Best Food and Beer Tours in Munich

Munich equals pretzel and beer. This city would not exist without these ingredients in its culinary identity. I tell you how to visit the best places to eat in the city on your trip.

Carmen Navarro

Carmen Navarro

11 min read

Best Food and Beer Tours in Munich

Beer in Munich | ©Russell C

If you are going to eat in Munich, you can't do it without a good beer. Didn't you know that it is known as the beer capital of the world? Many people say it is so. Taking a gastronomic tour and having a beer is one of the best things you can do and see if you are in Munich.

German taverns are traditional places, and in the city of Munich is where you can taste the tastiest and most popular Bavarian beers, in addition to its varied Bavarian and German gastronomy. Next, I will tell you which are the best gastronomic tours so that you know what to order during your visit to the most emblematic taverns.

1. Get to know the beer culture at the Hofbräuhaus and visit the Biergarten.

Beers at the Hofbräuhaus| ©Roman König
Beers at the Hofbräuhaus| ©Roman König

Augustiner, Hacker-Pschorr, Hofbräu, Löwenbräu, Paulaner and Spaten-Franziskaner are some of the most outstanding beers in Munich and a tour to taste them is one of the things you have to do if you stay two days in the city. In this tour, I invite you to visit the traditional Biergarten, where you can taste in one afternoon the distinctive flavor of each of these beers.

The Biergarten are breweries, but with their distinctive characteristics. It is customary for each Biergarten to have its own brand of beer, so you will experience each one uniquely. Some may be located outdoors and shaded by trees or are indoor beer gardens, but they usually have wooden tables and benches, so you will love being in such an indigenous place.

My advice is to start with the Hofbräuhaus, a biergarten with almost 500 years of history and located on Platzl 9, a 4-minute walk from the historic Marienplatz. You can conclude your brewery day tasting one of their authentic beers for less than 12 €.

When you finish visiting Hofbräuhaus, head to the Park Café at the Spielplatz Alter Botanischer Garten, Sophienstraße. Here you can be served the delicious Löwenbräu, Franziskaner, Beck's beers. This place is known to be a favorite when the German national team plays a soccer match or Bayern Munich has important jousts.

Conclude your tour with a last beer accompanied by a good Pretzel Biergarten from the Chinese Tower in the Englischer Garten or English Garden. Once in the Englischer Garten, the largest and most famous garden in the city, look for the Chinese Tower located in the center of the park. Enjoy the walk up to the tower where you will find the largest pretzels in the city as well as their dark beer, strong in aroma but refreshing in taste.

By law, in Bavaria, you are free to bring your own food in a container and consume only the beer they offer. This cultural aspect of Bavarian breweries is little known to foreigners.

Interesting details

  • Price: the average cost per beer is 10-15€.

  • Duration: 2 to 3 hours - Means of transport: use the subway from lines U3 and U6 to Marienplatz and from there walk through the various biergartens.

  • Advantages of this option: beer gardens and biergartens are very popular with locals and tourists. You will have the chance to socialize with other cultures while sharing a good beer.

  • Disadvantages of this option: the beer portions are large and if you are sensitive to alcohol then it is preferable to order small beers.

Book a gastronomic tour of Munich

2. Taste German gastronomy at the Viktualienmarkt in the Biergarten

Viktualienmarkt in Biergarten| ©MEmilia61
Viktualienmarkt in Biergarten| ©MEmilia61

Fruits, cheeses, flowers and many colorful products meet in the heart of Munich. Visit the Viktualienmarkt, the largest and most popular market in the city, where 140 stores open and offer their products every day to visitors. Here you can eat traditional pretzels, apricots, pickles, chocolates and even beer, all in a place designed by and for today's tourists.

Start your walk at the Marienplatz. You can reach it from the same subway stations that share its name on lines U3 and U6. Around the square you will find street vendors offering hot and crunchy pretzels to enjoy with a nice sparkling apple juice from the vegetable stalls.

You can take a chance and try a special pickle board from Wilde Zeiten where you will be offered assortments of venison, wild boar, goat cheese and orange marmalade. If you are hungrier you can order a venison or wild boar burger or try the local Tölzer Kasladen, the market's finest artisanal cheeses.

In the Biergarten, the beer garden located right in the center of the market, you have access to a menu offering a mix of traditional Bavarian dishes and typical German food. This establishment is a good choice if you want to enjoy an amazing lunch or a warm snack outdoors.

Conclude the tour after strolling through the rest of the market and shopping for souvenirs with a dessert. You can sweeten the tour with a Bavarian cream at Chocolaterie Beluga and ask them to serve you a tasting of their best chocolates. The market's chocolateries and chocolate shops are known for fusing the bitterness of their beers with bitter and sweet chocolates.

