Monday, October 26, 2015

Munich Hotspot Guide

In case you missed it, I spent the first half of 2015 in Germany's most beautiful city: Munich. You might know Munich because of the Oktoberfest, but this city has so much more to offer. The quality of food (and life) is very important to the Bavarians, which given the fact that it's surrounded by mountains, lakes, rivers, forests and just a short ride away from Italy, isn't hard to understand. For a food lover like me, this is the biggest luxury: not once did I have a bad meal in Munich; the food is amazing here! Like in London and Amsterdam, I had a list of places (or hotspots) I wanted to try - either recommended to me by locals or discovered on my own as I cycled through the city. For your convenience I've collected them all on one map
Munich Hotspot Guide 2015

I have divided all the places into nine categories. This proved a little difficult at times because at some places you can have breakfast, lunch, dinner, coffee and even drinks at night. So I placed the hotspots into the categories that fit the best!

Light blue | breakfast & brunch

Red | lunch & dinner
Green | healthy food & drinks 
Blue | coffee & sweets
Purple | ice cream etc. 
Grey star | drinks & dancing
White | shops & markets
Black star | hotels
White star | wellness & gyms


As with my previous guides (London hotspots | Amsterdam hotspots), I tried every single one of these places at least once, so I can personally recommend them to you. In six months it proved to be impossible to try every place on my list, so I added those spots in 'Other recommendations'. Below, I wrote mini-reviews of the hotspots, but you can also find them on the map when you click on one of the spots. Some places already have a full review on my blog, so check those for more pictures and details (or check my Instagram for food pics). Click on the picture of the map above or click here to go to the actual Google map.



BREAKFAST & BRUNCH

Aroma Kaffeebar: Very popular homely-feeling coffee- and brunch spot with some of Munich's best coffee & brunch (order the salmon bagel). Cosy & filled with trinkets. Coffee comes with heart-shaped latte art and the cakes are very tasty. | review |


Bayerischer Hof FrühstückA five-star breakfast on a rooftop with the best view in town. Order your eggs as you like along with the best of the best German bread and all the best buffet food you can imagine. Fresh fruit, bircher muesli and smoothies make a healthy breakfast. Breakfast is included when you're a guest of the hotel, but outside guests are welcome too. | review

Café Reitschule: Located at a horse riding school this is one of Munich's coolest brunch locations. Different variations of classic German breakfast options: bircher muesli, bread & jam, healthy breakfast with cottage cheese and avocado... Very tasty & good value. | review |

Cotidiano: An exact copy of Le Pain Quotidien but with a German twist. A huge variety of breakfast options, all with a side of fresh bread. Coffee comes in huge bowls like in LPQ. 

Die Waldmeister: Cosy breakfast spot with classic German options. Great bread and tasty bircher muesli. Very friendly service. | review |

Hoover & FloydBreakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner & drinks all in one spot. The French toast is the most decadent you'll ever have! Everything is homemade with love. | review

Kochspielhaus: A colourful and cosy corner café between Gärtnerplatz and Viktualienmarkt. Expect huge slices of homemade cakes and pies, good smoothies and your basic German brunch staples. 

LadenPopular breakfast, brunch, lunch and afternoon coffee spot. Small menu but everything is homemade and tasty. Try the cakes and scrambled eggs with rye bread. | review

Stereo CaféConcept store with menswear where upstairs you'll find one of Munich's best coffee spots. Cappuccinos, fresh cakes, Super Danke smoothies, avocado toast... a food lover's oasis in the middle of the city. Don't forget the cute hidden outdoor terrace in the back when the sun is out! | review

Other recommendationsCafé Marais, Köningin 43, Arts 'n Boards, Der Hollabusch


Munich Hotspot Guide | best restaurants in Munich


LUNCH & DINNER

Bento Ya: Eat-in or take-away sushi, with Japanese chefs who definitely know what they're doing. The sushi is freshly made, great quality and very good value.. and the staff is so sweet and friendly. My favourite sushi in the city. To order: no. 120 Tobiko maki roll and no. 126 Ebi Furai Roll.


Brenner: While the food here can be a hit or miss, the location and terrace can't be beaten. A see or be seen kinda place. More fun with a big group! 

