People who enjoy a plant-based life are thrilled to hear that the famous Munich Oktoberfest will feature vegan options this year.
Oktoberfest is an annual two-week festival held in Munich, Germany. The 2022 festival starts on Saturday, September 17, and ends Monday, October 3. This fall festival began on October 12, 1810, to celebrate the marriage of the crown prince of Bavaria to Princess Therese Von Sachsen-Hildburghausen. The historical wedding included a public horse race between Munich and Sendling in a meadow. The founders called the event “Therese’s Meadow” in honor of the bride. Later, the location and the festival merged into “the Wiesn,” the name the locals use for Oktoberfest.
Millions of people flock to Munich to eat traditional German foods, wear Bavarian costumes and listen to traditional music. Of course, one of Oktoberfest’s biggest attractions is the famous Oktoberfest or Marzen beer. Usually, the beer goes with different German meats. But over the years, the Wiesn has provided guests with meat-free options. This year there’s an even greater variety of vegan options.
What are the vegan options at Munich Oktoberfest this year?
Whether you’re looking for a tasty plant-based snack or a full-course vegan entree, you’ll find a large selection of meat-free meals at Oktoberfest 2022. Here are some of the vegan options you can enjoy this year.
This year meat-free appetizers are trending at Oktoberfest. For example, you can choose a mini bread bowl with cheese soup made with vegetables instead of cow’s milk. Or, if you prefer something lighter, try their vegan soft-baked pretzel with a dash of mustard and a glass of cold beer. Other vegan appetizer options include the following delights:
- Tomato bread straight from the pan
- Vegan, organic pumpkin spread on warm plant-based bread
- Potato, pumpkin soups with lemon grass and ginger
Plant-based main courses
If you feel hungry, Oktoberfest offers a variety of vegetarian main course meals. But, of course, you can’t attend the Wiesn without trying a plant-based sausage. Sausage is a traditional dish at Oktoberfest. They serve these with beer, mustard, and pretzels. Vegan sausage options are the Field Roast Bratwurst Sausage and the Beyond Sausage Brat Original.
These sausages have a rich smoky flavor. The chefs prepare them from beans, wheat gluten, and seasonings. Another traditional German main course with a vegan twist is the vegan schnitzel. It’s made with tofu and mushrooms. Traditional schnitzel is a thin slice of meat that’s breaded and fried. It’s a popular dish all over the world. Schnitzel typically comes from the meat of turkey, beef, chicken, or pork.
Other vegan specialties at Oktoberfest will include:
- Organic bread dumplings with creamy mushrooms
- Vegetable-potato patties with tomato and apricot chutney
- potato noodle dumplings.
Cooks traditionally make dumplings with boiled potatoes and grated raw potatoes mixed with flour, eggs, nutmeg, pepper, and salt. They’re shaped and cooked in salted water. In addition, the Wiesn offers vegetarian parmesan pretzel dumplings served with Bavarian vegetables, herb sauces, or spinach.
If you’re hungry for something more substantial, why not try vegan meatloaf or vegan burgers, or pea schnitzel? Side dishes to make your mouth water include vegetable rolls, potato gratin, spiral potatoes, and vegetarian baguettes.
What about German sauerkraut?
Of course, no Oktoberfest would be complete without sauerkraut. In German, the word “sauerkraut” means sour cabbage. Even though it’s one of the nation’s favorite food, it didn’t originate in Germany. Sauerkraut has been the main dish in this country since the 1600s. Two thousand years ago, the Chinese first fermented cabbage in wine. It wasn’t until the 16th century that Germans tried fermenting cabbage. In the 1700s, large groups of Germans migrated to the United States, bringing their recipes for sauerkraut with them. Sauerkraut became part of American history, flavoring sandwiches and hotdogs across the country.
Besides tasting great, sauerkraut is super healthy. It contains nutritious vitamin B6, folate, vitamin K and thiamin. This fermented cabbage provides one-third of your recommended daily vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, and iron. Because of the fermentation process, it goes easy on your digestive system, creating a probiotic effect. For Germans, the tradition of eating sauerkraut means hope for blessings and abundance in the coming year. Who knows–maybe you’ll inherit some of these blessings at Oktoberfest when you eat the delicious organic sauerkraut strudel.
Other delicious main course vegetarian and vegan options include these:
- Pan-fried veggies with tomato puree
- Lamb’s lettuce on kohlrabi carpaccio
- Quinoa on mint puree
- Soy steak with caramelized onions
- If you are lactose intolerant, try coconut curries, sweet potato chips, or vegan crepes.
