Texas Travel

Experience Texas’ German Culture in the Hill Country

By M. Elise Giller 4.20.17

Let’s take a road trip through the rolling green hillside of Texas Hill Country. This area of Texas is home to the traveler’s trifecta — luscious landscape, friendly folks, and authentic cultural cuisine. Thanks to Texas’ rich heritage as a destination for European immigrants in the 1800s, finding authentic German food is as easy as a day trip to Fredericksburg or New Braunfels. From schnitzel to sausages, here are some quintessential foods to feast on!

German Culture in New Braunfels and Fredericksburg

New Braunfels

Back in 1845, Prince Carl of Solms-Braunfels founded this city as part of his work as the Commissioner General of the Adelsverein (the Noblemen’s Society). The society organized immigration for hundreds upon hundreds of Germans, who brought with them their cultural and food fanfare.

Today, the city boasts a population of around 70,000 and growing! In addition to the family-friendly Schlitterbahn Waterpark & Resort, New Braunfels also hosts a giant Wurstfest celebration each year in November. There, revelers enjoy authentic live German music, traditional dress, and food as far as the eye can see.

Sausages reign supreme at Wurstfest, with everything from frankfurters and bratwurst, to currywurst and sausage on a stick, even kraut dogs and cold-pickled sausage (topped with German mustard, of course!). 
Also, grab a salty soft pretzel, and for dessert, polish off a few pfeffernüsse, German for “pepper nut,” spice cookies.

The best part about New Braunfels? Most of these German goodies are available year-round at the many delicious restaurants throughout the city!

Fredericksburg

Located just a hop, skip, and a jump away from New Braunfels is Fredericksburg, a small town with a picturesque main street and plenty more German culture and eateries to explore. It was founded in 1846 by Baron Otfried Hans Freiherr von Meusebach (John O. Meusebach), the Commissioner General of the Society for the Protection of German Immigrants in Texas, as an overflow city for the recently established German community in nearby New Braunfels. Now the town boasts about 11,000 residents, and many more tourists each weekend.

In addition to sausages, also look for schnitzel, a delicious thin-cut meat patty that’s coated with eggs, flour, and bread crumbs and then fried to perfection. We like ours with French fries or potato wedges, or, if we’re very lucky, spaetzle, a small dumpling often served with butter or cheese.

Everything is so good, in fact, that it might encourage you to learn “Texan German,” a dialect native to this region of the country. On the other hand, you may not even need to speak it, since food is a universal language of the Southern and German culture alike.

In other words, all this talk about sausages and schnitzel has made us hungry; We’ll see you in the Hill Country!

Discover more of the thrills of Hill Country and other Texas regions with these family-style spring trips.

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