Burger House: Some say it's the best burger in Munich, and though I have been spoiled by London's burgers, Burger House is really damn tasty and kind of addictive. The sweet potato fries make a heavenly combo with their juicy cheese burger. A must for burger lovers.

Cantina Cantona: An original restaurant which works with the farm-to-table concept: all the best that the Bavarian farms, lakes, rivers and forests have to offer, right on your plate. The small menu changes daily, so the food is always fresh. Interesting and healthy food.

Cochinchina: If I could choose one place to be my favourite in Munich, this would be it. Amazing Asian food (mostly Vietnamese influences), good portions and interesting flavours. Make sure to make a reservation! Order the DIY rice paper rolls, the soft shell crab and the bao's with Peking duck. | review |

Ella: Without a doubt one of Munich's top spots for a sunny lunch. With a short but sweet Italian flavoured menu, your lunch choice is easily made and you can sit back and enjoy the view on Königsplatz & the sun! 

Guido al duomo: A charming little Italian place right by the Frauenkirche, one of the city’s most iconic buildings. The food and service is of a high standard so it totally justifies the elevated prices. Delicious truffle pasta! 

Gyoza Bar: Tucked away in Türkenstrasse, this little Gyoza place is one of Munich's best. Personally, I like it just as much as Le Du, but the fact that I only saw Asians eating here tells me that this one might be a tiny bit more authentic. Delicious! 

H'ugo's Pizza: If you ignore the arrogant staff, H'ugo's is where you'll find the best midnight snack: truffle pizza. There are several H'ugo's in Munich (also inside the club P1, which is fantastic!). The truffle pizza is richly coated with a layer of freshly shaved truffle, so it's worth the price. 

Il Gattopardo: A family-run Italian restaurant with great Italian comfort food like truffle pasta. Cosy and small, so reservations are definitely necessary!

Kaisergarten: Perfect for an authentic Bavarian meal, whether you're going for breakfast, lunch or dinner. The restaurant has a mini beer garden which is lovely in summer, and you can eat the best schnitzel and kaiserschmarrn in town here. Good food, good value: a real classic. 

Le Du Happy Dumplings: A tiny place where homemade dumplings are freshly made just for you. You can choose from different kinds of dough, fillings and preparations. Good for a cheap and filling meal. Take-away also available. 

Lezizel Manti: A fun thing to try if you're in need of a quick and filling bite. This Turkish place prepares manti, a kind of tortellini filled with beef or vegetables. You can also buy manti here; they only take 10 min to prepare at home. A simple, healthy and yummy meal!

L’Osteria: According to many, this is where you'll eat the best pizza in Munich. You can order by the half, or order a whole if you're really hungry. Huge, slightly charred, delicious and hot, just how pizza should be. The Karlsplatz location is beautiful as well!

Lo Studente: The cheapest pizza in Munich prepared in a wood oven. This is where the students go when they want a good pizza. Open late and located in the cosy Maxvorstadt. | review |

Occam Deli: A New York deli-inspired place which is open all day for breakfast, lunch, cake or dinner. There's mostly healthy food, but the huge cake-buffet brings in some balance too. | review |

Pho: A little place where a few Vietnamese men and women prepare fresh Vietnamese classics, from Pho to stir-fries. It's really quick and cheap, great for lunch or take-away dinner. | review |

Schmock: Despite the funny name, this is actually quite an "upscale" Jewish restaurant. It's a little pricey, but the Israeli food is really delicious. You can have traditional Jewish dishes but there are also some more modern options. 

Schnelle liebe: Brace yourself because these burgers are real beasts. Perfect if you're craving something comforting and greasy. The place is a little shabby but it's perfect for 'dirty burgers'.

Seerose: Part of the Occam Deli, Theresa, Freebird and Kaisergarten family, this Italian restaurant also never disappoints. Burrata, carpaccio, risotto, tiramisu... you'll eat some of Munich's best classic Italian food here. Really cosy so perfect for a date-night! 

