31 Alsatian specialities to try

sauerkraut

You come to visit Alsace and want to discover the Alsatian gastronomy? Here are some ideas of Alsatian cuisine specialities to try during your stay in Alsace . The list is not exhaustive, but I've tried to give you the main specialities (because no, there's more than sauerkraut!) to whet your appetite...

Laurène
Laurène
Laurène is the blog's creator. Originally from Brittany but now living in Alsace, she has fallen in love with her adopted region and loves exploring its every nook and cranny to unearth great ideas to share with you!

1. Flammekueche (flamed pie)

Sometimes called “Alsatian pizza”, but in reality do not confuse it with a pizza! The dough of the tarte flamb√©e is much thinner. In the original recipe, it is filled with a mixture of cr√®me fra√ģche and fromage blanc, lardons and onions. We also sometimes add munster cheese, grated cheese, mushrooms… Or whatever we want! The real tarte flamb√©e is cooked in a wood-fired oven.

pie-flame-recipe

My favorite place to taste it?

Here is a list of our favorite tarte flambée restaurants.

Want to make your own?

Here is the recipe of the flammekueche of Marine

2. Sauerkraut with garnish

Yes, it’s a clich√©, but it would be a shame to leave Alsace without having tasted one! The famous ” choucroute garnie” is made of fermented cabbage accompanied by various pieces of cold cuts. You can find for example lard, smoked collar, palette, Strasbourg sausages (the famous knacks), Montb√©liard or Frankfurt sausages. It is served with potatoes and traditionally eaten with horseradish or mustard. There is a variant, the fish sauerkraut, composed of different types of fish and a white butter sauce. The cabbage is really typically Alsatian, you can visit the Maison de la Choucroute during your stay!

My favorite place to taste it?

Strasbourg’s Le Tire-Bouchon and Winstub le Pont du Corbeau restaurants.

Want to make your own?

Here is the recipe of the sauerkraut garnished by Marine

sauerkraut

3. Baeckeoffe

The baeckeoffe is a dish composed of potatoes, vegetables and 3 different meats (pork, lamb and beef). The whole thing is baked together in a terrine with Alsace white wine and herbs for many hours. When it is well done and the potatoes have soaked up the taste of the meat, wine and herbs, it is a treat!

le-clou

My favorite place to taste it?

The restaurants Wistub Arnold in Itterswiller or Auberge des Trois Ch√Ęteaux in Eguisheim.

Want to make your own?

Here is the recipe for Marine’s baeckeoffe

4. Braised/grilled knuckle of ham

Another classic of the Alsatian tables, the braised ham (plain, with beer, with munster, with pinot noir or other…). It is usually served with sauerkraut, potatoes or spaetzle. A dish to be enjoyed in the middle of winter, it’s rich! Well, as the whole of the Alsatian kitchen you will say to me… And you won’t be wrong!

My favorite place to taste it?

Restaurant Le Tire-Bouchon in Strasbourg.

winstub-finkstubel-strasbourg

5. Foie gras

It is often ignored, but foie gras is not only a specialty of southwestern France. It is also found in Alsace, whether it is goose or duck.

foie-gras-maison-figues-les-ecrins-orbey

My favorite place to buy them?

I don’t eat it personally but the Ferme Schmitt in Bischofsheim is a good address well known by Alsatians.

6. The cordon bleu

Cordon bleu is very often found on the menu of Alsatian restaurants: it’s simple, Alsatians love this dish! If you only have in mind industrial cordon bleu, you should change your mind by tasting a real Alsatian cordon bleu. It is a veal or chicken cutlet filled with ham and cheese and covered with breadcrumbs. Choose one with munster cheese to be really in the local color!

My favorite place to taste it?

The Restaurant Aux Trois Ch√Ęteaux in Ribeauvill√©.

Want to make your own?

Here is Sandra’s cordon bleu recipe

cordon-bleu-strasbourg

7. Munster cheese

Alsatian cheese from the Valley of Munster, south of Colmar, Munster is a soft cow’s milk PDO cheese with character. Both the smell and the taste are pronounced: I warned you! ūüėČ It is eaten cold but also hot in dishes a bit mountainous that are often found in the Vosges, where the munster comes to replace the reblochon (the munstiflette is a classic, for example!).

munster

My favorite place to buy them?

La Ferme du Versant du Soleil in Hohrod, where you can visit the farm and buy Munster cheese directly from the producer.

8. Spaetzle

Spaetzle are a kind of Alsatian pasta (made of flour, eggs, salt and water). They are thicker than traditional pasta. Spaetzle can be served as a main course (with cheese, bacon or other ingredients), but are more often served as a side dish.

My favourite place to eat it?

La Corde à linge restaurant in Strasbourg

Want to make your own?

