Hamburg is north Germany’s gastronomical diamond in the rough. Let’s get this out of the way at the top, yes, the American hamburger has its roots in this North German city and no, we’re not eating any on this adventure. This is a deep dive into ten unique and delicious delicacies travelers can enjoy in Hamburg. Europe’s third-largest port city’s nickname is “Tor zur Velt” meaning, Gateway to the World. This city’s long history as a trading Mecca has made a huge impact on the cuisine of Hamburg.
Hamburg is a beautiful city with an abundance of gorgeous parks, street festivals with incredible music, and a fascinating past. It only takes an hour and a half to get there from Berlin by train, so there is no excuse for missing Germany’s second-largest city. It’s time to indulge in 10 of Hamburg’s tastiest treats. Don’t worry. There will be beer at the end to wash everything down with.
10 Franzbrötchen Is The Deflated Croissant That Dreams Are Made Of
Franzbrötchen is like if a squished croissant and a cinnamon roll had a baby. Every Hamburger (that’s what people that live there are called, don’t get excited) loves this fresh cinnamon pastry in the morning. Travelers should head to any bäckerei and grab a coffee and a Franzbrötchen as soon as they get out of bed. Named for the French pastries that became popular when Napoleon’s troops were stationed in Hamburg, visitors can now benefit from this historical event in the form of a heightened croissant.
9 Knackwurst, Because If There Isn’t A Signature Sausage, It’s Not A German City
Knack! That is the snapping sound that is made when one chomps into a salty, plump, and juicy knackwurst picked up as a snack on the street in Hamburg. Knack also means crack in German, which is what happens when this smoky sausage pops like a balloon as it boils. Knackwurst is always made with bacon and a bit of potato starch adding to its divine deliciousness. In Hamburg, it is typically served with a bit of zingy mustard and a slice of white bread.
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8 Fischbrötchen Is Not To Be Confused With Franzbrötchen
Now Hamburg’s access to the North Sea via the Elbe River comes into play. Fischbrötchen is a popular fish sandwich that is a super affordable option for travelers on a small budget looking for big flavor. Pickled herring is the star of the show on a long roll filled with onions, pickles, remoulade, and lettuce. Travelers will be mistaken for locals when they take an afternoon break with this bright and tangy sandwich on the beach while watching the massive ships go by.
7 Bratkartoffeln Are The German Home Fries To End All Home Fries
Fried potatoes are a global love language, and Hamburg’s version will leave travelers feeling warm and fuzzy inside. Consuming thinly sliced potatoes fried in fat with onions is what humans were put on Earth to do. In Hamburg, bratkartoffeln is a popular side dish that accompanies sausages, eggs, or just about anything if asked for nicely. Curry ketchup is a perfect dipping sauce for these little slices of heaven. Pro Tip: Finding a restaurant that adds a bit of bacon to the mix is always a good idea.
6 Aalsuppe Is All You Need On A Cold Day
Nothing beats a hot bowl of Hamburg’s yummy Aalsuppe. Pronounced “aol” in Hamburg meaning “all,” this soup originally had everything but the kitchen sink and not a bit of eel in it. The rest of Germany was confused because, to them, “aol” sounded like “aal” or eel so in the late 1700s Hamburg chefs appeased their countrymen by adding slippery eels to their pots. Aalsuppe starts with a ham broth that is sweet and sour. Usually, there are carrots, leeks, dumplings, fruits, and different spices added. At the very last moment, freshly sliced eel is added to a soup that’s been a Hamburg classic for centuries.
5 Gebundene Ochswenschwansuppe, Say That Ten Times Fast
German oxtail soup is the tastiest of treats on a cold winter evening. Trade with the Portuguese led to the creation of this dish made with Madeiran wine. Cooked for ages in a beef broth until it falls apart, this is considered a more refined dish in Hamburg. The wine added at the end adds a nice sweetness to this soup that, while once considered to be a main dish, now tends to be a starter. A desire to sample this tasty soup is a great excuse to take a delightful German on a date!
4 Großer Hans Is A Big Deal
Großer Hans or Big Hans can be a main dish served with ham, or in certain cases, it can be a dessert! Who doesn’t love multifaceted bag pudding? Großer Hans is Hamburg’s take on a Danish food that sailors would eat in the 1800s. This delicacy is a home-style dish served by everyone’s grandmother. Traditionally made with stale wheat bread crumbs that were boiled in a linen bag. Chefs today opt for flour and yeast dough with raisins and currants or for a more savory option, everyone’s favorite, bacon. The mixture is added to a pudding bowl that is left in a hot water bath. Whether served with pork cheeks and sausage or stewed cherries, a Big Hans is always a good idea.
3 Have No Fear Labskaus Is Here!
Hamburg’s hangover cure is akin to a corn beef hash. Originating as a salty meat dish that would last on a long sailing trip, Labskaus has become a Hamburg staple. Traditional Labskaus uses beef minced with beetroot, onions, boiled potatoes, and herring that is then fried in lard. In Hamburg, it will probably be served with a fried egg, pickles, and rollmops. What’s a rollmop? A herring roll-up with a savory filling, of course! Those that had a long night in St. Pauli, Hamburg’s red-light district, will be grateful for this salty treat.
2 Hamburger Speck Brings Out Everyone’s Inner Child
A patriotic candy that is made to resemble Hamburg’s red and white flag is a scrumptious morsel that is perfect for kids. Hamburger Speck is made with foamed sugar and has different candy coatings. This little droop of sunshine got its name from looking like bacon or speck. This classic Hamburg delight is exactly what the doctor ordered as travelers near the end of their Hamburg foodie tour. Those who can’t travel at the moment can order some Hamburger Speck online.
1 It’s Always Beer O’Clock At Gröninger Privatbrauerei
We made it, it’s time for a cold one, and that means it’s time to visit Gröninger Privatbrauerei, the oldest brewery in Hamburg. They are known for their Gröninger Pils, which has been brewed the same way for over 225 years in old oak barrels. The beer is unfiltered and naturally cloudy. It is refreshing, crisp, and well-deserved after a traveler’s epic Epicurious tour of Hamburg. Have a drink in the cellar, and if you have any room left, try a pork knuckle.