What to Eat in Munich

With regards to food, I had no idea what to expect in Munich. Usually I do a bit of research, try to read up on the cities I visit beforehand. This time, however, I relaxed and let myself be guided by my personal tour guide: Mario. You see, Mario lived in Munich for a year around 2005–2006, and he knew his way around—geographically and culinarily. I mean, I had heard of Munich’s beer scene, though. And believe me, I was excited to drink some decent beer. No more Mahou or Cruzcampo for me! (Sorry for those of you who actually like that stuff, but ugh. Just no.)

Thus, I set out blind, not knowing what delights awaited me! Here’s what we ate and drank in Munich.

Weißwurst

Weisswurst, Weißwurst in German, literally means “white sausages.” Unlike traditional sausages, they’re not made from just pork, but from veal and fresh pork back bacon and flavored with parsley, lemon, and various spices. They’re heated in salt water for a few minutes and served in a bowl with sweet mustard, as you can see in the photo. Traditionally, these sausages are not served after lunch, as they’re made fresh every morning, so you will be hard pressed to find a restaurant serving them for dinner, so your best bet would be to order them for lunch or a mid-morning snack. Be sure to remove the skin before tucking in! Don’t forget the brezen (pretzel) or the beer!

Schweinshaxe

Pig knuckle … I know, I know—it doesn’t sound like the most appealing dish. But believe me, in Munich, you gotta try it. It’s a very typical dish in southern Germany, Austria, and Switzerland), and often served with hot sauerkraut and a dollop of a mashed potato sprinkled with parsley. Be sure to use the relatively dry potato to mop up some of this amazing juices from the meat. Mario was in heaven with this meal.

Wiener Schnitzel

I feel like I had heard the name wiener schnitzel before visiting Munich, but I’d always thought of it as some sort of joke. I don’t even know why! Well, this dish is no joke—it’s delicious. Wiener schnitzel is a thin, breaded and deep-fried schnitzel (German for boneless meat, thinned with a meat tenderizer) made with veal. With a little lemon squeezed on top, it’s delicious and hearty. You won’t leave hungry.

Spargel

Spargel Asparagus Munich

White asparagus is none too common in the U.S. We tend to go for the green variety, and if it’s wrapped in bacon … well, who would say no? However, Germans go nuts for spargel, asparagus, and we happened to arrive in Munich during asparagus season! Asparagus season marks the end of the cold, dark German winter and the beginning of spring. Thus, every vendor was selling two main things: asparagus and strawberries. The restaurants’ weekly menus all featured myriad asparagus courses: soups, salads, and savory dishes. I had an asparagus soup (spargelsuppe) that was divine. ‘Twas the season!

Kaiserschmarrn

Omph, what a word! The word kaiserschmarrn comes from the word schmarrn (pancake) mashed together with kaiser (emperor), named after Kasier Franz Joseph I of Austria, who loved this dessert. Kaiserschmarrn is a dessert made of caramelized pancakes, cut up into pieces, and sprinkled with powdered sugar. Along with the pancake come other ingredients are added, such as nuts, fruits, or caramelized raisins. It is served hot, often in a skillet, with a fruit compote. (We had apple.)

Apfelstrudel

While not exactly foreign to us, who can pass up a good apple strudel? Strudels are layered pastries with sweet (often fruit) fillings. Ours was served with a sauce that tested like melted vanilla ice cream. Don’t pass this one up just because you’ve had it before!

Beer

Okay, you don’t eat beer. I get that. But it used to be considered a source of nutrition (for monks in the Middle Ages anyway), and—most importantly—it’s delicious and refreshing and goes great with all that food we’d been eating! Also, it doesn’t taste like Mahou. So there’s an obvious plus. But what types of beers did we try? As much as we could!

Löwenbräu

Lowenbrau Munich

Hofbräuhaus

Sharing a liter of beer for lunch in Hofbrauhaus

Sharing a liter of beer for lunch in Hofbrauhaus

Augustinerbräu

Augustiner

Paulaner

Paulaner beer

Hacker-Pschorr

Hacker Pschorr beer

Types of Beers

There are so many different types of beers in Germany, from wheat beers to pale beers to dark beers. My favorite types are Weißbier, a wheat beer that’s light on the tongue and sweet to the taste, and Helles, a pale lager. If you’re used to Spanish beer drinking, you can even order Germany’s version of a clara, the Radler, a mixture of beer and lemon-lime soda. Mario much prefers their version of the clara to Spain’s, and I have to agree with him—it’s just better!

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16 comments

  1. Sausages, mustard, and pretzels? Sign me up! These dishes all look amazing, and I agree with you that the beer in Spain is pretty bad. Looks like you had a great variety of quality “bier” to enjoy in Munich.

    1. The beer was soooo good! We almost always chose it, especially because water is so expensive there! Why not choose beer hahaha?

      And the mustard is divine …

  2. I will never really understand people who think Mahou and Cruzcampo are good beers. I’m not a huge beer drinker but even I do not like these ones. Spain is not a country that is known for its beer and it probably never will be. It does a lot of things right, but beer is not one of them. There is a reason you never see these two beers sold outside of Spain ever!

    And I hate a lot of the foods that you posted here when I visited Munich. I did manage to eat the white sausages for dinner when I was in Austria and they were so good. And wiener schnitzel is so not a joke, it’s amazing! I think the one thing that surprised me was seeing so many pretzels EVERYWHERE. And they are so much better than American pretzels which always leads me to believe it was the Germans that invented pretzels. I also ate at the Hofbrauhaus! The food wasn’t that great (maybe we were there on an off day) but the atmosphere was fun and we got up and walked around the place before we left. It is so big!

    1. I think we ate the sausages at Hofbrauhaus so they were good, but I can’t speak to the regular food. And we were so lucky and got a whole big booth to ourselves in the restaurant. It was raining that day, so it was nice and cozy.

  3. It must have been so nice to finally make it to Munich with Mario :) Was he nostalgic for his home-away-from-home?

    The Kaiserschmarrn is new to me–it sounds nothing short of delicious!! Were you able to try the hot sauerkraut as well? I’m curious to hear what that is like!

  4. It WAS so nice! I did try the hot sauerkraut (which in Spanish is “chucrut”), and I must say, I prefer the cold stuff. But it wasn’t bad!

  5. Everytime I’ve been to Germany I had my sister with me, so she made the recommendations and I just followed. The only thing is that I don’t drink beer so I don’t pay attention to that.

  6. Nice post! I’m planning on going to Germany in December (for Christkindlmarkt!) so bookmarking this for sure. Also, the beers in the pictures here are kind of similar (if not the same) as the ones served at this one German bar in Chicago. Might have to go back there to check it out.

    And yeah, Mahou is just ick.

    1. hola Jada, i’d not got any idea of the meaning of the word “ick”, that’s a new word for me! so i have had to look it up and it seems that it is a word meaning something bad or having negative attitude or a bad sensation towards a thing.

      it’s okay if you don’t like Mahou or Spanish beer in general, but i can tell you that any beer of Spain whether Mahou, Cruzcampo or Estrella are great and top beers, drunk a lot by tens of thousands of Brits and Germans who overrun our Mediterranean coast, etc

      i have tried many beers, and honestly a Mahou, Cruzcampo or Estrella does beat any other foreign beer.

      perhaps my opinion is based on the fact that i am a Spaniard, so our beers are the ones that i drink, hence i am used to their “sabor”.

      if i were German or Brit i would fain say a different thing, sure.

      anyway, thanks to your comment i have learnt a new word, thanks! :-)

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