When you look for a place
to eat in Germany, keep our following tips in mind:
In German, the word "restaurant" is pronounced with the accent on the
last syllable. Gasthaus, Gasthof, and Gaststatte
also mean restaurant.
Restaurants are not restricted to the hours that normal shops are
allowed to be open, but do not expect to be able to get a meal at odd
times of the day. Establishments usually only serve meals during
actual mealtimes (generally 11:30am-2am lunch, 6pm-9pm dinner).
Most restaurants close between 2pm and 6pm. Also, most
restaurants have a Ruhetag, or a day of rest when they are not
Avoid tourist traps by venturing outside the normal tourist areas or
down a side street in a tourist district. The best food will not
be at the largest, best advertised restaurant in a tourist area.
Your best bet for good, cheap, and authentic local cuisine is to follow
the locals. They know where to eat!
Take a look at the menu posted outside a restaurant's door. All
European restaurants post their menus outside to attract pedestrians,
and it's a good way to see whether anything on the menu catches your eye
(and allows you to see if the restaurant is within your price range).
In areas frequented by tourists or military/business travelers will have
an English menu. However, you may not always have the luxury of
looking at an English menu or a waiter who speaks English. Try to
avoid this situation by learning enough words so you can read the menu.
You may not have to engage in a conversation while abroad, but you
always have to eat!
FULL COURSE, OR A LA CARTE?
Most restaurants will offer a full meal consisting of 3 to 4 courses.
In some restaurants the full meal will differ from day to day, while in
others there will be a set menu selection for these meals. These
full meals will always be cheaper than eating a la carte.
In Germany (and also in the rest of Europe), portions will be smaller
than a similarly priced selection in the United States. So if you
are hungry, a full course meal may be the way to go.