Like so many places in Germany, Nuremberg is known for its sausage (wurst). But that isn't the only thing you will enjoy when visiting this historic city. This area of Bavaria known as Franconia is loaded with delicious dishes. After exploring Nuremberg's castle, lucky gold fountain, and half-finished Nazi Party Rally Grounds, visitors are in need of a good meal. Here are the foods you have to try in Nuremberg.
A trip to Nuremberg is not complete without sampling its delicious finger-sized sausages of the same name. Whether a quick meal packed three in a roll (drei im weggla) or served as a sit-down version with fork and knife, Nürnberg rostbratwurst are an essential part of any visit to this Bavarian city. These sausages are also the most popular in Germany and more than 3 million are produced each day.
With a nearly 1,000-year-long history, these little sausages must be no longer than 9 centimeters (3.5 inches) and weigh no more than 25 grams (0.88 ounces). The coarsely ground pork sausage is seasoned with marjoram, salt, pepper, ginger, cardamom, and lemon powder. Culinary standards in Germany have always been high and this humble sausage is now protected under the Protected Geographic Indication (PGI) like the Kölsch beer from Cologne or Spreewald's famous pickle.
Where to Eat Nürnberg Rostbratwurst in Nuremberg
- Bratwurst Glöcklein: This restaurant has been cooking Nürnberger rostbratwurst since 1313 and is the oldest sausage kitchen in Nuremberg. The sausages are prepared traditionally on a charcoal grill and served on a tin plate with sauerkraut, potato salad, horseradish, fresh bread, and a Franconian beer.
- Bratwurst Röslein: In the heart of the Old Town, this Franconian restaurant has also been serving delicious Nürnberger rostbratwurst for hundreds of years. Since 1431, Bratwurst Röslein has been serving this classic dish and is now the largest Bratwurst restaurant in the world with room for up to 600 guests.
Pork shoulder is a German classic, and Franconian Schäuferle is the Nuremberg version. Here, it is prepared by treating pig’s shoulder meat, pork rind, and bones in salt, pepper, and cumin. Baked with beer and vegetables over several hours, by the time it is served the meat is so tender it is nearly falling off the bone. In other versions, the rind is crispy but here it is mouthwatering and soft.
This hearty meal is usually served with Knödel (potato dumplings) and gravy, but any kind of potato will do. The meat is the star of a Sunday dinner, or anytime you are visiting the city's many restaurants.
Where to Eat Schäuferle in Nuremberg
- Albrecht Dürer Stube: Named for Nuremberg's favorite son, this Stube is family-run and the perfect place to tuck into a Franconian meal. Enter through its charming half-timbered facade to find warm service and a historic interior. Among its many seasonal specialties, Schäuferle is a constant. Finish a meal with a healthy dose of schnapps.
There are many that believe a German meal is not worth having without a German beer. The region of Bavaria has more breweries than any other in Germany and the city of Nuremberg has over 700 years of brewing history. Among the many styles available from lager to bockbier to weissbier, rotbier is a favorite. Original Nuremberg red beer is bottom-fermented and still brewed in adherence to the Reinheitsgebot (Germany's Beer Purity Law).
While the words "German beer festival" may only bring up one particular Oktoberfest, there are several festivals—like the Fränkisches Bierfest—that showcase all that Nuremberg has to offer. Visitors should also try to visit the rock-cut cellars underneath the streets of Nuremberg where beer was traditionally kept cool so it wouldn't spoil.
Where to Drink Beer in Nuremberg
- Hausbrauerei Altstadthof: This classic brewery was the first to brew the original Nuremberg red beer. It has a restaurant and beer garden as well as access to its historical rock cellars. Many of these craggy passageways were joined together as bomb shelters during WWII and the brewery offers guided tours.
- Schanzenbräu: This brewery is located in Nuremberg’s Gostenhof district and is a locals' bar. Its comfortable atmosphere provides an authentic Nuremberg experience and Schanzenbräu has the second-highest beer production in the city.
Soft pretzels are called bretzels or simply brezn in Nuremberg. This is a favorite snack, Biergarten staple, and even part of a well-rounded Bavarian breakfast. They are best served warm and can be covered in cheese, ready to be dunked in mustard, or split and filled with things like schmalz (rendered chicken or duck fat) or butter and chives.
Where to Eat Brezn in Nuremberg
Brezen Kolb: Family-run and supremely popular, there are Brezen Kolb stands throughout the city, but the headquarters is truly impressive. Their environmentally-friendly, two-story production hall has an 80-seat cafe, garden terrace, and bakery capable of producing 6,000 pretzels per hour. Their brezn are such an essential part of the Nuremberg diet, Brezen Kolb even offers a Pretzel Drive-In!
One of the top events in Nuremberg takes place over the winter holiday season. In a country full of legendary Christmas markets (weihnachtsmärkte), Nuremberg has one of the best. Primarily enclosed in the main market square, the Nürnberger Christkindlesmarkt has been nearly continuously run since 1628. Almost 200 festive huts sell beautiful locally-crafted wares, but many people just come for the food.
Of course there are steaming rolls full of Nuremberg rostbratwurst, but it is hard to ignore the hanging lebkuchen hearts sweetly decorated with frosting messages of love. Lebkuchen is a spiced sweet cookie much like gingerbread that originated in Nuremberg. Crafted by Franconian monks in the 14th century, Nuremberg was the meeting point for ancient spice and trading routes meaning exotic ingredients like cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg were available here. Unique Nuremberg Lebkuchen is available fresh but also travels well in a gift pack.
Where to Eat Lebkuchen in Nuremberg
Nürnberger Christkindlesmarkt: While there are many shops that sell Nuremberg's unique Lebkuchen year-round, it tastes best at the Christmas market.
Gebr. Fraunholz Lebküchnerei: This family-run gingerbread bakery has been in operation for over 100 years. They still produce Nuremberg's delectable Elisenlebkuchen, as well as modern vegan and gluten-free options.
Lebkuchen-Schmidt: The name Schmidt is synonymous with Nuremberg's Lebkuchen. Started as a mail-order business, their high-quality products are sold in Nuremberg and internationally.