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The seating area to the restaurant with "Biersiederei" and "Gosebrauerei" at Bayerischer Bahnhof, Gastronomy in Leipzig, Gasthaus
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Leipzig Culinary Delicacies

The way to the heart is through the stomach

Two young ladies sitting in Café Kandler's outdoor seating area, opposite the St. Thomas Church, enjoying specialities from Leipzig, such as Lerche or Bachtaler, coffee house culture, gastronomy in Leipzig
© Andreas Schmidt

Leipzig - City of Outdoor Seating

You can also enjoy a Mediterranean flair in Leipzig. The sheer selection and variety of gastronomy and culture helps to create a unique atmosphere. The city centre, in particular, has a folk festival character from 11.00 pm onwards. Then it's time to see and be seen. Leipzig has made an excellent name for itself as a city of outdoor seating culture. This term, which is usually replaced in other cities by the term beer garden, has cult status in Leipzig. Most of the more than 1,400 restaurants and cafés in Leipzig have outdoor seating.

The phenomenon of the outdoor seating culture was already present in earlier times, but only really developed strength after 1990. The catalyst for this was the urban strategy of the "pedestrian-friendly inner city". But also structural measures, such as the renovation of the old trade fair houses and inner courtyards, as well as the increase of pedestrian paths, promoted this development.

Tasty treats from Leipzig

The way to the heart is through the stomach! A clever saying that developed from the idea that love blossoms when a partner is good in the kitchen. It has been used for centuries - also in Leipzig. You will soon realise that Leipzig is a city for connoisseurs, where you can relax with family and friends over food and drinks. The palate says thank you.

For centuries guests have enjoyed many culinary specialities in the cosmopolitan metropolis, from a "Scheelchen Heeßen" (cup of coffee), to the vegetable dish "Leipziger Allerlei" and not forgetting the top-fermented beer speciality "Gose". Whether historic restaurants or Zeitgeistkneipen, everywhere offers excellent opportunities to dine and communicate. But what is "typical Leipzig" exactly? The following selection of specialities will help to answer this question. It becomes clear that Leipzig's culinary delights are surprising.

Four ladies sit at a table drinking Gose beer in "Gasthaus und Gosebrauerei" in Bayerischer Bahnhof, gastronomy in Leipzig, restaurant
© Andreas Schmidt
A plate of Leipziger Räbchen (prune with marzipan filling) with vanilla sauce and Bach coffee in Café Kandler, gastronomy in Leipzig, coffee house culture
© Andreas Schmidt
Two waiters serve the local speciality Leipziger Allerlei (vegetable dish consisting of peas, carrots, asparagus and morels) in the restaurant, Zills Tunnel, gastronomy in Leipzig
© Dirk Brzoska
A waitress serving the original top fermented beer, Ritterguts Gose, a local speciality, in the Gosenschenke, gastronomy in Leipzig
© Dirk Brzoska
Bachtorte, the local speciality, placed beside other baked goods in Café Kandler's display, gastronomy in Leipzig, coffee house culture
© Andreas Schmidt
Three guests enjoying Leipziger Lerche (pastry delicacy), a sweet local speciality, in Cafe Kandler, gastronomy in Leipzig, coffee house culture
© Dirk Brzoska
Waiters and chefs serve Leipzig Culinary Delicacies in "Barthels Hof" restaurant, gastronomy in Leipzig
© Andreas Schmidt
Two ladies drink the local speciality, Leipziger Allasch (caraway aquavit) in a bar where Gose is also being served, gastronomy in Leipzig
© Dirk Brzoska
The Leipzig specialities Bachtaler and Bachtorte on a plate in Café Kandler, opposite the St. Thomas Church, gastronomy in Leipzig, coffee house culture
© Andreas Schmidt

On the 250th anniversary of Johann Sebastian Bach's death, confectioner René Kandler from Leipzig created his own, unmistakable pastry, the Bachtaler.

The Bachtaler consists of a chocolate casing filled with ganache, a harmonious combination of fresh cream and butter cream. At the heart of the taler is a coffee bean enclosed in hazelnut shortcrust pastry.

The original Bachtaler is produced exclusively by the confectioners of Café Kandler. They also created the delicious Backtorten, tarts filled with a light mocha coffee cream. Served with a hot chocolate or Bach coffee, specially developed for the Bach City of Leipzig - the perfect treat.

Bach coffee was created in cooperation between GANOS Kaffee-Kontor & Rösterei AG and Café Kandler. It is a stomach-friendly, low-acid and yet very aromatic coffee.

Several bottles of Gose, the top fermented beer which is one of the city's specialities and brewed in Bayerischer Bahnhof, gastronomy in Leipzig
© Andreas Schmidt

"Flower is to rose, what beer is to Gose!" The beer speciality is a top-fermented, slightly bitter wheat beer. It is made with the addition of table salt and coriander and a high proportion of biological lactic acid. It derives its name from its place of origin, the old imperial city of Goslar, where the drink was said to have quenched Emperor Otto's thirst back in the year 1000.

In the Middle Ages, the "Goslar beer" spread to Anhalt. Since 1738, thanks to the recommendation of the "Old Dessauer", it has found its new home in Leipzig.

Around 1900, Gose was the most consumed beer in the trade fair city. The main supplier of Gose was the Ritterguts-Gosenbrauerei in Döllnitz from 1824.

