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All The Food And Photos You Missed From This Year’s Oktoberfest

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Deep in the southern reaches of Germany, pressed up against the foothills of the Alps, sits the city of Munich. For the past two weeks, the normally quiet hamlet has hosted a party like none other — a drunken, joyful bacchanal, which just wrapped up yesterday.

Oktoberfest is one of those things you have to experience at least once in a lifetime, beer drinker or not. Rambling through the Wiesen, or colloquially the Wies’n, a little tipsy, eating a pretzel bigger than your head, and looking for another Maß (liter of beer) is a rite of passage for any wanderlusting traveler.

Obviously, the festival is centered around the breweries local to Bavaria, and beer is clearly important, but we want to shout out the delectable foods also on offer in the tents of the Wies’n. So tighten up those dirndls, embrace the kitsch, and hitch up your lederhosen — because Oktoberfest season might have just ended in Germany, but it’ll be going strong all month here in the states!

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BREZ’N

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of course.. #weissbier #brezn #muc

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This is probably the most iconic food to get paired with beer in Bavaria. A little twisted bread goes a long way to keeping you sated while you drink. Be warned, pretzels are not always vegetarian or vegan. They’re often dipped in pork lard to give them that crunchy brown sheen (sometimes it’s a lye solution instead). The best ones are those that have been sliced open and filled with herb-infused cream cheese, schmalz, or just fresh churned butter.

Best time to eat: When you arrive. Get that carb base before you drown your organs.

WURST

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You’re going to eat some sausage in Bavaria. It’s just bound to happen. The Wies’n tends to be overflowing with wurst grills on almost every corner. You can get the delicate weißwurst from all the tents. Outside you’ll find the classic bratwursts, knackers (kinda like really fat and stubby hot dogs), schinkenwurst (think super big and porky hot dog), and the meter-brat (that’s a bratwurst as long as a f*cking yardstick). Usually sausages are served on a paper plate with the bread roll on the side (definitely not the sandwich variety) with huge bottles of mustard and ketchup for you to serve yourself.

Best time to eat: Grease factor is high, so they’re best consumed when you’re two or three sips from your power black out.

STECKERLFISCH

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Most of us probably aren’t thinking about a whole fish roasted on a stick over a fire when we think Bavarian food. It’s time to correct that with this delicious white fish fried to crispy perfection. It’s usually a freshwater bream, trout, or mackerel, so you know exactly what you’re getting. Each tent that serves up the fish has their own spice rub they massage into the fish before it hits the fire — meaning you’ll never have the same one twice.

Best time to eat: It’s a perfect lunch or dinner main course.

BRATHENDL

The cornerstone of many a meal in the tents is the rotisserie chicken. Mostly served on a white plate with a pack of lemon hand wipes on the side, you’ll see more chicken served than anything but the beer. Seriously, at Oktoberfest, they go through over half-a-million chickens in two weeks. Each chicken is roasted to crunchy perfection on the outside and super succulent on the inside. You can often order some local potato salad on the side, which, depending how many beers you’re in, may be quite necessary.

Best time to eat: When you’re about two beers in and need to fortify for the rest of the day (especially if the band hasn’t even started yet).

SCHWEINEHAXE

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#Oktoberfestmünchen 📸: @wimdu

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Germans know their way around a pig. The pork joint is the crown jewel of Bavarian pork. Roasted to crispy perfection, slathered in jus, and served with sticky Klöße (flour or potato dumplings), this meal is a flashback to medieval meat that’s best served on the bone. And it’s a full meal, the hax’n alone can weigh up to a kilo (2.2 pounds) by itself. Add in the dumplings and beer and you’ll probably be ready for a nap.

Best time to eat: When you’re sober enough to enjoy the amazing flavors of the pork, but drunk enough to decide to eat over two pounds of pork in one sitting.

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Um joelhinho e uma cervejinha de almoço

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ALLGÄUER KÄSESPÄZTLE

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#allgäuer #käsespätzle #prost #mahlzeit #brauerei

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This is probably the best vegetarian option available at what is really just as much a meat-fest as it is a beer-fest. Käsespätzle is Germany’s classic mac-n-cheese recipe. It’s often made with sharp and funky mountain cheese (bergkäse) and hand-rolled doughy spätzle. Top that off with some crispy fried onions and you’re ready for a cheesy and doughy delight that’ll fill you up and put a smile on your face.

Best time to eat: Day two, when hungover and ready to start another day of beer drinking.

DAMPFNUDLE

Here’s another vegetarian option of sorts. Communications breakdowns lead these to be called dumplings, but they’re really more like a really big dinner roll. Which, honestly, doesn’t sound all that interesting (though our food editor adores them). They’re a little sweet and great for what they are. Where it gets interesting is what you can put on the roll: hot cheese sauce, vanilla sauce, sweetened fruit, Nutella sauce, and other sweet or savory sauces. It’s the perfect base for a savory starter or sweet-tooth-rattling dessert.

Best time to eat: Stumbling home. The sauce will get everywhere, but it’s worth it.

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OCHSENBRATEREI

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Yup. This is a whole rotisserie roasted ox. When wandering the Wies’n, you’ll come across a tent that has a huge cow rotating over the entrance. Inside you’ll find exactly that along with the beer. You can order pretty much any cut from the ox served with veg and potatoes or dumplings. This is the height of omnivorous delight. The meat is perfectly roasted on all the bones and seasoned to perfection. It’s sweet, spicy, fatty, and just goddamn huge. Amazingly they go through 115 or more oxen over two weeks at Oktoberfest.

Best time to eat: Always. The roast and steaks are probably best as a lunch or dinner meal. The diced up greasy meats in a bun are good for the stumble home.

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More photos from Oktoberfest

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#Wiesn2014

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