It’s perhaps no surprise that Germany’s most expensive city is home to a great many fine-dining restaurants, and more than its fair share of culinary accolades. Eleven restaurants have been awarded a total of eighteen stars by the Michelin guide, with each restaurant proffering its own distinct charm – be it unique interior design or dazzling views. Culture Trip takes a look at what Munich’s fine-dining scene has to offer.
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ATELIER is (at the time of writing) Munich’s only restaurant to have been awarded three Michelin stars. Located in the city’s famous hotel – Bayerischer Hof – the warm, muted interiors have been created by star designer Axel Vervoordt to reflect an artist’s atelier (hence the name). Chef Jan Hartwig places emphasis on seasonal dishes, and wherever possible, regional produce; Hartwig believes in sourcing the very best, so while freshwater fish is caught locally, he will also look further afield to ensure the finest produce. His signature dish is pork belly, served throughout autumn and winter. Book well in advance to avoid disappointment.
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This two-star restaurant provides maximum dining flexibility in one of the most aesthetically pleasing restaurants in the city. EssZimmer offers two separate menus and you can choose how many courses you fancy. The modern restaurant is on the third floor of the BMW Welt, BMW’s exhibition venue, and offers a view into the kitchen, as well as overseeing the BMW exhibits and the Olympic Park. Chef Bobby Bräuer focusses on French cuisine with Mediterranean influences, and the restaurant runs a complimentary chauffeur service back into Munich after your meal – in, what else, a BMW.
Dallmayr Restaurant Alois
Located above the legendary upmarket delicatessen Dallmayr, Alois reopened in 2019 to focus more on “casual fine dining”. Head chef Christoph Kunz’s cuisine is produce-focussed and predominantly Bavarian – yet modern and light. Alois’ Julien Morlat was awarded Sommelier of the Year in 2015 by German restaurant guide Schlemmer Atlas, and you can sample his expertise through a well-stocked cellar of vintage vins. It’s a small restaurant, with space for 30 guests, and the cosy interiors reflect the young head chef’s desire to create a relaxed and laid-back atmosphere.
Tantris’ 1970s retro-chic interior is the real deal – it hasn’t changed since it opened in 1974, and since its inauguration, it’s always held at least one Michelin star. Currently, the famous restaurant (which has trained some of Germany’s most lauded chefs) has two stars under head chef Hans Haas, who has been at the helm for over 25 years. However, the restaurant is set to close at the end of 2020, as the building requires extensive renovations, so if you want to get in before it shuts its doors, you’ll have to be quick. Tantris is one of the finest restaurants in Germany, with exemplary service to boot, so if you have a chance to visit before the hiatus, do so.
Les Deux Munich
A five-minute walk from Marienplatz, the city’s main square, Les Deux houses a French brasserie on its lower floor and offers Michelin-star fine-dining upstairs. The brasserie serves the best tarte flambées this side of France (owner Fabrice Kieffer is from the Alsace region), while the fine-dining restaurant focusses on modern French cuisine (the oysters are a must-try). The head chef, Edip Sigl, took the role on in 2019, having worked in the kitchen under Johann Rappenglück for six years previously.
Dominik Käppeler’s Showroom is the city’s smallest Michelin-star restaurant; seating just 21 guests, the size makes for a casual and relaxed vibe. It offers a five- to seven-course fixed menu, which changes every fortnight. Käppeler’s cuisine plays with texture as much as flavour, which is evident in the works of art he brings to the table. The young chef trained at Feinkost Käfer (the epicurean company also responsible for EssZimmer) and has worked at several Michelin-star restaurants in Germany, aspiring to have his own by the time he turned 31, a sky-high ambition that he achieved with the opening of Showroom in 2017.
Acquarello has held on to its Michelin star since 2000, cooking up gourmet Italian cuisine in its colourful, somewhat kitsch space in Munich’s Bogenhausen. Some say that the restaurant, run by Bergamo chef Mario Gamba, is the finest Italian in Germany. Munich has hundreds of Italian restaurants, so the best of the best – in the whole country, no less – is no mean feat. A thriftier option is Gamba’s Locanda Gamba, located in Eataly in the Schrannenhalle. Here, simpler (but no less flavourful) dishes are served in the deli’s hall.
Munich’s only female-run Michelin-star restaurant is Schwarzreiter, situated in the Kempinski Hotel on the most stylish street in town, Maximilianstraße. Bavarian head chef Maike Menzel earned the star when she was just 29 years old, and cooks what she knows best – “young Bavarian cuisine” – having gained experience at several, very diverse restaurants in the city, from Japanese high-end restaurant Emiko to US-style Occam Deli. Schwarzreiter was renovated (the revamp cost a cool €20 million) and reopened at the end of 2019, with modern, sophisticated interiors courtesy of British designer Colin Finnegan.
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