In a nutshell: I promise that there’s more to Munich than beer!
Yes, Oktoberfest may be the event that puts Munich on the map. 6.3 million people descended on the German city during the 16-day beer-happy revelry in 2014, consuming nearly 1.8 million gallons of beer. But hey, people have to eat!
And eat in Munich we did. Hearty Bavarian bites at Augustiner were a good introduction to the meat- and starch-heavy dishes prominent in the state’s (and country’s) cuisine.
As you might be able to tell, sausage–or wurst as its known in Germany–is pretty big. Big enough for there to be over 1,500 different kinds of wurst available. Currywurst is a popular choice, composed of bratwurst–sausage made from finely minced pork and beef–that is fried on a griddle, sliced into bite-sized pieces, and doused in a curry-flavored tomato sauce.
Nürnberger rostbratwurst is bratwurst’s younger brother, a smaller pork-based sausage flavored with marjoram. While you can find them as a main dish paired with sauerkraut or potato salad, you can also pick them up three to a bun with a dash of mustard at street vendors.
Pork is quite popular around these parts: Germans consume approximately 86 pounds of it per capita annually according to news publication Spiegel, not to mention an additional 48.5 pounds of beef, chicken, turkey, and other meats.
I would happily eat my quota (and then some) in fried pork rinds, the impossibly crunchy skin harboring bits of meat and fat. Butcher shop and delicatessen Schlemmermeyer sells laptop-sized slabs of grill-schwarte for you to satisfy your cravings.
You can score pork sandwiches pretty much anywhere around town. They’re affordable, efficiently prepared, filling, and tasty to boot. (Places like Vinzenzmurr at Munich’s main train station often carve slices off the entire hunk of loin, so watch out for bones.)
If seafood is more your thing, you can also get that packaged in a crusty roll with sharp onions. GOSCH Sylt featured soused herring, salmon, and pickled herring for hungry travelers to pick up on the go.
I wonder what this toothy specimen tastes like? On second thought, maybe it’s best to admire it from afar.
While seafood was historically restricted to the northern coastal areas, today’s transportation capabilities make dining on European perch to mackerel to trout possible throughout the country.
While all these options don’t sound vegetarian-friendly, never fear! Case in point: the daily 240,000-square-foot food market Viktualienmarkt in the heart of Munich. It took a good part of our afternoon to navigate the nearly 140 stalls hawking produce, cheese, meat, seafood, beer, juices, spices, flowers, handicrafts, and more.
Munich will redefine your meaning of “full stomach” once you’ve spent a day visiting markets, eateries, and breweries.
Platzl 9, 80331
Neuhauserstraße 27, 80331
Viktualienmarkt (Schlemmermeyer, Nordsee)
Viktualienmarkt 3, 80331
Hauptbahnhof (Vinzenzmurr, GOSCH Sylt)
Bayerstraße 10a, 80335