The holidays are meant for eating, aren’t they? When we visited the European Christmas markets of the Danube River we kept our eyes open for special European Christmas market foods. From sausages to glühwein, we’ve got you covered for finding some of the best European Christmas market eats.
One of the first food items I spotted at a European Christmas market was lángos at one of the Budapest Christmas markets. Lángos is a Hungarian food specialty consisting of deep fried bread topped with sour cream, grated cheese, and lots of garlic. It kind of looks like a personal-size pizza. Lángos is a street and fair food, so it is perfect Christmas market fare. While lángos is Hungarian, we also found it at some of the German Christmas markets.
Sengzelten is another delightful European Christmas market snack we found at the Passau Christmas Market. This individual-sized treat is baked in a wood-burning pizza oven. A thin cracker crust is topped with your choice of toppings including sour cream and chives; leek, onion, and cheese; ham, onion, and cheese; or smoked meat, leek, onion, and cheese.
When at the Nuremberg Christmas market, it is essential to sample the elisenlebkuchen. Lebkuchen is traditional German gingerbread, and elisenlebkuchen is specific to Nuremberg. This gingerbread was originally a honey cake and is still usually sweetened with honey. There are many spices and very little flour in the gingerbread, and elisenlebkuchen is full of nuts.
A popular Christmas market treat in Germany is the half-meter sausage. The name explains what it is, a really long sausage on a bun which looks pretty funny.
Nuremberg has another specialty food for which they are known, this time of the savory variety. The Nuremberg sausage must be no longer than nine centimeters and no heavier than 25 grams. Nuremberg sausages are enjoyed in a set of three served on a bun with mustard.
The quintessential European Christmas market beverage is glühwein. Glühwein is mulled wine, wine that is warm and spiced with cinnamon and cloves and sweetened with some sugar. In Hungary, it is called forralt bor, but the concept is the same. A mug of glühwein at a Christmas market is made even more fun by the cute mugs in which it is served. You’ll need to pay a deposit, but you’ll get it back when you return your mug, unless you decide to take home that mug for a cute souvenir.
Another beverage which will keep you warm while visiting European Christmas markets is punsch. We found punsch in both Germany and Austria, but we found the greatest variety at the Christmas and New Year’s Market at Schönbrunn Palace. The enticing aroma of warm punsch filled the air, with flavors like apfelstrudel.
Warm, alcoholic, Christmas market beverages don’t stop at glühwein and punsch. We also discovered glühbier, which follows the same concept as glühwein, except the base is beer instead of wine. We found our glühbier at the Christmas market at the Spitalgarten in Regensburg.
Thank you to Viking River Cruises for hosting our Romantic Danube cruise and making this post possible. As always, all opinions are our own.