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Are you wondering what to eat in Frankfurt on your next trip?

When we moved to the city a few years ago, I was surprised to find a strong regional cuisine. Despite being German, I discovered dishes that I had never heard of before – and they were delicious.

Having tried all the local delicacies, we want to help you find the best food in Frankfurt. Germany is known for its meat-based cuisine, but the country, and especially Frankfurt, has so much more to offer. From Green Sauce to Apfelwein and Frankfurter Kranz, we’re sure that you’ll soon find your own favourite.

Here is a selection of Frankfurt cuisine that you need to try:

AT A GLANCE

Are you short on time and just want to learn about the highlights? Here are the top 3 dishes you need to try when visiting Frankfurt:

  1. Grüne Soße (a traditional sauce made with seven herbs)
  2. Apfelwein (Frankfurt’s beloved apple wine, a drink similar to cider)
  3. Handkäse mit Musik (marinated sour milk cheese)

You can find the best traditional restaurants in Sachsenhausen, on the southern side of the river Main.

Do you still need a guidebook for your trip to Germany? Then check out the Lonely Planet Germany, which has all of the information you need for your trip.

If you haven’t booked your hotel yet, here are some recommendations:

Our favourite traditional food in Frankfurt

#1 Frankfurter Sausage

A bunch of Frankfurter sausages

Here in Germany, traditional food often (but not always) includes meat, sausages or cheese. So it shouldn’t be a surprise that we’re going to start this list with a classic.

Frankfurter Sausages (or just Frankfurter) are parboiled pork sausages. In order to carry the name “Frankfurter Sausages” (Frankfurter Würstchen, as we say in German), they have to be produced either in Frankfurt or the surrounding area.

I have eaten Frankfurter cold before (they are cooked and smoked at low temperatures, so they’re safe to eat), but restaurants usually serve them hot. Traditionally, you will eat the sausages with bread or potato salad, but you might also find them with sauerkraut.

Most people like to dip their sausages in mustard, while some others prefer ketchup. Sometimes, you might also get horseradish sauce on the side.

Frankfurter Sausages are a great fast food in Frankfurt, and you’ll sometimes find them at market stalls. They are also a cheap main dish if you’re going to a traditional pub.

#2 Grüne Soße (Green Sauce)

Schnitzel mit gruner sosse

The next item on our list is one of the most typical Frankfurt dishes.

If you’re looking for good food in Frankfurt and are vegetarian (or you need a meat-free day), you should try Grüne Soße. The name translates to “green sauce”, and it’s a sauce made with seven herbs.

Just like for the Frankfurter sausages, the name Frankfurter Grüne Soße is protected. If you see it anywhere on a menu, you can be sure that all herbs are grown locally in the Frankfurt area. Most of them come from a neighbourhood in the south of the city, where you can find many green fields.

Traditionally, locals eat Grüne Soße (the ß is pronounced like s) with potatoes and hard-boiled eggs. In restaurants, it’s also popular to order Schnitzel with green sauce. The sauce contrasts nicely with the breaded piece of meat and turns it into a slightly lighter dish.

Grüne Soße is also great if you’re looking for cheap food in Frankfurt. The version with hard-boiled eggs is usually one of the most affordable main dishes you can find on a menu.

#3 Apfelwein

A glass of Apfelwein

Do you want to know a must-try food in Frankfurt?

It’s Apfelwein.

This alcoholic drink is similar to (hard) cider but not quite the same. It has a tart aftertaste, which comes from the variety of apples used in its production. In addition, all gas escapes during its production, so it’s more similar to wine than to sparkling cider.

If you’re looking for the most traditional food in Frankfurt, this is it. Locals go crazy about Apfelwein, and if you come in summer, you might even be able to visit an Apfelwein festival.

The best place to try the drink is in Sachsenhausen, a neighbourhood on the southern side of the River Main. Here, you can find many traditional Apfelwein pubs.

Even if you only have one day in Frankfurt, you should add Sachsenhausen to your itinerary. Want to know what else to see? Then check out our suggestions for how to spend a perfect day in Frankfurt!

