Oktoberfest Menu Ideas

Oktoberfest Menu Ideas
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Every fall, millions gather in Munich to celebrate Oktoberfest, the world’s largest folk festival. While beer may be the star of the show, the food is just as much of a highlight. 

Oktoberfest menus are packed with delicious and hearty German food that provide the perfect fuel for singing, dancing, and revelry. Many of the authentic dishes have been passed down for generations, offering a taste of history alongside a big pint of Festbier.

So whether you’re celebrating in Munich or just want to experience a bit of the magic, these Oktoberfest food ideas offer a delicious taste of Germany.

Key Takeaways

  • Pretzels with beer cheese and Obatzda offer a traditional, savory start.
  • Classic sides like potato salad and sauerkraut enhance the main meat courses.
  • Hearty meats, including schnitzel and sausages, are Oktoberfest essentials.
  • Options for all: Vegetarian choices ensure inclusivity.
  • Desserts and drinks like Lebkuchen and Märzen lager traditionally conclude the meal.
Table filled with a variety of Oktoberfest foods, including grilled sausages, pretzels, and a stein of beer


The most iconic Oktoberfest appetizer is definitely pretzels with beer cheese dip. Soft, chewy pretzels are served warm right from the oven and paired with a rich, smooth beer cheese dipping sauce. The combination of salty pretzel and savory cheese is simply delicious. Pretzels have been a staple at Oktoberfest celebrations for centuries. 

Wurstsalat, a sausage salad made with thin slices of bratwurst, onions, vinegar, oil, and herbs is another great option. It’s served chilled or at room temperature. 

The vinegar gives it a pleasant tartness that contrasts nicely with the hearty sausage. Wurstsalat can be served chilled in small bowls or mini cups for a more individual and elegant presentation.

Another tasty appetizer you can add to your menu is Obatzda, a cheese spread made with soft Camembert and paprika. It’s often served with bread or crackers. The cheese is mixed with butter, onions, and various herbs and spices. Obatzda has a soft, creamy texture and a tangy, spicy flavor.

Of course, you can’t forget the wide array of cured and smoked sausages at Oktoberfest. From spicy bratwurst to garlicky knockwurst, these sausages are flavor packed and delicious.


A table filled with various side dishes, including a potato casserole in a baking dish, bowls of salad and vegetables, and plates of bread

The hearty main dishes at Oktoberfest are perfectly complemented by traditional Bavarian vegetable sides and starches. These traditional accompaniments are staples of the Oktoberfest menu:

  • Kartoffelsalat  (German Potato Salad)– This is a classic German side dish that is typically made with boiled potatoes, bacon, onions, and a vinegar-based dressing. It’s a hearty and flavorful side dish that pairs perfectly with sausages, pork roast, or chicken.
  • Krautsalat (Coleslaw) – This is a vinegar-based coleslaw made without mayonnaise. It features shredded cabbage lightly dressed with a vinaigrette of oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper. The tang of the vinegar cuts through the richness of the meat dishes.
  • Semmelknödel (Bread Dumplings): These dumplings are made with stale bread, eggs, onions, and herbs. They are boiled or steamed and can be served with gravy or melted butter. They’re a hearty and filling side dish that is perfect for a cold day.
  • Sauerkraut– This is finely shredded and fermented cabbage, and it’s served warm as a side at Oktoberfest. The tangy, salty flavor of sauerkraut goes well with the richness of pork and sausages. 
  • Rotkohl (Braised Red Cabbage): This sweet and savory dish is made with red cabbage, apples, onions, and spices. It’s a colorful and delicious side dish that adds a nice contrast to the richness of the main course.
  • Bratkartoffeln (German Roasted Potatoes): These are pan-fried potatoes that are crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. They are seasoned with salt, pepper, and sometimes onions and bacon. They’re a simple but satisfying side dish that goes well with anything.

