Home » Munich’s Culinary Delights: What to Eat in the Bavarian Capital

Munich’s Culinary Delights: What to Eat in the Bavarian Capital

by Paola Bertoni
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Munich is the perfect destination to try out traditional Bavarian cuisine. The city boasts a rich culinary heritage, and you’ll find an array of dishes that are a must-try and are sure to satisfy your taste buds. While in Bavaria, you will find a few light food options. Still, you will discover a variety of delicious dishes, from soups to pork knuckles.

Must-try Munich dishes to discover the delicious and authentic Bavarian cuisine

During my trips to Germany, I made it a point to try every traditional German dish that I could. My advice to fellow travellers is simple: choose a dish randomly based on your preferences and the appearance of the dishes ordered by others. You may end up trying some unusual foods, but it is usually worth it.

Get ready to make the most of your Munich trip with the Munich Official City Card to enjoy free public transportation throughout the city and exclusive discounts on admission prices to some of the most popular tourist attractions, such as the Deutsche Museum, Pinakothek der Moderne, and the Nymphenburg Palace.
Keep you connected throughout your journey in Munich with an Airalo eSim, saving money on data coverage while in Germany.

I fell in love with Kartoffknodel, which are potato meatballs, and discovered that German cuisine, in general, is based on meat, potatoes, and beer. In Munich, the sausages are the absolute stars. You cannot miss the world-famous white veal and pork Weiẞwurst accompanied by Kartoffknodel or a freshly baked Bretzel.

Munich’s food scene is vibrant and has something for everyone. Remember to try the rich and flavorful beers that complement the dishes perfectly. So, be sure to add these must-try Munich dishes to your foodie bucket list and savour the authentic flavours of Bavaria.

Soups and first courses

One of the most well-known first courses in Bavaria is Spätzle. They are similar to thin gnocchi and made with flour, water, and eggs. In Munich, you can find them to accompany a meat dish. For example, they came with mushroom sauce and a chicken leg when I ordered them. Spätzle are often the only vegetarian dish you can find in typical beer gardens, apart from potatoes.

Knödel are large and versatile dumplings made from bread, potatoes, or flour, and seasoned with speck, butter or cheese. These round, hearty balls can be a side or a main dish. I recommend Spätzle and Knödel as main courses because they are pretty filling.

As a first course, you can also choose between many Bavarian soups. The traditional version is with potatoes and bacon. German soups are usually delicious. For example, Grieẞnockerlsuppe is a meat broth with semolina dumplings, while Leberknödelsuppe is a liver dumpling soup.

Spatzle with chicken and cream and mushroom sauce
Spatzle with chicken and cream and mushroom sauce

Sausages and frankfurters

Sausages and frankfurters are the stars of every Bavarian table. The Weiẞwurst, in particular, is typical of Munich. It is often a morning snack, boiled and accompanied by mustard and pretzel. Weiẞwurst can be a sandwich filling with plenty of mustard. It is also served in a traditional soup tureen and accompanied by a side dish in restaurants.

The Weiẞwurst is white because it is made from untreated veal and pork belly. A protection consortium is currently working to have the ‘Original Münchner Weiẞwurst’ recognised by the European Union. However, the rest of Bavaria wants the Weiẞwurst to be recognised as typical of the area, not just Munich.

In addition to Weiẞwurst, other sausage dishes not to be missed in Munich are the spooky Wurstsalat and Currywurst. The latter is a popular street food dish loved by Germans, consisting of a frankfurter cut into pieces and topped with mustard and curry sauce. Although it is a must-try on any trip to Munich, some may find it just junk street food.

Bavarian Weisswurst sandwich
Bavarian Weisswurst sandwich

Pork dishes

If you’re a fan of pork meat, Munich is the perfect place for you. Along with sausages and frankfurters, you can enjoy the typical roast Schweinebraten or the grilled knuckle.

