35 Christmas Market Foods & Drinks + Where to Try Them (2023)

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Most people will agree that the best part about European Christmas markets is the food! We’ve rounded up the best Christmas market foods and drinks to try so you don’t miss anything. We’ve also included insider tips for ordering, our (honest) personal opinions on the most popular foods, and some regional specialties you shouldn’t miss.

Christmas market foods to try in Europe

I don’t know about you, but eatingregional specialtiesis one of my very favorite things about traveling. And Christmas markets just happen to be a smorgasbord of delicious and hearty foods to try.

If you’re planning to visit European Christmas markets, this list of the most popular Christmas market foods will be a super handy resource for you.

It will be especially helpful in deciphering menus so you actually know what you’re ordering.Anyone else have trouble with German words? Just me?

In addition to describing the most common Christmas market foods and which countries and regions to try them in, we’re also sharing our(very!) honest opinionabout each as well astips for ordering.

We’ve got a good variety of both sweet and savory foods, so there’s a little something for everyone.

Gluhwein Hallstatt

And we didn’t forget about drinks!

We’ve rounded up the best Christmas market drinks to sip on –yes, there are many more options other than gluhwein.

Before we jump in, I will warn you that you may not want to read this article on an empty stomach…

Our personal favorite Christmas market foods

These are my personal favorites (in no particular order!). Click on them to jump to that section and see what it is!

Or simply keep scrolling to see all the foods!

Christmas market planning guide

Christmas market foods

If you are planning a Christmas market trip, we’ve got 2 more resources that you won’t want to miss:

Savory Christmas market foods to try

One theme you’ll notice amongst these foods is there’s a lot of bread, meat, and cheese.

Comfort food at its best.

We’ve gathered the most common foods you’ll find at European Christmas markets so you know what to look for!

1. Flammkuchen (tarte flambee)

Flammkuchen Christmas market foods

What is it?Thin flatbread

This thin flatbread is traditionally topped with奶油fraîche, onions, and bacon, then baked until crispy. The result is a yummy combination of creamy and savory flavors and a chewy yet slightly crunchy texture.

Insider Tip:The traditional toppings are a winner (and probably the best!), but there are other options too. I like mushrooms on flammkuchen when I want to switch it up, and that is a good choice if you don’t eat meat.

This delightful take on a pizza hails from the Alsace region, which lies on the border of France and Germany. In France, it is calledtarte flambee虽然德国人称之为flammkucken.

Whatever you call it, it is straight up deliciousness, I tell you!

Where to find it:This dish is from the Alsace region (where you will find it everywhee!). But we also saw this at a few markets across Austria and Bavaria.

Craving this at home?If you’re from the US and find yourself cravingflammkuchen, head to the freezer aisle of Trader Joe’s where you’ll find Tarte D’Alsace! They have three flavors: ham and caramelized onion, French cheeses and mushroom, and brie and tomato. Supposedly, this is actually made in Strasbourg, France, so it’s pretty legit! We’ve been eating this for years – well before we knew it was calledtarte flambeeorflammkuchen!

2. Käsespätzle

What is it?Cheesy egg noodles

Kasespatzle Christmas market food

In German,käsetranslates to cheese and spätzle are soft egg noodles that are a German specialty.

Mix the two together and what do you get?

Rich, cheesy noodles that are the epitome of comfort food. When you’re chilly and hungry at a Christmas market, this dish will do double duty!

Kasespatzle Christmas market food

I like to think of it as aGerman version of mac ‘n cheese, but better (in my opinion).

Not only do you get cheese and noodles, but it is typically topped with crispy fried onions and parmesan cheese for the ultimate texture and flavor punch.Yummmm!

Where to find it:This is a German classic and you can find it at many Christmas markets (even if you’re not in Germany). You can also find it on the menu of many German restaurants.

3. Bratwurst

What is it?German sausage

Sausage Christmas market foods
Sausage topped with mustard, sauerkraut, and pickles

This one is pretty standard – most people are familiar with a classic brat.

I’d say this isone of the most popular Christmas market foods, and sometimes there’s nothing quite as satisfying.

At Christmas markets, they’re typically grilled over open flame then served in a white, crusty bun with mustard. You can add toppings like sauerkraut and sometimes caramelized onions.