You order Apfelwein in a Bembel, a grey-blue earthenware jug. Make sure to specify how many portions you want when placing your order, as some of the Bembels can hold a lot of liquid! When serving the drink, pay attention to the design of the glasses. They are called “Geripptes”, and it’s what you traditionally drink Apfelwein from.

#4 Handkäs mit Musik

A plate of Handkase Mit Musik

When trying the local Frankfurt cuisine, you’ll sooner or later come across Handkäs’ mit Musik.

Handkäse is a local sour milk cheese, which has been around for more than 200 years. It’s so popular in this region that at the Frankfurt Christmas market, you can even find Handkäse fondue or raclette.

Personally, we are not the biggest fans of this very strong cheese, but a lot of people love it, and we think it’s one of those slightly weird must-try-once dishes.

Handkäs’ mit Musik is not just the cheese, though. The name translates to “hand cheese with music”, and it’s cheese marinated in vinegar, oil, caraway, salt and pepper. On top, you’ll find cubes of raw onion, and people think that the “music” refers to the sound you’ll make when digesting those onions.

You can find Handkäs mit Musik as a starter on many menus of traditional German restaurants in Frankfurt.

#5 Rindwurst

A breadroll with a Rindswurst

If you visit a market in Frankfurt (we recommend the Kleinmarkthallen as one of the best places to see in Frankfurt), you will likely find someone selling grilled sausages. Besides the traditional Bratwurst, which you can get all over Germany, you might spot some darker sausages on the grill.

That’s the Frankfurter Rindswurst, a beef sausage that originated here in 1894. Gref Volsing, a local butcher, invented the recipe for the growing Jewish population.

Rindswurst is amongst the best German food in Frankfurt that you can get. It tastes stronger than regular sausages, and if you pay close attention, you might notice a hint of smoky paprika.

As Rindswurst is a popular street food in Frankfurt, most vendors sell it in a bread roll to make it easy to eat in the street. You can then add ketchup and mustard to your liking.

#6 Frankfurter Kranz

Frankfurter Kranz cake

Did you know that amongst the most famous food in Frankfurt, you can find a dessert?

People here have a sweet tooth, and that’s where the Frankfurter Kranz comes in. It’s a ring-shaped sponge cake, and some people say that it’s a memory of the days when Frankfurt was the coronation city for the Holy Roman Emperors.

The cherries on top represent the rubies of the crown, and the brittle makes the cake look almost golden.

In between the layers of sponge cake, you can find buttercream. Some bakers also add fruit jelly to counterbalance the sweetness with a slightly more sour taste.

Even though a piece of Frankfurt Crown Cake is very dense and heavy, it is amongst the best food in Frankfurt. You can find it in selected bakeries and cafes, mainly around the old town, and we highly recommend that you try it.

#7 Sachsenhäuser Schneegestöber

Did you notice how in Frankfurt, traditional food often includes sausages or cheese? The next dish on this list is no exception.

Its name translates to “snow flurry from Sachsenhausen”, even though it has nothing to do with snow or ice.

Sachsenhäuser Schneegestöber is a mixture of cheeses that you can eat as a starter, together with a pretzel or a slice of dark bread. It contains cream cheese and camembert, which turn into a smooth and creamy blend. Some people add spices like paprika, which can turn the “snow flurry” orange, while others just season it with salt and pepper.

The mixture often contains raw onions, though these can be substituted with spring onions.

#8 Frankfurter Rippchen

The next item in this food guide for Frankfurt is another main dish. We haven’t introduced many of them yet, and if you’re wondering what to order during your visit here, then Frankfurter Rippchen could be an option.

Frankfurter Rippchen are cured pork cutlets. If you’ve ever had Kassler, another traditional German dish, then you’ll notice the similarity. Frankfurter Rippchen are milder in taste, though, since they are only cured and not smoked.

Most chefs heat the pork cutlets in sauerkraut or broth and then serve them with mashed potatoes, sauerkraut and mustard.

