One of our biggest worries when deciding to spend this next set of adventures in Europe was the budget. The cost of living is notoriously high in the EU, and unlike in Asia and Australia, we were at a currency disadvantage, so our meager $26 per day wasn’t going to stretch nearly as far here as it did in, say, Thailand. Therefore, we were expecting to eat at home a lot more often, and a lot more peanut butter and jelly.
Thankfully, the price of food in Karlsruhe was very affordable. When we arrive at each new sit, we like to do an initial grocery run and pick up some staples, usually consisting of cereal, instant coffee, milk, bread, peanut butter, jelly, chips, rice, zucchini, carrots, garlic, 4 chicken breast, and ice cream. At home, this would cost between $20-$25. In Karlsruhe, we were able to get all of the above for about the same price, around €20. As an added bonus, the beer ended up being cheaper than we were expecting, around €2 each. With some careful meal planning, we’d be able to keep our usual menu and stay well under budget, which was quite the relief.
Dining Out in Karlsruhe
The restaurant prices in Karlsruhe were also quite affordable, though not enough for us to eat out as much as we wanted. Still, we made it a priority to try out the local cuisine, and frequented the bakery down the road almost daily. I loved the pretzels, donuts, and hand-made bread loafs! And it wouldn’t have been a successful trip to southwestern Germany if we didn’t try a Black Forest Cake, which was delightful.
In an attempt to try local food in Karlsruhe that a blue collar worker might enjoy on her lunch break, we headed to one of the nearby lunch counters. Unlike almost everyone we met in Germany, the staff there did not speak English. We fumbled our way through ordering with our poor German and ended up getting stuffed red peppers, spaetzle (thick, egg pasta), and alcohol free beer. It wasn’t at all what we wanted, but I would be lying if I didn’t say it was all delicious.
Our favorite places to eat, however, were the beer gardens. They were often beautifully located, had outdoor seating, and inexpensive food. We tried several beer gardens and loved them all. The beers were cold and plentiful and the food was basic, but well-made. They were the sort of places we could sit for hours… and did. My favorite was the Rheinkiosk Seyfert, located off a quiet bike path next to the Rhine River. I ordered the cashier’s favorite wurst (sausage) and a bottle of Hoepfner Hefe-Weizen.
German Beer Tasting
Our worldwide beer tasting tour continues with a truly amazing selection of German beers. The majority of our tastings were purchased at the grocery store to keep the prices down, though we did enjoy a pint or two at the beer gardens and a local pub. However, our most enjoyable tasting experience, by far, was with our house sitting host over dinner. She had read on the blog that we enjoyed drinking beer, and prepared a wonderful spread of flavors for us to taste. It was a great way to get to know one another and get a taste of what the locals enjoy.
For the most part, we had only two styles to choose from, either Pilsner or Hefeweisen, but each brew had subtle differences in flavor that made each one feel special and unique. My favorite brew of the trip was the Warsteiner Premium Verum, a German Pilsner. With one new tasting per day, plus a wonderful spread by our host on our final day in town, I ended our Karlsruhe adventure with 15 new German beers.