Where to find it:This dish has German roots but you can find brats at just about every Christmas market, in and out of Germany.

4. Regional sausages

Sausage Christmas market food

Bratwurst is the most common and well-known type of sausage, but it is far from the only one to try.

Germans are quite obsessive when it comes to sausages and by some accounts there are more than 1,000 varieties. While you won’t find all thousand sausages at the Christmas markets (can you imagine?!), you’ll definitely see more than just brats on the menu.

From popular staples to regional specialties that are only available in the town from which they’re made, I’d encourage you to branch out a bit and try something new!

Nuremburg sausage Christmas market foods

3 sausages to try:

  • Nürnbergers: These short and skinny sausages look like Jimmy Dean breakfast links! (If you know, you know!) They are famously from Nuremberg, and if you find yourself at this iconic Christmas market, orderDrei im Weggla, which is 3 of these sausages, grilled and served in a round crusty bun.(pictured above)
  • Feuer Wursts: Translating to “fire wursts”, these sausages are known to have a little kick. Though, if you’re a fan of spicy food, you probably won’t find it very hot.
  • Currywurst:Sausage cut into bite-sized chunks and served with curry ketchup. I despise ketchup with a passion (weird, I know), so these aren’t my jam, but it is one of the more popular varieties and you can find it at many markets.

Where to find it:Go to the bratwurst stand at just about any Christmas market and see what else is on the menu. Usually there are at least a couple of other options, or adjacent stands selling a different type of sausage.

5. Frikadelle

What is it?Small hamburger made from pork

German cuisine is more known for sausages than hamburgers, but after tastingfrikadelleyou might wonder why these aren’t more talked about.

The patties are on the small side – like a cross between a meatball and a burger – and made from a mix of ground pork and beef that’s perfectly seasoned. But the best part is that it isserved in a roll with a pile of caramelized onionsand a dollop of mustard.

Where to find it:You can find this dish in some of the larger Christmas markets in Germany.

6. Semmelknödel or Speckknödel

What is it?Semmelknödel = bread dumplings; Speckknödel = bread dumplings with bacon

Speckknödel Christmas market foods
This is speckknödel at a Christmas market in Bavaria.

Semmelknödel are bread dumplings made from stale bread cubes mixed with ingredients like milk, eggs, and herbs. These dumplings are boiled until they’re soft and fluffy, making them a popular side dish or Christmas market food.

Speckknödel are similar, but includespeck– a cured, smoked ham, which is similar to bacon.

Where to find it:You can find this in Bavarian Christmas markets as well as on the menu in many restaurants throughout the Tyrol and Bavarian regions.

7. Laugenbrezeln (pretzel)

What is it?Pretzel

Pretzel Christmas market food

Laugenbrezelnis the German word for pretzel.

You know, the soft, chewy kind sprinkled with coarse salt?

These are a German fair food classic, and in addition to the traditional ones with just salt, you can usually find a variety of flavors and toppings. I’m partial to anything with cheese, so the giant cheesy pretzels are my favorite!

If you’re craving something sweet, you can sometimes find dessert pretzels, with poppyseeds and icing or dipped in chocolate. And if you’re looking for something a bit more hearty and filling, we’ve found some damn good pretzel sandwiches!

Pretzel German market food
Ben is also a pretzel fan! He might be a little upset that I’m adding this picture from Oktoberfest in 2009, but I couldn’t help myself!

Other spellings:Brezel

Where to find it:You can find pretzels at most German Christmas markets, and in other countries as well.

8. Langos

What is it:Deep fried dough topped with garlic, sour cream, and cheese

Langos Christmas market foods

ThisHungarian specialtyis stop-in-your-tracks good. Sure, it might clog your arteries a bit, but it’s worth it!

The first time we hadlangoswas inBudapest(one of our favorite European cities, for the record!), and we were instantly hooked.

Bready, creamy, garlicy, cheesy… need we say more?!

The base is reminiscent of Native American flatbread, and istopped with garlic, a generous amount of sour cream, and shredded cheese. You can also add other toppings, like ham, chili oil, and green onions.

It might look similar to a pizza, but it’s worth noting that while the fried dough is usually served warm, the sour cream and shredded cheese are cold, making it distinctively different than a typical pizza.

Insider Tip:Personally, I’d recommend splitting this one, as it’s pretty filling and rich, and I assume you want to try a few more foods as well!

