Eiichiro's List: Where to eat and drink in Munich

Eiichiro's personal ranking of (greater-)Munich helles

  1. Andechs [Yeah!]
  2. Tegernsee [Woo hoo!]
  3. Augustiner [Best of the six major breweries in Munich]

[a big gap here]

  1. Spaten [Good compromise if you do not have access to the above three]
  2. Hofbräu; Hacker-Pschorr; Paulaner [I do not have them unless I am in a biergarten]
  3. Ayinger [No particular opinion]

[a huge gap here]

  1. Löwenbräu [just avoid it]

The Best Helles in Town: Andechser Am Dom [Frauenplatz 7; 100m from U6/U3 "Marienplatz"; 089-24292920]

  • Absolutely the best helles around the Munich area is "Andechs," which has been brewed by the Andechs monastery brewery since 1455. The actual location of the brewary is the west of Munich (a couple of hours by a train and a bus), but you can have a tasty Andechser helles in "Andechser Am Dom," near the U-bahn station Marienplatz.
  • What is "helles"? While it is usually referred to as a "lager beer," helles has more malt flavor than typical lager beers found in Czech, UK, USA, or Japan. (Typically lager beers you know are usually Pilsners.) You can really experience this with the Andechser Helles: when I had it first, I thought that I was drinking a malt juice! 
  • Suggested typical bavaria dishes: "Der Andechser Klassiker" (two veal meat balls); "Schweinsbraten" (sliced grilled pork); "Kaiser Wiener Schnitzel" (deep fried, breaded veal). If you like beef, “Wagyu Burger” and “Rinderfilet” (Beef filet steak) are quite good. See this page for their English menu.
  • See this page (or below) for directions from the U-bahn station "Marienplatz," after exiting the U-bahn station toward "Weinstraße." If you come from north, go left after you get off the train, take an escalator, turn left, and take another escalator. You will be on Weinstraße. Go through a path between H&M and TRETTER (Albertgasse) to the big church (Frauenkirche). Go around the church to the left and you will find “Andechser am Dom” next to another German restaurant “Augustiner am Dom” (which sells the third best beer, Augustiner. See the above ranking).

The Best Weißbier in Town: Weisses Bräuhaus [Tal 7; 150m from U6/U3 "Marienplatz"; 089-2901380]

  • This place offers Weißbier from "Schneider Weisses," my best favorite Weißbier in Munich. They come with a variety of choices. If you have never had a weißbier before, start with "Blonde." This is your typical Weißbier. If you  had a typical Weißbier before, then have "Original," which is my favorite. It has a darker color and is tastier than typical blonde Weißbier. Finally, after having one or two of those, march onto "Aventinus." This one has a higher alcohol percentage, so be careful not to drink it too much!
  • "I heard about Weizen…" Be careful! A word "Weizen," which also describes a wheat beer, is not used in Bavaria. In Bavaria, we call it "Weißbier." You can be officially kicked out of the restaurant if you say "Weizen."
  • Another big plus for this place is that they serve the second-to-the-best helles in greater Munich, Tegernsee, on tap. It is worth going there for the helles also.
  • I do not have particular suggestions for dishes at Weisses Bräuhaus, but you can download their English menu from this page. One suggestion is to have "Kaiserschmarrn" (lots of pieces of pancakes with Apple sauce) for a desert to share. (It's big!)
  • See this page (or below) for directions from the U-bahn station "Marienplatz," after exiting the U-bahn station toward "Tal" or "Rindermarkt." If you come from north, go right after you get off the train, take an escalator, and follow signs saying "Tal" or "Rindermarkt". Both are fine. Go east on Tal, and you will find "Weisses Bräuhaus" on your left.

The Best Pilsner in Town: J-Bar [Maistraße 28; 350m from U6 "Goetheplatz"; 089-51469983] (Opens at 18:30; Closed on Sundays and every fourth Monday) This place is cash only! (They do not accept credit cards.)

  • This is a Japanese Izakaya. "Izakaya" means a place to primarily drink but with fine food. This place is truly authentic. They do not have sushi, but no Japanese would eat sushi at Izakaya anyway. In fact, don't even mention Sushi because the owner would get upset. You can have sashimi (raw fishes without rice).
  • They have "Kirin Ichiban," a signature beer of Kirin brewery, in Japan. However, the Kirin Ichiban that J-bar serves is brewed at "Weihenstephan," which is the oldest existing brewery in the world, located in Freising near the Munich airport. (They have been brewing beers since 1040!) Kirin teamed up with Weihenstephan, and they kindly use their facility to produce some amount of Kirin Ichiban. A notable thing about this particular Kirin is that, unlike the one sold in Japan, it uses malts and hops locally produced around Freising. The only stuff shipped from Japan is a lager yeast. Also, while they are given a recipe from Kirin, it is basically up to a beer meister at Weihenstephan how to brew it. As a result, this Kirin Ichiban tastes like a heaven - FAR better than what you find in Japan.
  • The information here is obsolete: use with caution. Suggested dishes: Have some typical snacks, like "Edamame" (bolied and salted beans), "Gyoza" (pork dumplings), and/or "Kara-age" (deep fried chickens)  to start with. You can look at the standard menu, but the real delicacy lies in "Tages Karte" (daily menu), which is shown on the counter in Japanese only! [Note added: the daily manu is now shown in German as of Jan 24, 2014.] So, be sure to ask for today's recommendation. Current recommendation: "Oden" is a must because it is J-bar's speciality (although it is served only during winter). Among the regular menus, I quite like "Oni-no-Hama-yaki" (octopus lightly grilled in front of you on heated stones) and "Nabe" (which sounds like "Nah-Beh"; a hot pot with pork and vegetables). "Nabe" (or more precisely, "Omakase-Nabe") would be a great choice for hungry people. After you finish eating porks and vegetables, ask for rice. A waitress then comes and prepares rice cooked in the soup with an egg. This is delicious and fully, so I highly recommend it.
    • If you are confused: my typical night is like this. Go there. Order the first Kirin Ichiban and Edamame. Think about what to have for that day, and end up ordering "Oden" (in winter times). When I am lucky, I get "Liver Sashimi", which is a raw, sashimi-quality veal liver! Depending on how hungry I am, I order things like Gyoza and Tako-yaki. Finally, I finish off with Omakase-Nabe. By that time I will have finished four Kirin Ichiban; and I usually get to have both the bottom and the top of a keg. 
  • See this page (or below) for directions from the U-bahn station "Goetheplatz," after exiting the U-bahn station toward "Waltherstraße." If you come from north, go left after you get off the train, take an escalator, turn right, and take another escalator. Waltherstraße is in front of you, and go left (east) on Waltherstraße. Turn right onto Maistraße, and you will find "J-bar" on your right.

komatsu_at_mpa-garching_dot_mpg_dot_de © EIICHIRO KOMATSU 2012 Imprint Privacy Policy