From world-class museums and concert venues to midnight bazaars and a singular glockenspiel, this city overflows with brilliant attractions and things to do. But top of your list as soon as you’ve landed should be a tip-top hearty meal at one of the best restaurants in Munich – because few cities do comfort food better than this.
For inspiration, Munich generally looks south, towards the Alps, with meals generous in quality and quantity, and further on to Italy, with an ever-growing number of addresses specialising in fresh Mediterranean dishes. If you’re after a Munich classic, head to a Wirtshaus, a pub-restaurant that chucks together brilliant platefuls of roast meats and schnitzel, often served amid dashing old-world décor and furnishing.
Renowned for its meat-heavy cuisine Munich may be, but in recent years the city has started to embrace vegetarian and vegan restaurants too. And befitting such an outward-looking, cosmopolitan city, there are also high-quality restaurants from around the world, from Indian to Mexican. These are 12 of the best.
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Best restaurants in Munich
Booking comes highly recommended at this cosy Haidhausen joint which serves exquisite Mediterranean dishes and feels homey all year round. In a 19th-century building on a quiet, largely residential street, Preysinggarten has a simply clad interior with fresh flowers, candlelight and specials on a blackboard. It wins extra points for its excellent vegan and veggie options (until recently, a rarity in Munich) and exceptionally friendly service; visitors young and old, local and new in town, are all welcomed as regulars. (The venue is super-kid-friendly, with a playground out back.) In warm weather, the courtyard is lovely, particularly for a long, lazy Sunday brunch.
When you think of Wirtshaus you think of Lederhosen, Oktoberfest and the height of Bavarian kitsch. But Maximilian manages to promote tradition without being overly cheesy. Sure, there’s a certain amount of pine about the place and schnitzel is on offer, but everything else has been given a modern makeover. The atmosphere is light and airy, there are usually an impressive 30 to 40 German beers on tap or bottle, plus German and Austrian wines, and the menu boasts twists on traditional sausages, salads, schnitzel and pretzels.
The relaxed and trendy Theresa Grill, tucked away in the throbbing museum district of Munich, draws in tourists and locals alike with its succulent cutlets, rib-eye and chops. Whether you want to roll your sleeves up for the red meat, or dress up for tuna tartare with shiso and sesame, Theresa is the venue. The space is modern and light-filled, and the menu changes daily. Happily, the bar stays open until 1am.
From housing hay bales to high-class cuisine, this colonnaded hall was once the stables of Munich’s royal residence. Now frequented by pre-theatre goers and those looking for quality cuisine in a quirky location, Brenner boasts a refined setting off Maximilianstraße, replete with a vaulted and pillared interior. With indoor capacity for 450 as well as a scenic terrace looking toward the Bavarian state opera, it’s a big, bustling, brasserie-style place, where the terrazzo flooring and wrought iron elements do little to soften the noise. The triad offering of bar, pasta and grill promises Mediterranean flair and not a mention of sauerkraut, with homemade linguine and spaghetti, and an array of meat and fish served hot from the open fire. Service is attentive and generally warm, the guests might look glamorous and the whole experience can be a welcome reprieve from the carb-laden jostle of the traditional Bavarian pub. We highly recommend booking in advance.
On one of one of Munich’s most beautiful city centre streets, chef Ali Güngörmüs moved south from his Hamburg tenure at the renowned Le Canard Nouveau to set up his own restaurant, Pageou. Behind an impressive façade, the interior is light, bright and elegant, with white walls, generous leather chairs and rich red details. Pageou was the name of Güngörmüs’s childhood village and it’s the East Anatolian touch that makes his set and à la carte menus such winners, combining aromatic flavours with rustic charm – think Turkish morels with sherry à la crème, peas and asparagus from nearby Schrobenhausen. There’s a private dining room for parties and, in summer, a balmy back courtyard, as well as a slightly less expensive business lunch menu. Be sure to leave room for the house chocolate cake.
For the classic Wirtshaus experience, you can’t go wrong with Bratwurst-Glöckl, in a central location near Marienplatz, where the old-world interior includes wood panelling, stained glass windows and heavily tick-tocking clocks. Don’t expect a tucked-away treasure – the menu is available in English, German, French, Italian and Russian – but there’s still an authentic charm, not least in the famous pork sausages, which are roasted on an open beech fire. The Kaiserschmarrn takes a good 20 minutes to prepare, but it’s a dessert indeed fit for an empress or emperor: a filling, fluffy mountain of warm shredded pancake with raisins, topped with icing sugar and accompanied by apple compote.
