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Casual, local-feeling bars/pubs/restos in Munich, Prague, Copenhagen, Stockholm

Hey there - I am going on a 2 week European adventure and would love some recs for some low-key places to eat, specifically dinner. I and my traveling companions like bars/gastropubs that, in addition to serving great beer, have a more neighborhood feel. I'd love to eat some meals that are typical of the region. (I can get great ethnic food where I live and don't need to look for it in Europe.) Thanks in advance!

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  1. I hope Munich locals reading this will correct me if I am wrong but having just spent a week in Munich my impression was that one would almost have to go out of one's way to find bars and pubs that don't have a neighborhood feel in Munich.

    True, if you never move beyond the immediate vicinity of the Marienplatz you will only find tourist haunts. But that is such a tiny part of Munich it is simple to escape it. It's also true that Munich does have trendy bars that are not trying to be typical "neighborhood" places, but they are instantly obvious just by eyeballing them when you walk by.

    Every neighborhood has plenty of places that are low-key local gathering places. You might want some guidance from locals as to which neighborhood places take more care with their food than others -- but then you should probably say where you will be most of the time in Munich. You certainly will not have any trouble locating meals that are nothing-but-Bavarian no matter where you go in Munich.

    You are right to want the convivial neighborhood vibe of Munich, which exists in both Bavarian places and "ethnic" ones (whatever that word currently means -- tapas? French?) But unless you are saying you'd rather travel to other neighborhoods at night for best possible versions of the local Munich fare, then just explore the Munich neighborhood where you are staying and notice where the locals go.

    1. I'm certainly no expert on Munich but beer is pretty much what they do there so you should be able to find some good places (Prague as well I am told). I suppose I could mention the usual suspects like Hofbräukeller (not to be confused with the awful tourist trap Hofbräuhaus) and Biergarten am Chinesischen Turm. I also heard good things about Fraunhofer. Dallmayr's deli, while quite posh and expensive, is well worth a visit as well as Viktualienmarkt (Weisswurst and beer breakfast is a must....).

      Regarding Stockholm it would have been almost impossible to recommend places for local food a couple of years ago but thanks to the nordic cuisine hype (yes, being trendy is very important to us Swedes) many of the top restaurants have opened simpler second restaurants focusing on local food and relaxed atmosphere...not sure about the neighborhood feel though, we don't really have that in Sweden (possibly because of the high prices). My favourites are:

      1) Oaxen Slipen: fabulous and quite inexpensive (for Stockholm) food and wonderful surroundings on the island of Djurgården. Book well ahead.
      2) Matbaren, Matthias Dahlgren: Great, michelin-starred food and very relaxed despite the posh premises in Grand Hotel.
      3) Speceriet: another solid option from the people behind Gastrologik
      4) The Flying Elk: probably the place that comes closest to your description and it has the potential to be fantastic (run by some of the biggest names on the Swedish food/drink scene) but it was a bit hit and miss when I visited.

      You should also consider Pubologi (great beer, decent food, mostly) and Lux Dag för Dag (former top end restaurant in a spectacular old factory on an island a bit off the beaten track that shifted focus to affordable local, market based cuisine).

      As for Copenhagen I feel I should have some tips but to be honest I'm more of a wine guy so I tend to go for wine instead of beer when I'm in Copenhagen since they have more interesting options than we do in Sweden. Mikkeller Bar (from the brewery with the same name) is pretty famous though and is probably a good place to start.

      Enjoy Europe!

      2 Replies
      1. re: lojroma

        Thanks so much lojroma! I have booked a table at Oaxen Slip for our last night there. Very excited! Maybe I should have mentioned where I will be staying: Ludwigsvorstadt-Isarvorstadt in Munich, Old Town in Prague, Vesterbro in Copenhagen, and at the Hotel Rival in Sodermalm in Stockholm

        1. re: julieapfel

          Hope you'll like it! I just spoke to friend whose opinions I value highly who pointed out I was overly harsh on Pubologi - he absolutely loves the food (White Guide, the most prestigious Swedish food guide seems to agree). They have some genuinely Swedish dishes such as reindeer, arctic char with ramson and buckwheat ice cream on their SEK 550 5 course menu. And just a 15 minute walk from your hotel..

          Södermalm is in my opinion the nicest neighborhood (used to live there myself) and you'll have no problem finding places with neighborhood feel and decent if slightly overpriced food. Not sure about local food though...except for Strömmingsvagnen (fried herring fast-food stand) of course. Pretty good.

      2. For Prague your request leads straight to LOKAL in Dlouha.

        4 Replies
        1. re: hblnk

          I keep reading that and will definitely be going there.

          1. re: hblnk

            ha - I definitely already have a res at Lokal - glad to know I am making the right choice. Thanks!

            1. re: julieapfel

              Good for you, julie. I didn't make a res and they are completely booked for tonight AND tomorrow :( We'll do lunch. Shame on me. I knew we wanted to eat there so shouldn't have been lazy.

              1. re: c oliver

                I'll post something later but we walked in and were seated YAY. "Shared" a table but it was a rectangle for six and there were just four so not cramped at all. SO good.

          2. If you are heading to the Nymphenburg Palace, I strongly recommend the Hirschgarten Biergarten. Full of locals and German tourists. They have indoor seating for nasty weather and great roast chicken. Plus other Bavarian goodies.

            1. Hi julieapfel. Don't know if you have been to Stockholm yet, but if not I second the recommendations from lojroma, all great choices though I think she/he must have had a bad evening at Flying Elk which have been excellent when I have been there, especially go for their fish and chips that is just perfect.
              Some other suggestions. For beer the greatest choices will be at Akkurat and Oliver Twist, both serves decent food, but nothing remarkably. The beer lists are however the two best in Stockholm. As they are both close to your hotel, maybe they are better options to start or finish the evening. Also close to your hotel is Maria Laveau which have a very good beer list and the best creole food in Stockholm, but since you are looking for Scandinavian flavors this is probably better for just drinking in your case. It should be noted that they serve some of the best cocktails in Stockholm in their bar Little Quarter. Two more recommendations worth exploring on Södermalm are Häktet at Hornstull and Nook, close to Nytorget. Nook is one of the two most talked about places at the moment and though cuisine is modern, international rather than ethnic it is worth considering if you can get a reservation. The other of the two in-places at the moment is Lilla Ego which is more Scandinavian in style. All reservations are booked for months ahead, but they do have some walk in seats available. Hope this helps, the restaurant scene in Stockholm is quite exciting at the moment so with some planning you should eat ver well here.

              1 Reply
              1. re: JosefK

                Thanks JosefK - I am already back but we did go to both Akkurat and Oliver Twist for the beers (and got food at the former). I got the fried herring wrap at Nystekt Stromming and we got dinner at Oaxen Slip. Just a quick 2 days there - wish we had longer.