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Nov 14, 2008 06:55 PM

Munich - guide book recommendations

Here are some recommendations for dining and cafes from a little Knopf guidebook on Munich I just got. Any thoughts?

Altstadt - Residenz:
Andechser am Dom
Spatenhaus an der Oper
Cafe Glockenspiel
Dukatz in Literaturhaus
Cafe di Roma
Bar Centrale

Zum Alten Markt
Prinz Myshkin
Hiscox Art
Landersdorfer & Innerhofer
Cafe Freishhut-Schmalznudel
Cafe Villanis

Bodega Dali
Scarlettis Eis Ecke

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  1. Altstadt - Residenz:
    Hofbrauhaus – Beer hall: you definitely have to see it. Best at night around 10 pm when music plays and the alcohol level reached a certain degree. If you like to share a table with drunk Americans and Japanese, you can stay and eat there simple Bavarian food. Upstairs they have a normal Bavarian restaurant with normal prices.
    Shoya – no idea
    Andechser am Dom - very popular, good for socialising. 30% Anglophones
    Spatenhaus an der Oper – most like it for the nice decor. I do not go, prefer Franziskaner next door.
    Eisbach – interesting architecture, the rest is average
    Cafe Glockenspiel – popular for the location above Marienplatz. Last been 20 years ago.
    Dukatz in Literaturhaus – I take it for downton meetings (coffee, water) – the rest is overrated for whatever reason, though popular.
    Tambosi – nice and popular, especially for the outdoor spaces (Hofgarten and Odeonsplatz)
    Cafe di Roma – out of business
    Bar Centrale – very popular among the youngsters – can be extremely crowded.
    Viktualienmarkt – Tourist must
    Zum Alten Markt – normal, overpriced
    Prinz Myshkin – popular vegetarian
    YUM – I think I am the only one who dislikes (in particular: only c-tables, overpriced)
    Hiscox Art – out of business
    Landersdorfer & Innerhofer – consist very good reviews, rather expensive, never been
    Cafe Frischhut-Schmalznudel – very popular, because used to be the only one to open around 5 am. Was the place the partygoers in tuxedo met the garbage men. But Schmalznudel (more or less the only product) is very fatty
    StadtCafe – no idea what that is
    Cafe Villanis – same - both probably just another Café someone remembers because of the beautiful waitress.
    Bodega Dali – heard about, probably nice, if you are in the area, but not worth a longer trip
    Ysenegger – just another place – Bavarian type
    Grosswirt – same
    Pardi – cannot comment
    Schmock – rather popular, kosher. I tried to go there twice but because of the arrogant staff I each time refused to stay.
    Broeding – very special, they have only one 4 or 5 course menu without any choice. One day a week fish based. Not cheap, but a special experience.
    Scarlettis Eis Ecke – very popular, in summer. Great variety of flavours.
    Ruffini – special, bohemian and young crowd. Communal tables. Very reasonable prices.
    Taxisgarten – mainly a beergarden for summer, nothing special indoors.

    7 Replies
    1. re: Marc

      Wow! Thanks Marc - nothing like getting real feedback. Sometimes I wonder too when I see lists of recommended restuarants in my home town (kind of a small global tourist destination itself) and wonder if they know what they are talking about, have ever even been there ...... or as you say, just liked the cute waitresses.

      Your feedback has been immensely helpful since we can go to only one or two on the list. If you are up to it, I can provide the lists for other parts of town because over our stay we will probably poke around as much of the city as possible.

      1. re: glbtrtr

        Unless you are a restaurant critic it is normally not worth while for a tourist to search for a particular average restaurant. It may be different for the handful top restaurants “worth the trip”. For example the search for Broeding only makes sense if you are over 30, at least a party of two interested in wine with a budget of 100 pp.
        Let me know what you want to do in Munich (Art, general culture, Munich and around, length of stay, socialising, romantic, adventurous, age, budget …) and I make you a suggestion based on my experience.

        1. re: Marc

          Marc, you made me think about what is it that we are looking for during this trip - sometimes one just goes and explore but since this one is in the middle of winter we won't have the luxury of just wandering around that much so focusing our time for the best return sounds like a good idea.

          We will be in Munich for 10 days, staying near the main train station and love taking public transportation. We are retired (physican and lawyer) in our late 60's who have traveled the world extensively and now like to take one city at a time and get a feel more for the life and history of one place than just a superficial tourist overlay. We are coming to Munich this time of the year primarily for the feel of the Christmas markets and even a "white Christmas" (snow) feeling since we are from Southern California.

          We want to take a some day side trips to Nurnenburg & Bamberg, Dachau and possibly Fussen or Berchesgarten (sp?) and I have ein bischen of German so we can get around without having to rely too much on English or central tourist district places.

          We want to see the major museums and Residenz. Have tickets for the opera one Saturday night (La Boheme) and we love to walk and hope we are prepared for the cold and possible rain, though we would love snow better. Beautiful church interiors and choral holiday concerts would be a special treat.

          We love historic architecture and romantic interiors. We want to pretend Munich got frozen in time at the end of the 19th Century but are also sobered by its World War Two history as well.

