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In search of Local Favorites in Munich that stand the test of time

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Will be visiting Munich for 10 days. I enjoy local food establishments and prefer a local long time favorite over the latest and greatest
even if it means the place is small, out of the way and hasn't been 'dolled-up'. I live in a big city where restaurants come and go and have come to understand that the best location with the best view does not mean the best food. I enjoy all kinds of food and am open to trying just about anything.

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  1. I like Spatenhaus an Der Oper (fancier, more upscale, higher rent location, expensive for Munich, but great food) and Zum Kuechlverzeichnis (more rustic Bavarian atmosphere). Both feature local and seasonal foods.

    Also check out the Dallmayr delicatessen, Cafe Kreutzkamm,the Viktualienmarkt and other markets around Munich. Dallmayr, Cafe Kreutzkamm and some market vendors have been around for hundreds of years.

    For a sandwich, pastry or coffee, the small Rischarts chain has been around a long time, and has locations throughout Munich.

    If you're looking for a light meal, I like the Bavarian potato soup found on many German menus in Munich. Both Spatenhaus and Zum Kuechlverzeichnis serve a good version.

    Hope you enjoy your stay.

    1 Reply
    1. re: prima

      Just arrived and will do my best to check these out. Much thanks

    2. I'll be there in late November (yes, I'm planning wayyyy ahead), and am interested in hearing about any spots that offer non-pork dishes, really any non-red meat things. Will I have to mostly stick to Italian, Middle Eastern spots? if so, any special recommendations? Lulu and I will be staying near Viktualienmarkt. Thanks in advance for any tips.

      10 Replies
      1. re: LulusMom

        I love the salads in Munich. German chicken soups are amazing, as are the pumpkin soups which should be on a few menus in November.

        Most German restaurants in Munich offer at least a couple vegetarian dishes, often including cheese spaetzle, as well as some seafood options.

        Munich has a seafood restaurant called the Austernkeller which features oysters and other seafood. The smoked salmon is good quality in Munich in my experience. Duck and chicken are also very common on German menus in Munich.

        It's not difficult to avoid pork and red meat in Munich, although if you cannot eat any pork for religious restrictions/beliefs, you might want to clarify there's no pork when ordering potato soups and other dishes that could contain a little ham or bacon.

        Menus often have a separate section for the fish or vegetarian dishes that are not going to contain pork.

        I don't eat much pork or red meat when I visit Munich, and the majority of my meals end up being at German restaurants. While I currently eat meat, I did visit Germany as a pescatarian many years ago, and I ate very well. On my last visit, I had roasted duck, mixed salads (which include at least 6 different mixed salads), cheese spaetzle, several different soups.

        Many Germans eat less pork and red meat these days. You'll also find turkey and chicken schnitzel on many menus in Munich.

        There's a Nordsee seafood kiosk in the Viktualienmarkt.

        I've focused on German food when I've dined in Munich, so I can't help re: recs for Italian or Middle Eastern food. Munich is a large city, so you'll also find sushi,Thai food (there's a Thai place near the Gasteig that has been recommended by Munich Chowhound Behemoth), etc if you're not interested in German food.

        1. re: prima

          Thanks so much prima, I really appreciate your help. My non-pork eating isn't for religious reasons, but I've only (accidentally) eaten it once in 30 years, and a very unpleasant 24 hours followed. I have had tamales that ended up using lard and felt pretty bad after, so I prefer to totally avoid all pork. Red meat like beef and lamb I can do in small amounts but I'd really prefer not to. I've had some really great meals in Germany, but all the guide books keep telling me this (Bavaria) is the land of pork and have me a bit frightened (this comes from someone who lives in North Carolina - another place where pork is king). Glad to hear from you that it won't be as grim as I had started thinking. I'm taking my 8 year old (also pork-free) daughter on a mom-daughter trip and I don't want to end up getting sick. Thanks again. If anyone does have any recs for non-German food places in that area I'd be thrilled to hear them, but I'm already feeling a lot less stressed about the food part of the trip.

