19 Mouthwatering Oktoberfest Side Dishes to Satisfy Your Cravings

Celebrating the joyous occasion of Oktoberfest involves savoring rich main dishes, yet it is the Oktoberfest accompaniments that genuinely round out your dining adventure. Consider them the hidden gems that add harmony and diversity to your meal. Let’s discover, based on our experience, what is characteristic of the Oktoberfest!

What we discover as the best Oktoberfest Side Dishes

As you plan your Oktoberfest celebration, envision the tables laden with more than just the ubiquitous pretzels and sausages. Each dish reflects the essence of Munich’s renowned festival and is a testament to the region’s rich culinary history

Traditional Oktoberfest Side Dishes

When you sit down to enjoy the hearty fare at Oktoberfest, your taste buds are also in for a treat with a range of delicious side dishes that perfectly complement your meal. Let’s dive right into some of the traditional sides that make this festival’s menu complete.


Oktoberfest Side Dishes Sauerkraut
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Sauerkraut is a fermented cabbage dish that’s both tangy and savory. It’s often enjoyed with Speck, a type of smoked bacon, which adds a rich flavor profile to the dish. It’s not only a staple on the Oktoberfest menu but also a nutritious addition providing a good source of vitamins C and K.

Potato Salad

Oktoberfest Side Dishes Potato Salad
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The German Potato Salad is a beloved side dish at Oktoberfest that differs from its American counterpart. Traditionally served warm, it combines potatoes with a tangy dressing made from vinegar and mustard and often includes crispy bacon or onions for added texture. This salad pairs exceptionally well with meats like bratwurst or schnitzel.

Bavarian Pretzels

Oktoberfest Side Dishes Bavarian Pretzels
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An undeniable icon of German cuisine, the Bavarian Pretzel is a must-have at your Oktoberfest feast. These soft pretzels come with a slight crunch on the outside while remaining chewy on the inside and are sprinkled with coarse salt, often served alongside a rich, savory dip, such as mustard.

Popular German Salads and Vegetables

As you dive into the festive flavors of Oktoberfest, complementing the hearty main dishes with crisp, refreshing German salads and vegetables is a must. Here, we explore some beloved options that have become synonymous with this joyous celebration.

Cucumber Salad

Oktoberfest Side Dishes Cucumber Salad
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German cucumber salad, or “Gurkensalat,” is a light, tangy accompaniment to your Oktoberfest feast. It’s made from thinly sliced cucumbers and typically dressed with a blend of vinegar, sugar, and salt—a simple yet delicious way to balance your meal.

German Red Cabbage

A staple during autumn festivities, German red cabbage delves into a mix of sweet and sour tastes. This dish is slow-cooked with tangy vinegar, sweet apples, and just a hint of warm caraway seeds. Not only is it a beautiful addition to your plate with its vibrant color, but it’s also packed with flavor that pairs wonderfully with various meats and starches.

Hearty Meat-Based Companions

Oktoberfest side dishes truly shine when they complement the rich, succulent flavors of classic German meats. From the tender marinated beef of Sauerbraten to the crisp, golden breading of Pork Schnitzel, these meat-based companions are must-haves on your festive plate.


Oktoberfest Side Dishes Sauerbraten
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Sauerbraten, also known as German pot roast, is traditionally marinated for several days in a mixture that includes vinegar or wine, which gives it a distinctive tangy flavor. When ready, it’s slow-cooked until fork-tender and often served with a luscious gravy that’s ideal for drizzling over mashed potatoes or fluffy bread dumplings.

Pork Schnitzel

Oktoberfest Side Dishes Schnitzel
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Another iconic meat dish at Oktoberfest is Pork Schnitzel. Thin slices of pork are breaded and fried to create a perfectly crispy exterior while keeping the inside juicy. Enjoy your schnitzel with a squeeze of lemon or a side of creamy mushroom gravy to fully appreciate this beloved classic.

Preparing Classic German Comfort Foods

As you gear up for Oktoberfest, indulging in rich and hearty Oktoberfest side dishes is a must. These traditional favorites like Spaetzle and Kartoffelknödel are the perfect accompaniments to your festive feast.


Oktoberfest Side Dishes Spätzle
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Spaetzle, a type of soft German pasta, often steals the show with its simple yet delightful flavor. To create this dish, you’ll need a straightforward mix of flour, eggs, and a pinch of salt. After mixing the ingredients into a batter, it’s pressed through a Spaetzle maker and boiled until tender. Once cooked, sautée in butter for an extra layer of richness.

  • Basic Spaetzle Ingredients:
    • Flour: 2 cups
    • Eggs: 4 large
    • Salt: 1 tsp
    • Butter: 2 tbsp (for sautée)


Oktoberfest Side Dishes Kartoffelknödel
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Potato dumplings, known as Kartoffelknödel, bring comfort with every bite, capturing the essence of German cuisine. Start with mashed potatoes mixed with flour to form a dough. Traditionally, a small piece of bread or meat is placed in the center for a surprise burst of flavor.