          Our budget would be dinners around $30-50 Euros each, we do want to explore the beers rather than wines, we love traditional German food and don't need to explore other world cuisines because we already have a lot of them in the US.

          We like more atmospheric restaurants that have local authenticity than formal dining or must see tourists spots with lots of people and activity, though the Hofbrauhaus will probably be one of our first stops after seeing the Christmas market at night. We might have one over the top dinner before we leave to cap it all off, and then talk about it for years. We ususally have a large breakfast (included in the hotel) and then one major meal at night and snack at midday, or vice versa if having a large midday meal is a better option and then beer and snack at night.

          You have already helped a lot but it was fun to think how you as a knowledgable local would be able to tailor some restaurants suggestions to this package of preferences. I could see doing the same thing for someone wanting such a selection in my home town too.

          1. re: glbtrtr

            The list from your guide book seems arbitrary and outdated. I'd recommend the following places: For a neighbourhood pub with decent food: Königsquelle. For an atmospheric café off the tourist track: Cafe am Beethovenplatz,. For typical Bavarian food: Beim Sedlmayr or Weisses Bräuhaus or Franziskaner. The best beer in Munich is Augustiner, they have a Bräustuben directly next to be brewery and totally lacks tourists. For slightly more upscale German food and German wines: Retter's am Viktualienmarkt. For your over the top dinner: Landersdorfer and Innerhofer, because, unlike the other highly rated restaurants in Munich, it is possible to recognize the food's german or austrian roots.

            1. re: glbtrtr

              Just some of my very personal thoughts (Chowhoundteam: museums and the like are brainfood and therefore worthwhile to be mentioned here!):

              If you go to Berchtesgaden I suggest you include Salzburg and stay there overnight.
              Berchtesgaden itself is not so interesting, but the landscape – including Königssee- is dramatic – if weather is good. Very interesting - carefully check their opening schedule. Foodwise nothing worth a detour, just take what you find along the road.

              Salzburg: very interesting old town. Foodwise my specials are: Hirschen (slightly above your budget, try Salzburger Nockerl, to order at the beginning of the meal ) and Carpe Diem , both Getreidegasse, Peterskeller, Café Tomaselli, a typical Austrian Coffeehouse . Special is Hangar 7 right at the Airport, one of the 5 best restaurants in Austria, but very modern seating. They have the worlds biggest collection of still flying vintage aircraft. And if it is before X-Mas: Christkindlmarkt is sensational!

              Given the fact you want to go to Dachau, Nürnberg –no idea from my side at all - that gives you 6 days in Munich:

              If you are in your late 60s (I am very close) you probably will not enjoy Broeding, Andechser and Sarcletti….

              Try to avoid breakfast at your hotel at least on some days and try: Café Münchner Freiheit, Café Altschwabing , (next door to the old, modern and new pinakothek
              )If you are keen: there is a typical Bavarian Breakfast, either Weißwurst or Leberkäs with Bretzel and Weißbeer, typically around 10:30. Certain risk, to kill the rest of the day. I recommend to do that at Franziskaner , Augustiner or Valentins Musäum. (if you do not go for Weißwurstbreakfast, you should at least see all of them anyway)

              One day you should visit the OlympiaPark with the Olympia Tower and its revolving restaurant including the BMW World with excellent gastronomy (same Subwaystop “Olympiapark)

              Second day you visit Residence with the treasury and have lunch and or dinner at Franziskaner, Spatenhaus (both ideal before your Opera visit) or Nürnberger Bratwurstglöckl am Dom

              Though there is a downhillalert you should see alone for the very special menu. And opposite is Heiligkreutzplatz with Bratwurstherzl and several other interesting old restaurants. Just walk and see.

              Third day: Museums not to miss: Bavarian National museum and Stadtmuseum with the new Synagogue. There you can eat kosher. Nearby is Viktualienmarkt with a fish stand: FischWitte which is excellent

              Fourth day: the 3 pinakothekes (old, new, modern), for lunch you walk nearby Türken and/or Amalienstraße with everything from hole in the wall to 1 star Bistro Terrine Or opposite the southeast exit of Pinakothek der Moderne is Siemens headquarter (white building) with rooftop restaurant open to the public (Italian
              )Or you walk by Hitlers office to Königsplatz, the only place on earth with 3 temples each having different pillars (one Dorian, one Corinthian and one Jonian), here at Antikensammlung they have a decent Greek bistro/takeout. Ah – not to forget: 50 m further is a great Kandinski exhibition, if you like that. Long, long waiting lines …
              And 50 m the other direction is the former headquarter of NSDAP with - open only weekdays, no entrance fee, 5 minutes from /to the railway station. Interesting restaurant there is Lenbach, designed by Conran

              Fifth day: you visit Nymphenburg Castle (10 minutes from downtown) there is Brückenwirt and Schwaige as restaurants to mention.

              Sixth day: free to see what you missed the first 5 days or repeat a positive experience.

              In fact, most of the above is relatively close together and can be combined in any sequence.