Sushi plus: Delivery and take-away sushi which is freshly made-to-order. Price-quality is decent and the fish is really fresh. | review

Theresa Bar & Grill: A Pinterest-worthy restaurant which doesn't look like much from the outside, but will surprise you once you step inside. A cosy yet fresh interior; classic dishes & grilled meat. The velvet & wooden bar next door is also worth a visit. 

Trattoria Donna Maria: A restaurant run by Maria, a lovely Italian lady who happily prepares home-made Italian meals from her kitchen for a select amount of people. The restaurant feels more like Maria's living room, which feels very home-y and cosy! 

Wuid Barwirtschaft: One of the manliest places in Munich: burgers, beer and football. Worth going to for the burgers because they are monstrous and delicious! Fun to go to when there's an important football match being played. 

Yum2take: A Thai place which kind of works like a fastfood restaurant. Pass your order, pay and wait for your meal before taking it to a table. The food is quite mild for being Thai, but tasty nonetheless. | review

Seehaus im Englishen Garten: The most idyllic beer garden, located right in the middle of the Englischer Garten, by the water. For the best beer garden experience, you have to go there! Grab a beer, a pretzel and enjoy the surroundings. 

Other recommendations: Il Gattopardo, Das Goldenes Kalb, Il Mulino, Osterwaldgarten, Süßmund, Fugazi No. 15, Kyma, Sushi Sano, Hambugerei, Namnam, Beirutbeirut, Oh Julia, Takumi, The Italian Shot, Gute Nacht Wurst



Munich Hotspot Guide | best restaurants in Munich


Munich Hotspot Guide | best restaurants in Munich


HEALTHY FOOD & DRINKS


Antidote Juice: This cold pressed juice is not like any other. Apart from being cold pressed, vegan, pasteurised without heat, organic, all-natural and delicious, it also has the best names. My favourites are Karotte Kid, Just Beet It!, Johnny Cashew, Liquid Salad and Fireball. You can order a cleanse online or just buy individual juices at Vollcorner Biomarkt. 

Bite Delite: Kind of like a healthy Pret-A-Manger. They have delicious smoothies (with avocado!), amazing salads, lunch boxes, juices, coffee, banana bread... A healthy take-away food paradise!

Daddy Longlegs: Located right by Munich's most important museums, this café is the perfect place for a little tea break. Take a chai latte and a small snack and you're set! They also serve beautiful Açaí bowls for breakfast. 

Dean & David: A healthy "fast food" chain where you can mainly get salads, but also healthy wraps and juices. They are dotted all over the city, even at the train station, so you always have a nutritious "fast food" option near you. Great value!

Frank Juice: One of the first ones to introduce cold pressed juices to Germany. They offer juice cleanses but if you want to try a juice first you can find them at Kochhaus at Gärtnerplatz. My favourite is the nut milk with cinnamon.

Greenbox: A juice bar where you can have any juice/smoothie combination possible. I love the avocado-banana smoothie and the cities they used to name the smoothies: Oslo, Miami, Copenhagen etc. 

Nudo: If you're looking for a light lunch but your friend wants a big pasta, this is where you should go. There's a range of salads (also vegan) as well as pastas on the tasty menu. All home made and good quality, as you can expect in Munich. 

OrangeboxHealthy eatery with freshly pressed juices, mango lassi, glass noodle salads and curries. Flavourful and light food, best for lunch. The glass noodle salad and the beetroot salad are my favourite. Take-away also available. | review |

Sunny-food Smoothies: The ideal cure after a night of a little too much drinking? A big smoothie from Sunny-Food. Their special hangover smoothie is mild and sweet, and perfect to nourish the body without having to drink a green juice (if you're not a fan). | review |

Super Danke!: The perfect place for the die-hard green smoothie fans. Super Danke has managed to make green smoothies cool, who'd have thought? For coffee lovers I'd recommend the Espresso Love smoothie. | review |

Tagescafé Schwabing: Situated in the relaxt shopping street Hohenzollernstraße. If you need a refreshment, grab a juice and a bite (fresh pasta anyone?) at Tagescafé. 