Does Oktoberfest offer vegan beer?
Of course, Oktoberfest is famous for its German beers. Most of the beers offered at the Wiesn are vegan. This is because there are strict regulations about what ingredients beer contains, limiting the use of animal proteins for the gelatin in the beers. Two plant-based brands that Schlenkeria and Beck’s beer. Most bartenders can provide you with a vegan beer list if you’re not sure what you want to try.
Changing times changes the menu at Oktoberfest.
The desire to provide so many vegan dishes is evidence of a growing shift in Germany. Typically, Germans aren’t eating as much meat as they used to. Even though Germans have always had a reputation for being meat lovers, today, the country’s meat consumption is falling. In years past, Germans ate animal proteins by the pound. But starting in 2011, a general shift started dropping meat consumption. It’s unclear what brought about this shift, but a poll study revealed that from 2016 to 2020, the number of people claiming to eat vegan doubled in Germany, accounting for 3.2% of the overall population. With these statistics, no wonder Oktoberfest offers so many vegan options for visitors and locals alike.
Interestingly, Germany is one of the few European countries where veganism google searches haven’t seen a sharp drop in 2022. Germany is is second most popular vegan food. It has a reputation for its meat-substitute and plant-based industries. Austria, Germany’s southern neighbor, offers many vegan-friendly food options, even vegan strudel. Besides this, German cities are now the favored vegan dating hotspots.
German names for Oktoberfest’s most popular foods
No problem if you don’t speak German when you go to the Wiesn. Here’s a crash course on the German names of different foods you’ll find at the festival. You can ask for vegan or vegetarian versions of these foods.
- Brezn: This is the word for pretzels. These soft, salty Bavarian twisted bread snacks are delicious and perfect with a mug of cold beer. Ask for Brezn vegan for the meat-free option.
- Wiener schnitzel: In German, the “w” is pronounced like an English “v.” However, this venue offers a soy schnitzel alternative to the traditional meat. It is a delicious option for plant-based eating.
- Spaetzle: This pasta is a side dish with gravy or cheese sauce. Ask for the vegan spaetzle topped with caramelized onions.
- Kartoffeln: The potato is one of German’s favorite vegetables. At Oktoberfest, you’ll find potato pancakes, potato dumplings, and potato salad.
- Radieschen: Radishes don’t get invited to many American festivals, but at Oktoberfest, radieschen are salty little side notes added to different dishes. These vegetables are the perfect balance for rich meats and cheese dishes. You’ll find radishes spiraled, sliced, and mixed with chives.
- Bier: Of course, all these favorite German foods taste best with bier. Most of the bier at Oktoberfest is vegan. So grab a frosty Bavarian bier.
Learn important Bavarian greetings
- Servus; This is an informal Bavarian greeting before you arrive at Oktoberfest.
- Dirndl and Lederhosen: This is the traditional clothing you wear to Oktoberfest. Dirndl is a peasant style of dress with an apron worn by women. Men wear Lederhosen or leather trousers or shorts.
- Oans, zwoa, drei, g’suffa!: These are traditional dinking yells that translate to “one, two, three, drink!”
- Prost: It means cheers.
- O’zapft is!: According to tradition, you can’t drink beer until the Mayor of Munich shouts this phrase. It means, “it’s tapped.”
- Pfiat di!:-This classic Bavarian goodbye means something like “May God protect you” in German.
Closing ceremony and program of Oktoberfest in Munich
Most Oktoberfest goers will tell you that the closing ceremony is magnificent. On the last night, the Oktoberfest closing ceremony is a candle-lit event held in the famous Hacker-Pschorr tent. The lights dim, and everyone lights sparklers and sings together. If you’re interested in the program, here is this year’s 2022 Oktoberfest program of events.
Final thoughts on Munich Oktoberfest’s new vegan options
If you’re eager to try some of Oktoberfest’s delicious vegan options, it’s not too late to plan your trip. This two-week annual festival in Munich, Germany, attracts millions of people from all over the world. People come to eat traditional foods, try on Bavarian costumes, and enjoy the many attractions. There are more vegetarian and vegan options this year than in years past. Whether you want to try a meat-free German dumpling, vegan schnitzel, or a glass of cold vegan beer, you’ll find plant-based offerings throughout the festival grounds. Anybody who wants to eat meat-free this year at Oktoberfest will have no trouble finding various meat-free snacks, main courses, and drinks.