It’s Oktoberfest time, and you probably already have plans for where to go and what to drink. Heck, you might even have your lederhosen or dirndl all set out. But do you know what you’ll be eating? While the über steins of beer might be the primary draw to Oktoberfest, deciding what to eat can be just as fun.

We asked Mario Milkovics, the chef-owner of German food truck Schnitzelwirt, what we should be eating this Oktoberfest. Here’s what the Austrian native recommends for soaking up all that beer and where to get the goodies in and around Denver. “We Austrians go into Germany [for Oktoberfest]; we like to party like everybody else,” he says.

Wienerschnitzel

A photo of wienerschnitzel from Schnitzelwirt
Wienerschnitzel from Schnitzelwirt. Photo courtesy of Schnitzelwirt

Schnitzel, a generic term for a meat cutlet, is a staple in Germany and Austria. “You gotta have schnitzel,” Milkovics says. “The leading identifier—wiener, jäger—that tells you how it’s prepared and what to expect.” There are two variations of wienerschnitzel, Milkovics says, but the deep-fried, breaded pork cutlet topped with lemon has become the most popular. The other, a golden-brown veal cutlet served with lingonberry jam, isn’t served as much in the U.S.

Jägerschnitzel

Like with wienerschitzel, there are two variations of jägerschnitzel. In Austria, the cutlet is dusted in flour, pan-seared in butter, and topped with a rich, brown mushroom sauce. Milkovics says the German version, though, is what Americans are more familiar with, and that’s what he makes on the truck. The pork is pounded, breaded, deep-fried, and loaded up with that same button mushroom gravy. “The jägerschnitzel for me is my best-seller. It out-sells everything else by about four to one. It’s mainly the mushroom sauce that does it,” he says.

Weisswurst

A photo of currywurst and potatoes from Schnitzelwirt
Currywurst and potatoes from Schnitzelwirt. Photo courtesy of Schnitzelwirt

Milkovics says that weisswurst, essentially a veal brat, is a big Oktoberfest food in Germany, but it’s harder to find in America. The white, boiled sausages are predominantly made from veal, which is expensive and not as popular here. But if you can find it, eat it, and the earlier the better. The Germans—who traditionally eat it for breakfast or as a snack before lunch—have a saying that weisswurst should never hear the chime of noon church bells. If you can’t find the pale links, go for the more ubiquitous currywurst or bratwurst instead.

Pretzels

The humble pretzel, of course, serves a very important function. “The pretzel dough helps to soak up some of the alcohol,” Milkovics says. The Bavarian versions are crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside, but necklaces made of strings of the Rold Gold variety work in a pinch.

A photo of bratwurst, sauerkraut, and potatoes from Schnitzelwirt
Bratwurst, sauerkraut, and potatoes from Schnitzelwirt. Photo courtesy of Schnitzelwirt

Where to find German food around Denver and beyond:

Milkovics will cruise his Schnitzelwirt truck to a variety of Oktoberfest events over the next couple of weeks, including to breweries and festivals. Check out the full schedule here.

Aurora’s Helga’s Haus & Bier Garden is where has taken his first dates. Helga’s has cooked and served northern German-style dishes since 1989.

In Lakewood, Gaby’s German Eatery is the place to go for spätzle, schnitzel, and stroganoff.

Edelweiss German Restaurant has been stuffing Colorado Springs residents with all the schnitzels for more than 50 years.

For a gluten-free Oktoberfest, head to Golden’s Holidaily Brewing Co. on September 17 for sausages, brats, and pretzels from gluten-free food trucks.

Wynkoop Brewing Company hosts Kooptoberfest September 15, pairing Oktoberfest-style beers with plates like schnitzel and apple fritters.

Allyson Reedy
Allyson Reedy

Allyson Reedy is a freelance writer and ice cream fanatic living in Broomfield.