German Food – Vegetarian Options

It’s no secret that Germany is a country of meat enthusiasts. Meat specialities include sausages like bratwurst, frankfurters, currywurst, and weisswurst; then there’s pork or chicken schnitzel, horse (yes, really – it’s a delicacy up north), goulash – the list goes on. Germans eat meat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner – truly the carnivore’s dream.

If the above list made you feel queasy instead of ravenous, then this article is for you! Vegetarian food does exist in Germany – you just need to know what the options are, and how to find them.


Vegetarian dishes available in Germany:

There are many vegetarian friendly international restaurants in Germany (particularly Italian, Turkish, Thai, and Greek), but if you want an authentic taste of Germany (minus the meat!), here are a few German vegetarian dishes to try.


Rich, pasta-like noodles cooked with lots of milk and cheese. Eat them plain or with a tomato based sauce. This dish is incredibly rich, and is very popular in Bavaria.

Look out for: käse spätzle (cheese noodles) or späztle mit gemüse (noodles with vegetables)

Rosti mit kräuterquark

Flat, fried potato “pancakes” served with a yogurt or cream cheese dressing.  This is one of my favourites! It’s usually served with a side salad, and you can add smoked salmon (räucherlachs) if you’re a pescatarian.


Baked potato, which is available with all kinds of toppings. German potatoes are AMAZING, and a nice big baked potato can make a fine meal.



As the name suggests – salad! There are many salads to choose from, and they usually come with some kind of tasty dressing. However, many salads come with meat, so it’s a good idea to ask before ordering.

Look out for: gartensalat (garden salad), kartoffelsalat (potato salad – make sure there’s no bacon added!), blattsalat (leaf salad – usually basil, rocket, etc), and gurkensalat (cucumber salad).


Delicious German mushrooms used in pasta and sauces. Pfifferlinge season is between June and October, so look out for these tasty little mushrooms!


Asparagus, cooked in a variety of ways. Spring is asparagus season in Northern Germany, and you’ll see asparagus dishes everywhere – grilled asparagus, boiled asparagus, ravioli with asparagus fillings, etc.


Vegetables, usually roasted. Nice as a side dish with käse spätzle or rosti.


AVOID anything with these words in the name or description-

schinken (ham)

rind (beef)

schwein (pork)

puten (turkey)

Huhn/Huenchen (chicken)

lachs (salmon)

ente (duck)

If in doubt, always ask. Most establishments cater to vegetarians, and servers will explain to you what the options are. Never order a dish if you are unsure!


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