Where to find it:We were surprised to see this Hungarian dish at several Christmas markets in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria!

9. Raclette

What is it?Melted cheese

Raclette Christmas market foods
This is what raclette may look like at a restaurant

Raclette refers both to a type of cheese and a type of dish where said melted cheese is scraped onto different things… potatoes, pickles, charcuterie, you name it!

The wordracletteitself comes from the French word,racler,meaning “to scrape”.

You can find raclette plates at some markets (especially in Switzerland), but an easier version of this dish to eat while at the market (aka where you don’t need a fork an knife!) is araclette sandwich.

Raclette sandwich Christmas market foods
A sandwich is a much easier way to eat raclette at a market!

The raclette cheese is heated in a special mould, then scraped onto a baguette and accompanied by whatever toppings you’d like. We enjoy speck (cured and smoked ham) and cornichons (small pickles).

Where to find it:This is a Swiss dish and easy to find at markets anywhere in Switzerland. Raclette-style sandwiches are pretty popular outside of Switzerland, too.

10. Kartoffelpuffer

What is it?土豆煎饼

KartoffelpufferChristmas market foods

Kartoffelpuffer(also calledreibekuchen) is kind of like across between a hashbrown and a potato pancake.

They are fried until golden andcrispy on the outside, but soft on the inside.

Kartoffelpufferare traditionallyserved with applesauce or sour cream, creating a delicious contrast of flavors and textures.

Personally, I prefer the sour cream, but give both toppings a try and see which you like best!

Other name:Reibekuchen

Where to find it:Kartoffelpufferare a popular Christmas market food throughout Germany. And in Switzerland, you’ll findröstijust as often, which is a similar dish. More on that below…

11. Rösti

What is it?Crispy potato hashbrown

Rosti Christmas market foods

Rösti is a very similar to akartoffelpuffer, but thisdish is from Switzerlandand there are some notable differences.

Kartoffelpuffer(German) are crispy on the outside but soft on the inside and the potatoes are grated more finely, whereasrösti(Swiss) are more crunchy overall. Rösti also usually includes onions, and in my opinion is more like a hashbrown than a pancake.

The biggest difference (in my opinion) is thatkartoffelpufferare served with sour cream or applesauce, whereasröstiare served in a variety of ways – at the markets, we saw themserved with meat, fried eggs, and raclette.

Where to find it:You’ll mostly findröstiin Switzerland. If you’re in Germany, you’ll typically findkartoffelpufferinstead.

12. Pommes Frites

What is it?French fries

If you seepommes friteson the menu, it just means French fries.

If you’re from the US, the style of fry is similar to what we might call asteak frythicker cut and served with mayonnaise instead of ketchup. As I’ve already stated, I despise ketchup, so I can get on board with this condiment switch up.

Fun fact:Pommes= apples in French, andfrites =fried. There’s not a consensus about why the word “apple” is used in the name of something that is very much made out of potatoes. Another debate is whether they’re actually from Belgium or France!

Where to get them:Many markets, no matter the country, serve pommes frites.

13. Champignons

What is it?Sautéed mushrooms

Champignons Christmas market foods

Champignons is the French word for mushrooms, but let me tell you, these aren’t just any old mushroom…

Sautéed with garlic and herbs, then served withgarlic cream sauceand a hearty slice of bread makes this dish heavenly.

如果你是一个喜欢亩hrooms (like me!), don’t sleep on these.This is one of my favorite Christmas market foodsand is good way to mix up all the bread and meat!

Where to find them:While I didn’t see these at all Chistmas markets, they are pretty common.

14. Kartoffeltornado

What is it?Potato spiral on a stick

Kartoffeltornado Christmas market foods
Okay, so this photo is actually from Tokyo, but you’ll find the same type of potato swirl on a stick at many Christmas markets throughout Europe.

Also called “tornado potato” or “potato swirl”, this street food actually originated inSouth Korea.

When we were living in Korea (andteaching English!), these were a big hit at just about every street market.

I was surprised to see them at many European Christmas markets, but hey, they’re pretty tasty and easy to eat while browsing for gifts.

Where to find them:They are gaining popularity at many Christmas markets around Europe.