Here is the recipe for Marine’s spaetzle

recipe-spaetzle-home

9. The pretzel

A symbol of Alsace, the pretzel is a kind of brioche poached in baking soda and sprinkled with large grains of salt. It is impossible to come to Alsace without tasting a pretzel! But then, a pretzel? We say a pretzel as my friend Julien, who speaks the Alsatian language, explained to me, because the word is feminine in Alsatian!

recipe-alsace-bretzel

Want to make your own?

Here is the recipe for Marine’s pretzels

10. The bibeleskäse

This simple dish is made of a mixture of cream and fromage blanc served with garlic, shallots and chives. These are set aside so that everyone can season the bibeleskaese as they wish. It is served with potatoes (in their robes or sautéed), but also sometimes with a piece of Munster cheese or a slice of ham.

My favorite place to taste it?

The Wistub Brenner in Colmar.

Want to make your own?

Here is the recipe for Adeline’s bibelesk√§se

bibalaskas-fink-stubel

11. Les bouchées à la Reine

We taste the ” bouch√©es √† la reine ” elsewhere in France, but it remains a classic of the Alsatian tables. They consist of a vol-au-vent (puff pastry) filled with sweetbreads (or another piece of veal, or chicken), b√©chamel sauce and mushrooms, all accompanied by noodles or spaetzle.

recipe-alsace-bouchee-reine

Want to make your own?

Here is the recipe for Marine’s Queen’s Bites

12. Fleischkiechle

Less known than other Alsatian specialties, they are nevertheless often found on the menu of traditional winstubs. Fleischkiechle are meat patties made from pork and beef and fried in a pan.

My favorite place to taste it?

The restaurant L’Homme Sauvage in Strasbourg.

Want to make your own?

Here is Adeline’s fleischkiechle recipe

Fleischkiechle-meat-cake-591x443

13. Fleischnaka

Cousins of the fleichkiechle, fleischnacka are “meat snails”. You don’t necessarily find them very often on the menu of restaurants, but it remains a very Alsatian speciality that you can taste during a stay in Alsace. The meat filling is rolled in a noodle dough and cooked in a broth.

jadis-gourmande-restaurant-colmar

My favorite place to taste it?

The restaurant Jadis et Gourmande in Colmar, one of my favorite restaurants.

Want to make your own?

Here is the recipe for Marine’s fleischnaka

14. The knepfle

Similar to spaetzle, knepfle are larger and therefore more like ravioli. It is more rare to find them on the menu of restaurants, but it happens!

My favorite place to taste it?

Le Salon de Thé Grand Rue in Strasbourg.

Want to make your own?

Here is the recipe for C√©line’s knepfle

knepfle-alsace

15. Fried carp

Speciality of the Sundgau (south of Alsace), the fried carps are carp steaks covered with semolina, fried and are served…with French fries!

carpe-frite-sundgau

My favorite place to taste it?

La Couronne in Carspach

16. Pike-perch fillet on a bed of sauerkraut

The pikeperch is a freshwater fish that can be found in Alsace. It is traditionally served on a bed of sauerkraut, sometimes with a Riesling sauce for example.

17. La Matelote du Ried

Much less known because it has become rare, the matelote is nevertheless an ancient Alsatian dish typical of the Ried region (Alsace plain). It consists of several freshwater fish (pike perch, pike, eel, tench, perch, trout …) cooked with a sauce of white wine from Alsace and accompanied by noodles.

matelote-ried-restaurant-two-keys-ebersmunster

My favorite place to taste it?

Few places still serve it, so let’s meet at the restaurant Aux Deux Clefs in Ebersmunster.

18. The marcaire meal

The marcaire meal is a speciality that can be found in the farm inns of the Vosges. Be careful, it’s all about the body! It is composed of a pie of the valley as an appetizer (pork pie), followed by ro√Įgabrageldi (sliced potatoes, onions and butter, all cooked slowly in a cast iron pot) served with smoked pork (collar or chuck for example) and finally a dessert, traditionally Siesskass (fresh cheese of the day with sugar and kirsch) or a home-made pie. If you don’t want to try the whole meal, you will regularly find pies served as an appetizer in Alsatian restaurants.

My favorite place to taste it?

Here you’ll find our selection of good farmhouse inns in Alsace.

Want to make your own?

Here is the recipe for Marine’s winegrower’s pie

tourte-vigneronne

19. Kougelhopf

I can already see the fans jumping up and down, the kougelhopf can also be salted. It’s true, and it’s actually very good as an aperitif! In this case it is garnished with bacon and nuts. That being said, sweet kugelhopf, which are topped with raisins, are more readily available.

It is a kind of brioche which can be eaten plain or with jam, for breakfast or as a snack. Be careful, if it is too dry, it is not a good kougelhopf! I tested dozens of them to reach the conclusion that unfortunately you can find more bad ones than good ones: so you have to know the right addresses! ūüėČ

recipe-kougelhopf-alsace

My favorite place to taste it?

