Archive for Munich

Day at the Beach

Warm sun, comfortable lawn chair, cold beer, chill tunes, sand between your toes… believe it or not you can find this in Munich in the summer.

I was recently out and about and came across a cool beach bar out on the Isar river. Down on the south end of Museuminsel on the Corneliusbrücke (Cornelius bridge) the urbannauts project erect a beach bar on the bridge every summer, over-looking the river and the Maximilian church. There are no surfers, like in the English Gardens, but it is a nice escape – day or night.



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I’ll have a Coffee. – Beer? – No, C-O… – B-E…

Ok, its a lot harder to convey a Simpson’s reference into the header than I anticipated. ANYWAYS…

It’s that time of year, the sun is beginning to shine, bird’s are chirping – the bees are trying to have sex with them, is my understanding – and above all hops are in bloom! Now if you’re in Bavaria and don’t like pork and beer, well you best leave as soon as possible.

So I have been doing my best at making my rounds of beer gardens, indulging in as much Maß as I can afford. So here are my top Munich beer gardens at the beginning of my rounds of 2008. We’ll see what the opinion is by the time fall comes.


This beer garden is very close to Max-Weber Platz in east Munich (tram and subway accessible). Like pretty much any other beer garden in Munich, this one is equipped with lots of shade from chestnut trees, good grub and lights in the evening. The beer here is, as you might guess, Hofbräu. This isn’t my favorite, but there is a Sausalitos (Mexican food and bar chain) adjacent sharing the courtyard, so the atmosphere can accommodate different tastes. The food was on par for your average beer garden, not great, not bad, just moderately satisfactory.


This beer garden is sort of in north west Munich by the Gern stop along the U1 subway line. The beer here is Spaten. Though beer gardens in general are quite family friendly, this one seemed particularly quaint and friendly for the family atmosphere. When it comes to Spaten beer, I prefer the Weißbier (Franziskaner). This garden is relatively near the biggest mall in Munich (the OEZ) if you have any shopping to take care of. One culinary specialty I would order would be the the pretzel with dipp; the dipp is obazda – a cheese dipp similar to cream cheese with bits of brie in it. They are also famous for their ribs and though good, I didn’t think they were anything amazing.


This beer garden is very central – near the main train station. Probably my most visited beer garden, Augustiner Keller carries my favorite Munich beer: Augustiner. The currywurst und pommes frites are to die for if you’re there around meal time. They also have a big fish stand there, though I have never tried it. In fact, I try to sit as far away as possible, because everything within 10 meters stinks to high hell of fish. I heard from a tour guide that the property of this garden was where Hitler held public beheadings. Around Oktoberfest time if you find you can’t get into a tent, this beer garden is a great alternative and within walking distance (up to debate by some of my associates).

Biergarten am chinesischen Turm

This beer garden is in the middle of the Englischer Garten if you’re up for going for a walk in one of the biggest and nicest public parks in the world. You can enjoy some beer next to Munich’s famous Chinese tower as a break from napping in the shade, playing soccer/football, throwing the Frisbee, riding bikes, tanning, or any number of things. If its a nice day see if you try and find the surfers who actually surf the river that flows through the gardens. The spot is at the beginning of the park next to Haus der Kunst. As a forewarning, you just may happen to wander through the nudist section of the park along the way.

So, for my visiting American friends, here are some quick travelers tipps for

visiting Munich beer gardens…

DO NOT CALL THE BEER GLASS A BIERSTEIN. It called a Maß (pronounced ma – ss). You can hold it by the handle, but only a the risk of an evil eye and a punch to a kidney. You pick.

PLEASE DO NOT HOLD YOUR MAß BY THE HANDLE. Rather hold it around the actual glass. Don’t worry about the beer getting warm. That is the very last of your worries.

FINDING A PLACE TO SIT is good weather may be difficult, so the chances of you finding your own table can be slim. It is not uncommon to share a table with strangers. Just sit down anywhere you can find. If the people are cool, you may have some new drinking buddies or if they’re jerks ignoring them usually does the trick – unless they’re loud, obnoxious foreigners of course. Also, as long as the table is not clearly marked as belonging to a restaurant then you are free to bring your own food and save some money. Just think of it as a picnic with an endless supply of bier and hundreds of other people with the same idea.

Prost ihr Säcke!

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Spare Ribs and Steak at the Rusticana

I was really blown away by my experience at the Rusticana. Here in the middle of Europe, thousands of miles from Texas, I had the best spare ribs I’ve ever had, done truly in a Texas style, delicious BBQ sauce, crisp salad, baked potato, and world-class beer.  Rusticana has a great cozy atmosphere, though at a price. Just so you know it’ll cost you around 25 Euro\person. Though the price may be a bit steep for someone like me, its definitely worth it, especially if you want to do things right.


The food at Rusticana wasn’t made by these folks, but it sure tastes like it.

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Glühwein and Grog

We were walking through the English Gardens yesterday and thought to ourselves we could use something to drink and warm up a little bit. Suddenly, we came upon this stand selling us just what we needed. There on the menu stood Glühwein, and not only Glühwein, but Glühwein mit Schuss (mulled wine with a shot of liquor in it). After sitting down and drinking our hot mugs of awesomeness we noticed one more thing on the menu: Grog. Personally, I’ve never seen such a thing at any American establishment. So naturally we had to indulge ourselves in some hot Grog. However, the proprietor of this particular stand refused to serve us Grog mit Schuss. Sigh. Nonetheless, enjoying my first Glühwein of the season and first Grog ever was a pleasant expereince. I can only imagine how much more awesome the English Gardens will be later in winter with snow.


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Best Outfit Evar

So since we are here at Oktoberfest we had to make sure we fit in with all the Japanese and American tourists in fake Bavarian outfits:

I don’t think a photo can quite describe how awesome our Lederhosen actually are, but I don’t want to deprive you of this sight even so:

Luke, Justin and Fred in lederhosen

Yup, nothing but Luke’s chest hair can distinguish us from native Bavarians anymore.

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I found out that in recent years, they have opened up a Legoland theme park right here in Germany. As a child I always wanted to go to Legoland, but at the time, the closest one was in Denmark. So since I’m not back in the country and they have built a Legoland only 130km away from my place, and since they had a Star Wars weekend where Stormtroopers and Darth Vaders were walking around, I thought it a perfect opportunity to take my little sister to Legoland for a day. It was a great experience and I think I had more fun than she did.

That’s right. That is a Lego model of the Neuschwanstein Castle. We had a great time, and I would definitely like to go back.

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The Dankest Pizza That Ever Was

Justin and I went out to lunch today at Rosenheimer Platz and found an amazing Italian restaurant called Bella Italia. Seriously, one of the best pizzas I’ve ever had and that includes ones that I’ve had in Rome. This one in particular was a pesto, eggplant and feta cheese pizza. Bread, salad and pizza = 5,90. If you’re ever in the area stop in for a bite.


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