15. Kiachl

What is it?Fried dough with sweet or savory toppings

Kiacl Christmas market foods
Kiachl Christmas market foods

These Austrian fried pastrieshave a deep hole in the center, forming a “bowl” of sorts, which holds your choice of topping.

The two most popular fillings (the only ones we saw) aresauerkraut or cranberry sauce.

Both our Innsbruck food tour guide and a friend of mine who spent years living in Innsbruck recommended thekiachlwith sauerkraut. I’ll admit, without their recommendation, I probably would have opted for the cranberry, but after trying it, I can wholeheartedly tell you:

Get the sauerkraut!

Kiachl Christmas market foods

Now, hear me out… I know it sounds weird, but it is seriously good and I’ve never tried anything quite like it. I went back the next day for round two. And round 3 the following day.

In fact, just writing about it is giving me a craving forkiachlthat I know I’m not going to be able to fill until I go back to Austria. (I don’t need much more convincing than that to start dreaming of a return trip!)

Where to find them:Innsbruck is the only place we’ve found them, but you can find them elsewhere in the Tyrol region


What is it?Hollowed out baguette filled with fondue cheese

Chäsbängel Christmas market foods

Bread. Cheese.Need I say more?

This is the most portable version of fondue you’ll ever find, making it a great Christmas market food to try!

When you order achäsbängel, the vendor will take ahollowed out baguetteand fill it with several scoops offondue cheese. It’s pretty fun to watch (and even more fun to eat!).

Where to find it:Basel, Switzerland is known for this dish and if you’re at that market, it shouldn’t be missed!

Sweets to try at Christmas markets

If you’ve got a big sweet tooth (or just need something sweet after all that savory goodness!), keep reading because Christmas markets do sweets WELL.

17. Schneeballen (Snowballs)

What is it:German pastry ball

Schneeballen Christmas market foods

Schneeballen is a German pastry that is made bygathering strips of shortcrust dough into a ball then deep frying it.

The classicschneeballenis dusted with powdered sugar as a final step, but these days you’ll find dozens of flavors to choose from, like hazelnut, marzipan, cinnamon sugar, and dark chocolate dipped (to name just a few!).

Even though they are a dessert, they’re not as sweet as they might look. I actually love this about them, but some people claim they’re not sweet enough!

I was told that these were invented by a pastry chef who had leftover strips of dough from other items, and they came up with a creative use for the scraps instead of throwing them away. Whether or not this is true, I’m not sure, but it does sound plausible.

Originating in Rothenburg ob der Tauber, it’s a must-try treat if you’re in the area! (I’ve had them in Rothenburg as well as outside the region, and the best by far is from Rothenburg ob der Tauber.)

Fun Fact:Schneeballenis the German word forsnowball, and these treats get their name because, well, they’re round, about the same size as a snowball, and the original one is dusted in powdered sugar.

Where to find them:Rothenburg ob der Tauber is the best place to try these. I have found them at a few markets outside this region, but they’re definitely not as common as some of the other sweet treats on this list.

18. Baumstriezel (“chimney cake”)

What is it:Spiral cinnamon sugar pastry

Chimney cake Christmas market foods

Baumstriezel,也被称为chimney cakesandkürtőskalács, arespiral-shaped pastries originating from Hungary. The dough is wrapped around a spit, and sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar before being baked over open fire.

Once it is done baking, it’s removed from the spit, creating a hollowed out pastry that you can eat by pulling at the spiralized dough.

Not only is it fun to eat, butholy yum, is it good!

Inour guide to Budapest, I described chimney cakes like this (and I still think it’s the best description I can do!):

You know Panera’s Cinnamon Crunch bagels – soft and crunchy all at the same time? Well imagine one of those bagels got together with a churro, had a little too much wine and had a delicious baby… That baby would be the chimney cake!

Other names:Kürtőskalács

Where to find it:This Hungarian treat is very popular all over Europe and you can find them at many markets!

19. Gebrannte Mandeln

What is it?Candied almonds

Candied almonds Christmas market foods

They aresweet, crunchy, and coated with caramelized sugar, making them a popular festive snack.

This is typically the first thing I smell at Christmas markets. That cinnamon sugar goodness just makes its way to my nostrils to tempt me!

Most stands selling these sweet and crunchy delights have other varieties too – pecans, cashews, peanuts, you name it!

