(photo courtesy of BBMC Tobias Ranzinger)
Beer halls, ratskellers, and pubs in Munich, Germany
Beer Hall Etiquette
Like Norm's stool at Cheers, Munich beer halls have their regulars' private tables, called stammtisch. These unmarked but sacrosanct spots are usually near the doors and/or in the corners.
Smile and catch someone's attention before trying to sit down so that others at the table can politely let you know whether you're inadvertently invading their private space.
If they greet you by saying Grüss Gott, you're in.
If Munich is famous for anything, it's the bräuhaus, that bar/dining room/communal meeting place/evening's entertainment that often consists of nothing more than long wooden tables, bustling waitresses, plates of sausages and baskets of pretzels, swirling cigarette smoke, and mug after liter-sized mug of frothy beer.
Top Munich beer halls
The following each get their own full-fledged restaurant listings, but in brief:
- ★★★ Nürnberger Bratwurst Glöckl Am - My fave for beer-hall grub, serving up sausage sampler platters since 1893 in a classically Bavarian rustic, dark wood setting...
- ★ Donisl - Munich's oldest beer hall has summer tables right on the Marienplatz and skylit pine-panelled galleries inside...
- Hofbräuhaus - The world's most famous beer hall can seat 4,500 people on three floors (with dancing on the fourth) accompanied by the requisite oompah music. Touristy, but a classic...
The city is full of bierhalle. Besides the listed above, check out:
- ★★ Ratskeller - A pub in the cellars under the town hall—a Bavarian tradition. (Marienplatz 8; www.ratskeller.com)
- ★★ Augustinerkeller — An ancient bierhalle five blocks past the train station—perfect while waiting for a late night train. (Arnulfstrasse 52; www.augustinerkeller.de)
- ★ Weisses Bräuhaus - Serving classic wheat beers on this site since 1540. (Tal 7; www.weisses-brauhaus.de).
- ★ Löwenbräukeller - This fine beer hall is far enough west of the center to keep away most of the tourists (which means the locals still patronize it in droves). The small beer garden along the side is perfect on a warm day. (Nymphenburgerstrasse 2; www.loewenbraeukeller.com).
- ★ Zum Straubinger Hof - This Paulaner-brand brew hall south of Marienplatz serves up platters of würstel, cheese, and even a mean Tafelspitz. (Blumenstrasse 5; www.zumstraubinger.de).
- ★★ Weinhaus Neuner - OK, so this is a wine cellar, not a beer cellar (and a bit pricier, with meals around €25 and up), but it's the oldest in Munich, serving as a dining hall since the 16th century—first for the court of Duke Wilhelm, later for an order of Georgian priets and for Jesuit students, open to the public in its current form since 1852. (Herzogspitalstrasse 8; www.weinhaus-neuner.de)
- Biergartens - Don't forget the bräuhaus's outdoors cousin, the beer garden. The Augustinerkeller (above) has a nice one; there are many others...
- Book a tour: Visit the beer halls of Munich on a guided tour booked at a discount via our partners Viator.com: