Munich is where my family lives, and so I am a little biased when it comes to praising its beauties. However, Munich really is a great city to visit. It has great local culinary traditions, its famous beerhalls and beautiful streets and parks to wander through. Perfect for a weekend get-away, especially in summers when the Biergartens are open or in winter when there are the many Christmas markets.
Schumann’s Tagesbar is definitely one of my favourite food places in Munich, open for breakfast, lunch and drinks. The daily changing menu is always delicious and the food is fantastic. However, beware! This is a place where Munich’s Schickeria hangs out, to see and be seen.
The Hofbräuhaus is the krass contrast programme, where everyone from everywhere enjoys a Mass Beer. This world-famous Bavarian institution has been around since the 16th century! It serves traditional Bavarian cuisine while a band plays traditional Bavarian music. It may be touristy, but the Weißwürste and the crackling pig are great and the beer is even better 😉
For really great Bavarian cuisine, head to the Spatenhaus an der Oper. Yummy!!
Another food classic is the Viktualienmarkt - an outdoor market with great produce that will satisfy every heart’s desire. There is the … where you can enjoy a cold beer or Radler (the perfect summer drink of lemonade and beer). The best fish can be found at Fisch Witte, which is both store and restaurant. For the markets’s best coffee go to the Cafe Rosterei. Just across the street is the organic food store Hermannsdorfer, which serves delicious fresh food with local Bavarian produce. Also right by the market is the Café Frischhut, which serves the best Schmalznudel - dough, deep fried and then dipped in sugar. Absolutely delicious and a true bavarian tradition, with the cafe being run by the same family since 1973.
Another beautiful place to shop for food is Alois Dallmayr. The beautiful traditional interior attracts tourists from all over the world, however, locals shop here for their sausages and vegetables and of course for the world-famous coffee.
Brot und Butter is right next door. Nestled in a the store Manufactum, which specialises in old-school traditional products, Brot and Butter serves freshly baked bread with traditional spreads, cheese and ham as well as a small daily changing menu.
Another real favourite of mine is the Brasserie Oskar Maria, a french bistro in the heart of Munich. It has an up-scale restaurant and a more relaxed space in the bistro. Both places serve fantastic food - it just depends what you’re in the mood for. The space itself is beautiful with great tall ceilings and windows.
Theresa is where you go for meat. A stylish place to enjoy a fantastic steak and quality food in a beautiful setting in Munich’s Schwabing neighbourhood.
Cafe Ducatz im Lehel. I love coming here. A french inspired cafe and menu. The pastries are delicious. Always leave with a smile on my face. Unfortunately, not exactly cheap!
Cake, or Torten as Germans call them, is a true culinary tradition. Not exactly healthy or refined, nonetheless they are delicious. Unfortunately, true bakeries are slowly dying out and being replaced by commercial chains. A few still remain. One of these is the Konditorei Wölfl, which is a tiny place where the family still bakes. Another classic is the Café Münchner Freiheit, which serves Torten available in every flavour. Note the lovely decor from the 1970s!
An upscale version is Käfer, a high-end food department store, with some of the best cakes I have ever had the pleasure of eating!
If you’ve had enough food and cake and are looking for a drink, the rooftop terrace of the Hotel Bayerischer Hof is a swanky place to enjoy the perfect view across Munich’s cityscape and a (slightly overpriced) drink!
Bar Centrale, an Italian bar with the atmosphere otherwise found in Rome. The food is nothing special but the atmosphere in the bar is great and perfect for a drink or glass of wine.
In the summer …
The Biergarten experience is not to be missed when in Munich. In summer, Munich volk all inhabit the cities different beer gardens and enjoy a mass (a litre of beer) and pretzles, obadzda and radi. The Biergarten at the Chinesischer Turm in the English Garden has a live band and the Seehaus Biergarten has a beautiful location right by the lake. A fancy Biergarten with great food is the Kaisergarten in the Kaiserstrasse.
There is also a great ice-cream at Bartu Ice Cream. All organic, it serves delicious ice cream. Also worthy of a visit are the many Italian ice-cream stores, Sarcletti probably being among the most prominent. You sit down and get served your ice-cream, not your usual cone or tub experience. Try "Spaghetti-Eis", vanilla ice-cream topped with whipped cream, strawberry sauce and coconut flakes, which I absolutely love 🙂
In the winter…
There are of course the beautiful Christmas Markets, with endless options of mulled wine, german sausages, roasted chestnuts and sugared almonds.
Central Munich has the beautiful Rathaus (Townhall), which you can actually walk through and admire the neo-gothic architecture, with its famous Glockenspiel, which is beautiful to watch and listen to. You can also climb up the Alter Peter and enjoy a view of Munich and even the alps on a clear day. Just near by is the Glockenbachviertel, a cute neighbourhood with a lovely mix of old and new stores and cafes.
There are plenty of museums in Munich, with the Haus der Kunst and the Pinakotheken probably being the most significant. My personal favourites include the lesser-known and small Glyptothek, dedicated to Roman and Greek statues, which also happens to have a great cafe!
For a bit of quite time, there is a famous English Garden, the classical designed Hofgarten and the small and somewhat unusual Alter Nordfriedhof, which is an old graveyard, that has been out of use since the Second World War, and is now used by locals as a haven of peace and quite.
If you like castles and have the time, visit Schloss Nymphenburg, the Bavarian royal family’s summer retreat, with a beautiful garden and enchanting little villas strewn across the expansive and beautiful property.
To see the darker side of German history, there is the Concentration Camp Dachau north of Munich, which is a memorial site to those who lost their lives as a result of the Holocaust.
If you like to shop, head to Munich’s traditional department store Lodenfrey, which also is home to the town’s best traditional costumes department. Just across the street is a favourite of mine - Mohrmann Basics. On the pricey end of fashion, but a great place to find something that is beautiful and divine!