For no-frills vibes and panoramic views, this simple café on the roof of Munich’s architecture faculty is a winner. Though no longer the Geheimtipp (inside secret) it once was, it’s still off the beaten tourist track, not least because it requires a little navigation through the university campus. There’s a bright, minimalist interior and a big terrace that looks out over the Maxvorstadt district and, on a clear day, right across to the snow-capped Alps. Impress your companions by pointing out the two domes of the Frauenkirche, a Bavarian landmark and Munich’s cathedral. True to the best student cafés, the coffee is great, and there’s a decent list of tea, beer and long drinks too. The food selection is small and simple (think pizza and Weißwurst) but generously portioned and priced, particularly given the views. There’s also a hearty Sunday brunch buffet. Finding a seat can be difficult, so arrive early if you want to bag one of the best terrace spots.
If all that schnitzel gets too much, book a table at Tian, a high-quality vegetarian restaurant right off the Viktualienmarkt. The interior, heavy on grey fabrics and chandeliers, smacks a little of the business hotel lounge, but things get much fresher in the kitchen where it’s all about local, organic and seasonal produce. The à la carte and four-to-eight course menus eschew elaborate description to focus on a handful of simple ingredients, from the cucumber, watermelon, ricotta and green gazpacho lunch to the strawberry or vanilla panna cotta. It’s all beautifully presented, and many will say this is the very best vegetarian food in town. Can’t make it for dinner? From Tuesday to Friday there’s a reduced light lunch menu, including the speedy savoury tarte flambée.
Prinz Myshkin is another high-quality vegetarian and vegan restaurant on the Munich scene. A few minutes from Marienplatz in the city centre, this 1980s establishment has simple artworks on its walls and huge floor-to-ceiling windows. The food ranges from the sophisticated to old classics. There are daily specials, such as potato and cauliflower casserole with salad on Monday; spinach strudel, horse radish cream sauce and salt potatoes on Tuesday; soy goulash with bulgur and a green salad on a Friday. The main menu is broad, ranging from dainty pizzas to ravioli dumplings with tomato, mozzarella and tomato caper sauce. It can get full at both lunch and dinner, so book ahead.
This vibrant restaurant adds a turbo-watt of colour and energy to the Deutsches Museum of science and technology. Kitted out by designer and musician Trevor Jackson, Blitz features brightly coloured chairs, a mural of grinning Day of the Dead skeletons and, in Munich terms, a whole new level of Mexican cuisine. The vegetarian menu has all the fajita and quesadilla classics, with such surprising flourishes as hibiscus blossom and banana ketchup. It’s more expensive than your typical Mexican joint, but more substantial too. If you’re looking for some post-meal nightlife, the affiliated Blitz techno club is one of the most talked-about recent additions to Munich’s party scene, boasting a custom-built VOID sound system and phenomenal acoustics.
On entering Pescheria, diners are greeted with a cabinet of beautifully laid out fresh fish on piles of ice, just to give an appetising inkling of what’s in store. The small entrance area has a handful of tables and leads off into a longer space, where as the evening draws in the low lighting lends a warm and cosy feel away from the busier street-side part of the restaurant. Dishes vary according to the fish available, but tuna tartare and grilled mussel starters, plus superb rice and pasta regulars (such as risotto and linguine) and soups, keep regulars happy. Waiters will happily talk in depth about the day’s catch, how it can be cooked and sharing suggestions.
Considering it’s just across the road from Munich’s Opera House and National Theatre, it’s unsurprising to learn the Spatenhaus an der Oper has a rather stately feel. The exterior is a brilliant white townhouse, while inside the formal upstairs dining room is as regal as it gets (though downstairs is a touch more rustic). Multiple lamps provide a warm glow and create a romantic atmosphere in this wood-clad restaurant. If you’re planning to stop by pre-theatre, be sure to book and know that if you’re seated upstairs, you can order a range of Austrian, Bavarian and international dishes, while down below the menu is strictly Bavarian. The location means it has a healthy tourist clientele, but some locals consider it home to the city’s best schnitzel.