From relaxed wine bars to upmarket cocktail clubs, there’s something for everyone in bohemian Schwabing, Munich’s artists’ district.
Whether you’re after a quick beer in a local pub or a fancy evening out with excellent cocktails, Schwabing’s vibrant bar scene fulfils all wishes. Munich’s Joerg Schmidt is a blogger, gastro consultant and writes for omoxx, a Munich-based food and bar magazine. A connoisseur of spirits such as gin, tequila, whisky and sake, Schmidt is a veritable authority on where to find the best drinks in Schwabing. Here, he provides Culture Trip with his favourites.
Meike Zimmermann, formerly of the cult Falk’s Bar at the five-star Hotel Bayerischer Hof, opened her very own bar in a former bank in February 2020. It’s the perfect choice for an after-dinner drink, and staff are friendly and welcoming. Joerg describes it as something of an insider spot and says, “The elegant bar, which envelops its guests in its stylish blue interior, holds around 40 guests. The super creative cocktails are served up by a singularly female bar team.” Head here for a taste of something different, with highlights including the Bank Job cocktail, which features matcha, champagne, cachaca and cacao butter.
“The namesake of this bar is Mia Wallace, Uma Thurman’s character in Pulp Fiction,” explains Joerg. “The interiors are somewhat reminiscent of a fancy British club, and it does classic cocktails and exciting originals at great prices.” The Wallace Bar is famous for its fantastic gin cocktails, and its lavender gimlet is particularly worth sampling. In summer, there’s a small but lovely outdoor seating area – the perfect place to enjoy a refreshing cocktail.
A Schwabing classic, the Cocktailhouse offers a vast range of beverages, including cocktails, beers and wines, and plenty of comfortable couches to relax on as you enjoy your drink. It’s an ideal spot for a spontaneous tipple with a group of friends, but it takes reservations if you want to be on the safe side. Joerg is a regular: “The Cocktailhouse can rightly be described as an institution in Munich, because any bar that’s been able to stay open – and popular – in Schwabing for over 30 years has definitely done something right.”
Café & Bar 48 opens first thing in the morning for breakfast, and by sundown it’s transformed into a hip gin bar. It offers 48 different types of gin (hence the name), but the focus is on gin and tonic, not cocktails. Gastronomy is no step into the unknown for owner Anja Hirschberger. She’s the daughter of the Hans im Glück burger chain founder (now with restaurants nationwide), but Cafe & Bar 48 is entirely her own project. Joerg says: “It’s a stylish location with a large terrace, and it has an extensive food menu to go alongside the drinks.” The large space is a relaxed place to work – and what could be better than rounding off the working day with a G&T?
Located on the top floor of the Andaz Munich Schwabinger Tor hotel, M’Uniqo is the highest rooftop bar in Munich, and the 360-degree vistas are incredible – you can see all the way to the Alps if you’re lucky. Weather permitting, you can head out on to their patio to get an even better view. Schmidt describes it as “the rooftop bar. It specialises in wine and vermouth, but there’s also a lot of classic cocktails and signature drinks. If you’re hungry, M’Uniqo does fantastic Italian delicacies.” Try the creamy burrata served with San Daniele prosciutto, or come on Sunday for a lavish brunch. Do note Joerg’s caveat though: “The prime location of the bar is evident in the high prices.” It’s definitely a bar for a special occasion.
“At Das Weinheim, as the name suggests, pretty much everything revolves around Wein – wine,” notes Joerg. The interiors are a mix of modern and classic, with chic overhead lighting, wooden floors and leather seating. It serves delicious small plates alongside mostly German and Austrian wines in a relaxed, laid-back atmosphere. The menu offers around 50 wines as standard, but it changes monthly, so there’s always something new to try.
The inspiration is clear at Call Soul. This trendy bar takes its name from TV’s favourite unscrupulous lawyer, Saul Goodman, with a religious twist inspired by the Church of St Sylvester opposite. Joerg loves to head here for a drink: “If you’re after a very extensive cocktail menu and bartenders who really understand their craft, you’ll definitely find what you’re looking for at Call Soul. There are a lot of visual touches, too – the cocktails are designed to appeal to the eyes as well as the taste buds.”