From the city’s signature dish of white sausage served with a freshly baked pretzel to an obsession with doner kebabs, Müncheners love to eat. Though the city is filled with excellent restaurants, including Michelin-star dining and vegetarian and vegan cuisine, there’s also a host of fantastic food markets where you can grab something to eat on the go. For flavourful Flammkuchen and perfect pretzels, head to Munich’s best food markets.
The grandfather of all Munich’s food markets, and the one that draws in most visitors to the city, is Viktualienmarkt. After outgrowing its original home in the heart of the city in Marienplatz, it moved just a few streets away to the square between Frauenstraße and Heiliggeistkirche . You’ll find traces of its origins as a farmer’s market in the stalls selling vegetables, spices and selections of the freshest cuts from butchers. Today, these stalls are joined by ones selling authentic Bavarian dishes such as pretzels and schnitzels, as well as home-made toiletries and bouquets of flowers
This Bavarian market is truly rooted in German history and culture, even down to its name; Elisabeth, also known as Sisi, was a beloved daughter of the Duke of Bavaria, who went on to become Empress of Austria. Unlike Viktualienmarkt, Elisabethmarkt has stuck to its roots, focussing mainly on local cheese, meat and home-made beer. After the buildings that housed the market were demolished in World War II, the city chose to use pavilions rather than rebuild, and this is still the hallmark of the Elisabethmarkt today. With around 20 stalls on any given day, you’ll find the market in the pretty Schwabing neighbourhood; it’s the perfect place to refuel and grab some traditional ingredients for a picnic before setting off to explore the city.
This market has done away with stalls selling fruit and vegetables. Instead, it focusses on gathering the best street food the city has to offer all in one place. On the first Friday of each month, hungry gourmands gather outside the Pressehaus Bayerstraße to taste Munich’s finest street food, whether it’s a pretzel or Germany’s favourite culinary import – the doner kebab. As well as great food served fresh from trucks and pop-up stalls, you’ll be well entertained with live music, artists and DJs, and plenty of beer and cocktails to enjoy alongside your meal.
It’s a case of good things coming in small packages for Wiener Markt. Located in the trendy Haidhausen district, it’s a place for residents to pick up their fruit and vegetables for the week – despite the tourist crowds in Munich, this is still very much a local market. What it lacks in size, it makes up for in authenticity; completing the Bavarian feel is a huge maypole at the heart of the market. For a real treat, buy a fresh pumpernickel loaf; this dense, delicious rye bread is a German speciality.
It might not be a permanent fixture, but three times a year, the Auer Dult market pops up around Mariahilf Church to mark various events in the church calendar – the word Dult actually means observance. It takes over the surrounding area with fairground rides and around 300 stalls that sell everything from lederhosen to brooms and cooking equipment. This is the place to try classic Bavarian ‘on-the-go’ foods such as Steckerlfisch (fish on a stick that’s been barbecued over an open flame).
Another major Munich festival and food hub, Tollwood takes place twice a year. The summer site is near the Olympiapark and focusses heavily on music, with several global artists performing every year. Winter Tollwood takes place on the same site as Oktoberfest – once the beer festival is over, Tollwood steps in, offering a mix of street performers, shows and incredible cocktails. There’s a whole host of food stalls to line your stomach, and you can’t leave without trying Flammkuchen (a cross between a hot pita bread and pizza). The traditional crème fraiche, bacon and spring onion topping will have you coming back for seconds (or thirds). Winter Tollwood also has a dedicated vegetarian food tent, so no one is left out of Munich’s most delicious festival.