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Jan 5, 2014 06:51 PM

Munich - Spaten or Pschorr or Zum Alten Markt and other ?s...

My wife and our two daughters will be in Munich for the first time for three days in March staying at the Hotel Louis by the Viktualienmarkt. I've been doing a little research here and around the web, but would very much appreciate some additional guidance on the following questions:

We're going to the opera on our first night and would like to eat afterwards. Is Spaten (upstairs) a good choice?

If we do go to Spaten, is Der Pschorr too similar for another dinner? Are we better off trying Zum Alten Markt? The online menu at ZAM seems a bit lighter than Spaten and Pschorr...

I like the idea of at least one meal that is not heavy German fare since we will be spending the next week skiing in Austria, where we will be eating plenty of schnitzel, tafelspitz, and strudel...Brenner seems to get some love here. Is that a good choice or is there another fish/Italian restaurant that you would recommend instead?

Any views on Geisels Werneckhof, which recently was featured in the NYT? The food certainly sounds different from (and more expensive than) the run of the Munich mill, but I'm concerned that it may be a little fussy and molecular...

And finally, if there's anything else we should know - like the best sausage stand or konditorei in town, please share! Thanks in advance for your help. I promise to report back...

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  1. I haven't been to Spaten since the revamp, but my dinner several years ago was the nicest, best tasting, upscale traditional German dinner I've had, and it couldn't be more convenient if you're attending the opera.

    I like various Rischarts locations for a quick coffee/sandwiches/pastries, and hope to visit Cafe Kreutzkamm on my next visit ( ). Definitely check out Dallmayr while in Munich.

    1. Spaten definitely. Would pick Zum Alten Markt over Pschorr personally. Brenners I think is the favorite of one poster on here. I like it mainly for the convenience -- I find the food good but quite overpriced for what you get.

      Werneckhof I haven't been to the new version but my husband was there recently and really liked it. But there are lots more very good non-molecular one stars in town (EssZimmer, Les Deux etc.) or you could try Tramin.

      9 Replies
      1. re: Behemoth

        Thanks, Behemoth - and to you as well, Prima, for returning the Lech favor. I like the idea of a "very good non-molecular one star" - which do you think our thirteen year old and twenty one year old daughters might find most lively?

        1. re: fress

          I have a hard time describing any of those places as lively...Munich is just not a lively kind of town :-) Hmm. If your daughters are into fancy cars (or modern architecture) EssZimmer might be interesting as it is inside the BMW Welt.

          For lively, if you want something completely different (and non German) you could try one of the "scene-Greeks", which seems to be a weird Munich thing. Basically people go for dinner, then around 9 or 10 pm a DJ shows up and everyone starts dancing on the tables. The crowd watching is priceless, best described as the occasional FC Bayern player and the women who hope to meet them. I don't know why this is, but they actually manage to serve really good, reasonably priced food. I like Cavos in the Reitschule. If you want to avoid the party (and easier to get in) then just go on a weekday, people watching will still be pretty good but it's all a bit less frantic.

          You asked about wurst stands...another lively "kult" place would be Bergwolf at the Frauenhofer subway station. That's *the* place to get currywurst, especially after a night of bar hopping in that neighborhood. Of course the best place to get Weisswurst is at the Grossmarkthalle a bit south of Altstadt, super charming but maybe too far out of the way for most tourists. Most of the wurst stands at the Viktualienmarkt are quite good though.

          1. re: Behemoth

            Thanks, Behemoth. I love the idea of mortifying our daughters by having their dad dance on the table! You've given me a lot to think about...

            1. re: fress

              Sounds good! My daughters are still too young to be easily mortified. Just be aware the DJ is only on Fridays and Saturdays.

            2. re: Behemoth

              Lulu and I will be in Munich next month, and the idea of going to a Greek restaurant is very appealing. We'll be staying near the Viktualeinmarkt. Can you (or anyone else) suggest such a place near there? Thanks very much in advance.

              1. re: LulusMom

                I'm there in Dec. LlM, are you and Lulu still around?

                1. re: Breadcrumbs

                  Oh wow! What a shame, we leave the morning of Nov. 29. That would have been pretty amazing to meet up there.

                  1. re: Breadcrumbs

                    Hi Breadcrumbs - just back from Munich (as in *just* back from Munich) and wanted to be sure I remembered to give you this tip. Our best meal was lunch at Fisch Witte (they only serve fish/seafood) in the Viktualienmarkt. Really wonderfully fresh seafood (we both went for the soup, especially nice in the cold weather), in a cute little (and I mean little) place. Here is the website
                    Have a great time, and sorry we missed you!

