World ? Europe ? Germany ? Munich

Munich: Best Dining Bets

  • Best All-time Favorite: In business since 1901, albeit not in the same location, Boettner's (tel. 089/22-12-10) offers a cuisine that is better than ever and still uses only top-quality ingredients like lobster and fresh white truffles. Housed in a Renaissance structure in the center of Munich, the restaurant has a cuisine lighter than in the past but still featuring those rich old Bavarian favorites for those who want to indulge.

  • Best Fusion Cuisine: A luxe restaurant ranking at the top of all those in Bavaria, Schuhbecks Sɒdtiroler Stuben (tel. 089/2166900) evokes "California" freestyle. A culinary celebrity, chef Alfons Schuhbeck blends Eastern and Western cuisine in his sublime offerings, depending a lot on California for his inspiration. The menu is forever changing based on the best produce in any season.

  • Best Spot for a Romantic Dinner: At this great Italian restaurant, Acquarello (tel. 089/470-4848), he or she will definitely say yes to your proposition. Classical music sets the stage for a romantic evening, and the host promises that the perfume-like fragrance of the restaurant will linger for a lifetime. From figs to almonds, the food is from the gods -- at least that.

  • Best Spot for a Business Lunch: Mark's Restaurant (tel. 089/290980), in the prestigious Mandarin Oriental, is the chic business luncheon spot of Munich. The movers and shakers of the Bavarian capital gather in the informal lobby-level setting of Mark's Corner to make the big deal. Menu items change according to the season and the inspiration of the chef, and, as you dine, you can practically feel euros changing hands.

  • Best Spot for a Celebration: A coveted address known to savvy local foodies, Weichandhof (tel. 089/891-1600) is set in an old farmhouse where diners always seem to be celebrating something -- a marriage, a divorce, or whatever. The Bavarian food is good and affordable and you can hang out until midnight, feasting on everything from roast suckling pig to endless servings of apple strudel.

  • Best Wine List: Geisel's Vinothek (tel. 089/55-13-71-40), in the Hotel Excelsior, is the best spot in Munich for a taste of the grape. Dedicated to Bacchus, this deliberately unpretentious choice has one of the city's finest collections of Italian, French, Austrian, and German wines -- all sold by the glass. You can also order Italian cuisine.

  • Best Value: Palais Keller (tel. 089/2-12-09-90) offers the most bang for your euro, although it's housed in the cellar of one of the most elegant hotels in Munich. Its well-prepared cuisine of Bavarian and German dishes is priced about the same as that found in far less desirable beer halls and Weinstuben (wine taverns) nearby. Let a smiling waitress in a frilly apron introduce you to Tafelspitz here, the fabled boiled beef dish.

  • Best for Kids: MɆvenpick Restaurant (tel. 089/5-45-94-90) is right in the heart of Munich and is decorated with a whimsical theme; different rooms are devoted to different cuisines, everything from the Longhorn Corner for Texas-style steaks to Grandma's Kitchen for some old-fashioned cookery. Kids like to come here for a full meal of just RɆsti, those fabled Swiss fried potatoes.

  • Best Continental Cuisine: Tantris (tel. 089/36-19-59-0), in Schwabing, serves the city's most refined cuisine, a treat to the eye as well as the palate. Hans Haas is one of the top chefs of Germany and is forever sharpening his culinary skills as he wines and dines the celebrated people of Europe. Nothing in Munich equals the service, flavors, and delight found here.

  • Best French Cuisine: Bistro Terrine (tel. 089/28-17-80) has food that tastes so authentically French that you'll think you're back in Lyon. Menu items are often more inventive than the Belle Epoque atmosphere of this Art Nouveau bistro in Schwabing implies. The menu changes with the seasons -- for example, in autumn, nuggets of venison might appear with hazelnut-flavored gnocchi and port wine sauce.

  • Best Seafood: Austernkeller (tel. 089/29-87-87) prepares not only the freshest oysters in town but also an array of delectable seafood selections that range from mussels to clams and sea snails to the wonderful lobster Thermidor. The kitsch collection of plastic lobsters shouldn't put you off: The food is far more worthy than the decor.

  • Best Bavarian Cuisine: Nɒrnberger Bratwurst GlɆckl am Dom (tel. 089/29-52-64) is Munich's coziest restaurant. Here you can enjoy Bavarian cuisine so authentic that it's hardly changed since the restaurant opened in 1893. Bavarians, often looking as stern as one of the Dɒrer prints on the wall, come here for all their favorite dishes -- just like great grandmothers made 100 years ago.

  • Best Outdoor Dining: Locanda Picolit (tel. 089/396447), an Italian restaurant in the heart of Schwabing, offers an outdoor terrace in summer with a view over a garden that's one of the most evocative in Munich. The place suggests a Mediterranean world. Menu items change with the season, and you can enjoy the agrarian bounty of Italy while doing some people-watching and soaking up the fresh breezes blowing across Munich at the same time.

  • Best Italian Cuisine: One of Bavaria's great Italian restaurants, Acuarello (tel. 089/470-4848), brings the sunny flavors of the Mediterranean to Munich. The cuisine is vivid and modern and never depends on the clichȳs of the Italian cuisine. Instead of dining on a tired old plate of spaghetti, you might be served pigeon breast in a dark nut sauce with a parsley mousse.

  • Best for Celebrity-Watching: One of the most iconoclastic restaurants in Munich, Lenbach (tel. 089/549-1300) serves a first-rate Continental and Asian cuisine. Its diners often make the next day's gossip columns. That might be Catherine Zeta-Jones devouring a plate of foie gras and sweet roasted peppers, Richard Gere digging into the grilled scampi with fresh herbs, or Robert Redford ordering the Thai curry with tiger prawns.

  • Best Beer Garden: In the Englischer Garten center of Munich, Biergarten Chinesischer Turm (tel. 089/3-83-87-30) is our favorite place for soaking up the local suds -- some of the best in the world -- and lingering over long, filling Bavarian meals such as homemade dumplings, a specialty. To the sound of an oompah band, you can drink the night away while devouring huge baskets of pretzels to soak up some of the alcohol.

  • Best for People-Watching: Right on the Marienplatz (what Times Square is to New York), the virtual heart of Munich, you can enjoy coffee and snacks at Cafȳ Glockenspiel (tel. 089/264256). This is the most frequented cafe in Munich, and it gets especially busy at 10:30am daily when hordes show up to watch a miniature tournament staged by the clock on the City Hall facade. Sit back and enjoy your coffee and pastry as an international parade of humanity marches before you.

  • Best Picnic Fare: Alois Dallmayr (tel. 089/2-13-51-00) offers not only Munich's best picnic fare, but also Germany's. With the food you can gather up here, you could even invite the queen of England for lunch in the Englischer Garten. One of the world's most renowned delis, this supermarket of goodies has elegant selections like foie gras, but it also offers more democratically priced (and mundane) fare.

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