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Germany - Taking Home Leftovers?

Is it the custom to ask for leftovers to be wrapped to take home or not? We're heading to Nuremberg this month. I love to try different foods, but can't eat a lot at once and I hate to waste food. Will have a fridge at hotel. Thanks!

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  1. It's not nearly as wide spread as it is in the US, mostly due to the fact that the portion sizes in Germany aren't as gargantuan. That said, it's not totally unusual to ask for a doggie bag anymore.

    1. I ask occasionally and servers are always happy to comply, although you generally get a very weird look or raised eyebrow. They also tend not to have plastic or styrofoam boxes available and will just wrap your food in aluminium foil or something. BTW, I have to disagree with Linguafood about the portion sizes - it depends entirely on the restaurant of course, but in mid-price places that serve "German" cuisine, I find that the portion sizes are often HUGE, even in comparison to American restaurants.

      2 Replies
      1. re: biondanonima

        Interesting. We eat at mid-price places a lot, and are never nearly as overwhelmed with the amount of food served as we are in the US.

        5 spears of asparagus, 3 little roses of smoked ham, 2 baby potatoes? Pretty reasonable. But we don't go for a lot of the superheavy Hausmacherkost, maybe that's it.

        1. re: linguafood

          Most of the mid-priced German places I frequent are brewery-type places, known for their hearty food, so that's probably it. I would be shocked if one of them served me just two baby potatoes with anything! :) Mid-priced ethnic places (Vietnamese, Thai, etc.) tend to serve very reasonable portions, and of course fine dining portions are always small/reasonable.

      2. In all the restaurants I've tried this in Germany, France, and Spain, not a single one was able to help me. On my last trip to France I took to carrying a Tupperware container with me and packing up my own leftovers. We got some weird looks but that's it, and it saved a lot of money.

        Germany, though, was in 2005, so things may have changed.

        1. Thank you. If they can wrap it in tinfoil, that is fine.

          1. No, it's not really customary here. I guess it depends on how much is left of your meal but unless it's a fairly big portion (say, more than half) people would definitly find it a little weird.

            1. during my time in Berlin i found that doggybagging was a pretty rare thing to see, save at Asian restaurants. You wouldnt want to eat leftovers anyway, with some much fresh kebabs around 24hrs a day...

              1. It is quite unusual to ask for the leftovers to be packed, but most places will accommodate you if you ask politely. I think that most places (apart from the hearty Schnitzelplaces) will give the option to order a smaller portion "Kleine Portion" for less money, if the food waste is your primary concern.

                1. So, we found that the normal portion sizes in Germany and Italy (unlike the gigantor portions here in the US) obviated the need to take food home!

                  1. I was just in Dresden and one special at the Altmarktkeller was half a schweinshaxe for 9 Euro. But the menu listed a whole haxe for 13, so I got that. By the time I ate all the crispy outside and a few bites of center I was stuffed, but I had an oversized zip-lock bag in the backpack and discretely dropped the massive leg in. The waiter looked at me real funny when I paid and there was no huge bone on the plate.