  • Ingredients for Potato Dumplings:
    • Potatoes: 1 kg (peeled and boiled)
    • Flour: 300 g
    • Eggs: 2 (optional, for binding)
    • Bread cubes or croutons (optional filling)

Both Spaetzle and Kartoffelknödel are a testament to the warm and inviting nature of German comfort foods and are sure to complement any main dish at your Oktoberfest celebration.

Take Your Taste Buds on an Adventure

As you celebrate Oktoberfest, immerse yourself in a world of rich flavors with authentic Oktoberfest side dishes. The following dishes are typical Bavarian food.


Oktoberfest Side Dishes Obatzda
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Obatzda, a beloved Bavarian cheese spread, is a must-try at Oktoberfest. Combining ripe camembert, butter, and a mixture of spices, including caraway and paprika, this creamy delight is often enjoyed with a crispy pretzel or rye bread. For an authentic German beer cheese dip experience, pair Obatzda with a cold pint of your favorite German beer.

Sauerkraut Soup

Oktoberfest Side Dishes Sauerkraut Soup
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To warm up your Oktoberfest celebration, Sauerkraut Soup delivers a comforting and tangy flavor that is truly satisfying. This authentic German soup blends sauerkraut with potatoes, wurst, and sometimes even Wurstsalat, a type of sausage salad, creating a filling and flavorful dish that is both traditional and heartwarming.

How to Create Festive Oktoberfest Snacks

Dive into the heart of Oktoberfest from your kitchen with these iconic bites that encapsulate the spirit of the festival. You’ll bring the vibrant atmosphere to your table with delectable pretzel bites and crispy Kartoffelpuffer.

Pretzel Bites

Oktoberfest Side Dishes Pretzel Bites
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To capture the essence of Oktoberfest, start with Pretzel Bites. These mini morsels are an essential appetizer and a fun twist on the classic Soft Pretzel. Craft them by preparing a basic dough, boiling the bite-sized pieces in a baking soda bath, and finally baking them to golden perfection. Serve warm to entice your guests with a comforting scent and taste.


Oktoberfest Side Dishes Kartoffelpuffer
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Another staple is Kartoffelpuffer, also known as Potato Pancakes. Grate potatoes, mix them with onion, flour, and egg, then fry until each side is a crisp golden-brown. These savory pancakes are best served hot, making a delightful warm appetizer or side. Pair them with apple sauce or sour cream to truly honor the Oktoberfest tradition.

Savory and Sweet: Breads and Dumplings

When you think of Oktoberfest side dishes, the rich variety of breads and dumplings probably spring to mind. They’re the heartwarming complements that round out a festive meal perfectly, from fluffy Bread Dumplings (Semmelknödel) to hearty Potato Dumplings (Kartoffelknödel).


Oktoberfest Side Dishes Rotkraut
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Rotkraut, also known as red cabbage or Rotkohl, is a staple at any Oktoberfest celebration. This sweet-and-sour dish is characterized by its tangy flavor and vibrant purple hue, a festive addition to your plate. It’s often cooked with apple for sweetness and a splash of vinegar for balance. When paired with dumplings, it creates a contrasting bite that’s simply delightful.


Oktoberfest Side Dishes Knödel
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The term Knödel encompasses a variety of dumplings, each bringing a different texture and taste to the table. The Bread Dumplings are a comforting choice, soaking up sauces and gravies with their spongy structure. On the other hand, Potato Dumplings, also called Kartoffelknödel, are denser and provide a satisfying earthiness that goes well with meats and stews. Both types are a must-try, giving you a taste of traditional German comfort food at its best.

Delicious Toppings and Accents

At your Oktoberfest celebration, the right toppings and accents can transform good side dishes into great ones. You’ve got your staple Oktoberfest side dishes ready, so let’s jazz them up!

Mustard and Condiments

Oktoberfest Side Dishes Mustard and Condiments
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Mustard is a cornerstone for adding zing to Oktoberfest dishes, ranging from classic yellow to spicy, stone-ground varieties. It’s key to enhancing the flavors of sausages and soft pretzels. Don’t forget other condiments like sour cream, which adds a cool, creamy contrast to rich, savory items like potato pancakes.

  • Mustards: Yellow, Dijon, Whole Grain
  • Other Condiments:
    • Onions: Sauteed or caramelized
    • Garlic: Fresh or roasted

Fresh Herbs

Fresh herbs like dill and parsley not only add vibrant color but fresh, aromatic notes to your sides. Sprinkle chopped herbs over meaty dishes or stirred into creamy dips; they provide a fresh counterpoint to the hearty flavors typical of Oktoberfest fare.

  • Herbs to Enhance Your Dishes:
    • Dill: Especially good with potato salads
    • Parsley: Perfect garnish for a variety of sides

Remember that a little goes a long way when using these fresh accents. Simple seasonings and spices can elevate your dishes uniquely. So go ahead, sprinkle, dollop, and spread these delicious toppings to your heart’s content!

