10 Foods to Try in Munich

High Angle View Of Food On Table
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Munich's cuisine is what you think of when you dream of German food. Hearty, plentiful, and delicious. From weisswurst, brez'n, and bier for breakfast to massive schweinshaxe surrounded by sauerkraut and knödel, taking a bite of Bavarian food is engaging in its culture. From Munich's famed beer halls to beloved stands at Oktoberfest to the city's Michelin-starred restaurants, here are the top 10 things you must eat in Munich.

01 of 10

Schweinshaxe

Schweinshaxe mit Kartoffelknödel
Bernt Rostad

Roasted pork knuckle is perhaps the quintessential German dish. Served in hulking proportions with crackling skin, it is a full meal on its own but still served with knödel (dumpling), perhaps some sauerkraut, and a Mass (liter) of beer.
Get primitive with your giant piece of meat and mighty knife and dig in!

To enjoy this classic Bavarian meal, there is no better place than a traditional Munich beer hall. Visit the touristy favorite of the Hofbräuhaus, or try local favorites of Löwenbräukeller or Zum Straubinger. Along with a great meal, you will enjoy oompah music and waitstaff in traditional dirndls and lederhosen.

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02 of 10

Weisswurst

Weisswurst Breakfast

Müncheners start their day with sausage—fat, pudgy, white ones. Usually served as a pair floating in a pot of warm water, weisswurst typically are joined by a bretzel (pretzels), send (mustard), and Weissbier (wheat beer) as part of the Bavarian breakfast known as weißwurstfrühstück. The lack of preservatives was once the reason it must not be eaten past noon, but now it is just tradition. To eat it you should cut it lengthwise and peel it, or simply suck out the delicious innards (zuzeln) like a local. This is one of the few times Germans won't give you a side-eye for eating with your hands.

Weisswurst is on the menu everywhere in Munich, but the best places are Gaststätte Großmarkthalle near a wholesale market popular with chefs and restaurateurs.

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03 of 10

Bier

Bavarian Hefeweisen

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Want a taste of Munich's rich history and cuisine? Make your way to the bar.

Germany has been brewing beer for more than 500 years, and Bavaria
has more breweries than any other region in Germany. The most famous Bavarian brew is its famed wheat beer, hefeweizen. A slightly cloudy wheat ale topped by a foamy head, it usually has a fruity aroma reminiscent of citrus, or even bananas,
True German beer fans should make the pilgrimage outside of the city to Weihenstephaner Brewery. This Bavarian institution is the oldest continuously operating brewery in the world.

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04 of 10

Hendl

Bayerische Roast Huhn (Bavaria Roast Chicken)

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Roast chickens are cooked packed together on a rotating spit, seasoned with salt and butter, and parsley. It is expertly extracted off the spike and served as a whole chicken or half a chicken with kartoffelsalat (potato salad) or just a brezn. A favorite at Oktoberfest, nearly 500,000 hendl are eaten at every festival.

If you aren't in Munich during one of its many festivals, restaurants like Zum Dürnbräu and Fraunhofer Wirtshaus deliver authentic, organically sourced, Bavarian meals.

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05 of 10

Obatzda

Obatzda

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Almost as beloved as its bread and beer, cheese is a German essential. In addition to the ever-present gouda, bergkäse, and quark, there is obatzda. A Bavarian staple, this tasty spread is a blend of soft cheese, a little bit of beer, garlic and paprika. It is usually topped with onions, and can be a snack or an appetizer with brezen and pickles.

A classic in Munich biergartens, every Bavarian restaurant should have obatzda on offer.

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06 of 10

Brez'n

Close-Up Of Pretzels Handing On Wood
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There is just something different about Munich's big soft pretzels. Sure, all forms of German bread are revered, but the brezen (or brez'n in Bavarian dialect) is universally beloved. Delicious served fresh and hot, it can also be covered in cheese, dipped in mustard, or split and filled with things like schmalz (fat) or butter. Just a snack—but not a light meal, particulary when washed down with a good beer.

Brez'n can be purchased nearly everywhere in Munich: festival stands, train stations, and even sit-down restaurants. If you want to step and try the best, visit high-end
bakeries like Zöttl and Wimmer and Karnoll's Backstandl in Viktualienmarkt.

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07 of 10

Schmalznudel

Schmalznudel

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Nothing is better than a hot doughnut after a late night—or any time of the day! This decedent all-day dessert crossed between a doughnut and a funnel cake features fried dough, sometimes filled with sweet jam and covered with more sugar. It tastes much lighter than it is and is worth the calories!

Rather than an international doughnut chain, get the true Münchner experience at Cafe Frischhut near Viktualienmarkt. Open since 1973, pair it with a hot coffee, a gluhwein in winter, or eat it all on its own.

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08 of 10

Spätzle

Spätzle

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Though spätzle originates from Swabia in Germany, it is hard to find a restaurant in Munich that doesn't serve it. These popular egg noodles are a mix of eggs, flour, and salt grated into boiling water, where they take their noodle form. They are often heaped with cheese, lending to the comparison of German macaroni and cheese and providing a much-needed vegetarian-friendly German dish. However, they may also contain speck (bacon) or be topped with a creamy sauce with pork.

Enjoy the dish at Wirtshaus Kurgarten, a typical Bavarian restaurant with a beer garden serving Augustiner beer.

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09 of 10

Schnitzel

Schnitzel
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While schnitzel is traditionally an Austrian dish, Bavaria has also made the dish their own. Schnitzel is prepared by thinning meat with a meat tenderizer and coating it with flour, beaten eggs, and breadcrumbs. It is then fried and traditionally served with fries. One Munich restaurant where the Bavarian version of the dish can be enjoyed is Bayerisches Schnitzel- & Hendlhaus.

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10 of 10

Schweinebraten

Schweinebraten

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What better way to end a list on Bavarian food than another big hunk of meat? Schweinebraten is pork shoulder slow-roasted to perfection, served with some form of potatoes, roast vegetables, and rich sauce. Like a conventional pot roast, but so much better.

Another restaurant favorite, Schweinebraten is not hard to find, but the very best may be at Bratwurstherzl near Viktualienmarket. Once a 17th-century brick vault is is now a friendly local hang-out with classic German food, great beer, and plenty of Gemütlichkeit.

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