Do you love good food and drinks? Thuringia's traditional recipes and modern culinary creations will tickle your palate. The Thuringian bratwurst or Thuringian dumplings are only openers for other delights awaiting you here. Star-awarded restaurants, cosy country-side inns, home-made delicacies, beer and wine - you can find all these in Thuringia.
The table has been laid: regional specialities placed on noble porcelain from the Reichenbach manufactory, glasses from Lauscha filled with matching wines from Bad Sulza.
Steaming Thuringian dumplings go well with regional meat dishes and spicy red cabbage.
Thuringian vineyards offer a wide variety of wines. Enjoy your glass of wine surrounded by the beautiful landscapes of Thuringia’s wine region.
The Goldhelm manufactory on Merchants’ Bridge in Erfurt does not only produce delicious chocolate but also organises culinary events such as chocolate workshops or chocolate and wine dinners.
Thuringians consider bratwurst part of their cultural heritage. The popular street food is traditionally prepared on a charcoal grill. The oldest recipes date from the 1500s. A bratwurst is made with pork, marjoram, salt, pepper and garlic. Whether you also add caraway seed is a constant matter of dispute among Thuringians. Some like it with mustard, others without, you can eat it with bread, or with sauerkraut and potatoes. Whatever the personal preference, the Thuringian bratwurst is among Germany’s best known dishes.
What goes best with your bratwurst?
Mustard made in Thuringia! Mustard is an essential part of Thuringia’s traditional cuisine, and local producers keep the tradition alive. They focus today on a sustainable production and use only regional ingredients, which makes their products distinctly Thuringian. The Kleinhettstedt mustard mill, for example, sells their various mustard specialities in stoneware pots. The mustard mill has been in existence since the 1600s. Its historical production facilities can be visited during guided tours. BORN in Erfurt is a mustard producer with a company history of more than 200 years. Modern BORN products also include mustard pralines or mustard blossom honey. The BORN Mustard Museum in Erfurt informs about the company’s history and provides samples of all mustard products, which can be tasted for free.
Wurst tradition from the Eichsfeld region
The Eichsfeld region in western Thuringia is not only known for its beautiful landscape but also for its excellent air-dried sausage specialities. Many small farm shops and traditional country-side inns offer specialities, which wear names such as Feldgieker, Stracke or Weckewurst. Whatever the name (or the translation), they all have an intensive and delicious aroma that comes from the high-quality regional ingredients and from a special, traditional production process, which has remained unchanged over the past 300 years.
Thuringia's beer culture
Taking the time to enjoy the local hospitality is an important part of every journey. Thuringia’s brewing culture looks back on a long tradition and confronts beer lovers with a wide selection of the popular drink, from dark beer via wheat beer to fine Pilsner style beer. The best place to enjoy a chilled local beer is an atmospheric beer-garden or one of the traditional brewing restaurants, which can be found in many Thuringian towns.
Erfurt's beer holes
In the Middle Ages, the city of Erfurt had about 580 beer breweries. Beer was a basic food, and everybody drank it, including the children. Walking through today's Erfurt you can still see the beer holes above the entrances of former breweries. Speculations run wild what these holes were used for. The explanation is simple, however: They had a signal function. An empty hole meant: brewing cycle not yet completed. A straw bush in the hole: come in and enjoy a freshly brewed beer.
Wine from Thuringia?
Yes, we have that too! Part of the Saale Unstrut wine region is on Thuringian territory. In and around Bad Sulza vineyards offer various products, reaching from a fine secco via complex red wines and fruity white wines up to brandies from grapes and regional fruit. The vineyards open for guided tours, walking events, tastings and picnics in the vineyard scenery, great views included.
Travelling through Thuringia you will stumble across the region’s various sweet temptations. VIBA is a big chocolate producer and known for excellent nougat, available in many local shops. Their factory in Schmalkalden has a workshop-museum part - the VIBA Nougat World - where you can learn about chocolate, make your own and eat it, of course. On Merchants’ Bridge (Krämerbrücke) in Erfurt, the Goldhelm chocolate manufactory enchants customers with their individual creations, from chocolate pralines, via chocolate drinks and cakes to delicious ice cream. Everything is made by hand here, only the best cocoas are used, which reduces the amount of sugar in the chocolate.
Tray-baked cakes, square-shaped or round, are another sweet speciality. They are on sale all year round in cafés and bakeries. And during Christmas time, the traditional ‘Stollen’ can be had everywhere, of course, with recipes differing from region to region.