Vegan Deli: This is in my top 3 of Munich food. A tiny all-vegan place which has a changing daily main dish & a soup. Delicious and very filling, and by far the best vegan food I've ever tried. Best (healthy) lunch in Munich. MUST try! | review

Other recommendations: Gratitude, Ignaz, Picnic, Terra Verde, Deli Dosa, Blattsalate




Munich Hotspot Guide | best restaurants in Munich


Munich Hotspot Guide | best restaurants in Munich


COFFEE & SWEETS 

Aroma kaffeebar: Very popular homely-feeling coffee- and brunch spot with some of Munich's best coffee & brunch. Cosy & filled with trinkets. Coffee comes with heart-shaped latte art and the cakes are good too! | review |

Café Emil: Just recently opened, this corner café feels very personal because of the living-room-like interior, with books, design furniture and big soft velvet cushions you can sink into with your coffee. You can also have homemade cakes and waffles here. 

Little Kind Café: [closed down] One of Munich's most relaxed vegan cafés. The bright interior, the relaxing music and the delicious banana bread & matcha latte made me fall in love with this place. | review |

Lost Weekend: Probably Munich's most student-friendly café: it has good and fast wifi, large wooden tables, yummy coffee (also vegan options), quick snacks, late opening hours and a bookstore inside. It's the perfect place to get some work done (or take a study break) if you don't mind a noisy environment. 

Mahlefitz: A professional coffee roaster where you can also get a cuppa made from freshly roasted & ground beans. The coffee is rather expensive, the cool interior and intense coffee flavours make up for it. 

Man Versus Machine: My number one favourite coffee place in Munich. Slightly hipster with a beautiful bright interior and the best flat white in town. Love! | review |

Morso: Once you step into this little place, you discover the beautiful interior, huge stacks of magazines and an amazing spread of croissants, Italian pastries and yummy cappuccinos. I found this to be the best value take-away coffee in Munich - 2 euro for large big cappuccino.

Soon Coffee House: A favourite among students, because this is the cheapest coffee you'll find in the city: €1.40 for a cappuccino. The perfect place for a quick coffee-to-go. There are several locations in Munich. 

Stereo CaféConcept store with menswear but upstairs you'll find one of Munich's best coffee spots. Strong cappuccinos, fresh cakes, Super Danke smoothies, avocado toast... a food lover's oasis in the middle of the city. Cute hidden outdoor terrace in the back! review | 

Tanpopo: A cosy Munich café with Japanese influences. You can find yummy cakes here, some of which have a Japanese twist such as green tea cake. Baking courses are available by demand. 

Vorhoelzer Forum: This is a bar/café right on the top floor of the Technical University where you have one of Munich's best terraces with a cool 360 degree view of the city. Always packed with students at night but during the day it's a relaxed place for a chat over coffee. 

Other recommendations
Der Hollabusch, Café Josefina, Bald Neu, Café Fraulein, Café Jasmin, Maelu, Joon Café, Milly Café, Benko Café, Café Lotti, Heimvorteil & Ehrlich


Munich Hotspot Guide | best restaurants in Munich


Munich Hotspot Guide | best restaurants in Munich


ICE CREAM ETC. 


Ballabeni: If you see a queue from afar, it means that you have found Ballabeni. By far the most popular ice cream spot in Munich. The ice cream is freshly made daily so the flavours are never the same. For €1.50 you get a scoop in an edible cookie cup! 

Gelateria Lorenzo Corno: This is Ballabeni's little brother, located in the residential Schwabing area. It's lesser known, but still very popular among the local residents. Take a scoop and enjoy it on the steps of the St. Ursula church nearby.  

I Love Leo Leopolstraße: In case you're looking for something lighter than gelato, head to I Love Leo for a frozen yoghurt with lots of toppings. It's right next to the park, so it's the perfect plan for a sunny day. 

Del Fiore Officine Alimentari This place uses mostly organic and locally sourced ingredients for their gelato; no chemical additives, flavour enhancers or food colouring whatsoever. Pure and simple flavours such as fresh coconut meat, pistachio, yoghurt & walnut honey... a mix of both classics and more unique flavours. Really delicious! | review |

Other recommendations: Das Verrukte Eismacher, Ice Date  



Munich Hotspot Guide | best restaurants in Munich


DRINKS & DANCING


Bar Fox: Slightly grudge-y and always packed. Order a Moscow Mule or if you're in for a long night, try the Liquid Cocaine. 

