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Munich: Restaurants

Munich is one of the very few European cities that have more than one Michelin-rated "three-star" restaurant, and some of its sophisticated eating places are among the finest anywhere. This is the place to practice Edelfresswelle (high-class gluttony), because there are many local specialties here as well as first-class international cuisine. The classic local dish, usually consumed before noon, is Weisswurst, herb-flavored white-veal sausages blanched in water.

It is said that Mɒnchners consume more beer than people do in any other German city. Bernd Boehle once wrote: "If a man really belongs to Munich, he drinks beer at all times of the day, at breakfast, at midday, at teatime, and in the evening, of course, he just never stops." The place where every first-time visitor heads for at least one eating and drinking fest is the HofbrȨuhaus am Platzl.

Schwabing -- This district, which was called "bohemian" in the 1940s, overflows with restaurants. Many of them are awful, but there are several good ones, some of which attract a youthful clientele. The evening is the best time for a visit.

Tipping -- If a restaurant bill says Bedienung, that means a service charge has already been added.

Savvy Restaurant Advice, Then & Now -- Afraid of encountering inflated restaurant prices while you're in Europe? Arthur Frommer's dining advice from Europe on 5 Dollars a Day is equally relevant today: "Never patronize an establishment that doesn't have its menu openly displayed in its window. That way you can't possibly be overcharged once inside."

Beer Gardens -- If you're in Munich anytime between the first sunny spring day and the last fading light of a Bavarian-style autumn, you should head for one of the city's celebrated beer gardens (Biergartens). Traditionally, beer gardens were simply tables placed under chestnut trees planted above the storage cellars to keep beer cool in summer. People, naturally, started to drink close to the source of their pleasure, and the tradition has remained. (Lids on beer steins, incidentally, were meant to keep out flies.) It's estimated that today Munich has at least 400 beer gardens and cellars. Food, drink, and atmosphere are much the same in all of them.

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