Traditional Beverages to Complement Your Meal

When you gather your friends for an Oktoberfest party, the perfect German beer is the soul of your celebration. Imagine hoisting a stein, brimming with a lager or pilsner, as you enjoy a spread of Oktoberfest side dishes. It’s not just about the food; it’s about the experience that beer enhances.

  • Lager: A popular choice with a smooth and crisp finish that balances your meal.
  • Weissbier: A wheat beer that offers a refreshing complement to hearty flavors.
  • Dunkel: For lovers of darker beers, this malt-forward option pairs wonderfully with smoked meats.
Beer TypeDescriptionIdeal Pairing
LagerLight, crisp, and refreshingClassic Bratwurst
WeissbierFruity and spicy, with a cloudy appearancePretzels and Obatzda cheese spread
DunkelRich and malty, with notes of chocolateRoasted pork or Schwenkbraten
Diffrent Types of Beer

Don’t overlook non-alcoholic options for those who prefer it. Sparkling apple cider can be a festive and inclusive alternative, allowing everyone to join in the toast to good health and good times.

Remember, the best beverage at your Oktoberfest is one that brings smiles and clinks to the table. Cheers to a jubilant celebration with your favorite German beer in hand!

Sweet Endings: German Desserts

As you dive into the world of Oktoberfest side dishes, don’t forget to leave room for the sweet, indulgent desserts that capture the essence of German tradition.

Apple Strudel

Oktoberfest Side Dishes Apple Strudel
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This classic Apple Strudel is a must-have dessert at any Oktoberfest celebration. Imagine thin layers of flaky pastry, enveloping a warm, sweet filling of cinnamon-spiced apples, often served with a dusting of powdered sugar. For a creamy touch, a dollop of whipped cream or a side of applesauce can be added to enhance the flavors.

  • Ingredients: Apples, cinnamon, brown sugar
  • Served with: Whipped cream, applesauce
  • Popular during: Oktoberfest

For a rendition of this favorite, check out traditional recipes for the perfect finish to your meal.

German Pastries

Delight in a variety of German Pastries, each offering a unique taste and experience. From moist, buttery cakes layered with fruit jams to savory-sweet rolls filled with nut or marzipan, these pastries are commonly enjoyed with a warm milk-based beverage. Often garnished with fruits, nuts, or a sprinkle of cinnamon, they’re a tribute to Germany’s rich baking heritage.

  • Common features: Fruit fillings, cinnamon flavor
  • Accompaniments: Coffee, tea, milk

Explore more about Oktoberfest desserts to find the perfect pastry to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Hosting an Authentic Oktoberfest Party

If you’re keen on hosting an Oktoberfest party, getting the Oktoberfest food just right is essential. This Bavarian festival is famed for its hearty flavors and communal spirit, and with a few key dishes you can transform your celebration into a genuine feast.

Main Course Selection: German cuisine offers a range of satisfying main courses, from succulent meats to vegetarian dishes.

  • Bratwurst: Grilled to perfection and often served with a smear of mustard.
  • Sauerbraten: A marinated roast that’s both tangy and savory.
  • Vegetarian Options: Try Käsespätzle, a cheesy noodle dish that’s both comforting and delicious.

Sides to Complement: Your Oktoberfest menu wouldn’t be complete without savory side dishes.

Oktoberfest Side DishesDescription
KartoffelsalatA tangy potato salad without mayonnaise.
RotkohlBraised red cabbage with a hint of apple.
BrezenSoft, twisty pretzels – perfect for dipping.
Just a basic of the Must haves

Remember, a generous spread of options allows your guests to sample a bit of everything. And don’t forget to pair these dishes with cold Bavarian beer or refreshingly sweet Apfelschorle, a fizzy apple drink. To set the mood, curate a playlist of German folk music and encourage everyone to don traditional attire. Prost to your successful Oktoberfest!

Our Opinion about These Oktoberfest Side Dishes

Are you planning an Oktoberfest at home? Or do you want to visit an Oktoberfest? Whether it’s the original festival in Munich or a festival in the USA or anywhere else in the world, these dishes will make your celebration a success. And with plenty of beer, of course. We hope you are as enthusiastic about these dishes as we are. We think it’s a nice mix of traditional Bavarian dishes and dishes that are typical everywhere else in Germany.

What are some traditional Oktoberfest side dishes?

Popular traditional Oktoberfest side dishes include pretzels, sauerkraut, potato salad, and red cabbage.

What vegetarian options are available for Oktoberfest side dishes?

Vegetarian options for Oktoberfest side dishes include potato pancakes, cheese spaetzle, and roasted vegetables.

Can I find gluten-free options for Oktoberfest side dishes?

Yes, some gluten-free options for Oktoberfest side dishes include roasted potatoes, cucumber salad, and grilled vegetables.

Have you tried one of these Oktoberfest Side Dishes? Let us know down below, how you liked it.

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Hauke Müller

Hauke was born in Northern Germany and has made it his mission to bring people closer to his homeland with this blog. He is fascinated by the beauty, diversity, good food and tradition in the individual parts of the country and invites you to get to know the best sides of Germany with him. Join him on a journey through wonderful Germany.

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