Don’t get me wrong – candied almonds are great. However, I personally feel like I can get them anywhere in the world (not just at Christmas markets). So after getting an obligatory cone of them (because the smell is too good to say no to!), I usually try to sample the other sweets on display that I can’t find so easily elsewhere.

Where to find it:Just about any Christmas market!

20. Chestnuts

What is it?Round and semi-soft nuts that are served roasted in their shell

Chestnut Christmas market food

Roasted chestnuts aresynonymous with Christmas, and this classic holiday treat can be found at most Christmas markets around Europe.

The smell ofchestnuts roasting on an open fire(is the song in your head yet?!) immediately transforms any street into a cozy, wintery atmosphere.

Warm, smoky, nutty, and slightly sweet, chestnuts are semi-soft when roasted and taste somewhat similar to a baked sweet potato.

Chestnut soup Chirstmas foods
I still dream about this chestnut soup!

Insider Tip:If you’re a fan of chestnuts, look for chestnut soup on the menu at restaurants around Germany and Austria. It is truly fantastic! I actually tried to replicate it when I got home and it was super tasty.

Other names:Maroni

Where to find it:Just about any Christmas market, big or small!

21. Dampfnudeln

What is it?Yeast dumpling topped with vanilla sauce

To me,dampfnudelnsounds like “damp noodles,” which makes me giggle.

These soft,steamed German yeast dumplingsare served doused with a sauce. Supposedly, they can be eaten as a savory side dish, but at the Christmas markets we only saw them served sweet.

Maybe this isn’t a good comparison, but the dumplings kind of reminded me of fluffy bao bun (with no filling). There are different topping options, but the most traditional is avanilla sauce and a side of berry compote, and the fluffy texture is meant to absorb said sauce.

Personal opinion:In my (honest) opinion, aren’t my favorite. The vanilla sauce tasted kind of like a watery vanilla pudding, and it felt like I was just eating a lot ofbread. Maybe it wasn’t the bestdampfnudelnout there, but it didn’t have a ton of flavor and after a couple of bites, I didn’t really want more.

Where to find them:This is a German dish, so we mostly found these in German markets as well as a few outside Germany.

22. Fruchtspieße (fruit skewers)

What is it:Skewers of fruit, usually covered in chocolate

Fruit skewers German market food

If you’re looking for something sweet that isn’t bready, search for fruit skewers, as they are a German market favorite.

Wooden skewers of strawberries, pineapple, and other fruits aredipped in a generous coating of chocolaterendering them not exactlyhealthy, but perhaps a bit better than all the other fried dough treats.

Fruit skewers German market food
This is at Oktoberfest in 2009 (hello throwback!), but this is a popular market snack at Christmastime too.

You can typically choose from white, milk, and dark chocolate-dipped fruchtspieße, and they are often sold at a stand that also has candied apples andschaumkuss(chocolate-covered marshmallows).

Where to find them:Most larger German Christmas markets have at least one stand selling fruchtspieße.

23. Lebkuchen

What is it:Gingerbread

Lebkuchen gingerbread Christmas market food

Traditional German gingerbread cookies, known for their spicy and aromatic flavors, these are a staple at just about every Christmas market.

The most iconic version oflebkuchenis thelarge heart shapesthat are decorated with German phrases written in colorful icing. Popular sayings are,“I like you”and“Happy Holidays”.

These make fun photo ops, but as an admitted cookie-snob, I prefer thick, moist, chewy cookies over ones that are hard and dry, which I find these often are. (Like I said, I’m a cookie snob!)

Chocolate Lebkuchen gingerbread Christmas market food
Chocolate Lebkuchen gingerbread Christmas market food

The heart shaped cookies hanging from booths aren’t the only type oflebkuchen你会发现。我非常喜欢chocolate-covered version, which I felt was more fresh than the plastic wrapped ones sitting out for who-knows-how-long.

Where to find it:Almost every Christmas market should have these

24. Schmalzgebäck

What is it?Bite-sized doughnut-like pastries

Schmalzkuchen German doughnuts Christmas market foods

These sweet bite-sized pastries are kind of like ifdoughnut holes and funnel cakeshad a (very tasty!) baby.

Light and airy and shaped like little pillows, they are fried until golden brown and dusted with powdered sugar and usually served in a paper cone.

