Coffee with a local in Munich

Wednesday, 14 March 2012 10:26 AM travels to the Bavarian city of Munich for a chat and a Weisswurst with local Pam Diane. 

So, you’ve brought me to your favourite cafe - tell me about it.
We're in Vee's Cafe near Marienplatz in the centre of Munich, opposite the Alten Peter Church. It's an independently owned cafe with a delicious selection of coffees from around the world, and an irresistible selection of unusual homemade cakes, cheesecakes, tarts and pies. It’s a perfect place to stop for a coffee or a quick bite to eat.

Mmm... this is good, what are we drinking?
If you come here you have to get a coffee, the cappuccinos are the best, but the espresso is also great.

What are your favourite local dishes?
A Munich specialty is Weisswurst, literally white sausage. Weisswurst is traditionally made early in the morning, then prepared and eaten as a snack between breakfast and lunch - most Bavarians eat their weisswurst before noon. The sausage is brought to the table in a big bowl together with the cooking liquid (so it doesn't cool down too much), then eaten without the skin. It is commonly served with a special Bavarian sweet mustard and accompanied by a brezen (pretzel) and Weissbier, a Bavarian wheat beer.

Another local favourite is schweinshaxe, a roasted pork knuckle often served with potato or bread dumplings, and red cabbage, or sauerkraut. I also love kässpätzle, which are cheesy Bavarian noodles served with roasted onions and rahmschwammerl, mushrooms in a creamy herb sauce served with a large bread dumpling.

Popular sweet dishes in Bavaria are rohrnudeln and dampfnudeln, which are sweet yeast dumplings served with vanilla sauce. My personal favourite is Kaiserschmarn, a caramelized pancake split into pieces while frying with raisins in butter, then served hot with apple sauce (very filling, but delicious).

I’m getting hungry just thinking about it, where else would you suggest I go to find these?
The Weißes Brauhaus in Tal near Marienplatz has a great atmosphere, very good Bavarian food and, of course, beer. It is also famous for its weisswurst, but be sure to get there before noon if you want to get any.

The sky is blue and the sun is shining, what’s the best thing to do on a day like today?
Climb to the top of the St. Peter’s Church tower near Marienplatz, you have to climb up 300 steps, but the 360 degree view from the top is wonderful. On a clear day you will have a beautiful view of the mountains. When you’re done, cool off with a beer in the nearby beer garden in Viktualienmarkt, Munich’s central outdoor market.

Alternatively take a walk in Munich's vast park, the Englischer Garten, and stop for a drink there at a traditional Bavarian beer garden (there is one overlooking the lake called the Seehaus and another which often has live traditional music playing at the Chinesicher Turm (a giant Chinese pagoda standing in the middle of the park). You will also be amazed to see surfers in the summer riding the wave on their boards at the Eisbach, a fast running wave in the river at the edge of the park.

And if it rains?
A visit to one of Munich's many museums is a must. One of my favourites is the museum of modern art, the Pinakothek der Moderne. The open and modern museum space is worth seeing in itself and is centred around an impressive 25-metre-high glass dome.

If there’s one thing I should do while I’m here, what is it?
A visit to Munich probably wouldn't be complete without a visit to the Hofbrauhaus, Munich’s most famous beer hall, for a taste of the Oktoberfest all year round. 

Give me a local tip that other tourists wouldn’t usually know...
If you want to spend some time wandering around an area off the beaten tourist track, go to the Glochenbach district of Munich. With its unique selection of cafes, restaurants, shops and independent boutiques, this trendy residential area (centred around Hans Sachs St) provides a welcome alternative for an afternoon stroll, or an evening out to the more traditional touristy areas of Munich.

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