Traditionally, a Munich breakfast is synonymous with weisswurst – thick, white, herby sausages, served with doughy pretzels, Bavarian sweet mustard and half a litre of wheat beer. Thankfully for everyone’s waistlines, there are plenty of other options in Munich for the most important meal of the day.
While a weisswurst breakfast is a must for visitors to the city, it’s not something you’d want to dine on every day. Thankfully, Munich takes breakfast seriously, and you can take your pick – from grabbing a quick coffee and a pastry to going all out with a languorous brunch. Munich local Rachel Preece talks to artisan ice cream maker, chocolatier and all-round foodie Davina Goldammer-Utz, to ask where she likes to hang out when she’s not at her shop, True & 12, or making bean-to-bar chocolate for her chocolate line, Truly.
Way back when, weisswurst was made fresh from veal and pork back bacon, without preservatives or refrigerators, and had to be consumed before midday. Any later, and you were risking a good few hours locked in the bathroom. Many of Munich’s martinets still adhere to this now redundant rule, and it would be a social faux pas to order weisswurst too late in the day. Weisswurst is generally ordered in pairs – you’ll be served two in a pot of hot water, a good dollop of sweet mustard and plenty of pretzels. Order a weissbier (wheat beer) to wash it all down.
Weisswurst comes encased in a thin skin, which needs to be removed before eating. In Bavaria, you can suck out the zuzeln (sausage), but this takes quite some practice. It’s easiest to make an incision along the length of the sausage and peel the skin off. You’d be right in thinking that this sounds like quite a lot of hassle for a spot of breakfast, but it is worth it – a pair of weisswurst will set you up for the day like nothing else.
Davina Goldammer-Utz, while not a fan of weisswurst, respects the local tradition: “I can think of a few traditions I like much more!” she laughs. “But Bavarian traditions are one of the things that makes Munich so quaint, and weisswurst for breakfast is no exception.”
This traditional Bavarian restaurant serves up some of the freshest weisswurst in the city – it’s in Munich’s meatpacking district, right next to the wholesale market, and they make their signature weisswurst on site. Goldammer-Utz recommends sticking to tradition: “You’ll need to head over to the Gaststätte early to order your weisswurst before noon. Ask for weizen (wheat beer) and weizen only, a giant pretzel and sweet mustard to go with it. Anything else is blasphemous!”
This is the second café to be opened by Paul and Vicky in Munich (the first is Standl 20), and they are fans of good coffee. Their beans are from local hero JB Kaffee, roasted nearby in Dachau, and they serve sweet and savoury waffles alongside your caffeine hit. It’s a welcoming spot for brunch, opening its doors to a young, international crowd. Goldammer-Utz sells her two-ingredient chocolate here, and loves the down-to-earth café. “It’s like coming home after a long day,” she says. “It’s definitely my favourite place for breakfast. The owner is welcoming and genuinely passionate about coffee – it shows! And it’s a great match for our chocolate.” The waffle menu changes regularly, but Goldammer-Utz suggests trying passionfruit and coconut waffle.
“While you need to order your weisswurst before midday, the advantage to Mary’s Coffee Club is that they serve breakfast all day long!,” Goldammer-Utz says. Located in the bustling student district of Maxvorstadt, Mary’s Coffee Club is a feast for the eyes – the interiors are beautiful and dishes are aesthetically presented. It’s not the cheapest place for brunch, and there can be a bit of a wait at weekends (they don’t accept reservations), but it’s worth it. Come here to people-watch and eat stunning dishes.
Take a step back in time in this timeless coffeehouse with huge ceilings, and enjoy a lazy brunch in a classic Munich establishment close to the Oktoberfest grounds. There’s no rush in this grand café where live piano music provides the accompaniment to your cappuccino, and brunch lingers on long into the afternoon. Choose from huge platters named after celebrated composers or order eggs, muesli and croissants as you please.
The luxury Andaz hotel hosts an upmarket brunch at its rooftop bar every Sunday. Lazy Sundays is held between 12pm and 6pm, and you can enjoy the city’s coolest live DJs, views across the city and plenty to eat. It isn’t a steal at €49 (£41) and drinks aren’t included, but it certainly offers some of the best Sunday skylines in Munich. Goldammer-Utz recommends it for a special treat. “What better way to enjoy brunch in Munich than with Alpine views from the highest rooftop in town?” The Andaz is located at Schwabinger Tor, in a recently developed area with great connections to the city centre. The hotel also contains a restaurant and a cute little café for a quick coffee stop.
“This is exactly what Munich needs,” says Goldammer-Utz. “A decommissioned ship stuck on a railway track that doubles up as a hip cultural spot. Truly unique. It’s a must-experience location if you’re in town.” The old steamboat used to take passengers across Lake Ammersee in Bavaria, until it was taken out of service and transported to Munich to sit atop a bridge. It now hosts concerts, Christmas markets and parties. Their breakfast club is held from 10am at the weekends, offering a cool, cosy atmosphere in which to enjoy breakfast with friends.
While not famous for their brunches, Man versus Machine is famous for its coffee. The third wave coffee shop is renowned the world over, and the cool café now has two shops to enjoy a fabulous franzbrötchen (a flaky buttery, cinnamon pastry) to go with your brew. Pop in to the original location in Munich’s hip Glockenbachviertel or visit the newer café in Schellingstraße if you’re in the student district – the one-of-a-kind wallpaper, created by local illustrator Miriam Frank, is gorgeous. Goldammer-Utz is also a fan of the coffee shop’s design. “I am really into design and a huge fan of Jon Contino, who made the unforgettable crocodile logo for this hip cafe. Man versus Machine has a nice atmosphere, great music and tasty pastries.”
Any self-respecting Muenchner would recommend this cult café in their list of brunch locations. The menu is extensive and the cosy, cute little café has plenty of well-worn armchairs and nooks for you to sit with friends, a book, or a hot mug of tea. Goldammer-Utz suggests you try to find a seat on the patio. “On sunny days, it’s a great place to enjoy breakfast outside, and this retro, ’50s-style café is a nice change from the traditional cafés and restaurants in Munich.” The surrounding area is packed full of independent and vintage shops, making Trachtenvogl the perfect starting point for a day of shopping.
A former haberdashery shop in Munich’s Westend, you can buy most of the items in this French café, including the chairs you sit on. Reserve in advance to get a table – Marais fills up at the weekend. If you’re still hungry after brunch, try the tarte tatin with creme fraiche – it’s their signature dish. Goldammer-Utz loves the café’s nostalgic appeal. “It offers French charm in the middle of Bavarian Munich. I love how this vintage café transports me back to my days of living in Brussels.”