Burger & Lobster Bank: This is where the more posh crowd gathers on the weekend. You can have dinner here (burgers & lobster), but instead come a bit later when the bar starts to get crowded and the music a little louder. A restaurant/bar/club hybrid which is nice to stop by on a night out. 

Cirlce By Cihan Anadologlu: Internationally renowned Cihan definitely knows how to run a great cocktail bar, which is why he has already won several prizes with Circle. Expect excellent service and some of the best cocktails you'll ever have.

Die Goldene Bar: Looking for a good cocktail in a good atmosphere? Die Goldene Bar serves yummy cocktails which makes you forgot you're basically in a museum. If you're heading to P1 later, this is a good place to warm up for the night since it's next door. 

Fantom: This bar has a certain vibe that will make you feel like you're in London or New York. The crowd is quite mixed, so it's fun to do some people watching over a mojito or two. 

Ferdings: Skip the food here, but instead grab one of the outdoor seats on a warmer day. It's right off Gärtnerplatz but it's much more relaxed than some of the area's other bars. 

Frauenstraße 26: A living room transformed into a bar. At least that's what Frauen 26 looks like. There are Persian rugs, couches and even a kitchen which is actually the bar (including hot bartenders). 

Freebird: The evening at Freebird starts with a few sharing plates and some drinks while enjoying the last of Munich's sunset (the location is ideal!). After the sun has gone down, the music is turned up and the bar starts to become crowded. It's a small and intimate bar with a homely feeling, so pretty perfect for a relaxed date. 

Herzog: A stylish bar & restaurant with delicious cocktails and a big outdoor terrace. 

James T. Hunt: If you don't mind elbowing your way to the bar, this place is always a safe bet if you don't know what to do one night but don't necessarily want to go clubbing. Like I hinted, it can be packed to the brim, but the music is great and it's always cosy. The Moscow Mules come in camper cups which is a cute detail. 

Kalypso: This Greek place has the best atmosphere, but is a little average for proper Greek food. Instead, come here with a big group of friends, order a few little bites and lots of drinks. You'll have a cosy evening for sure! 

Kismet: Just above the Lebanese restaurant, you'll find Kismet's small bar. Nice music and really great cocktails: the recipe for a fun evening. The crowd is slightly cooler than at Munich's more posh bars. Make sure to grab a pack of matches, they are the coolest ever. You'll see what I mean..

Loretta Bar: Right in the middle of the Glockenbachviertel action, there is Loretta. Going out in this area never stops at just one place, so make sure to stop for a drink at this bar. The cocktails are good and not pricey - a good place to meet some friends!

The Flushing meadows bar: This hotel bar is one of the city's lesser known rooftop bars. It has a kind of London-vibe to it which I love. The place is intimate and small but never too packed. You can also come here for breakfast along with the hotel guests. review | 

Vorhoelzer forum: This is a bar/café right on the top floor of the Technical University where you have one of Munich's best terraces with a cool 360 degree view of the city. Always packed with students at night, especially during summer, really lovely!  


Other recommendations: Registratur, Negroni Bar, Zephyr, Couch Club, Oriental Hotel Rooftop, Bar Centrale


Munich Hotspot Guide | best restaurants in Munich


SHOPS & MARKETS


Boulangerie Dom Pierre (Maxvorstadt & Schwabing): A French bakery with delicious and fresh French bread. Enjoy your baguette with some butter and your Sunday feels complete! Their paper bags have funny quotes like "Non, je ne regrette rien!", a small but fun detail. 

Eataly: It's like a Whole Foods but with only the best of the best Italian products. Heaven! You can find everything from pasta to olive oil to truffles and pesto... and for the Nutella lovers, there's even a Nutella bar. You'll want to buy and try literally everything!

Kauf Dich Glucklich: A concept store with mostly Scandinavian brands. You can not only buy clothes here but also books, home ware and shoes. 

Kochaus (Gärtnerplatz & Schwabing): An original concept where the meals are already thought out (including recipe & correct measurements) and all you need to do is buy the ingredients and cook it at home. They also sell cookbooks and speciality food here such as Sal de Ibiza, David Rio Chai and Frank Juice. Perfect for gift shopping for your food-loving friends. 

