Eating & Drinking

What sort of food culture exists in Germany?

The first thing we miss when we arrive in a new country and try to find is the food that we grew up with and can’t replace easily. Some people think that German food is just sausages and beer, but this is not true. Germany has a very big international food culture and you can find almost everything you want to eat or drink. You just have to know where you can find the exact food or products you want. Like every other country Germany also has its own manners and culture about how to eat and drink well.

What do I need to know?



Döner Kebab


Halal food


Vegetarians and Vegans

My traditional foods


In order to know if a product is halal, check on the Halal certificate, the list of ingredients on the back or ask the shopkeeper. You can also tell the waiter/waitress in the restaurant or public institutions such as nurseries (“Kindergarten”) or hospitals if you don’t eat pork.

Fasting in Germany

Many of the Germany's four million Muslims fast during Ramadan. Many employers take this into account, although there is no official obligation to do so. Fasting is also traditional among Christians during Lent, the 40 days between the end of Carnival and Easter. Many non practicing Germans also fast for health reasons during this time, giving up alcohol, meat or chocolate, for example, or solids altogether.

Shops' opening hours

Shops in Germany do not have the same opening hours. Large food shops are open from 8 am to 8 pm, but it also differs from region to region (“Bundesländer”). In small villages or towns shops close earlier or only open for a few hours a day. On Sundays and public holidays all shops are closed except for bakeries, shops inside railway stations and petrol stations. Many hairdressers and other smaller handicraft businesses are closed on Mondays. Information on opening hours is mostly shown on the door.