Munich: munching meats in münchen.

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Neuschwanstein Castle.

In a nutshell: I promise that there’s more to Munich than beer!

A stein filled to brim from Hofbrauhaus.

A stein filled to brim from Hofbrauhaus.

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!

Clockwise from top left: Augustiner platter with the best cuts of suckling pig, knuckle, duck, and sausages, served with sauerkraut, potato dumplings and vegetables; pretzels; ½ duck from the grill with potato dumplings and red cabbage; large sausage platter with all types of sausage, served with cabbage and roasted potatoes.

Clockwise from top left: Augustiner platter with the best cuts of suckling pig, knuckle, duck, and sausages, served with sauerkraut, potato dumplings and vegetables; pretzels; ½ duck from the grill with potato dumplings and red cabbage; large sausage platter with all types of sausage, served with cabbage and roasted potatoes.

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.

Currywurst and frites from a stand in the shadow of Neuschwanstein Castle's mountain range.

Currywurst and frites from a stand in the shadow of Neuschwanstein Castle’s mountain range.

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 sandwich from Viktualienmarkt's Schlemmermeyer.

Nürnberger Rostbratwurst sandwich from Viktualienmarkt’s Schlemmermeyer.

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.

Ham sandwich from Viktualienmarkt's Schlemmermeyer.

Ham sandwich from Viktualienmarkt’s Schlemmermeyer.

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.

Fried pork rinds from Viktualienmarkt's Schlemmermeyer.

Fried pork rinds from Viktualienmarkt’s Schlemmermeyer.

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.

Roast pork sandwich at from Hauptbahnhof's Vinzenzmurr.

Roast pork sandwich at from Hauptbahnhof’s Vinzenzmurr.

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.)

Fish sandwiches from Hauptbahnhof's GOSCH Sylt.

Fish sandwiches from Hauptbahnhof’s GOSCH Sylt.

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.

Seafood stand at Viktualienmarkt.

Seafood stand at Viktualienmarkt.

I wonder what this toothy specimen tastes like? On second thought, maybe it’s best to admire it from afar.

Fried shrimp from Viktualienmarkt's Nordsee. I'd like to highlight the creative use of a variant on ice cream cake cones to hold the accompanying Thousand Island-esque tartar sauce.

Fried shrimp from Viktualienmarkt’s Nordsee. I’d like to highlight the creative use of a variant on ice cream cake cones to hold the accompanying Thousand Island-esque tartar sauce.

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.

Produce stand at Viktualienmarkt.

Produce stand at Viktualienmarkt.

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.

Hofbrauhaus
Platzl 9, 80331
Munich, Germany
http://www.hofbraeuhaus.de/en/index_en.html

Augustiner
Neuhauserstraße 27, 80331
Munich, Germany
http://www.augustiner-restaurant.com/html/english.html

Viktualienmarkt (Schlemmermeyer, Nordsee)
Viktualienmarkt 3, 80331
Munich, Germany
http://www.muenchen.de/rathaus/Stadtverwaltung/Kommunalreferat/markthallen/viktualienmarkt.html

Hauptbahnhof (Vinzenzmurr, GOSCH Sylt)
Bayerstraße 10a, 80335
Munich, Germany
http://www.bahnhof.de/bahnhof-de/start/

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