A Tour Guide Shares Munich’s Best Cafés and Coffee Shops
Sip on a coffee in Marienplatz while you explore the beautiful city of Munich | © Chad Ehlers / Alamy Stock Photo
While often associated with Oktoberfest and lederhosen, Munich is home to a thriving coffee culture – yes, the Bavarian capital has a drinking culture apart from beer. Here, local tour guide Franziska Weber shares the best coffee shops in Munich.
Cafe Luitpold serves up some of Munich’s best coffee © Craig Stennett / Alamy Stock Photo
“Coffee culture in Germany is really about celebrating life and coming together,” says Franziska Weber, a tour guide at Weis(s)er Stadtvogel who regularly leads guided tours focussed on the city’s culinary highlights. Her favourite coffee shops combine a welcoming atmosphere with quality coffee. “For me, a good coffee shop should have good cake and a nice place to sit and enjoy.”
Munich is known as the ‘northernmost city of Italy’, and Müncheners love to slow down and enjoy the simple things in life. Here, the speciality coffee scene has been evolving during the past five years, and plenty of new coffee shops have opened to feed the growing demand. The city’s streets are now home to a vibrant array of speciality coffee shops, cosy cafés and historical gems. Here are Weber’s top picks for Munich’s best cafés.
Café im Vorhoelzer Forum
Cafe, Coffee, $$$
Modern and minimal, the Café im Vorhoelzer Forum is a no-frills café on the roof of the Technical University of Munich’s architecture faculty. In addition to its excellent coffee, it also offers a variety of teas, beers and alcoholic drinks. Prices are reasonable, and the panoramic rooftop views over the Maxvorstadt district are stunning. “It’s a bit hard to find because you need to take a few turns through the university campus and an elevator ride,” says Weber. “But the beautiful view makes it totally worth it.”
Cafe, Cocktails, European, Vegan, $$$
Dating back to 1954, Café Jasmin is a vintage-style gem decorated with pale-green armchairs and booths and wooden tables with flowers. A chandelier hangs from the ceiling, and a picture of the original owner still adorns one wall. “I love how nostalgic this place is. It’s a little princessy but at the same time so cosy,” says Weber. “You can come here to read a newspaper, meet friends for lunch or even have a drink at night.” Must-try items on the menu include the latte macchiatos and house-made lemonades. Café Jasmin is centrally located on the corner of Steinheilstraße in Munich’s Maxvorstadt.
Cafe, Coffee, $$$
A favourite among Munich’s residents, Kosy*s is a tiny coffee shop with homely decor and a funky character. “Being here feels like you’re sitting in a living room filled with lots of sweets and a friendly person who brings you a coffee,” says Weber. The welcoming owner is here six days a week, often greeting regulars by name. The home-made cinnamon rolls are the star of the show, and the delicious cappuccinos are also worth mentioning. The close quarters make it easy to strike up a conversation with other guests.
Cafe, Coffee Shop, Coffee, Tea , Vegetarian, $$$
If you like books and a good cup of hot chocolate, Lost Weekend is the place to go. Located right around the corner from Ludwig Maximilian University
in the city’s hip university district, this café is often filled with students studying or grabbing an espresso post-lecture. Vegan baked goods are on offer, along with flatbread sandwiches and seasonal salads. The café also features its own little book corner and regularly hosts music gigs and poetry readings on the weekends. “Great place to meet people and enjoy unique activities,” says Weber. “It’s even done ping-pong tournaments in the past.”
Cafe, Coffee, $$$
Aroma Kaffeebar is a haven for coffee lovers in Munich’s Glockenbachviertel. A short stroll from Sendlinger Tor, this shop opened in 1998, making it the first coffee bar in the Glockenbach. It boasts a relaxed, bohemian atmosphere, warm staff, noteworthy coffee and many vegetarian and vegan food items. And while the shop is often crowded, you can take your coffee to go in an eco-friendly, reusable cup. “This is a great area for exploring and walking around with a warm beverage in your hand,” says Weber.
Cafe, Coffee, Pastries
For a taste of France in the centre of Munich, visit Boulangerie Dompierre, complete with minimalistic interiors and the smell of freshly baked bread, of course. The line outside reaches around the corner on weekends, and sometimes, it even sells out of pastries before day’s end. “I really enjoy Dompierre because you get pastries exactly like the ones in France,” says Weber. “Sure, you can get a croissant in every bakery, but it serves the real deal here.” The boulangerie has four locations across the city, all serving a variety of French pastries and good coffee.
Man vs Machine
Cafe, Coffee, $$$
Frequented by coffee connoisseurs, Man vs Machine is an independent coffee roaster founded in 2014. It has three locations spread across Munich, all playing ’90s hip-hop beats while knowledgeable baristas expertly whip up handcrafted coffee drinks. “Man vs Machine is a popular spot. It’s always busy and full, which is a sign of the quality,” says Weber. The deliciously strong and smooth coffee is roasted on-site and even served in several Michelin-star restaurants. Order a shot of the excellent espresso and the franzbrötchen, a small, sweet pastry baked with butter and cinnamon.
Cafe, Restaurant, German, Coffee, Tea , Fast Food, European, $$$
When Cafe Luitpold opened in 1888, it was one of the largest coffee houses in all of Europe and functioned as an important meeting spot for Munich’s artists, writers and intellectuals. While the café was heavily damaged by a bombing during World War II, it reopened in 1948 and was fully restored in 2010. Today, you can enjoy a coffee break in this elegant space right around the corner from the Odeonsplatz. “This place has a long tradition in Munich. It’s one of my go-to spots in the city centre,” says Weber. Watch out for the glass display case filled with delectable home-made cakes – they’re impossible to resist.
Café im Hinterhof
Cafe, Coffee, $$$
A refuge from busy Munich life, the long-running Café im Hinterhof is placed in the centre of the quaint Haidhausen neighbourhood. Step through the hidden entrance and enjoy a cosy atmosphere with typical coffeehouse chairs and colourful vintage decor. The well-priced breakfast is particularly noteworthy, and guests are treated to live piano music every Saturday and Sunday. “There’s not much to see from the street, but once you step inside and enter the quiet courtyard, it’s so nice and peaceful,” says Weber. “And the coffee and cake selection is simply delicious.”
These recommendations were updated on February 21, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.