Over the last few decades, Munich has been a magnet for visitors from all over the world. They admired world-famous sights like the church at Marienplatz, strolled through the English Garden with its lovely cafés, enjoyed plays at the Bavarian State Opera or Kammerspiele or drank beers in the renowned Augustiner Braustuben. Yet, besides all these attractions, most came to experience the world-famous Oktoberfest, where Dirndl and Lederhosen suddenly took center stage.
After Wiesn (the local nickname for Oktoberfest) was cancelled this year, and tourists decreased perceptibly, Munich’s inner city began to change. No more are the crowded beer gardens and shopping streets, as local residents are taking back their city.
One more reason for us to pay a little more attention to this southern German beauty and its almost unnoticed culinary developments of recent years. Especially the reinterpretation and evolution of a once highly traditional cuisine is remarkable and definitely worth a visit.
Welcome to the culinary Munich of 2020, where Vans are the perfect addition to Dirndl and Lederhosen and the joy of creating evolutionary food concepts adds novelty to classic Bavarian recipes.
An establishment currently in its fourth generation, the family’s three siblings took over in 2018 to add some modern flair to the work of their predecessors. Having retained much of the family tradition, XAVER'S has taken a leap into modern gastronomy. Amongst the classics, some new interpretations of well-known dishes and exciting vegetarian delicacies have found their way onto the menu. In addition to classics like wheat beer and Coca-Cola, there is basil-spritzer and hop-lemonade.
Located in a tiny side street of Viktualienmarkt, the restaurant is contemporary and minimalist in design. The waitresses are clad in Vans with Dirndl and as if that wasn't cool enough, the restaurant sources its products from the region, providing a fully transparent supply-chain.
At the northern end of the famous Theresienwiese stands a small historical monument. Built in 1894, the former Tröpflerbad used to be a public bath. In 2018 none other than the architect Daniel Hildmann renovated the place to become the “smallest eatery in Munich,” not only imbuing it with a new look but also new meaning.
Light spreads from the glass dome roof into the octagonal building. The show bakery, at the center of the building, is hooded by a large brass fume extractor. Right in front of the place the open-air bar offers a great view of the Bavaria statue, the patroness of the Bavarian people. The hearty sausages, from Munich and other regions in the vicinity, are definitely a specialty. Those looking for vegetarian alternatives will find all kinds of fresh and healthy foods, such as the creamy mushrooms or the goat cheese salad.
A traditional interior complete with classic deer antler chandeliers and heavy wooden chairs with heart-shaped perforations fill the room. The bright walls are decorated with countless photographs and typical Bavarian murals. On closer inspection, shiny dark green tiles and white-blue enamel tableware catch the eye. The tables are white and of a puristic straightforwardness. The menu reveals the successful mixture of tradition and modern gastronomy.
All dishes are typically Bavarian, yet have that little something. The tender stewed ox ribs have rosemary potatoes as a side dish, the Saibling – a local char fish – comes with a herbal lemon foam and the vegetarian varieties are also absolutely worth mentioning including the creamy emmer-wheat risotto. Everything is just like back in the day when grandmother made it, but in 2020.
James Bond’s Golden Eye reloaded, is what one could say when entering the Kubaschewski Bar for the first time. Thanks to the distinguished expertise of architectural heavyweight Dimensiothek the champagne bar at Stachus is a true eye-catcher. From the mosaic walls, cubistic lamp frames and the shiny counter, to the tone of the wooden floor, everything has a lightly golden streak.
That Munich can be glamorous has been a well-known fact since the 1980s cult series Kir Royale. At Kubaschewski Bar this glamour is more alive than ever, without any of the pretentiousness. We recommend enjoying an assortment of roasted mushrooms and pecans and the classic Kaiserschmarrn, alongside some of the finest sparkling wines. For the finish something bubbly from “Ilse's private selection”.
This classically modern Bavarian inn is located in the popular Glockenbachviertel and delights the visitor with fresh and delicious food at affordable prices. At Wirtshaus Maximilian you feel understood immediately, and the menu is nicely put together and offers everything one could wish for.
Quality awareness is a top priority here and the supply chains are deliberately traceable. The creators love working with local manufacturers and suppliers of the nearby regions. Seasonal dishes are part of the repertoire and the guests' wishes are always gladly implemented by the friendly staff.
The Käfer headquarters is an institution in the Munich gastronomy scene and is synonymous with quality food. All year round, guests come to enjoy Bavaria-inspired cuisine. With their small bistro, including a terrace and 16 differently designed rooms, the restaurant is particularly popular during the Christmas season as a meeting place for families and company celebrations.
Awarded with 15 points by Gault & Millau, the owners rely on perfect craftsmanship, creativity and emotion. There are classics such as deer from the Bavarian Forest and farmer's duck with red cabbage on the menu. In addition, a large selection of vegan dishes and seafood delicacies can be ordered. For all those who want to enjoy more of what Käfer has to offer in their own homes, they can head downstairs to their own grocery store where everything is fresh and always lovingly stocked.
And even though the infamous Oktoberfest is not taking place this year, a special menu allows a small emotional excursion in its spirit, with everything traditional from Weisswurst to Obazda. It’s not the same, but it’s undoubtedly a beautiful experience.
Words: Esther Seibt