Details of interest

  • Price: the market is free to visit, but depending on the dishes and products consumed, the average cost may be between 20 and 80 € - Duration: 2 to 3 hours - Means of transport: use the subway from lines U3 and U6 to Marienplatz and from there walk to the market.

  • Advantages of this option: this market specializes in providing local and hard-to-find products. What you see here will be difficult to find elsewhere in the city.

  • Disadvantages of this option: being a popular and central place, the prices of products and dishes may be a little higher than normal.

Book a gastronomic tour of Viktualienmarkt

3. Get to know all the varieties of sausage that exist in Munich

Weisswurst sausage| ©elisabeth
Weisswurst sausage| ©elisabeth

There is no way you can pass through Munich without tasting one of the characteristic symbols of its gastronomy and national identity: the sausage. From the Marienplatz you can take a tour that leads you to eat different types of sausage such as Weisswurst, Bierwurst or Bratwurstherzl. Are you up for this tour full of lots of sausage?

Nothing like starting the tour with a typical Bavarian breakfast dish. At the Schneider Bräuhaus they serve Weisswurst, a white sausage native to Germany that is prepared by combining veal with pork, mixed with spices and then boiled in broth, accompanied by sweet Bavarian-style mustard. This breakfast is accompanied by Brezenknödel, which are dumplings or pretzel and a local Weißbier, a wheat beer served for breakfast that Schneider Bräuhau has been brewing since 1872.

Follow the route along Kaufingerstraße until you reach the Augustiner Stammahaus, where you will eat a tray of typical German sausages: Bierwurst and Bratwurstherzl. The former, although literally called beer sausage, has no beer in it, but is its ideal companion and is made of garlic and pepper. Bratwurstherzl, on the other hand, can be made from cow or sheep and is stuffed into the animal's natural casing. Going to the Augustiner Stammahaus is one of the things you can do and see in Munich in winter because it is extremely popular for its Christmas dishes.

400 meters from where you are walking down Heiliggeiststraße to the old Bratwurstherzl, this brewery is adjacent to the Viktualienmarkt and is famous for being active since 1633. Here you will order the star dish, the Bremen Bratwurst. It is a platter of only German sausages, including the Thüringer Rostbratwurst, a secret recipe sausage from the central eastern state of Thuringia.

Everywhere the sausages are accompanied by a mug of beer. This tour concentrates on the historic city center and you will only have to use the subway from the central station to the Marienplatz station and walk to your next destinations. The prices of the tray vary and you can order each sausage separately and it usually comes with a portion of sauerkraut and potatoes. The price can be around 30 €.

Details of interest

  • Price: between 20 and 30 € - Duration: 3 to 4 hours - Means of transport: use the subway from lines U3 and U6 to Marienplatz.

  • Advantages of this option: the sites are popular so you can get to know the customs of residents celebrating and sharing their meal times.

  • Disadvantages of this option: the places may be quite crowded.

Book a gastronomic tour of Munich

4. Sweeten your trip with the best desserts from Munich's bakeries

Rhabarberkuche cake| ©majorbonne
Rhabarberkuche cake| ©majorbonne

Sugar, sugar and more sugar is what this tour of Munich's most popular bakeries has in store for you, one of the best things to do with kids in the city. On this tour you will be able to eat strange and traditional fruit cakes as well as various pancakes, to sweeten your palate.

We start, of course, at the Viktualienmarkt in the center of Munich, a four-minute walk from the Marienplatz. Here I am going to recommend some places for you to indulge in German and Bavarian desserts. Let's start with the handmade pastries from Lea Zap Markpatisserie.

The magic of pastry craftsmanship together with traditional recipes, with 100% organic and Munich-sourced ingredients feast in this place. You can not miss the opportunity to try the Rhabarberkuchen or rhubarb pie, a fruit-vegetable unknown to tourists, but coveted by the Munich people for the freshness of its flavor.

A few meters from the Lea Zap Markpatisserie, you will find the Konditorei Cafe Vienna. It is a café specializing in traditional Viennese pastries and cakes. Here, as they say, they don't make cakes; they create them. Try the exquisite imperial pancakes and delight yourself with a dark coffee.

Finally, you can go to the Schmalznudel Cafe Frischhut. You will be entering one of the best coffee shops in Munich because of the awards it has won at the municipal and national level. Here you will find the best traditional Bavarian pastries. Order the Baiser-Käsekuchen, a one-of-a-kind cheesecake. If this place is not enough to taste Austrian pastries, here I recommend excursions to Salzburg from Munich where you can also get close to different pastry shops.

