Brotzeit is a German word that technically translates as “bread-time,” but has come to mean a hearty snack consumed between the main meals of the day. Bavaria is the center of “brotzeit” culture, and there it most often refers to a snack consumed in the mid-morning, a sort of second breakfast. At 10 a.m., many Bavarian beer halls are full—brotzeit usually includes a beer, most often weissbier. See weissbier.

At one time, brotzeit referred to a between-meal snack eaten by Bavarian farmers and herdsmen, but these days the idea appeals not only to farmers but also to suited businessmen and even many nearby Austrians. Brotzeit almost always includes bread or a soft pretzel and may also feature sausages, cheeses, hams, and sometimes sauerkraut and some vegetables. Weisswurst, a bland white veal sausage served with sweet mustard, is considered a particularly classical brotzeit dish.

Brotzeit is naturally a popular time in Bavarian beer gardens, and people sometimes bring their own food from home. The Bavarian Biergarten Decree of April 20, 1999, codifies this old beer garden tradition, specifically stating that one of the defining characteristics of the beer garden is the customer’s right to bring his own food.

See also bavaria.