These are similar tomutzenmandeln, which is a popular market treat at Carnival.

Where to find it:These are a German market treat, and your best bet is at the larger markets.

25. Marzipan

What is it?Sweet made from ground almonds and sugar

Marzipan chocolates Christmas market foods

Marzipan is a classic Christmas treat known for its rich, nutty flavor.

This popular confection is made from ground almonds and sugar. You can find it in the marketsmolded into various shapes(look for “marzipan potatoes” which look shockingly like actual mini potatoes!).

It is also often dipped in chocolate. You can also find truffles andschneeballenwith marzipan in the middle.

Personally, I can only do marzipan in very small amounts, asI find it very sweet and rich.

Mozart Balls Christmas market foods

My personal favorite way to enjoy marzipan isMozart Balls. This is an iconic sweet from Salzburg, Austria, which is a layered ball of pistachio, marzipan, and nougat, dipped in dark chocolate. If you’re in Salzburg, be sure to give it a try!

Insider Tip:The red wrapped Mozart Balls are the most common, but the best (and the original) are wrapped in a blue and silver foil.

Where to get it:You can find marzipan at most Christmas markets around Europe. Mozart Balls can be found in Salzburg, Austria.

26. Kaiserschmarrn

What is it?Bite sized pieces of pancake

Kaiserschmarrn Christmas market foods

Kaiserschmarrn is an Austrian pancake that is torn into bite-sized pieces while it is cooking. It is caramelized in the bottom of a pan, giving these otherwise fluffy bites a tiny bit of crispiness at the edges.

Traditionally served dusted with powdered sugar and a side of fruit compote,kaiserschmarrnis one of my favorite Christmas market desserts.

Where to find it:We found it at a few markets in Austria, but it is also a staple on restaurant menus featuring Tyrolean cuisine. You can order it as brunch or dessert.

27. Schokokuss

What is it?Chocolate-covered marshmallow

Scottish food | Tunnock's Chocolate Mallow
This is a Tunnock’s Tea Cake, from Scotland, but it is very similar to a Schokokuss that you’ll find at German Christmas markets.

Schokokusstranslates to “chocolate kiss”, this marshmallow enrobed in chocolate makes anindulgently sweet treat.

Now,this isn’t your typical store-bought mallow. These are much lighter and less chewy. It’s almost reminiscent of a less-sweet “marshmallow fluff” (if you’ve ever had it), dipped in chocolate.

I found these very similar to Tunnock’s tea cakes, aScottish foodyou should definitely try whilst in Scotland.

Other name:Schaumkuss(“泡沫之吻”)

Where to find it:You can find these in most German Christmas markets. Look for the booths selling candy and chocolate-covered fruit.

28. Crêpes

What is it?Thin pancakes with sweet or savory fillings

Crepes Christmas market foods

Sweet or savory, crepes are always a good choice at any type of market.

I’m a sucker for savory crepes myself, but sweet is probably the most popular option.

Choose from topping combinations like Gruyère and ham, brie and cranberries (pictured), and Nutella and strawberries.

Where to find it:Crepes are French and very popular at the markets in France, but also elsewhere throughout Europe. We got some fantastic crepes at markets in Germany!

Drinks to try at Christmas markets

One of the best parts of Christmas markets – in my humble opinion – is warming up your hands (and soul!) with a hot mug ofglühwein.

While every market will have gluhwein, there’s many more drinks to sip on. If it’s your first trip to European Christmas markets, the drink menu can look overwhelming at first glance.

So let’s go over all the options so you can order with confidence (and know what it is you’re getting!).

29. Glühwein

What is it?Hot mulled wine

Gluhwein Christmas market drinks

Glühwein is a warm, spiced wine (aka “mulled wine”), and it is one of the most popular things you’ll find at Christmas markets.

Before we go any further, let’s just make sure we’re pronouncing this correctly. In German, the “w” has a “v” sound, so it sounds like this:


Fun fact:I read thatglühweinroughly translates to “glow wine” because it makes you feel lit up from within, and I just love that description because it is so true!

Glühwein recipes vary quite a bit, but it isred wine that is heated with warming spices(like cloves, cinnamon, and star anise). Sometimes oranges are added, as well as vanilla and sugar.

The combinationtastes like Christmas in a glass!I love this drink so much that we often make it at home around the holidays. It is so easy!

