European Christmas Markets 2023: Food You Need To Try

If you're jetting off to a European Christmas market break this year, then we've got some tasty recommendations for festive food you should try. So whether you love German gingerbread or are craving some Belgian chocolate, check out these delicious Christmas market treats!

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German Christmas Market Foods

Germany's Christmas markets are the most famous, with various German inspired markets popping up all over the world, and the delicious food that is on offer is just one of the reasons why they're so popular! The smell of traditional German sausages, (Bratwûrst), will hit you as soon as you walk into the market. There are many different versions to try too including the Currywurst, which is covered in spicy curry sauce. They're also usually topped with ketchup, mustard or mayonnaise so you can have it your own way! You can wash it down with a glass of mulled wine or a German beer. A few snacks you may want to try include gebrante mandeln (candied roasted almonds), kartoffelpuffer (potato pancakes) usually topped with sour cream and chives or applesauce and cinnamon, lebkuchenherzen (gingerbread heart cookies) which are usually brightly decorated and dampfnudel (sweet bread in lightly sweet vanilla sauce)!

Budapest Christmas Market Foods

If you're Hungray for more, then there's lots of local treats and specialities to be found at Budapest's Christmas markets! Start with a taste of chimney cake, (kûrtöskalács), which is delicious dough pastry wrapped around to resemble a chimney, glazed and dusted with cinnamon, sugar and chocolate! You cannot leave Hungary without trying their national dish, goulash soup (gulyásleves). Goulash is a soup made up of garlic, carrots, green peppers, onion and lots of paprika to give it a great flavour! Continuing with the paprika theme, there is also paprika potatoes (paprikás krumpli), this classic is sauteed onions, chopped tomatoes, potatoes and of course paprika! Then finish it off with strudel (rétes), which is every Hungarian's favourite dessert. This flakey pastry is usually filled with apple and cinnamon, cottage cheese or sour cherry!

Czech Christmas Market Foods

Prague's Christmas markets are known for being some of the best in the Czech Republic, and are one of the best places to try the local delicacies, so Czech these out! Meat lovers will be well satisfied here as you can usually smell the Prague ham, (prazská sunka), as soon as you walk in. It's roasted on a spit and served straight to you! Sticking with the meat lovers, there's also klobása, (grilled sausages), which are a deep red colour with additional spice and traditionally served with brown bread and a mustard. Or go for the langos (Hungarian flatbread topped with garlic, cheese and ketchup), which is delicious for snacking on as you browse the market stalls! Now it's time for dessert with palacinky, which are similar to French crêpes, and can be filled with strawberry or apricot or spinach and garlic or ham and cheese, so whether you prefer sweet or savoury, your tastebuds will be satisfied!

Krakow Christmas Market Foods

Krakow is known for being one of the best Christmas markets in the world, and with the stunning architecture and delightful Polish cuisine, it's not very hard to see why! First on your list to try should be oscypek (Poland's signature smoked cheese), baked and served with cranberry jam and can be turned into a toasted sandwich at home. Meat lovers will be satisfied with the range of sausages available, including kielbaski mysliwska (hunter's sausage), a smoked pork sausage with crushed juniper berries or the more juicy czosnkowa, which is a garlic sausage! Pierogis, fried dumplings, are filled with a sweet or savoury filling and are a great way to sample what the locals eat. If you're into your sandwiches, then you must try a padja, which is an open sandwich with crusty bread, Polish sausage and gherkins! For a festive kick, make sure you try some Polish vodka.

Vienna Christmas Market Foods

Vienna's pretty towns are transformed during December into some of the best Christmas markets around! The Austrian capital shares a lot of similarities with its neighbour Germany, so you'll probably find a lot of the same foods here. You can expect many varieties of Bratwurst to try as well as Gluhwein to wash it down with! If it's traditional Viennese food you want, then Schnitzel, the national dish of Austria, is the place to start. This is a breaded veal fillet that is eaten all year round by Austrians, so it's never too late to try it! For dessert, sample a slice of apfelstrudel, which is a pastry made with apples, it's sweet and very tasty. If you're a chocolate lover, then a slice of Sacher Torte will be calling your name! A chocolate cake filled with apricot jam is one of Vienna's most well known treats!

Bruges Christmas Market Foods

Belgium's cosiest city is calling your name! Bruges is a wonderful place to spend Christmas time, with medieval architecture, canals and amazing festive markets. The city is famous for chocolate, strong beers and fluffy Belgian waffles! As you wander the markets, you're sure to find Speculoos, (a spiced shortcrust cookie), flavoured with nutmeg and other seasonal spices to get you in the festive mood. You can wash it down with Genever (juniper infused spirit), which is said to taste like gin. It also comes in a variety of flavours from fruity and nutty to more chocolaty. As Bruges is not far from the North Sea, another delicacy you will find is shrimp croquettes. Brown shrimp is mixed into a bechamel sauce and coated in breadcrumbs then deep fried, a perfect snack to munch on whilst you do your Christmas shopping!

Amsterdam Christmas Market Foods

The Dutch capital also runs a winter light festival as well as its Christmas markets. The streets light up and beautiful canals light up during the darker winter months! Let's start with a drink and of course we have to mention Gluhwein, which is like a warm hug or if you're not into alcohol, a delicious hot chocolate makes for a great alternative. Sample some reibekuchen, which are greasy fried potato pancakes and are usually eaten with apple sauce! A food tradition Amsterdam have inherited, comes in the form of a flammkuchen, which is the German and French version of a pizza. Expect a very thin crust with bacon, onion and cheese! You cannot leave Amsterdam without trying the Dutch delicacy of oliebollen, which is a hot deep fried dough ball that's filled with a sweet surprise like raisins or nutella, or you can have it plain!