The Austrians might have invented the croissant, the French are considered masters of pastry and the Italians are the gods of gelato. But German baked goods shouldn’t be overlooked — or underestimated. And I’m not talking about bread. Well, not just bread. The Germans do cakes and pastries to make your mouth water. Munich, in particular, has some delicious specialties that you shouldn’t pass up. On your next visit to the Bavarian capital city check out these favorite Munich bakeries and pastry shops! They’ll have you saying “Mmm, lecker!”
The prettiest pastries out of all the Munich bakeries are, arguably, from Maelu. Situated right along the busy Fussgängerzone (pedestrian walkway) between Marienhof and Odeonsplatz, Maelu draws you in with colorful cakes and macarons that are expertly and impeccably executed. The wide-ranging variety of personal-sized mousse cakes means there’s something for all tastes. Inside the shop eclairs, bonbons, and all sorts of sweets beckon. While they do have traditional baked goods like Apfelstrudel, go for a mousse cake.
I recommend… the Violetta cake, it’s violet mousseline, blackcurrant mousseline, blueberry compote, and shortbread pastry.
Maelu, Theatinerstraße 32, 80333, Munich
Founded in the 19th century in Dresden, the Munich location of Cafe Kreutzkamm has been open since the 1950s. The cafe is THE place to go for Baumkuchen or, literally, “tree cake.” The name comes from the cake’s “layers,” like the rings of a tree. Traditionally cooked on a spit, the batter is spooned on creating the distinct layers. At this cafe, they serve the cake in several different ways. You can get a small, personal-sized cake or you can get a thinly sliced piece of Baumkuchen from a much larger “log.” Of course, if Baumkuchen isn’t your thing — spiced with nutmeg and rum, it can be a strong flavor — they have other treats to tempt you!
I recommend… the Baumkuchen. It’s a classic!
Cafe Kreutzkamm, Maffeistraße 4, 80333, Munich
On the top floor of Dallmayr‘s gourmet food market on Marienhof is a restaurant and cafe. Take a peek at the cake counter in the corner then take a seat. Dallmayr’s attention to detail and promise of the finer things in life continues from the ground floor. While the cafe feels more formal, it’s still a casual atmosphere. Newspapers hang on coat stands and with that view over Marienhof, it’d be easy to spend a whole afternoon here. Dallmayr excels at tradition. That includes the waitstaff as well as the pastries, coffee, and tea.
I recommend… a slice of rich, chocolatey Prinzregententorte and their Earl Grey tea. If you’re really looking to indulge, splurge for the Sahne (whipped cream).
Café-Bistro Dallmayr, Dienerstrasse 14, 80331 Munich
Brown’s Tea Bar
You can always count on Brown’s Tea Bar for a good cup of tea and friendly service. The woman who runs the shop seems to always have a smile. The shop, part of the Victorian House chain of English-themed tea shops around Munich, is cozy and inviting. The entire cafe is full of charming English decorations. They have a large selection of teas as well as other beverages. (Clearly, you’re in Germany when you can get a beer in a tea shop!) But be sure not to pass up their homemade cakes. Portions are usually rather generous at Brown’s, too!
I recommend… Apfelkuchen (or apple cake) and a big cup of the China Rose Petal tea.
Brown’s Tea Bar, Türkenstraße 60, 80799 Munich
If you’re looking for a Schmalznudeln, Cafe Frischhut is your place. It’s tucked on a side street just off Viktualienmarkt. The charming small shop sells the freshly fried pastry as well as other doughnut-like sweets. The flaky Schmalznudeln is a plain fried round of dough that’s been stretched so that the center is so thin you can practically see through it. But it was their apricot-filled jelly doughnuts (called Krapfen) that won me over. Sugared only on a single side, they aren’t too sweet. The pastries are so fresh you can see them being fried all day long right near the front window. It’s mesmerizing to watch.
I recommend… you can’t not try the Schmalznudeln. But the Krapfen is my favorite.
Cafe Frischhut, Prälat-Zistl-Straße 8, 80331, Munich
Local chain Munich bakery Rischart seems to be everywhere around the city from Marienplatz to the Olympia-Einkaufszentrum. But they’re prolific because you can trust them for quality pastries and meals. Their chocolate croissants practically ooze chocolate. My favorite location is Rischart am Markt at Viktualienmarkt. It features a rooftop terrace with a great view. Start your day with a great breakfast and view of the market, Heilig-Geist-Kirche and Alter Peter.
I recommend… for breakfast, the super-filling Rischart Klassiker. For a midday cake-break, try the Zwetschgenkuchen, or plum cake.
Don’t Forget Munich’s Wirtshaus & Biergarten
While there is no shortage of Munich bakeries and patisseries, sometimes they’re not what you’re looking for. Don’t get me wrong: they’re a great bet. But sometimes getting a more traditional dessert, like an Apfelstrudel, seems to taste a little bit better at the Wirtshaus or the Biergarten.
Sometimes they even have a specialty, like the Apfelkücherl at Aying’s Bräustüberl or a Kaiserschmarrn at Hirschgarten. Don’t count these restaurants out: they can tap a keg and deliver great Bavarian food, including dessert!
I recommend… anything classic and traditional! If you’re not sure, ask the waitstaff for a recommendation.
Tips for Ordering from Munich Bakeries & Cafes
Generally, there is no “cake menu.” Many Munich bakeries and cafes keep their cakes in a glass display case to tempt you.
If the cafe offers table service, be sure to peruse the case before ordering. This is true at cafes like Maelu and Dallmayr.
Alternatively, at some shops, you can order your cake at the counter, pick a seat, and someone will come for your drink order and deliver your cake. This is how Cafe Kreutzkamm works.
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All photos are my own.