Invite who you want, when you want. Stay up late and party ’til dawn. This Oktoberfest Party Guide provides details on how to stage the world’s largest party at home. Keep it authentic with themed decorations and authentic German food and beverages: Bavarian cheese, Black Forest Ham, Westphalia bread, Düsseldorf hot mustard, Munich sweet mustard, and Swabian pickles, sauerkraut and red cabbage. Of course, don’t forget Germany’s legendary brews, crisp Riesling wines and refreshing mineral waters. The highest quality German ingredients make your Oktoberfest an October feast. For your convenience, we have collected the essential items for your next Oktoberfest party.
Create the right ambience with a table cover in Bavarian flag colors (blue and white diamonds) or German flag color (black, red and golden). A table skirting and bunting in Bavarian/German colors around the skirting will add extra pizazz. Decorate walls with Oktoberfest cut-outs, or German flag cut-outs, and chairs (or the buffet table) with balloons in triples of black, red, golden colors. Serve your food in or with Oktoberfest themed plates, cups, napkins, and tooth-picks.
Offer your guests to sample from of as many German sausages that you can find at stores or online as possible. We suggest to fry or grill Bratwurst, Beer Bratwurst, Cheese Bratwurst (the Austrian Käse Krainer), Bauernwurst (Farmer’s Sausage), Knockwurst, Currywurst, Frankfurter and Debreziner (Hungarian Paprika Sausage). Add a baked loaf of Leberkäse (Bavarian Bologna-type sausage), as well as Weisswurst, Deutschländer, and Bockwurst heated in hot water. More information in our Guide to German Sausages
Visitor’s to Munich’s Oktoberfest will remember munching on oversized soft, salted pretzels with a crunchy crust. Bavarian pretzels provide a perfect primer for Bavarian Beer served in Liter mugs. Pretzel sellers move from table to table and offer super-sized specimen. Soft pretzels make a fun and easy snack that are easy to make, if you can master this double twist. Make your own pretzels or order freshly baked ones online.
Mustard and Curry Ketchup
Although mustard is a common condiment found in many countries. Germany offers two very distinct varieties: The sweet, dark brown, slightly tangy Bavarian mustard which goes well with Weisswurst, Leberkäse and Käse Krainer; and the sharply hot, pungent, light yellow Düsseldorf mustard, In between is medium-hot mustard, preferred in Southwest Germany, and whole-grain mustard. Serve this condiment with sausages or as dipping sauce for hard-pretzel sticks. We recommend to lightly heat curry ketchup served alongside the famous currywurst.
Kraut und Radieschen (Cabbage and Radish):
Sliced radishes, salted raw kohlrabi, as well as pickled Krauts (as in sauerkraut and red cabbage) and pickled cucumbers (as in gherkins, cornichons or pickles) are perfect culinary matches to pretzels, mustard, sausages or pork knuckles and beer. These crunchy, spicy or tart vegetables are best served as cold finger food. Pickles differentiate by size, texture and brine, such as extra crunchy gherkins, large Barrel Pickles, mustard pickles, Polish or Hungarian pickles, or small cornichons.
Dumplings and Spaetzle:
Don’t miss out on satisfying potato and pasta side dishes that complement pork knuckles, sausages and all kinds of gravies. Potato dumplings halb and halb (half grated potatoes, half potato mash) and bread dumplings (potato and bread cubes) are Bavarian staples. Spätzle egg noodles also have the ability to soak up lots of gravy or meat juices.
For a simple celebration, start with the basics. German Munich Oktoberfest beers (Paulaner, Hacker Pschorr, Franziskaner, Augustiner, etc), and Weissbier (Schneider, Weihenstephan) are an essential part of any genuine Oktoberfest celebration. There are more than 100 genuine German brands imported into the United States. Read our Guide to German beers to make sure you’re buying the right one.
Putting it all together: the Atmosphere:
Make sure the atmosphere is a authentic as the food. For a genuine Bavarian feel to your party, decorate using traditional Oktoberfest colors. The official colors of the state of Bavaria are cobalt blue and white so choose napkins, streamers, tablecloths, paper plates and plastic silverware in these colors. Check our ample Oktoberfest party supplies as well as Oktoberfest Party Boxes. Create ambience with small blue and white votive candles on the table or put decorative fairy lights in the window or hang them from the ceiling. If you live in a state where it’s still warm in the fall, consider setting up a tent in your garden with long tables and benches. If your budget (and space!) allows, hire an Oompah band or an accordion player to entertain your guests. An inexpensive alternative is to play CDs of traditional German band music (which are sold on Amazon) or stream German Drinking Songs from online platforms. For a more modern approach, download some songs from today’s German rock bands such as Xavier Naidoo, Nena, Silbermond, Wir sind Helden, Fettes Brot, Die Ärzte, Die Toten Hosen, Freundeskreis, Die Fantastischen Vier (Fanta4) and Rammstein.
A selection of recipes suitable for your Oktoberfest Party is featured below. For an overview of authentic Bavarian and Oktoberfest recipes, we suggest visit our special collection of Oktoberfest Recipes.
If you’re planning to stage a more upscale Oktoberfest-themed party, serve a selection of hot and cold canapés (Häppchen) and try our recipes, for example Westphalian Ham Lollipops, Crisp-Fried German Tilsit With Tomato Coulis and Purslain, or Pepper Brie and Radicchio Salad.
Other simple snacks and appetizers you can offer your guests are Beer-Marinated Bratwurst Sausages, Hot and Crusty Frankfurter Rolls, or Sauerkraut and Prociutto Pizza. All these recipes are quick and simple to make, and you’ll find them on our Oktoberfest party recipes page. You can also put together a selection of German cheeses, whole grain breads, mustards and pickles and put out bowls of hard pretzels and Erdnussflips (peanut corn snacks) and prepare a tray of German cookies and candies as a dessert offering. Take a look at these all-inclusive Oktoberfest sampler packs.
If you’d prefer to serve a hot 3-course meal at your Oktoberfest celebration try one the following menu suggestions:
Oktoberfest Dinner Menu 1
Oktoberfest Dinner Menu 2
Oktoberfest Dinner Menu 3
Whatever type of Oktoberfest celebration you decide upon , genuine imported German foods and beverages are the key to staging an authentic event!