Insider Tip:If you want to kick it up a notch, many gluhwein vendors offer the option to add a shot of rum or brandy.

White Gluhwein Christmas market drinks

Glühwein istraditionally made with red wine,这是最常见的type you’ll see at Christmas markets. However, we found several stands offering the white version as well, which was a nice way to switch it up. In fact, at one market, they had a white gluhwein with ginger and lemon, which was fantastic!

Good to know:If you’re at the Christmas markets in France, gluhwein will be calledvin chaud .

Psst!There’s a whole slew of things you should know about the gluhwein mugs.Jump right to that sectionto read all about it!

30. Eierpunsch

What is it?Alcoholic egg punch

Eierpunsch Christmas market drinks

Eierpunschis a warm and creamy winter drink that isoften compared to eggnog.

Made with egg liqueur (eierlikör: egg yolks, powdered sugar, vanilla, whipping cream, and rum) as well as white wine, this drink is served in a mug and topped with whipped cream. Sometimes cinnamon or orange are added as well.

It’s a cozy and indulgent winter drink, and a good alternative if you’re wanting something other than mulled wine.

I’d encourage you to give this a try because it is definitely aunique drinkand some people love it.

I personally think it’s alright, but it’s pretty rich after one mug, so I typically stick to gluhwein.

Where to find it:You can find this drink at most larger German Christmas markets. Outside of Germany, it can be harder to find.

31. Feuerzangenbowle

What is it?Alcoholic punch, which is lit on fire

Feuerzangenbowle Christmas market drinks

This German punch is perhapsmy favorite Christmas market drink!

This drink starts with mulled wine which is served in a special mug (different from the gluwhein mugs). It is usually more round and has a tong of some sort that lays over the rim. Arum-soaked sugar cube is placed on top of this and lit on fireso the sugar caramelizes and drips into the gluhwein.

它不仅有趣,但它真的很美味。Just be careful when you take a sip, because the rim of your mug can get very hot!

Fun Fact:Feuerzangenbowletranslates to fire-tongs punch. The Germans are very literal!

Where to find it:German Christmas markets

32. Heiße Schokolade

What is it?Hot chocolate

Hot chocolate Christmas market drinks

Heiße Schokolade is a good option for those wanting awarm and indulgent drink without alcohol. It’s also a popular pick for kids!

All that said, if youwouldlike to spike your drink, there’s no judgement at Christmas markets! There’s typically an assortment of liqueurs and spirits to choose from.

Insider Tip:I’d recommend Frangelico (hazelnut liqueur). Bailey’s and amaretto are also popular choices!

Where to find it:Just about any Christmas market in the world

33. Jägertee

What is it?Warm alcoholic tea

This is a warm alcoholic tea, popular in Austria and other alpine regions.

Made withrum, black tea, fruit juice, and spices, this is a nice alternative to gluhwein.

Where to find it:Austria; we found it around the Innsbruck area

34. Grog

What is it?Alcoholic drink with lemon and hot water

熟料is a warm alcoholic beverage made with rum or another spirit, hot water, lemon juice, and sugar or honey.

This issimilar to a hot toddy, and I really like this option when I can find it because it tends to be less sweet than some of the other drink options.

Where to find it:Not all markets have this on the menu, but head to the gluhwein stand to see if this is an option

35. Kinderpunsch

What is it?Warm, non-alcoholic punch

Kinderpunsch Christmas market drinks

This is essentially thevirgin version of gluhwein, making it a festive drink option for children or adults who don’t want to drink alcohol at Christmas markets.

It’s made with fruit juices (often apple cider, cherry, and orange juices), spices, and fruit tea (like hibiscus).

Our opinion:我们认为欧洲Christmas markets would make anincredible babymoon trip, so this would be the perfect festive drink for any expecting mamas!

Where to find it:Any Christmas market serving gluwhein should also offer kinderpunsch

Things to know about Christmas market foods

Now you have a long list of Christmas market foods to try, but before you hit the markets, there are a few things that you should know:

1. You’ll find more than just what’s on this list

Churros Christmas market foods
Falafel Christmas market foods

While this list focuses on the more traditional foods you’ll find at Christmas markets, it isn’t exhaustive.

At larger Christmas markets, you’ll likely be able to find a wide variety of foods from around the world –falafel, churros, banh mi– you name it!

