Food & Drink

What to Eat and Drink at Oktoberfest in Tempe

October is finally here, and that signifies the arrival of one of fall’s best events -- Oktoberfest! Four Peaks Oktoberfest in Tempe is no doubt the biggest celebration of beer, brats, and all things Bavarian in the Valley, and this year there will be no shortage of suds and self-indulgence. This is your essential guide for everything you should eat, drink, and see at Oktoberfest.

Try fry bread

Chow down on thick, fluffy, funnel cake-like fry bread from locally owned and family-operated Fry Bread Inc. They’ll be slinging fresh, hot Navajo fry bread at this year’s festival to accompany your beers. Vegetarian, cinnamon & sugar, and honey are just a few of your options.

Drink pumpkin porter

When you’re out and about at Oktoberfest in Tempe, you’ve got to indulge in a pumpkin-flavored beer. Four Peaks' Pumpkin Porter should be at the top of your list of beers to drink at the festival.

Find the Käsespätzle

Käsespätzle is Germany’s version of macaroni & cheese, but don’t expect any old mac. This classic comfort food dish is made with German egg noodles, layered with gobs of cheese, and covered in caramelized onions. No Oktoberfest is complete without this traditional, cheesy dish on the menu.

Guzzle from a stein

Even if you’re not of German descent, honor the heritage and grab a stein. It’s Oktoberfest -- go all out.

Drink internationally

To accompany that stein, forgo the domestic brews and opt for some international suds instead. Direct imports from Germany, including Spaten, Dunkel and Franziskaner, will be pouring throughout the three-day event.

Share an order of pizza box nachos

What happens when you mix nachos and a pizza box? You get pizza box nachos. As the name implies, it’s nachos in a pizza box. That’s a lot of chips and cheese, so grab a friend and smash ‘em.

Ride the Ferris wheel

Take in all of the glory that is Tempe Town Lake and Downtown Tempe atop the Ferris wheel. We recommend climbing aboard at night for the best views of the lake and Mill Ave.

Honor the horchata

While brews and horchata may not mix, those who aren’t imbibing should try the milky cinnamon drink. Look for this Latin-American staple at the street taco booth.

Make a stop at Honey Bear's BBQ

Checkout the Honey Bear’s BBQ booth for loaded fries, barbecue sandwiches and sliders, ribs, meaty mac, chicken strips, hot links, and so much more.

Rock out to German music

Sure, Lil Jon is headlining on Friday night. But if your ears are searching for authentic Bavarian beats, be sure to catch the polka variety band West Coast Prost, the ever-so-talented piano and accordion player Tony Putrino, or a group of Oktoberfest alumni that go by the name of Das Aubachtal Sextett.

Eat soft serve from a pineapple

Tempe’s Affogato Truck will be mixing coffee and ice cream in addition to a smattering of other custom espresso drinks. It'll also be offering Dole Whip, a vegan-friendly pineapple soft serve -- the same stuff you can get at Disney -- and serving it in a real pineapple. It’s not German, but it’s damn good.

Four Peaks Oktoberfest at Tempe Town Lake
Courtesy of Four Peaks Oktoberfest at Tempe Town Lake

Devour some brats

Why have just one German sausage when you can stuff your face in a brat-eating contest? The Oktoberfest tradition continues this year with a competitive brat-eating contest on the final day of the festival.

Celebrate Sunday Funday on the cheap

The event is going on all weekend long -- but on Sunday, and Sunday only, you can get two-for-one beers. Win!

Sign up here for our daily Phoenix email and be the first to get all the food/drink/fun in town.

Lauren Topor is a Thrillist writer whose favorite part of October is Oktoberfest. Follow her to the beer tent on Twitter.