So I’ve been a bad travel writer. Two nights in Munich, Germany and I have yet to post something. All I can say is that I didn’t want to spend a moment NOT traveling :)
But while I wait for the morning rain to stop, I thought I’d give you a sneak peak into what Munich has been like so far. And we’ll focus on one of my favorite travel experiences… the food!
Munich is famous for it’s beer… and sorry… I am not a beer gal! I PROMISE to have one before I leave, but I’ve been enjoying sipping local Silvaners and Rieslings while watching the world from a sidewalk table. Perfect for a warm summer day.
And food. Yes, I was expecting (and looking forward to) some traditional bites of spaetzle and wurst and kartoffeln – but I’ve also been pleasantly surprised by other discoveries.
First discovery that I loved, walking around the market stalls of the Viktualienmarkt where the farmers are selling giant and colorful and fresh produce, jams, olive oils, you name it! A gourmet paradise! And the gem of gems – MUSHROOMS! It’s chanterelle season in this part of Germany apparently, because the pfifferlinge are EVERYWHERE in their bright orange pepper splendor! YUM!
Turning a corner out of the Viktualienmarkt was another pleasant discovery- the new Schrannenhalle. A newly re-modelled indoor market, built in the old steel frame of the old market and designed along the lines of the markets of Barcelona and Madrid, this indoor space sells not only yummy treats for you to nibble on as you walk, but has an incredible selection of wines, oils, fancy condiments like dill-cucumber mustard, and giant glasses of wine served with a cheese and bread board that will make you cry. There’s restaurants inside where you can order anything from sandwiches to goulash to bratwurst – and enjoy either inside or under the umbrellas on the terrace outside.
For a more ‘traditional’ (read: history buff’s perfect place to eat in terms of ambience), I had a Riesling and a bite of a wurst sampler in the Ratskeller, the restaurant inside the Neues Rathaus courtyard. (There’s tables inside too, but why give up the chance to sit in a courtyard where you are surrounded by gargoyles and knights and amazing stonework!) A great spot to sit and start upwards, excellent mashed potatoes, but more traditional, heavy food.
For something on the lighter side – after all, a day of walking in the sun and heat calls for a light touch on the stomach so you can keep going until your ice cream break! – head over to the Hofgarten and to Luigi Tambosi’s garden cafe to enjoy the breeze, the rustle of trees and the tangy bite of an Aperol Spritz (Aperol, prosecco and soda water over ice – a local fav.) You can take a gamble on their Caprese salad too – tomatoes the color of
Chinese good luck and with bursting flavors, an ENTIRE buffalo mozzarella of the thickets consistency possible, served with arugula and basil.
Before one of the concerts I was attending (I am in Munich for an opera festival, lol, not a food festival!) I ended up in a cafe on the Residenz Platz, overlooking the National Opera building. I wanted light, a salad or so. But still filling. I had 3 hours of music ahead of me and needed that balance of no longer being hungry but not getting food coma.
And voila! A pfifferlinge salad – yes… that would be a chanterelles salad. Chanterelles lightly cooked in the juices of tiny strips of bacon, and then the warm and flavorful mixture poured over lettuce, tomatoes, arugula, strips of belgian endive, and croutons.
I think I need a WHOLE week here!