2. Sweet lovers will be in heaven

Chocolate tools Christmas market foods
These are all made of chocolate! You’ll see stands selling “chocolate tools” at many German Christmas markets.

3.Look for long lines

This is often a good indicator if there is any must-try item at that particular market.

Christmas markets are not only popular with international tourists, but locals as well, who know exactly which stands have the best food.

Insider Tip:Ask your hotel reception (or Airbnb host) if there are any must-try foods. They’ll know the best stands too!

4. Never skip the regional specialty

Colmar Christmas market foods
Regional specialties: Truffle risotto and bouchée à la reine at the Colmar Christmas market

Many regions have their own specialties, so keep your eyes peeled for foods that are unique to the city you’re visiting.

Sometimes you won’t find these specialties outside of that particular city, so don’t sleep on them because it may be your only chance.

5. You might have trouble with dietary restrictions

I will say that while there are a lot of vegetarian options at Christmas markets, unfortunatelyit is a little harder for travelers who are vegan or gluten free.

If you are celiac, you’ll want to do some research and be extra vigilant because even the foods that are free of gluten may have cross contamination due to how the food is handled in a market environment.

6. Carry cash

Christmas market foods

It’s a good idea to carry cash with you at Christmas markets. These days, many vendors also take card, but there are still some that only take cash.

It’s alsoeasier to pay your mug deposit with coins.

7.Split when possible

Flammkuchen Christmas market foods
Flammkuchen is perfect for splitting!

One piece of advice I’d give you is to split (as long as you have a travel partner who’s down!).

There are certainly some foods that are less conducive to this than others (ermmm, bratwurst!). But when possible,splitting will allow you to try more disheswithout getting stuffed!

8.Try local cuisine at restaurants too

Bavarian restaurant Germany
Cozy restaurant Austria
Apple Strudel Austria

Plan to eat lots of your meals at the markets as it’s a good way to sample a variety of foods. Plus, it’s usually cheaper than eating at a restaurant.

However, include a few restaurants on your itinerary too because there are some great ones and there aremany regional specialties that are not available at the Christmas markets.

Plus, it’s a good way to switch up what you’re eating and get some more veggies in your system. More on that below…

9.Christmas market foods tend to be heavy

Salad at a cafe in Garmisch, Germany

如果你像我一样,你会渴望veggies after a few days of eating market foods. Eating out at restaurants that serve the regional cuisine can be very heavy too.

I’d recommend planning toseek out some plant-based restaurantsand cafes to help balance out your eating.

Healthy food cafe in Zurich
I cannot tell you how good it felt to have juice and fresh fruits and veg at a cafe in Zurich after 3 weeks of eating at markets and heavy restaurants.

Insider Tip:If the restaurant you’re dining at doesn’t have many veg-heavy items on the menu (common with German, Austrian, and Swiss cuisines), order a side of vegetables. It may not be on the menu, but every time we asked, they were able to make us some.

Round up of best Christmas market foods to try

If you want all our food recommendations in one place (kind of like a checklist!), here ya go!

Savory Christmas market foods

  • Flamkucken
  • Käsespätzle
  • Bratwurst
  • Regional sausages
  • Frikadelle
  • Semmelknödel or Speckknödel
  • Laugenbrezeln (pretzel)
  • Langos
  • Raclette
  • Kartoffelpuffer
  • Rösti
  • 土豆条薯条
  • Champignons
  • Kartoffeltornado
  • Kiachl
  • Chäsbängel

Sweet Christmas market foods

  • Baumstriezel (chimney cakes)
  • Gebrannte Mandeln (sugared nuts)
  • Chestnuts
  • Dampfnudeln
  • Fruchtspieße (fruit skewers)
  • Lebkuchen
  • Schmalzgebäck
  • Marzipan
  • Kaiserschmarnn
  • Schokokuss
  • Crepes

Christmas market drinks

  • Gluhwein
  • Eierpunsch
  • Feuerzangenbowle
  • Heiße Schokolade (hot chocolate)
  • Jagertee
  • 熟料
  • Kinderpunsch

More resources for planning the perfect Christmas market trip

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What is your favorite Christmas market food?

What items on this list look best to you? Did we leave out your favorite? Comment below and we’ll do our best to get back to you!

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