Schweinshaxe is a traditional Bavarian dish consisting of a roasted pork knuckle, crispy on the outside yet juicy and tender on the inside. It’s often served with Sauerkraut and potato dumplings, making for a hearty and satisfying meal that’s sure to impress.

It’s worth noting that pork is a favourite meat in Germany. Even the Wiener Schnitzel is made with pork in Munich instead of veal, like in other countries.

German bread and pretzels

If you’re looking for a delicious snack in Munich, I recommend visiting a bakery and getting some pretzels, a typical flaky bread. In German, pretzels are called Bretzel. They’re often topped with coarse salt or pumpkin seeds, and I suggest trying both varieties because they’re delicious.

During my trip to Munich with my son, I always grabbed a few extra pretzels as a snack and appetiser. Restaurant service can be slow, and having some pretzels to munch on kept my son from getting bored.

When dining at restaurants, you might find Schwarzbrot and Pumpernickel, black bread, as sides. Another unique bread to try is the Vollkornbrot, made with cereals. German bread is generally delicious and appealing.

German pretzels in Munich
German pretzels in Munich

Best German desserts to taste in Munich

As you may have noticed from the dishes mentioned above, Bavarian cuisine is not very light. Even the desserts are indulgent. You’ll find sweet Knödel, the classic apple strudel Apfelstrudel, the famous Bavarian Bayerische Creme and the Prinzregententorte, which consists of seven layers of biscuit alternating with butter and chocolate cream.

If these examples don’t satisfy your sweet tooth, you can still find other types of fruit cakes and pancakes that are usually displayed in shop windows and will surely make your mouth water.

Where to eat in Munich

In recent years, Munich has become increasingly hipster, so you are spoilt for choice regarding where to eat. Alongside the typical Bavarian restaurants, many healthy eateries and restaurants with international cuisine have sprung up.

If you want a classic Bavarian experience, I recommend sampling the typical cuisine in a traditional Biergärten, beer gardens with wooden tables outside, dining in a Gasthof, a typical tavern, or in a wine cellar, Keller. In beer gardens, you might be seated next to other people at the same table, which is typical in Germany.

For the best touristy experience, I recommend ordering the pork knuckle in the Hofbrauhaus, one of Munich’s oldest breweries near Marienplatz. Alternatively, try the Augustiner Keller, the oldest existing brewery in the city.

Vegan and vegetarian Munich

If you’re a vegetarian visiting Munich, finding traditional German food besides pretzels can be challenging. The cuisine in Bavaria is heavily focused on meat, to the extent that even unsuspecting dishes like soups or pasta mushroom sauce may contain bacon. Therefore, check carefully the ingredients of each dish before ordering to ensure that no meat is included.

On the positive side, you can enjoy the delicious Kartoffelknödel, fantastic potato balls I fell in love with during my first trip to Munich. Or side dishes of cabbage and Sauerkraut, less tempting but still a good vegetarian choice. However, make sure to check if there is any bacon inside before consuming.

In general, to find vegan or vegetarian food, avoid typical places like beer gardens. Prefer trendy, healthy restaurants that have recently emerged in Munich. You can also explore a variety of Indian, Thai, and Vietnamese restaurants that offer a wide range of vegetarian and vegan dishes on their menu.

Where to stay in Munich

In Munich, like in any big city, there are many options for accommodation. My favourite hotel is the Hilton Munich City, which boasts a fantastic restaurant, parking facilities, and a bar serving unique signature cocktails.

Another great option is Hotel MIO by AMANO, conveniently located close to popular points of interest in Munich. Alternatively, the Hotel Blauer Bock offers a breakfast buffet in the hotel’s elegant restaurant, serving regional specialities throughout the day and evening.

As we wrap up this culinary exploration of Munich, I trust these insights add a dash of inspiration to your travel plans. Feel free to share in the comments your favourite German delights and those you’ve indulged in from our list. Happy travels and enjoy food on your Munich adventure!

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