Here is a list of the best kougelhopf in Colmar and the best kouglofs in Strasbourg.

Want to make your own?

Here is the recipe for Marine’s kougelhopf

20. Cottage cheese tart

A great classic of Alsatian desserts: you can’t leave Alsace without having tasted a cottage cheese pie. It is very different from the American cheesecake: lighter and more airy, even if it is not really light in terms of calories!

My favorite place to taste it?

The Grand Rue Tearoom in Strasbourg, where you will find many different kinds of cottage cheese pies, served very generously!

Want to make your own?

Here is the recipe for the Fromage Blanc pie from Marine

pie-cheese-white-cheese-recipe

21. The chestnut torch

Also called Mont-blanc or vermicelli in other regions, the chestnut torch is made of chestnut cream, whipped cream and meringue. A great classic of Alsatian gastronomy that can be found on the menu in autumn and winter!

torch-brown-alsace

My favorite place to taste it?

Wistub Brenner in Colmar, Winstub du Chambard in Kaysersberg, P√Ętisserie Gilg in Colmar, Ribeauvill√© and Munster

22. Frozen meringue

It is a meringue served with scoops of ice cream (of varying flavors) and whipped cream. Sometimes there are also some fruits. A great classic typically Alsatian!

My favorite place to taste it?

Le Tire-Bouchon in Strasbourg

meringue-ice-vince-stub-strasbourg

23. Rhubarb meringue pie

During the rhubarb season, Alsatian tables see the flowering of rhubarb meringue pies. The sweetness of the meringue and the tangy taste of the rhubarb go very well together!

tart-rubarb-meringue-alsace

My favorite place to taste it?

Le Salon de thé Grand Rue in Strasbourg and Jadis et Gourmande in Colmar.

Want to make your own?

Here is the recipe for Marine’s rhubarb meringue pie.

24. Gingerbread

Gingerbread is a great Alsatian tradition. They come in all shapes and sizes, from crunchy to soft. It is not uncommon to give them as gifts because they are so pretty and good!

My favorite place to buy them?

Mireille Oster in Strasbourg or Lips gingerbread in Gertwiller (which you can find all over Alsace).

Want to make your own?

Here is the recipe for Marine’s decorated gingerbread rolls

pain-epices-decores

25. Streusel

The streusel, also called streusel brioche, is an Alsatian brioche covered with a layer of cinnamon flavored crumble. Yum, it’s a delight to eat for breakfast or a snack!

recipe-streusel-alsatian

Want to make your own?

Here is the recipe for Marine’s streusel

26. St. Nicholas Mannele

The mannele (or mannala) is a brioche in the shape of a little man, made in Alsace on the occasion of Saint-Nicolas (December 6). They are the kings of the month of December in Alsace, everyone eats them a lot (too much?).

Want to make your own?

Here is the recipe for Marine’s mannele

recipe-mannele

27. Christmas Bredele

Bredele (or bredala) are small cookies baked during the Advent season. It’s hard to say what they are so different, but they are the kings of the end of year celebrations in Alsace, you will find them everywhere!

bredele-alsace

My favorite place to buy them?

The Alsatian House of Biscuits (there are some everywhere in Alsace).

Want to make your own?

Here are some recipes for Christmas bredele.

If you would like more recipes, don’t hesitate to buy our bredele recipe book.

recipe-guide-bredele

28. Easter Lammele

The lammele (or lamala) is a kind of sponge cake made in Alsace at Easter time, in a lamb-shaped mold.

Want to make your own?

Here is the recipe for the Easter lammele.

recipe-lamala-alsace

29. Alsace wines

Obviously, it is difficult to talk about Alsatian specialties without mentioning Alsatian wines! Alsace wines are made from seven different grape varieties: Sylvaner, Pinot Blanc, Riesling, Muscat, Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer and Pinot Noir. this last one is the only red wine, all the others being white. I invite you to consult this page for more details on each of these wines. We will not forget the Cr√©mant d’Alsace, a sparkling wine that replaces champagne in many occasions!

wine-schoenheitz-alsace

My favorite place to buy them?

Here is the list of my favorite Alsatian winemakers.

Want to visit and taste?

For a visit and a tasting, you can globally go through the website Rue des Vignerons which has an excellent selection of wineries and allows you to book directly online!

30. Alsatian beers

Alsace has about 40 breweries and micro-breweries. It would be a pity to forget the beer in the Alsatian specialities!

Want to visit and taste?

Read this article if you’d like to visit a brewery in Alsace.

tasting-brewery-bisaigue

31. Spirits and liqueurs

Alsace has a strong tradition of brandy production. You’ll be able to sample (in moderation) a wide range of specialities, including eaux de vie, liqueurs, whisky, gin and pastis from Alsace…

distillerie-meyer-alsace

Want to visit and taste?

Check out this article if you’d like to visit a distillery during your stay.