Meal Structure in Germany
What's a typical German breakfast, lunch and dinner?
Breakfast in Germany is called Frühstück and almost always includes a hot drink such as tea or coffee.
Breakfasts in Germany tend to be fairly hearty and often start with some bread or rolls which are served with spreads such as butter, jam, and marmalade. Sausage, eggs, cheese, and bacon are common breakfast items too, as are potato pancakes. Cereal, especially muesli, or yoghurt and fruit are increasingly popular in Germany, especially with the more health-conscious youth. A glass of orange juice is also common with breakfast.
A second breakfast, known as Pausenbrot or a Zweites Frühstück is common in Germany, especially at school. This refueling snack often takes the form of a small sandwich or some fruit.
Lunch in Germany is called Mittagessen and is usually eaten between 12 pm and 2 pm. Germans traditionally enjoy their main cooked meal for lunch rather than dinner. Lunch is often served after a starter such as potato salad.
Lunches cooked at home may include Eintopf, Rouladen, Schnitzel or Sauerbraten. It will usually consist of meat or fish served with potatoes, rice, or German noodles as well as vegetables and sometimes rolls (Brötchen).
Those working in cities, too busy to go to a restaurant or home for lunch, will often want something hot on-the-go for lunch, as opposed to a cold sandwich. One of the reasons dishes like Currywurst or Schnitzel plus fries have become so popular is that they are hot and readily available for little money. Despite this rather large lunch and maybe even a two-tier breakfast, a couple of hours after lunch, Germans traditionally sit down for coffee and cake (Kaffee und Kuchen), although this is increasingly becoming a weekend, rather than a daily, tradition.
In Germany, the evening meal is called Abendessen or Abendbrot – the latter is actually more like a supper, and literally translates to ‘evening bread’. Following a hearty lunch, Germans traditionally enjoy a lighter dinner, with breads, hams, sausages, cheeses, and pickles all being very common. In the winter, this may include soup as well. This cold buffet-style meal is usually shared with the family or household and is served early evening around 6 or 7 pm.
However, due to the modern working day and the fact that most Germans, especially in urban areas, no longer come home to eat their lunch, many are starting to have a lighter bread-based lunch, making dinner the cooked meal of the day; this will likely include meat or fish, vegetables, and potatoes. Many adults will enjoy a beer with their evening meal.