KATHRIN DI LAURO TRAVEL BLOG

An Insider’s Guide to Munich, Germany Munich’s Best Neighbourhoods, Restaurants, and Bars

In 2018, Monocle named Munich the world’s most liveable city. The cosmopolitan city has plenty of parks and lush green gardens, a river clean enough to swim in, and a variety of authentic neighbourhoods to explore. The number of delicious restaurants and lively bars seems virtually endless. Munich is not only a fantastic city to visit, but it’s also one of the best places in the world to live.

If you missed my post about the best places to visit in Munich when traveling solo, check it out here

Munich’s Best Neighbourhoods

Munich’s geography is simple. You’re either east or west of the river Isar. My absolute favorite neighborhood is Bogenhausen. It’s where I live, and it’s on the east side of the river. Bogenhausen is one of Munich’s most upscale districts, featuring many beautiful townhouses and villas from another era. It’s just a short walk away from the river banks and about 3 km away from Marienplatz, or Munich’s City Hall. I love the neighbourhood’s proximity to the Englischer Garten, the Delikatessen shop and restaurant Käfer, and the golden Friendensengel. Its location and architecture, coupled with its calm and quiet residential atmosphere, make it the perfect mixture of Munich. 

Within the city center, my favorite neighborhood is Lehel. It is not as touristy as the Altstadt area, but it is right next to it. Lehel offers a real city-center experience. It is a residential area intertwined with all kinds of bars, smaller restaurants, and small shops.

If I had to pick only one neighborhood to explore on the west side of Isar, it would be Nymphenburg. The Nymphenburg Canal beside the famous Nymphenburg Palace is definitely a must-see highlight of the area. The canal is lovely for a stroll all year round, but I especially love it when the temperature falls below zero. It may seem odd at first, but it’s the best time on the canal as it becomes all about ice skating and curling. The Nymphenburg district is also the largest of the city in terms of population. Want to catch the best view of the canal and the Nymphenburg Palace? Head to the Gerner Brücke, a small bridge across the canal.

The beautiful and historic old city hall at Marienplatz.

Munich’s Best Restaurants, Bars, and More

So, before I dive into my favorite Munich restaurants and bars, I have to share my absolute favorite ice cream parlour. “Bartu Bio-Eis Manufaktur” is an organic ice cream manufacturer in Schwabing. The shop offers 24 different flavors stored with stainless steel slides to avoid anything foreign from entering the ice cream. The parlour even extends a 50-cent discount to families with kids to help promote organic, whole foods. Bravo! This spot is also known for its incredible pizza corner. The pizza dough is made entirely from organic spelt flour, and all ingredients are organic. Real talk – this is the ONLY pizza I eat! My husband picks it up for our TV nights sometimes. Even after a 20-minute trip back to our house, it is such a delicious treat.

If I’m craving ice cream, but decide to skip my organic ice cream routine, Sarcletti in Nymphenburg is my next call. This ice cream parlour also prepares its artisan ice cream without preservatives and according to traditional, seasonal Italian recipes.

You can genuinely taste the quality and freshness within each of its 60 varieties (during peak season) of ice cream. 

Biking along the charming trails of my Munich.

Now that my inner child went first, it’s time to discuss some of my favorite restaurants. For upscale, fancy dining, head to Rocca Riviera. If you’re looking for a fancier lunch option, you’ll want to dine at the Dallmayr Bar & Grill.

For those seeking to indulge their taste buds with Bavarian and International cuisine, Spatenhaus an der Oper by Kuffler, Seehaus by Kuffler, and Brenner Grill are all hotspots that won’t disappoint. Don’t miss Mangostin by Kuffler for Asian and Toshi for Japanese!

If you happen to be spending the day exploring, shopping, or sightseeing in the Old Town, head over to Blatt Salate (close to Frauenkirche) for a quick, fresh bite to eat. The salad bar boasts a huge selection of fresh, untreated salads, delivered daily from regional gardeners. It doesn’t get more garden-to-table than that! The lettuce is very carefully washed, dried, and prepared so that no vitamins are lost. You can guarantee that this will be one of the freshest, most vitamin-filled salads you’ve ever had! Their soups start at just 6€ while salads start at 9€, making it extremely affordable. I just love this place as it is self-service and great if you’re on the go. No time wasted waiting for service or the final bill. It is a few steps away from Marienplatz on a small, quiet street.

Lastly, I’d like to introduce you to some of my favorite Munich bars. For a lunchtime aperitif, visit Schumann’s Tagesbar. For night caps and a late-night scene, head to Schumann’s Bar. These spots, which are arguably the most popular bars in Germany, are both owned by the famous Charles Schumann. I’m also a huge fan of the Falks Bar at Hotel Bayerischer Hof as well as the Night Club and the Trader Vic`s. If you’re searching for the perfect spot for meeting new people or simply people watching with great music, check out H’ugo’s Bar and Pizzeria Restaurant!

And as we are in full beer garden season, I must at least recommend my two favorites. Believe it or not, despite being a full-blooded Bavarian, I’m not a fan of drinking beer. I’d much rather sip my refreshing glass of cold white wine, or when I’m feeling more extravagant, a glass of rose champagne.

The beer garden, Hofbräukeller at Wiener Platz, is probably Munich’s most beautiful beer garden. Wiener Platz is a cute village square with tiny bars. It’s the smallest permanent market in Munich. Situated under the old chestnut trees, you forget that you are in the middle of the city while you’re there. In winter, an alpine chalet offers a change in atmosphere, and during summer, the Sandbar gives you the only thing that this city misses – beach vibes. Whether at a public viewing, in bright sunshine, or on a warm summer night, you’ll find generations sitting together with Maß Helles (typical Bavarian beer served by one-liter jugs). 

Here’s a bonus insider tip for those seeking a wide range of ecologically-oriented offerings at a unique location on the river Isar: Biergarten am Muffatwerk. This certified organic business features classic beer garden favorites with Mediterranean influences and light vegetarian meals. Its location on the 70-km-long Isar bike trail makes it an ideal stop while discovering the city by bike.

 

Tasty cuisine and exquisite presentations at Mangostin by Kuffler.

Time to Explore Munich

Now that you have the inside scoop on the best spots to stay, dine, and explore in Munich, it’s time you booked a trip! Follow along on my blog or on my Instagram to learn more about this beautiful city that will always be my home!

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