From 1966, there was no more Gose. It was only in 1986 that the revival began, when Lothar Goldhahn reopened the old Gosenschenke "Ohne Bedenken". Today, the original Ritterguts-Gose is available in over 100 restaurants. Since 2000, Leipzig Gose has been brewed and served in the Bayerische Bahnhof. Gose can also be mixed with Allasch, syrup and cherry liqueur. Well then: GOSEANNA!

Two ladies selling Leipziger Allasch (caraway aquavit), a local speciality made of caraway seeds from a stand, gastronomy in Leipzig
© Andreas Schmidt

The Allasch owes its name to its place of origin, a Livonian estate near Riga in Latvia. In 1830, traders probably brought the recipe for the Allasch from its place of origin, via Mecklenburg to Saxony. Here, Allasch enjoys great popularity and has been produced since 1926 in the oldest Leipzig brandy and liqueur factory, which was founded in 1923 - the Wilhelm Horn Company. It bears the name "Echter Leipziger Allasch", or Genuine Leipzig Allasch.

Allasch is a caraway aquavit made using caraway distillate, which is characterised by a high alcohol content (about 38% vol.), a strong caraway flavour and an abundant addition of sugar.

The liqueur is served ice-cold and is often consumed to aid digestion after a meal. Many also drink it together with the Leipzig beer speciality Gose, known as the "Gose Umbrella".

A plate with the vegetable dish, Leipziger Allerlei (vegetable dish consisting of peas, carrots, asparagus and morels) which is a real speciality, gastronomy in Leipzig
© Armin Kühne

Leipzig's most famous speciality is "Leipziger Allerlei", a vegetable dish that is also served as a side dish. In the 19th and 20th century it gained a lot of recognition. Around 1900, the dish was exclusively called "Allerlei". It got its origin name, "Leipziger", when it was included in various cookbooks. Legend has it that the dish was to protect the wealthy citizens of Leipzig after the Napoleonic wars from tax collectors. By serving tax collectors "just" a vegetable dish, residents wanted to make them believe that there was very little money in the households.

Today you can find "Leipziger Allerlei" throughout German supermarkets in the frozen food section. According to traditional recipes, however, this includes not only young vegetables such as carrots, kohlrabi, asparagus as well as cauliflower, but also morels, crab tails and bread dumplings. The original "Leipziger Allerlei" is served in June, when the asparagus season begins, the season for crayfish is over and when the vegetables have just been freshly harvested.

A Leipziger Lerche (pastry delicacy) on a plate, gastronomy, specialities
© Andreas Schmidt

A special treat is the Leipziger Lerche, which in the 18th/19th century first made its appearance on the international menu. As the name suggests, real skylarks were originally part of the dish. An estimated 1.5 million of these songbirds were caught annually in the Leipzig floodplains, baked with herbs and eggs and served with sauerkraut or bacon by the "lark women" in the Salzgässchen.

In August 1860, there was a terrible hailstorm. Thousands of songbirds perished in Leipzig's streets. This was followed by civil protests, which led to the Saxon King banning the hunt for larks in 1876. Resourceful bakers immediately found a substitute by making a treat out of oven-fresh short crust pastry, almonds, nuts and strawberry jam or marzipan.

The shortcrust pastry is reminiscent of a bird's skin. The two cross-shaped shortcrust pastry strips symbolise the original thread with which the stuffed animal was held together. To this day, the Leipziger Lerche is made by hand following seven different steps and is more popular than ever before.

Two packs of Leipzig Linden-Taler, a local speciality made of chocolate, gastronomy in Leipzig, coffee house culture, café
© Andreas Schmidt

Salzburg locals have their Mozartkugel, the residents of Pulsnitz their well-known gingerbread and the Leipzig residents have the Leipzig Linden-Taler. It celebrates the origin of the name Leipzig. The name comes from the Slavic word Lipsk, which means linden. Lipsk is the place by the Linden and Leipzig is the Linden City.

The idea of ​​creating a Leipzig Linden-Taler came from the owner of Pfeffi plus e.K., Wilfried Opitz. 

The sweets are an absolutely fair trade product. For example, the cocoa beans for the handmade chocolate Taler come directly from the farmer in Colombia and the cane sugar from fair trade cultivation in Paraguay. The lime blossom honey-cream truffle filling makes the 25 g delicacies probably the largest chocolates in the world.

But the Leipzig Linden-Taler is more than just a piece of chocolate. A 20-page brochure in German and English included with the Taler makes this the perfect souvenir, shining with attractive Leipzig images and surprising facts about the city's history. 

A plate full of Räbchen - a speciality made of prunes - in vanilla sauce, gastronomy in Leipzig
© Andreas Schmidt

It is surprising: almost everyone knows of the coffee Saxons and the legendary "Blümchenkaffee". But who actually has any idea about the "cake" Saxons?

Hardly anyone seems to know that the Saxons are the largest cake inventors in Germany. 300 years ago, Saxon confectioners were constantly creating new delicious pastries. One of these creations is the Leipziger Räbchen, which Goethe greatly enjoyed during his time in Leipzig.

Leipziger Räbchen is a classic dessert of traditional Saxon cuisine, which has its origins in Leipzig. This speciality consists of prunes filled with marzipan, which are baked in an egg batter. The globular doughnuts are then rolled in cinnamon sugar and served while hot. With a little custard, the dessert's delicious taste is complete.