              1. re: Marc

                "Fourth day: the 3 pinakothekes (old, new, modern), for lunch you walk nearby Türken and/or Amalienstraße with everything from hole in the wall to 1 star Bistro Terrine "

                If you are on Turkenstrasse it might be interesting to have a beer at Alter Simpl, a neat place with a lot of history. Also Atzinger on the corner of Schelling and Amalienstr. recently renovated. Inexpensive but good and the place looks really nice now. For Italian I would recommend Limoni on Amalienstrasse. Upscale, good seasonal menu.

                Marc, you're not the only one who dislikes Yum. The food is nothing special and absurdly overpriced.

                1. re: Marc

                  These are absolutely wonderful responses. Thank you so much. Vielen danke!

        2. While I posted the downhill alert on food for Weisses Brauhaus, this is still our favorite of the older beer halls -- we especially prefer it to the Hofbrauhaus as being less touristy (and best wheat beer). The "special menu" that someone referred to is highly less special than it used to be. Unless you really like offal -- there is a part of the regular menu that specializes in this.

          Also I previously mentioned Andechser am Dom as a fav. Especially for meeting people.

          Also we do recommend Spatenhaus an der Oper although we haven't been there for a while.

          Best beer in Munich is highly subjective. We like Schneider, Andechs and now also Hacker-Pschorr's beer right from the barrel at Der Pschorr. Augustiner is okay, but not our favorite. Don't really care much for the Helles from Hofbrau.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Joan Kureczka

            If you go to the opera at the National Theater, Spaetenhaus just across from the opera house is not a bad place to eat before or after the performance if you like more traditional Bavarian food (reasonable price). Also, Orlando across from Hofbrauhaus in Altstad. My favorite hangout after operas was Cafe Roma at Maximilianstr. and the Ring but they closed and became a Gucci store (shame!). In Salzburg, I like Cafe Sacher for good coffee and desserts.

            1. re: makotot

              I also enjoyed Spatenhaus an der Oper- found the quality of the food to be quite a bit better than most of the Bavarian/German restaurants in the central part of Munich, although it is also a little more expensive. Their sauerbraten was one of the better versions I can remember having. Not sure if their sauerbraten is a Swabian version- I realize that Bavaria is generally not the place to order a Sauerbraten Rheinlander Art;)

              Enjoyed some meals at the Paulaner, which I found to be much better than the Augustiner (the one near Marienplatz), and less touristic. I also like the food at the Ratskeller better than what I found at the Augustiner. Haven't tried the Hofbrauhaus or Weisses Brauhaus. I actually had planned to try WB based on the posts on this board, but one of my friends who lives in the area thought I'd be disappointed by the quality of the food.

              Also would recommend Kuchlverzeichnis, especially if you find yourself near the Gasteig. Kuchlverzeichnis has a very cozy atmosphere which is a nice change from some of the larger, more touristic restaurants. They had several dishes with wild game on the menu, including a gulasch with 3 different wild meats.

          2. Hi glbtrtr,

            The others covered most of it. I'll add my 2 cents, no more:

            High quality country style food in Munich is hard to find. My wife grew up farming in Bavaria; the only place we've found is

            Gaststätte Hundskugel‎:


            A (much) more reasonable alternative to Broeding is Zauberberg for your splurge. We've been supporting the owner/chef since he started a few years ago. He changes all the decorations in the restaurant personally according to the time of year, and its really, really cosy:


            5 Replies
            1. re: girobike

              Second that:
              Hundskugel is Munichs oldest "restaurant" - dating back to 1440. Have atleast a look at the beautiful two rooms upstairs.
              Never made it to Zauberberg, but they get consistently great reviews

              1. re: Marc

                Zauberberg (Magic Mountain??) sounds like a great choice - looked at the link and wonder if it is walkable from the U or S-Bahn stop or if taking a bus from those links is necessary.

                How critical are reservations at this time of the year and does it differ between mid-day and evening times?

                With all your help I know we are going to have some terrific dining experiences on our visit. Is there a "white" (snow) Christmas for us yet?

                1. re: glbtrtr

                  Hi glbtrtr,

                  It is definitely walkable from the U-Bahn - 10 mins, no more. You need to take the U1 line to Maillingerstr. I've expanded the map:


                  Reservations are recommended. They don't do lunch, only dinner. Best book ahead if you're going to have dinner there on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday.

                  I'd call 2 weeks ahead just to be sure - I don't know when you're in Munich, its important to realize that many companies have their end-of-year dinners booked ahead in restaurants for the first couple of weeks in December, so the earlier the better.

                  1. re: girobike

                    Thanks for the map - I can tell perfectly where to find it now. The website seemed to indicate it was open for both lunch and dinner in its menu section. (???) There was about a 20 Euro difference in the set menu prices which is why I noticed. Is the website out of date now? It really did look like just the place for a special send off for our time in Munich.

                    Thanks also for the warning on reservations and year end parties already taking up scarce places.

                    1. re: glbtrtr

                      There used to be a time when he didn't do lunches. I would recommend dinners, because the ambience and lighting there is stellar at night.

                      The other place you might want to try for lunch is the Alter Hof - Vinorant for lunch. It's next to Dallmayr's. They serve Franconian wine and food at reasonable prices.