Main Courses

A white plate with a variety of foods, including sliced meats, potatoes, and vegetable

Oktoberfest is known for its hearty meat dishes like:

  • pork schnitzel (breaded and fried pork cutlet)
  • schweinshaxe (roasted ham hock)
  • sausages (bratwurst, weisswurst, etc)
  • rouladen (beef rolls filled with bacon, onions, and pickles)
  • stuffed cabbage rolls
  • schweinebraten (pork roast)

These comforting dishes, packed with flavor, are staples of the Oktoberfest menu.

Vegetarian/Vegan Options  

While meat features prominently at Oktoberfest, vegetarians and vegans need not miss out on the fun. Some tasty meatless options include:

  • Potato pancakes – Crispy potato pancakes served with applesauce or other toppings make for a satisfying meatless meal.
  • Vegetarian sausages – Sausages made from lentils, tofu, tempeh or seitan can offer a close taste and texture of traditional bratwurst.
  • Lentil stew – Hearty lentil stew makes a warming, protein-packed meatless main.
  • Veggie burgers on pretzel buns – Pile grilled veggie burgers high on soft pretzel buns for a delicious sandwich option.


No Oktoberfest meal is complete without something sweet at the end. German desserts are perfect for finishing a hearty meal on a satisfying note. Some traditional options include:

  • Lebkuchen: These gingerbread cookies are a staple at Oktoberfest.  
  • Apfelstrudel (Apple Strudel): This classic apple strudel features flaky, buttery pastry wrapped around thinly sliced apples, raisins, cinnamon, and sometimes almonds. 
  • Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte: Known as Black Forest cake in English, this cherry-topped chocolate cake hails from the Black Forest region of Germany. It’s made of chocolate sponge cake layered with whipped cream and sour cherries.
  • Lebkuchen (Gingerbread): This is a type of spiced cookie that is traditionally eaten during the Christmas season in Germany. However, it can also be enjoyed during Oktoberfest. Lebkuchen can be enjoyed plain, or it can be decorated with icing or frosting.


A close-up of a glass of beer overflowing with foam, set against a blurred background of people celebrating Oktoberfest

Oktoberfest is synonymous with beer, and the official beers are Märzen lagers, which are brewed specially for the festival. These German lagers are malty, clean, and medium-bodied with aromatic hop flavors, perfect for a crisp autumn day. 

You could also include some lighter options like pale lagers and refreshing Radlers. Pale lagers offer a crisp and easy-drinking experience, while Radlers, with their blend of beer and lemon soda, provide a delightful balance of sweetness and bitterness

Non-Alcoholic Options

Make sure to cater to those who don’t drink alcohol, and provide a good array of options such: 

  • Sparkling water and mineral water are very popular. They come in a variety of flavors, from lemon to blueberry.
  • Fruit juices like apple, orange, or multivitamin juices.
  • Non-alcoholic beers provide the familiar malty, hoppy taste without the alcohol. Popular options are Clausthaler or Erdinger.
  • Soft drinks like Coca-Cola, Sprite, Pepsi, etc. 

Get Your Taste Buds Ready for Oktoberfest!

Well, there you have it – a detailed look at the delicious German foods and drinks you can serve at Oktoberfest. 

From hearty classics like pork schnitzel, sauerkraut, and pretzels, to lighter vegetarian options, you can craft an Oktoberfest menu that truly has something to satisfy every appetite and preference. Prost (cheers)!



  • Dacia Flowers

    Dacia Flowers is a graduate of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) with a major in Cultural Anthropology. Since graduating in 2019, she has expanded her expertise and applied her anthropological background in the practical domain. As the Administration Manager at CMJJ Gourmet since August 2022, Dacia handles crucial day-to-day operations, ensuring the warehouse's optimal functionality, timely delivery of orders, and managing invoices. Her commitment to excellence and in-depth understanding of organizational dynamics stem not just from her academic prowess but also her personal passion. Beyond her professional responsibilities, Dacia has a keen interest in reading, loves to travel, and stays active through regular exercise.

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