuringia: Thüringer Rostbratwürst is recognized as a PGI, like the German beer koelsch. There is also the Erstes Deutsches Bratwurstmuseum (First German Bratwurst Museum) in Holzhausen. Just look out for the giant wooden bratwurst on the roundabout.
Coburg: Also home to a fantastic castle, Coburger bratwurst has a minimum of 15% veal/beef and is seasoned with only salt, pepper, nutmeg and lemon zest before being grilled over pine cones.
Kulmbach: The Kulmbacher bratwurst is a long, thin rohwurst made from finely ground veal and a little pork. Its seasoning is a jealously guarded secret with each butcher using their own combination of salt, white pepper, nutmeg, lemon peel, marjoram, caraway and garlic. Buy one or a pair from the grillwalkers in the Marktplatz with mustard and a roll topped with anise.
Nürnberg rostbratwurst come in finger-sized bites and you're encouraged to eat three, six or twelve at a time. Not that it takes much encouragement.
These little guys hail from Nuremberg (German spelling: Nürnberg) and are made from coarsely ground pork, seasoned with marjoram, salt, pepper, ginger, cardamom and lemon powder. If you are ordering this sausage to-go, say “Drei im weggla” for three sausages in a roll with senf.
Where to Eat Nürnberg Rostbratwurst
These little sausages are popular around the country and can be found on menus from imbiss stands to biergartens. But there are several places in Nuremberg that shouldn't be missed.
Bratwurstglöcklein im Handwerkerhof: This restaurant has been cooking Nürnberger Bratwurst since 1313 and is the oldest sausage kitchen in Nuremberg. Wurst are traditionally cooked on a charcoal grill and served on the tin plate with sauerkraut, potato salad, horseradish, fresh bread and a Franconian beer.
>Bratwursthäusle bei St. Sebald: With its own butcher on premise, the quality is high at this historic Nuremberg restaurant. Enjoy a plate of Nürnberger rostbratwurst just as Albrecht Dürer did in this exact location.
Goldenes Posthorn: Another haunt of Dürer and Hans Sachs, this is one of Germany's oldest wine bars and a restaurant loved by kings, artists, locals and tourists since 1498. Famous for it Nürnberger platter, everything comes from nearby farms with local butchers supplying the sausage. Never has a fried sausage tasted so fresh.
Bratwurst Röslein: In the heart of the Old Town, this restaurant prides itself on being the largest bratwurst restaurant in the world with room for up to 600 guests.
Nuremberg Christmas Market: The city's world-famous Christmas market is a must-see in winter and the city's favorite sausage warms your hands, stomach and spirit.
Germany’s wurst comes curry-flavored in international Berlin. Its origin story is hotly contested, but the most popular version is that the dish comes from Berlin housewife Herta Heuwer. Desperate to liven up a meager post-war diet, she traded German booze for curry powder from the English and added tomato/ketchup sauce with Worcestershire. Viola! Something familiar took on a whole new flavor and currywurst was born.
The dish was an immediate hit and Frau Heuwer began selling it from a street stand to the many workers putting the city back together.
The Wurst is served mit (with) or ohne darm (without skin), sliced up in bite-sized bits and covered in curry ketchup. Each stand has its own recipe; some more tomato-y, some sweeter, some tangy. It is usually topped with curry powder and served alongside pommes (french fries) or a roll. It is estimated that 800 million currywurst are sold every year in Germany.
The sausage has become a symbol of the proletariat. German politicians jockey for photos of themselves at their favorite stand each election season.
Where to Eat Currywurst
Currywurst is one of the most popular quick meals in Germany and is served everywhere, but you should try as many as you can in Berlin to find your ideal flavor.
Konnopke's: This wildly popular Berlin landmark sits under the U2 at Eberswalder. They've been serving imbiss classics since 1930 and are renowned for their currywurst.
Curry & Chili: Prepare for more spice than in the rest of German cuisine combined at this imbiss on the tram tracks in Wedding. Their sauce goes up to 10, which equates to 7.7 million on the Scoville scale. There is even a curry and chili club where members eat a wurst from every level within 6 months.
Witty's: In bio-conscious Berlin, even the sausage is organic. Witty's has been using house-made, natural ingredients for over 30 years.
Curry 36: The site on Mehringdamm is one of many in the city, but it is recommended in nearly every guide book.
Deutsches Currywurst Museum Berlin: Opened on the dish's 60th birthday, the museum is located in Mitte close to Checkpoint Charlie. It is dedicated to currywurst's complicated history and many variations and is one of the Weirdest Museums in Germany. Sample Currywurst are included in admission.
Nothing helps you prepare for a day of drinking like these fat, white sausages. They are the breakfast of Oktoberfest champions. Whether you are just visiting Munich or there for a Fest, you will most likely start your day with this delicious wurst.
Weisswurst translates to "white sausage", although it is sometimes called weißwuascht in the Bavarian dialect. Traditionally it is made from minced veal and pork back bacon, seasoned with parsley, lemon, mace, onions, ginger and cardamom. It's prepared by heating it in water for 5-10 minutes and removing the skin. Pair it with Bayerischer süßer senf (sweet Bavarian mustard) and a laugenbrezel (pretzel), or add a Hefeweizen for a full Weisswurst Frühstück.
Originally weisswurst was quite perishable, meaning it needed to be eaten before noon. Modern food preparation means they have a longer shelf life, but tradition says that "the sausages should not be allowed to hear the noon chime of the church bells". Even with a limited time frame, over a million weisswurst are sold every year. The sausage also marks a symbolic barrier in the north/south divide, referred to as the Weißwurstäquator (white sausage equator).
Where to Eat Weisswurst
Weisswurst are available at every Bavarian restaurant and Bavarian- themed restaurants and breweries found throughout the country. If you spot the blue-and-white-checks of the Bavarian flag, you should be able to find weisswurst.
Oktoberfest: Beer tents usually serve weisswurst so order a sausage with every Mass to avoid an Oktoberfest fail.
Hofbrauhaus: The quintessential Bavarian beer house established in 1589, the restaurant is located in the heart of Munich's old town and is the perfect place to experience Bavarian atmosphere.
Bratwurstherzl: Located in a 17th-century brick vault, this traditional restaurant has hearty fare and a beer garden.
Weisses Bräuhaus: This location has a reputation for some of the best weisswurst in town. Get there before noon as they stick to tradition.
Hirschgarten: One of Munich's best biergartens is the ideal place to enjoy weisswurst in the warmer months. It has over 8,000 seats — making it one of the largest in the world — so you can be sure to enjoy a bite.
Visitors stand around Freiburg's Münster with heads back, mouths gaping, while locals put their mouths to better use. Sausage trucks surround the city's most famous site with "Freiburg's shortest landmark" — the lange rote.
A long, thick pork herb sausage with a distinctive red color. A proper Münsterwürste auf dem Münsterplatz is 35 centimeters (13.7 inches) and comes with or without (mit/ohne) onions (a contentious issue which method is correct) and adorned with mustard in a bun (weckle, in the local dialect).
Where to Eat Lange Rote
Market in Münsterplatz: The undisputed best place to get a Lange Rote. This market has served the people of Freiburg since 1120 and serves around 400 sausages a day. Look for Meier, Hauber, Hasslers or Uhl's. The stands closest to the entrance of the Münster are usually favored by tourists but to keep business fair, the stands rotate positions each month.