Interesting details

  • Price: sweets in Munich are cheap, it is very difficult that small portions of those that I recommended exceed 6 € - Duration: 3 to 4 hours - Means of transport: use the subway from lines U3 and U6 to Marienplatz and from there walk to the market.

  • Advantages of this option: you will get to know the gastronomic sins of the people of Munich.

  • Disadvantages of this option: if you get sick to your stomach quickly or you are lactose intolerant, then consider this when ordering dessert.

5. The best restaurants to taste Bavarian and German food

Inside the Ratskeller| ©MART PRODUCTION
Inside the Ratskeller| ©MART PRODUCTION

Munich has a catalog of top restaurants. I propose an unconventional tour: eat starter, main course and dessert in different restaurants, so you can take the best of each one.

Under the heart of Munich, specifically in the New Town Hall, in the Marienplatz is the renowned Ratskeller To get there, you must go down some stairs that will take you to the old medieval wine cellars of the city, now converted into the Ratskeller. The typical German dishes are present in its menu, but I recommend you to start this tour tasting a table of appetizers. Here you can nibble on the best German sausages and cheeses, of the highest quality.

Now it's your turn to taste a restaurant that is popular among the city's residents. Just a 5-minute walk from the Marienplatz you will find the Opatija Easy. This restaurant is known for serving Italian and Balkan fast-food style dishes with a German flair. I suggest you order an Italian salad with cooked cabbage, which can be a side dish. The place, apart from being generous with the portions, is cheap: an expensive dish will not cost more than 30 €.

Now, without leaving the center, go to Schwanthalerstraße where you will find Steinheil 16, the most popular place in Munich for its cheap prices. This restaurant is the best place to have a main course and became popular for offering abundant portions at affordable prices in a university student area. The most popular dish is their giant schnitzel with fries and salad which costs no more than 13 €. Are you going to miss it?

Interesting details

  • Price: you will be in the cheapest restaurants in the city center so it may be between 60 and 90 € depending on the dishes and drinks you order inside the enclosure - Duration: 3 to 4 hours - Means of transport: use the subway from lines U3 and U6 to Marienplatz, but the tour is done mainly walking - Advantages of this option: you will be able to taste different dishes prepared by a melting pot of local cuisines for a small price - Disadvantages of this option: if you want to taste all the dishes of the places where you go remember that you can order to take it to go so you won't be indisposed with so much food.

Traveller Tip

The central area of Munich, which is the tourist area, is quite compact. You can easily walk around this area without using the subway, which I only recommend for getting there.

What are the advantages of taking a guided food tour vs. visiting restaurants on my own?

Getting to know Viktualienmarkt| ©Alex M
Getting to know Viktualienmarkt| ©Alex M

Eating is a unique experience and like everything, there are advantages and disadvantages to hiring a guided tour, but if it is gastronomic you have to keep in mind that Munich is a city that is very open to tourists. But here you will have to prioritize: do you prefer to approach each place on your own and order what you like or do you want a more rigid planning where everything is already paid and solved?

My advice is that, if you know German or some English and you have time, go on your own at your own pace. The best thing when it comes to food is to be able to take it easy and enjoy every bite, without the pressure of the group not going at the same pace as you. If you want to hire guided tours, there are fantastic excursions from Munich to Berchtesgaden or also excursions to Rothenburg, so you could allocate your resources there.

However, if you have just enough time and a fixed budget, then hiring a guided gastronomic tour will be a very attractive option for you. In general, the guides will let you know the details of each dish you eat and the costs will be included in the package, so you won't have to worry about extra expenses.

Tips to keep in mind for a gastronomic excursion in Munich

Munich sightseeing bus| ©Paul Burroughs
Munich sightseeing bus| ©Paul Burroughs

Eating is a pleasure, but to do so you have to be comfortable. Transportation cannot be a problem to get to the restaurants and breweries I recommended here, so the best way to get around is the subway, which in Munich is known as the U-Bahn. You can also use the local train system, the S-Bahn, if you are staying in the suburbs. Buses and streetcars are also good options so that your tours focus on the sites and the food and not on the stress of getting there.

But you can also mix in other possible alternatives, such as some of Munich' s best sightseeing buses, which can drop you off in the city center and which you can take at the end of your tour. There are even great tours in Munich from the comfort of a bicycle that can be dedicated to gastronomy, but in that case you should consider if your stomach is adapted to ride a bicycle after eating.

Precisely you have to consider that, if you are not used to different flavors or ingredients, it is possible that digestion becomes a little complicated, so you have to avoid major obstacles and do not mix too many flavors. Additionally, if you drink beer you have to know that you can't drive, so public transportation or a tourist bus will be your best option to get back.

Book your seat on the Munich sightseeing bus