          1. re: LulusMom

            Just watch out for schwein, speck, schinken on the menu, and let your servers know you don't want to eat pork or wild boar. I think the tourists eat more pork than the locals do. I'm not crazy about sausage, and I didn't eat any on my last visit. Don't worry, the Bavarians are good at cooking all sorts of things, beyond meat. Servings are on the large side, so you could always order a Gemischter Salat so you have room for a nice Bavarian dessert. (Strudel, Prinzregententorte, etc) :)

            1. re: prima

              Thanks again prima. Do I need to worry about things being cooked in lard?

              1. re: LulusMom

                I don't think so. An upscale restaurant like Spatenhaus will have descriptions indicating if something is cooked in butter, olive oil, etc. The only place I've seen schmalz (drippings that could be pork or chicken in Bavaria, that traditionally is spread on bread) is in the Ratskeller (restaurant below city hall). That being said, schmalz is easily avoided (and not common, anyhow) since you can see the bits of meat in the spread. Most servers speak good English, so just ask if you're wondering how something is prepared.

                The main vegetable dishes where I've seen some bacon or ham added would be mushroom dishes and potato dishes. But if something is listed specifically as vegetarian (rather than vegetable), I don't think you need to worry. There are German vegetarians who live in Munich, after all. ;)

                I'm not crazy about Blau trout which is sort of pickled/boiled. I like the trout almandine better! Agree the trout is great.

                Also add spanferkel to the watch list. Suckling pig.

                1. re: prima

                  Can't thank you enough prima. I love trout almandine - so happy to hear it is a possibility there!
                  Here in NC they use a lot of pork in the vegetables, so I've grown to be very careful. But just like Germany (and because of the University where I live) there are lots of students and vegetarians, so there are places that make it plain when something is vegetarian. I'm feeling much more light-hearted about the food portion of our trip!

        2. re: LulusMom

          there are really nice fresh water fish dishes in this part of Germany - I enjoyed them at both Spatenhaus and der Pschorr. There is also beef avaiiable, duck etc. Dont be scared.its possible to have very delicate deishes, its not all pork knuckles and oompah bands. You might look out for the sauerkraut tho if you are avoiding pork fat or bacon- it may be included..

          strikes me your tamales may have made you sick for a reason other than the pork fat, but understand how you want to be careful.

          1. re: jen kalb

            Thanks jen. I'm not a sauerkraut fan, so no problem there! My worry is that lots of areas of the world (the month I spent in Spain was tough this way) cook things in lard and then call them vegetarian, not fully getting the concept. I'll learn how to say that I don't eat pork - even lard, and hope that helps.

            The tamales definitely had lard. And I kept eating them and wondering why I got sick until I overheard them talking about them with another customer. That was a sad, sad day. No more tamales from my favorite tamale place. But yes, once you have it in your mind to be careful, you can't really relax about it. And the idea of being sick when I'll be alone with an 8 year old is extremely unappealing.

            1. re: LulusMom

              I have heard that Spain, particularly inland is a tough nut for a vegetarian. My point about the tamales was that it might not have been the lard...there are lots of food handling challenges with this kind of food which might have caused your illness, for example problems with the fresh cheeses are common.,

              1. re: jen kalb

                Yes, Spain can be tough. Lentil soup was cooked with a ham bone, and even a roast chicken had lard rubbed into the skin. I was hiking for a month, and ended up subsisting on a lot of cheese, fruit and potato chips (and wine and beer). Once i got to my destination and found an Italian restaurant I just about fainted with delight.

                Gotcha on the tamales.

        3. Also be on the lookout for Bleu trout, Karpfen and eels. The Bavarians do a very good job with fresh water fish. You will pay market rate for the carp.

          1 Reply
          1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

            I remember having absolutely wonderful fresh water fish (trout? carp? not quite sure) in the Black Forest. Happy to hear I'll find the same sort of thing in Munich. Thank you.