                    1. re: Breadcrumbs

                      While you're in Munich this Dec, make sure you visit Kreutzkamm . I brought some Kreutzkamm stollen and Florentines back to Canada last year, as well as some Rotegruetze jam from Leysieffer.

            3. Some highlights from Munich:
              The gulasch soup and cheese spaetzle at Spaten. Easily the best version I've tasted of both dishes. Still my favourite German restaurant in Munich.
              The potato soup at Wirtshaus Kuechlverzeichnis across from the Gasteig.
              The veal pflanzerl at Residenz, the restaurant at the Prinzregententheater, which were stuffed with chives and served with a mushroom sauce.
              Various varieties of fruit at the Viktualienmarkt I haven't seen in Canada where I live.
              Florentines and stollen from Kreutzkamm.

              Lara 44 was closed for renovations last week.

              3 Replies
              1. re: prima

                I also enjoyed a potato and lentil soup with sausage at the cafe of the Moderne Pinakothek. I enjoyed the various soups I tried in Munich (and in Tyrol), which seem to be made with more care than the soups in Toronto.

                As soon as I approached Zum Durnbraeu, I realized I had dined there on a previous visit. Prices were reasonable considering its location in the Altstadt, with a 1/4 roast duck with red cabbage and dumplings priced around 12 E, but the food was quite salty compared to my other meals in Munich.

                I noticed this link for a top 10 list of wirtshaeuser, which I'm posting for future reference:

                I also understand
                is useful for seeking out restaurants in Bavaria, which might not have been mentioned on Chowhound.

                If anyone visiting Munich and looking for a hotel that includes a nice breakfast buffet in its rates, I enjoyed the breakfast at the Torbraeu Hotel near Isartor, which included Dallmayr coffee, many cheeses, smoked salmon, many cured meats, Liege-style waffles, muffins, pastries, breads, soft pretzels, a good selection of fruit beyond the typical pineapple, Bircher Muesli and Rote Gruetze, as well as omelettes on request. Apart from the omelettes and boiled eggs, the breakfast is a cold buffet. It's possible to request Milchkaffee, cappuccino, etc. I love the various seeded rolls that are available in Munich, and was very happy to see the hotel provide so many types of fresh rolls at breakfast.The Torbraeu buffet costs 17 EU for those who are not registered guests. I was spoiled by the delicious cured meats and cheeses at the Torbraeu, and the breads, meats, cheeses and pastries included in the breakfast buffet at my hotel in Tyrol paled in comparison to the breakfasts at the Torbraeu.

                I found the portions very large at the German restaurants I visited in Munich. A soup/salad and a dessert would be more than enough food for me at most German restaurants. I usually ordered a soup and a main, and I never had room for dessert. Even without dessert, I rarely finished my mains,and I was leaving at least one dumpling on my plate most nights.

                Behemoth, will most German restaurants provide smaller portion of their mains, if requested? I noticed the Kleine Gerichte and Brotzeit sections on some menus, but wasn't sure if it would be standard to ask for a half serving of schnitzel, sauerbraten, Allgaeuer spaetzle, etc.

                1. re: prima

                  Re half servings, not typical I'm afraid. Usually Bavarian meals are just one course. (Soup would be a light meal.)

                  1. re: Behemoth

                    Thanks, Behemoth. Will keep that in mind on my next visit.

              2. I just realized that I neglected to report on our trip to Munich. We very much enjoyed our three days in the 70 deg sunshine, although we were not terribly excited by the food. Our favorite meals were at the Zum Aumeister beer garden at the Northern end of the English Garden - delicious roast chicken, crisp radishes, liptauer spread, and, of course, pretzels and beer; we biked there for lunch twice, and on the second day augmented our meal with an amazing dessert of rote gruze and custard that we had picked up at Dallmayr. I highly recommend it as a biking destination - it seemed very much a local favorite.

                In terms of dinners, we enjoyed our meal at Spaten after the opera, although our experience was slightly soured by the fact that, despite our having reserved a table upstairs, we arrived to find a corporate party in full swing there and had to sit downstairs. No big deal really, as the spargel we had in various preparations was uniformly delicious. The wood panelled room at Zum Alten Markt was charming and the food good, if unadventurous, but the service was somewhat discombobulated - my wine sat on the bar a few feet away from our table while our appetizers were served, and it was only after I requested it a couple of times from our waiter that he ferried it over. The one disappointment was Brenners Grill, where the food was mediocre, the service neglectful, and the din almost unbearable. To be avoided!

                Thanks again to the Board for its advice...