When it comes to the best restaurants in Nuremberg, traditional food is the name of the game here in the heart of Franconia. While vegetarians and fans of leafy greens might find themselves a little limited at some of the more sausage-heavy outposts in town (of which there are many), Nuremberg is a great place to visit if you’re keen to indulge in the hearty beer-and-brats side of German cuisine.
Speaking of, don’t miss the Nürnberger Rostbratwurst, or Nuremberg sausages. Like beer, the production of these has been heavily regulated since the Middle Ages: They must be about eight centimeters long, 20 to 25 grams in weight, and grilled over beechwood logs—and you better believe the Würstlein (a Middle Ages “food police”) were on hand back in the day to make sure the meat lived up to regulations. (Inferior sausages were promptly chucked into the river.) While today the Nuremberg Sausage Protection Association oversees that duty, the sausages’ history continues to live on: In 2003, they became the first European sausage to be given a protected designation origin, much like a DOC or DOCG designation for Italian wines.
That being said, there’s more to explore in this city’s food scene than just sausage: Much-loved Lebkuchen (gingerbread), Franconian beers and wines, and fresh-focused options prove there’s more going on than grilled meat and potatoes (although we do highly recommend that). We’ve rounded up some favorite places to try the best of Nuremberg’s table—keep reading for our picks, below.
There’s one dish all carnivores should try in Nuremberg, and that’s the city’s famous dish of Nuremberg bratwursts. This is the place to go for those; open since 1312, it's located near St. Sebaldus Cathedral, a Romanesque-Gothic-Baroque hybrid that’s one of the oldest churches in the city (and named after the city’s patron saint, Sebald). Sausages are prepared via one of four traditional methods—grill, sour, smoked, or “naked"—and can be ordered in quantities of six, eight, 10, or 12. Accompaniments are plain but traditional—think potato salad, radish, or sauerkraut.
If you haven’t gotten your fill of Nuremberg’s sausages, head to Behringer's Bratwurstglöcklein (the German word adorably translates as “sausage bells”). Once known far beyond the city limits for the quality of its sausages, the restaurant was so famous that it featured on a number of Nuremberg's postcards. Served on pewter plates, these handmade Nuremberg-style sausages are made by the in-house butcher—just be sure to order enough to share.
Nuremberg, of course, isn’t just famous for sausage—the artist Albrecht Dürer, known for his wood engravings, is from the town, too. In the eponymous restaurant, located in a 450-year-old half-timbered house and family-run for 70 years, you can find not just the town’s famous bratwurst, but fish from the sea, steaks, and wine from the surrounding Franconian region. Book ahead for a table as things pick up on the weekends.
Formerly a watering hole for horses, this tiny café-bar, half-built into the town's wall, makes for a great place to try a variety of Franconian beers. Don't know which brew to start with? Wanderer has its own “beer office” and helpful staff to help you decide. The small patio outside offers the perfect perch for sitting and sipping, thanks to its beautiful views over the rest of the medieval townscape. If it’s full, which it often is in the summer, just take your beer and do what the locals do: Sit on the cobblestones around Albrecht Dürer’s bronze rabbit at the Tiergärtnertor, one of Nuremberg’s iconic gates.
This isn’t a restaurant, per se, but you’d be remiss to go to Nuremberg and not try the city’s famous Lebkuchen—that’s gingerbread to English-speakers. Though it's traditionally reserved for the holidays, Lebkuchen is delicious all year round, and some of the best can be found coming out of the ovens of Wicklein. Head to the city center to try one of the spiced treats from the bakery, which has been producing the sweet stuff since 1615, or sign up for one of their baking classes to give making Lebkuchen a go yourself.
This soup-focused café makes for a great light lunch in anticipation of a meat-and-potatoes dinner, or as a veggie-packed recovery meal after a few days of Nuremberg Wirtshaus hopping. Keep an eye on the weekly menu—which changes to reflect seasonal ingredients and inspirations—for choices like vegan carrot, ginger, and lemon soup, as well as more traditional mainstays like lentil soup with speck.
You can’t have too much bratwurst when you’re in the home of some of the most famous sausages in the world, and Hütt'n continues to make locals proud with its Nuremberg- and Franconian-style roast bratwurst, each served with potato salad or sauerkraut. If you’re all sausage’d out, there’s other traditional fare on offer here, including schnitzel, roast pork with potato dumplings in dark beer sauce, and a platter of (what else) grilled meats—turkey, beef, and pork steaks this time.
Come for the small-but-charming biergarten, stay long enough for some dumplings at this 16th-century building positioned right at the foot of the town’s castle. (The name, which translates to "witches' cottage," unfortunately comes not from a fairy tale but references a former resident, an eccentric older woman local children thought was a witch.) If you’ve done your exploring for the day—or need a thirst-quencher midway through—get a stein of the local Zirndorfer and Tucher beer to rehydrate before carrying on. Inside, it’s cozy and cute, with its half-timber architecture acting as dividers between the nook-like booths.
Open since 1431, this huge restaurant seats 600 inside its wood-paneled walls and outside in its biergarten. Its specialty? The Original Nürnberger Rostbratwürste, of course. Expect a range of other hearty traditional dishes, too, including roast boar and ox-broth soup with dumplings—or go all-in with the three-course tasting menu that lets you sample a traditional Franconian soup; a platter featuring roast pork, Nuremberg bratwurst, and potato dumplings in dark beer sauce; and apple pie.
If you’ve been bingeing on bratwurst for a few meals and want to switch it up a little, ZweiSinn takes inspiration from local markets for fresh, seasonal fine-dining dishes that interpret French-Mediterranean cuisine. With a bistro as well as an evenings-only fine dining area, the restaurant was awarded a Michelin star just eight months after opening. Keep an eye out for nights featuring intriguing themed menus, like Franconian-Japanese fusion.