You can get the Rippchen in many restaurants that serve German food in Frankfurt. Sachsenhausen is a great place to try them, as most Apfelwein pubs have them on their menu.

#9 Bethmännchen

Brenten at Frankfurt Christmas Market
Bethmännchen (on the right)

The next item on our list of the best German food in Frankfurt is somewhat unusual, and depending on the season, you might not be able to find it.

Bethmännchen are almond Christmas cookies.

Do you want to know what other cookies we like to eat? Then check out this list of traditional German Christmas cookies!

The dough is similar to marzipan, and the cookies are decorated with three almonds. The legend goes that a local baker used to make them for a family here in Frankfurt. He put on four almonds, one for each son of the family.

One year, one of the sons died, and from then on, he only decorated the cookies with three almonds.

The easiest way to try Bethmännchen is to buy them at the Frankfurt Christmas market. You can also find them in bakeries from mid-November on. They’re not the easiest food to eat in Frankfurt, as they are very seasonal, but they are well worth seeking out.

#10 Mispelchen

Several shots of Mispelchen

The last item on our list of traditional Frankfurt food is another drink.

Mispelchen is such a local drink that even though I have lived in Germany for most of my life, I had never heard of it before moving to Frankfurt. It’s made of Calvados, an apple brandy, and a fruit called “Mispel”.

Fun fact: We have a fruit called Mispel in Germany (medlar in English), which you can sometimes see in supermarkets in winter. The Mispel in the Mispelchen, on the other hand, is a Japanese loquat.

Mispelchen are very popular when visiting an Apfelwein pub with friends. Be careful, though. The fruit might taste sweet, but it has been soaked in alcohol for a while. If you eat too many, you’ll get drunk very quickly.

Where to eat in Frankfurt

Now that we’ve introduced ten dishes from Frankfurt to you, you might be wondering where to eat them.

One of the best places to find a traditional German restaurant in Frankfurt is in Sachsenhausen. Here, you can enjoy food from Frankfurt in one of the many Apfelwein pubs. They will serve you most of the dishes we talked about, except for the Frankfurter Kranz and Bethmännchen.

For those, go to a traditional cafe or the Christmas market.

Sausages sold at the Frankfurt Christmas Market
The Christmas Market is a great place to try all sorts of traditional food

We would love to recommend you the best restaurant in Frankfurt, but unfortunately, it’s impossible to decide. Zum Gemalten Haus is a popular Apfelwein pub, which is also famous for its interior design. One of the first restaurants we visited in Frankfurt was Ebbelwoi Unser, and they also serve great traditional food.

Daheim Im Lorsbacher Tal is great if you want to enjoy food in Frankfurt while sitting outside in a garden. Wine grows on a pergola, so you always have enough shade. They mostly use local ingredients, and the food is delicious.

In the city centre, Haus Wertheym is the most unique restaurant we have ever visited. It’s pretty touristy, as you can find it next to the old town, but its decoration is unique in Frankfurt.

Interior of the Haus Wertheym restaurant
Interior of Haus Wertheym

If you want to get away from the tourists, on the other hand, we recommend Apfelwein Solzer. It’s very popular with locals, but it’s far enough from the centre that most visitors don’t make it here.

Another great way of trying traditional food is to join a food tour in Frankfurt. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, we can’t find any offers for tours in English at the moment. As soon as this changes, we’ll let you know, and we’ll also tell you how to book it.

For now, use our guide above and order the dishes in a traditional restaurant.


We hope you found this guide useful and have an overview of what to eat in Frankfurt.

The city is famous for its local cuisine, and a trip here is a great way to try some of those dishes. If you get bored of German food, you can also find lots of other excellent restaurants. Frankfurt is an international city, and we’re spoiled with food from all over the world.

Let us know in the comments below if you have a favourite dish!

Until your next adventure!

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Author

Ilona is a world traveller passionate about sharing her experiences and giving advice to fellow travellers. Having visited over 70 countries, she is always excited about her next trip.

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