Munich is not a city known for its plant-based fare; a decade ago, vegan eateries were few and far between, and the only vegetarian option on the menu in a restaurant was usually a salad. Thankfully, over the last few years Munich has seen a bounty of both vegetarian and vegan restaurants open in the city. Here are some of the best.
If you head to a traditional pub in Munich, you still might find it tricky to find something vegan on the meat-based Bavarian menu. However, there are now a great many restaurants serving solely vegetarian or vegan fare, ranging from traditional dishes to healthier options. Culture Trip spoke to artist Miriam Frank, and food writer Kate Mann, who founded city food guide Munich Bites, to discover some of their favourite vegan and vegetarian restaurants in the city of sausage.
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There are so many innovative Mexican dishes on vegetarian restaurant Blitz’s menu, it’s hard to go wrong when ordering. “I love their vegetarian take on Mexican food,” says Mann. Blitz is tucked away at the back of the Deutsches Museum (the world’s largest museum of science and technology). It’s next door to one of the coolest clubs in the city (also named Blitz) and opposite the Muffathalle (one of Munich’s busiest concert halls). It’s a great spot to grab a bite to eat before the night really gets going. “Try the quesadillas with grilled artichokes and beans or the fajitas with marinated cauliflower,” Mann says. Miriam Frank recommends the fermented garlic aioli, and urges visitors to “try the la cucaracha cocktail!” A fusion of tequila, Kahlúa, lime, sugar and espresso, this is a pre-party drink if ever there was one.
This gourmet vegetarian and vegan restaurant is perhaps the finest in the city, having been awarded one Michelin star. If you want to push the boat out for a special occasion, opt for the seven-course menu with wine. The maître d’ is fantastic, the dishes are elegantly presented and the food is packed with flavour. Mann loves TIAN’s concept. “It’s so good to see they put the same focus on seasonal and regional ingredients as they do on presentation and style.” Get there early to enjoy an aperitif at the bar – the vibrantly decorated walls are showstoppers.
Focussing on Vietnamese vegan cuisine, Hippie Chay can be found in the up-and-coming neighbourhood of Giesing, a district full of great restaurants. Mann loves this “relatively new addition to Munich’s vegan scene. It’s a cosy spot for dinner and fills up quickly, so get there early if you can.” The interiors are beautiful, with muted, earthy tones and plenty of plants, and the food packs an authentic punch. “The bao burgers with portobello mushrooms are a must,” recommends Mann, but the whole menu is worth sampling – the curry is spicy, the tofu is superbly marinated and there’s no holding back on flavours.
This gorgeous vegetarian restaurant is the perfect spot for an evening out with friends. “With Moroccan tagines, Indian thalis and Turkish flatbreads, Kismet is a melting pot of tastes and cultures,” Mann says. Share flavoursome mezze platters before heading upstairs to the Kasbah Bar for their signature drink, the Marrakesh Mule. It’s one of Munich’s most aesthetically pleasing spots for dinner, with petrol green walls, a marble staircase and brass lamps. Owner Sandra Forster is a doyenne on Munich’s vegetarian scene, also running the aforementioned Blitz, so you’ll know your fate is in good hands at Kismet.
Located in Munich’s students’ quarter, Maxvorstadt, Gratitude is a bustling, modern vegan restaurant with exceptionally friendly service. Frank often pops by for their grilled avocado (“It’s what they’re famous for!”), and Mann is also a fan. “I often recommend Gratitude for dinner. They have colourful and interesting dishes with a lively atmosphere to match.” The menu is short, which is not a bad thing – the focus at Gratitude is perfecting the flavours they already feature. Do book in advance to avoid disappointment – Gratitude is ever popular.
Frank loves this “cute place with good breakfast”. Vegetarian-focused Ooh Baby I Like It Raw is located in the Glockenbachviertel, a district full of independent stores, cafés, and bars. Despite the name, not all of the dishes are raw – it serves a lot of egg-based brunches and breakfasts. It’s known for a wide selection of healthy, delectably presented dishes (and those which aren’t as healthy but are equally delicious, such as the flaky, buttery croissants). The coffee is great, portions are huge and the soundtrack is always good – what more could you want from a languid weekend breakfast spot?
Mann likes to stop by “for a quick bite” at this vegan restaurant, which can be found near Isartor, one of the city gates. “Expect vegan soups, salads and sandwiches,” she says, but if you are after something more substantial, even meat-eaters will be wowed by SIGGIS’s vegan schnitzel. Unlike many other vegan restaurants in Munich, SIGGIS also offers plenty of information on veganism, so if it’s something you’re keen to find out more about, this is the place to start your education.
This plant-based eatery serves up healthy, vegan meals in its Haidhausen location, a stone’s throw from the Isar River. Mann loves the small café, saying, “it’s one of my top picks for breakfast in the city – I could eat their coconut pancakes every morning.” Young owner Sophie Radke serves sugar-free, gluten-free and vegan dishes, inspired by those she ate while travelling in Indonesia and Australia. The energy balls are a perfect pick-me-up and the apple crumble is the ideal comfort food in the cold winter months.
“Bavarian food really focusses on meat,” explains Frank. “If you’re vegan, there’s hardly anything Bavarian you can try – except radish! When vegan friends visit from abroad, I go to Bodhi to eat vegan schnitzel or spätzle.” Food is hearty and truly Bavarian, but it’s a lot less fancy than city centre restaurant Max Pett. Mann recommends it “if you’re looking for a vegan alternative to hearty Bavarian pub grub.” It’s located in the up-and-coming district of Westend, close to the Oktoberfest grounds.
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