The heart of old Swabia, Stuttgart best represents the traditions of its heritage through its food. Although you'll find many of the staples of greater Germany represented here (the Turkish Döner, brezel, etc.), a true taste of the region can be had in Swabian favorites like Spätzle, Knödel, Maultaschen, and Leberkäse.
Because Stuttgart is large and international city, there are plenty of options other than those that represent its Swabian roots, so whether you're looking for cheap Asian or Italian takeout or want the ubiquitous Döner, the options are plenty. Alaturka are the local kings of Döner, located on Olgastrasse, while quick and inexpensive meals can be had at centrally located establishments like Cafe Graf Eberhard, Caffè Bar Ritazza in the train station, the vegan Coox and Candy, and Cafe Stella near Wilhemsplatz (just to name a few).
Still, we're going to run with the assumption that you're willing to veer away from fast food that can be found everywhere and anywhere and give you a quick heads up on where you can find the Swabian standards. First off, a few definitions. Spätzle is an egg noodle that has become internationally popular and is the basis of many dishes, while Knödel are a rounded variation. Maultaschen are a ravioli-style pasta usually filled with various meats and spices, like bratwurst, and (on a related note) Leberkäse is a cut of meat containing liver and pork. These dishes can be found in a lot of Stuttgart eateries, as well as the German favorite, brezel (a large soft pretzel), which fits quite naturally in one hand while your other carries a frothy mug of beer. As far as which local restaurants are the best for Swabian cuisine, it would be hard to pin down with the high number of good choices, but we would be mistaken not to include the following: Calwer-Eck-Brau on Calwer Straße, Stuttgarter Stäffele on Buschlestraße, Zum Ackerbürger in Bad Cannstatt, and Reiterstüble Gasthaus in the Feuerbach district. All of these establishments do well creating a sense of traditional Swabia both with delicious food and classic décor.
For further recommendations, browse our activity pages and start choosing dining locations for your next big trip.