The official name of Hamburg is the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, it's the second-largest city in Germany and the third-busiest port of Europe. Hamme means "enclosed area of pastureland" in Middle High German, -burg is related to "fort". The first reference of Hamburg dates back to 825 when a moated castle was built on the river Elbe, 110 km from the North Sea. Today, Hamburg is a major transportation hub and it is regarded as "the gateway to the world". It's a worldwide tourist attraction and a leading economic and cultural center. Hamburg boasts the oldest Opera House in Germany, the Beatles found their sound in Hamburg clubs, so you see it's a well-known musical city.
Also, it is a large research and education hub. Hamburg has a very high quality of living, it's a unique city with a special atmosphere. The local cuisine is very divergent, there is a variety of dishes consisting of fish, vegetables, and spices. It's a must to visit Hamburg and enjoy its traditional cuisine. Read this guide and find out the best restaurant to try authentic German dishes in Hamburg.
It is a sandwich with fish and onions. Fischbrötchen is an excellent snack for any party in Northern Germany. There is a great variety of cooking options that allows experimenting with the tastes and combinations of products.
Being a seaport, Hamburg is well known for its fish dishes. Fischbrötchen is a staple food you must try during your trip to Northern Germany. It is a popular crusty sandwich made with fish (usually, it's bismarck herring or soused herring), pickles, red onions, remoulade, cocktail sauce, or ketchup. Sometimes, prawns can be added. So fishy and mildly salty. The Brücke 10 restaurant is located in the harbour, come here to have magnificent Fischbrötchen and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere of the port.
Labskaus is the signature dish of Hamburg, originated in the 16th century. It is made with potatoes, corned beef or salted meat, beets and onions and typically served with a fried egg, pickles and pickled herring fillets.
This dish is derived from the Lithuanian word meaning "a hotpot". Labskaus is cooked from long-lasting ingredients as it originated in the 16th century as a meal for sailors who were out in the sea for a long time. The recipe is very simple: beef is boiled and then minced with mashed potatoes, beetroot, onions, and pickled herring. The Old Commercial Room restaurant has been serving mouthwatering Labskaus since 1795. It's a lovely traditional place with huge heavy portions.
Currywurst is a fried sausage with a special sauce, based on ketchup (or tomato paste) and curry powder.
It's an ideal traditional German dish to have a snack on the go. The story of currywurst began in 1949 when a bored sausage seller in Berlin had no customer that day. She decided to create a recipe of her own sauce. Nowadays, currywurst is one of the most common dishes all throughout Germany. Wurst means ''a pork sausage'' that is sliced, covered with curry powder, topped with ketchup and curry sauce, and served with fries. You can buy this snack at every corner in Hamburg, however, the Bruzzelhütte fast-food restaurant offers its guests outstanding currywurst.
Rote Grütze, or Rødgrød, means "red porridge with cream" in Danish and it is a speciality of Northern Germany. It's a sweet dessert made with fresh or frozen red summer berries and cherries and served with custard, vanilla ice cream, or a mixture of milk and vanilla sugar. The cooking process resembles that of a pudding: berries are cooked with sugar, then corn starch is added and cold heavy cream is poured. It takes about 10 minutes to make this summer dish. It's a must to have a rest and order this dish at Hamburg restaurants of all types.
Eel is a gourmet delicacy enjoyed by real seafood lovers. Hot smoked eel has a juicy and tender texture and deep flavor.
Eel dishes are local delicacies, they are known since the 18th century and they are still very popular nowadays. There is a wide range of dishes made from these slimy and snake-like creatures: for instance, you can degust grilled, pickled, or smoked eels, or Aalsuppe that is eel soup with dried fruit. The first recipe dates back to the 18th century and contained no eels. Aalsuppe was cooked from leftover ingredients like old fruits or ham bones. The name of the dish was derived from the Northern German word meaning "all". Later, sellers began to add eels to the dish to increase the price of the soup. Visit the Fischereihafen restaurant and order its tasty eel dishes.
Crab is a popular seafood meal with a buttery savory flavor. Crabs can be boiled, grilled, deep-fried, stewed, steamed, there is a wide range of dishes with crabs.
Krabbensuppe, or crab soup, is another Hamburg seafood speciality. It is rich and creamy and comes with a savoury flavour and curry undertone. Hamburg is a port city so it's a must to try gorgeous crab dishes here. For example, you can try extremely tasty crabs at the NIKKEI NINE seafood restaurant that is also famous for its fusion cuisine and cosy ambience.
Whenever in Hamburg, try a variety of herring dishes such as matjes (mild salt soused herring), bismarckhering (pickled or cured herring), green herring (fresh fish), brathering (fried herring that is marinated in vinegar), and many others. Try the most superb herring dishes at the Sagners restaurant.
These rolls are always associated with home and family evenings. Cinnamon rolls are soft and lush, they are sold in any store and can be ordered at any restaurant.
It's a delicious sweet pastry, a typical Hamburg breakfast of French origin. The dish became extremely popular when French soldiers occupied Hamburg at the beginning of the 19th century. Franzbrötchen is made with cinnamon and butter, sometimes with chocolate and raisins. It's usually served with a cup of freshly roasted coffee. Visit the Balz und Balz cafe and eat amazing cinnamon rolls.
Hamburg is a German coffee capital, the first coffee house was opened in 1677. Being a gateway to new goods, Hamburg has a long hyper-caffeinated history, it trades and refines coffee and there are a number of coffee shops providing speciality coffee. The main coffee heritage is located in the Speicherstadt district, Old Town. Come to the Burg Coffe Museum, visit various coffee exhibitions and drink a cup of freshly roasted coffee.
It's another common Hamburg food that you have to try while taking a lazy stroll or being in a hurry. Knackwurst (also known as Salzburger or Schübling) is a crispy, fatty and juicy sausage made with ground pork, veal or beef, and heavily seasoned with garlic. It comes with bacon, potato starch, mustard and slices of white bread. The name of the dish is related to the German word knacken that means to crack, it refers to the cooking process when the skin of sausages pops and explodes the juice.
Have fun and enjoy traditional Hamburg dishes!