Munich – culinary and cultural
Munich dominates Bavaria, it´s the cultural and political capital since Bavaria exists. Not being born there, you will always remain a stranger. In fact, it´s not easy to get into contact with the real locals, born and raised in Munich and the language barrier is only one reason – even for Germans it`s hard to understand the local dialect. With six big and around twenty small breweries in town, beer is the common drink, the only questions is: a Mass or a small beer. From all the local dishes the Weisswurst and Leberkäse are the most known abroad, you get both at food stalls for a snack or in restaurants, every butcher has its own recipe, so don`t wonder when the butcher is named on the menu.
Munich – traditional and modern
The city is an open air museum of iconic landmarks and German stereotypes (think Dirndl and Oktoberfest) and by strolling the downtown area you find an exiting mixture of tradition and modern – expressed in buildings, shops, art and street wear.
- the Glockenspiel from 1517 with the Schäffler dance at the Marienplatz and modern Art galleries around the corner
- people in town are dressed in Dirndl, other in business suit or latest Designer fashion
- the Frauenkirche from the 12th century and the modern Käufingertor Passage in the same district
Strawanzen in Munich
Strawanzen means to stroll along and that´s what the locals do after work or on weekends: strolling their favourite neighborhood (Schwabing, Glockenbachviertel), ending up in the beergarden to meet up with friends – the way of life in Munich!
The Marienplatz with the historic town hall is Munich’s central square, right in the heart of the old town. Tip: you get a great view from the Huggendubel bookshop café on the 3rd floor!
It is also at the center of the pedestrian zone with all the shops and breweries, everything in walking distance. Cafes line the beautiful cobbled streets and are part of the social scene. Throughout the afternoon everyone sits facing the sun, enjoying lunch or coffee and cake.
Munich for Foodies
The foodie place in town is the Viktualienmarkt. It developed from an original farmers’ market to a popular market for gourmets – in the early morning hours you can rub shoulders with the chefs from well known restaurants in town. At the market you find food stalls and a beer garden in the middle – the best way to experience the local specials is getting samples from what you like and a beer, find a seat under the chestnut trees (not easy) and have a picnic. Every six weeks one of Munich’s six breweries will be selling their beer here. Don`t forget the shops around the market, most of them are food related and doing a real good job!
It looks as white as its name suggests and is a blend of pork and veal, flecked with parsley. Locals eat it with sweet mustard as a filling snack after breakfast and before lunch, it´s not supposed to be a main dish! Don`t wonder if you watch people eating the sausage with their hands – they aren`t brute, it´s just the traditional way to eat a Weisswurst. You won`t find Weisswurst after noon, which has the simple reason that the meat has to be very fresh to provide the optimal taste and avoid food illness.
It´s not hard to find your way to the “must to do” places like Hofbräuhaus, Dallmeyr and Brenners, but where go the locals? If you look for “off the beaten path” things to do, here are some suggestions:
Instead of Hofbräuhaus try Augustinerbräu, Wirtshaus in der Au or the neighborhood brewery Giesinger Bräu, micro brewery with beer tasting: you get a sample with 5 kinds of beer for tasting
Instead of Dallmeyr and Käfer: Delice at the station Pasing, Feine Esserei Nymphenburg, Bogenhausener Käsealm, Café Frischhut
Same with Cafe Leopold: famous but touristy and expensive, here are some Cafe recommendations with local flair and top quality:
Café in the Müller´schen Volksbad, one of Munich´s best café´s in one of Europes´s most beautiful swimmingpools in a top location at the river Isar and close to the Deutsches Museum – hard to top that! The Art Noveau swimming pool, careful modernized, is a piece of Art itself and it is still in use. The best treat after swimming is, to sit in the wonderful historic café and have “Kaffee und Kuchen” (coffee and cake).
Seehaus im Englischen Garten, Kleinhesslohe 3 : great for brunch on weekends, but also for weekly breakfast, terrace at the lake, restaurants own butchery,
Vorhoelzer Forum, Arcisstraße 21: the best view over Munich from the roof top terrace. This Café is the cafeteria of the Architecture faculty and even on weekends you will find many students here, makes it kind of lively.
Munich is an extremely walkable city. It takes effort to get completely lost, but in case you do, access to public transportation and go back to the central square Marienplatz.
Foodie map Munich