Koffischop: A small market-like shop on Frauenhoferstraße, with wooden boxes filled with organic fruits & vegetables outside and bunches of flowers. You can also sit down here for a small bite to eat and a coffee. | review

Manufactum Brot und Butter: A real German classic shop where you can find all kinds of good quality things, from kitchenware to bathroom accessories. At the entrance of the store, there's a mini food-shop with a bakery which makes some of the best bread ever. You must try the walnut bread, it's mind blowing!  

Marion Heinrich: This designer store has some amazing and elaborate collections such as Alaïa, Chloé and Céline. If you're looking for a special item, this is where you'll find it. 

Mohrmann Basics: The kind of shop where you want to buy everything: cute dresses, t-shirts, silver engraved spoons, cards, underwear... Super girly! If you're looking for a nice gift for a friend, you'll have a good chance of finding it here. 

MyMuesli: Germans do love their muesli, so this is why three friends decided in 2007 that the world was ready for customised (organic) muesli. On mymuesli.com you can make any combination possible. But if you want to try the muesli first you should visit the store at Vitkualienmarkt, where you can taste the muesli and buy ready-made combinations. The paleo muesli is the best!

Slips: Targeted at the fashionable Munich girls, this store represents younger brands which everyone loves: MSGM, Missoni, Wildfox, Chiara Ferragni, Anine Bing, Rika and so on. The selection of items is really beautiful!

Theresa (MyTheresa.com): The 'mother' of Mytheresa.com and where it all began before the immensely popular online store was born. Theresa has a gorgeous selection of clothes, but I'm most impressed with the huge variety of designer handbags and shoes. A designer lover's dream.

Viktualienmarkt: One of Munich's only permanent markets which displays the best of Bavaria's produce and beyond. The most exotic fruits & vegetables, local wines & cheese and fresh flowers; everything you can wish for in a market. It's quite pricey but if you're looking for something specific, this is where you can find it. 

Other recommendations: Käfer 


Munich Hotspot Guide | best restaurants in Munich


Munich Hotspot Guide | best restaurants in Munich


HOTELS


Flushing Meadows Hotel & Bar: Cool boutique hotel with a real London vibe in Munich's most lively area. Only has a few rooms, which are each decorated completely differently. The rooftop bar/breakfast area is cosy and also open to non-guests. | review |

Hotel Bayerischer HofMunich's best hotel, world renowned and still in the hands of the Volkhardt family, which is rare for a hotel this size. Has everything you can expect from a five star hotel, including the biggest most delicious German breakfast buffet. The private cinema is a fun 'hidden' little place for a date night. There's also an amazing roof terrace with pool, private cinema, gym, bars & restaurants. *****


Munich Hotspot Guide | best restaurants in Munich


WELLNESS & GYMS

Elements Gym (Donnersbergerbrücke): One of the best gyms I've ever been a member at. The staff is super friendly and helpful, the gym is clean, super well equipped, big and high-tech, the classes are varied... It's generally a really pleasant place and it makes going to the gym a whole lot easier and fun! 

Blue Spa Bayerischer Hof: Known for the beautiful rooftop pool with open roof during summer, this is probably Munich's best spa. The gym is small but functional and the staff is really friendly. It can get busy during warm weekends but during weekdays you basically have the place to yourself. Worth the splurge!


Munich Hotspot Guide | best restaurants in Munich

If you've made it to the end of this LONG post (more than 4400 words), you deserve a pat on the back. Now go and explore Munich; book a city trip or stop by while you're on your way to go skiing, there's so much to do, see and eat in Munich! 
In case you live there, don't stop until you've ticked these places off your list ;) 

I want to thank my Munich friends and colleagues for showing me many of these gems. I had a lot of fun finding new places, doing some café- and bar-hopping on the weekend and generally trying a lot of new things. A special thanks to my foodie partners-in-crime, you know who you are. I don't think there are many places where the quality of life and the quality of food are as good as in Munich. I hope this map comes handy when you find yourself in this beautiful city. Enjoy!


ps. if you spot a typo, or want to share your favourite place in Munich, please do let me know in the comments

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