So we managed to both miss Oktoberfest and leave the week before all of the Munich Christmas markets fully opened (well done), but no need to worry, we still managed to track down lots of beer and bratwurst. By now, I think all of the Christmas markets will be open and there are stalls scattered all across the city centre, most of which were being set up during our visit. We got our taste of the Christmas markets by visiting the stalls in the courtyard of the Residenz.
Say hello to curry and mayonnaise topped chips with a crispy fried onion garnish and a bratwurst in a bun. I was very confused by the sausage ordering process and honestly having not tried one I still couldn’t tell you if the currywurst is spicy (guessing that it could be but answers below please!). Bratwurst is a good choice anyway if you are looking for something that tastes familiar, it is mild tasting with herbs and seasoning. Side note – the condiments were hanging from the roof of this stall with literally an udder as a dispenser. Amused me.
Cheap eats – Luigi Al Mercato
This was an absolutely cracking find. It is opposite the famed ‘Eataly’ dining hall which is where we left the hotel intending to eat. As speaks for its popularity, it didn’t look like we were getting a table any time soon so thought we’d better explore other options. If you can get in though this is like a fancy Italian food court if you will, including a market of ingredients. If you can’t get in however and still fancy your Italian fix, cross the road and head for Luigi Al Mercato. They only have menus in German and it seemed that most of the other customers were local as opposed to tourists which for me is always a good sign of quality. Despite neither of us speaking any German, Italian food descriptions tend to be relatively universal regardless, you will obviously know what a margarita pizza is. Everything coming out of that kitchen looked and smelled incredible and we were not disappointed when our pizzas arrived. The dough was thin, crispy and salty, the tomato passata was divine and the toppings and seasonings worked perfectly. We went for a bufala mozarella and a farmhouse ham olive and rocket, both of which were wonderful. The best part, depending on what you drink, you can easily eat for two here for less than 20 euros all in.
Traditional – Ratskeller
Ratskeller is a sprawling underground complex restaurant which felt extremely medieval and traditional whilst remaining reasonably priced! I could see quite a few birthday balloons here. Is it bad that that just makes me think of TGI Fridays?! The menu is again traditional and very meat-focused. We ended up going for a platter of sausages with mashed potato and a käsespätzle – essentially a German dumpling version of macaroni cheese. Again, finished with beer and utterly delicious. I would recommend this for the restaurant experience itself, nothing felt more authentic than this.
Luxe – Zum Franziskaner
This was a recommendation from a friend whom we thanked afterwards for how great a suggestion this was. This place is also very traditional but more on the expensive side. Our meal and drinks came to around 80 euros here. The waitresses wear dirndls, the tables are long, beer-hall-esque and communal and they have some gorgeous Christmas decorations! We went for an incredible meat platter for two which consisted of pork knuckle (a Munich speciality which is absolutely delicious) pork ribs and duck breast served with potato and white bread dumplings, braised purple and white cabbage and a gravy sauce. Best enjoyed with beer!
During our short two days here we didn’t manage to fit in a trip to a traditional German beer hall. All the more reason to come back next year for Oktoberfest!
Any Munich recommendations I should try?