10 Munich Biergarten & Wirtshaus for Bavarian Food

Food, Travel

A giant pretzel, beer and Johanisbeer Shorle at Munich's Chinesischer Turm in Englischer Garten.

As soon as there is the slightest hint of warm or nice weather, Biergarten across Bavaria will start popping up. Those long wooden tables and large umbrellas will begin to be set up. But even in the colder months or bad weather you can always turn to your favorite Wirtshaus, or pub. Many of these restaurants serve local Bavarian food in addition to the friendly, joyful and fun atmosphere. I want to share some of my favorite Munich Biergarten and Wirtshaus. Plus I want to make sure you know all the ins and outs you’ll need to know for your next meal!

Here are 10 great Munich Biergarten and Wirtshaus for Bavarian food!

Biergarten vs Wirtshaus: What’s the Difference?

A Biergarten is an open-air collection of tables where you can buy beer or drinks. A Wirtshaus is a pub or restaurant. A Wirtshaus may have a Biergarten outside where they provide table service. Or they might also have a self-service area where you can buy your own drinks and, if you wish, food.

You might also see a small stand that sells beer and drinks that has tables (a Biergarten) but doesn’t really sell food. Maybe they sell pretzels and other snacks, but nothing significant.

Traditionally, at self-service Biergärten you can bring your own food but the rule is you must buy your drinks from the Biergarten.

Munich Biergarten Tips

Here are a few quick and easy tips to help make your Munich Biergarten and Wirtshaus experiences more pleasant. Don’t forget to learn a little German for your next trip to make things that much easier, too!

Tablecloth vs No Tablecloth

Some Biergärten offer table service and/or self-service. You can tell the difference, usually, by a sign (something like “Selbstservice”) indicating self-service or by a tablecloth indicating table service. Tables with tablecloths signal table service. Some visitors to the Biergarten do bring their own tablecloth for the self service section so be sure to check!

Ordering

For self-service, food and drink are available at stands (“Schränke”) where you can order or pick up what you’re interested in. Generally there’s a separate stand where you pay.

For table service, grab a menu off the table and hold tight! A waiter or waitress will be over to take your order shortly!

Chinesischer Turm on a busy day! My favorite Munich Biergarten and Wirtshaus for traditional Bavarian food.

Ist hier frei?

Biergärten and Wirtshaus are communal affairs. If the place is packed look for an empty seat. If someone is already sitting at the table, ask “Ist hier frei?” (“Is this seat empty?”) Even if you don’t speak any German you’ll likely get a universally translatable nod or shake of the head.

Deposit coins (or Pfand) at Munich's Chinesischer Turm.

Pfand Deposit

In order to discourage visitors from walking off with the glass beer mugs (Kruge), some Biergarten will add in a deposit to the price of a glass. It’s usually only a Euro or two. At purchase time you’ll receive a small coin or token. Before you leave the Biergarten, take your mug and the token to the Pfand Zürückgabe, or Deposit Return. You’ll get your deposit back.

The Steckerlfisch stand at Hirschgarten in Munich, Germany.

Steckerlfisch

While not every Biergarten will have Steckerlfisch they’re worth grabbing one when you can! Steckerlfisch are fish roasted on sticks. Salty and flavorful, you buy a fish by weight, usually an entire fish at a time. It’s a very Bavarian specialty that’s worth experiencing.

Munich Biergarten & Wirtshaus

Hirschgarten

They say that Munich Biergarten Hirschgarten is the largest not only in the city but in the world. Nestled just south of Schloss Nymphenburg and surrounded by the Hirschgarten Park, the Biergarten and restaurant is simply an oasis. While it can get touristy, more often than not it is local flocking to this restaurant and watering hole.

Königlicher Hirschgarten is comprised of a restaurant, both indoors and out, and an outdoor Biergarten. The menu at the restaurant is large with many options to choose from. The dishes are always guaranteed to be tasty.

If you’re looking for something lighter or brought your own food, stalls operate self service for the Biergarten. There you can order drinks, food or sweets.

Be sure to check out the fenced area near the Steckerlfisch stand. There you will find a small herd of deer. Also take a walk through the thoroughly urban park before you go, too. There are built-in ping pong tables and even a small skate park.

Königlicher Hirschgarten, Hirschgarten 1, 80639 München

Munich's Chinesischer Turm in Englischer Garten.

Restaurant am Chinesischen Turm

The Restaurant am Chinesischen Turm is a well known site and landmark in Englischer Garten. And on nearly any nice day you’ll find the Biergarten packed. It’s a favorite of guidebooks, tours and tourists. But there are plenty of locals there, too.

A restaurant operates on a central location across from the tower. But it’s small compared to the Biergarten. Through the turnstiles you’ll find the food and drink stalls offering a wide range of options. On offer are traditional dishes, salads, and even desserts. Many choose to grab a drink and a giant pretzel then settle in at one of the long green Biergarten tables under the chestnut trees. For many, this Munich Biergarten is a city institution.

Restaurant am Chinesischen Turm, Englischer Garten 3, 80538 München

Augustiner Klosterwirt

While the downtown Altstadt area around Marienplatz can get absolutely jammed, there are some quieter spots if you know where to look. Back behind the Frauenkirche is one of those places. Frauenplatz, as the small square is called, has a very modern looking fountain sunken into the ground and the walls of the church rise up above you. And that’s where Augustiner Klosterwirt sits.

The location from, arguably, the city’s best brewery has seating indoor and out. Inside the restaurant is fully updated and modernized while still keeping with the brewery feel. Lots of stone and sheet metal.

But it’s their Bavarian specialties (beer included!) that you’ll be visiting for. If you’re in town during late spring during Spargel Saison (asparagus season), be sure to indulge in a plate of the plump white vegetables served with either melted butter or Hollandaise sauce.

There is no self-service section here. The staff are used to tourists and each staff member displays the languages he or she speaks with a flag designation on his or her name tag.

Augustiner Klosterwirt, Augustinerstraße 1, 80331 München

Wirtshaus im Braunauer Hof

I have an admission to make. I didn’t want to like Wirtshaus im Braunauer Hof. The relatively new restaurant moved into the location last year after the original and long running Braunauer Hof restaurant decided to close. I’d been to the old restaurant several times and loved the authentic old school feel. The restaurant was known for serving traditional Bavarian dishes you can’t get at every restaurant. Indeed, I always knew I’d be able to get Jägerschnitzel from their daily menu. I felt a loyalty to the restaurant. I didn’t want to like the new Wirtshaus. But I do. A lot.

Freshly renovated and updated but still maintaining the built-in wooden benches and tables, Wirtshaus im Braunauer Hof offers a more modern take on Bavarian cuisine that appeals as much to the older regulars as to younger newcomers.

Staff are attentive and friendly. And if you visit on a nice day, be sure to grab a table in their Biergarten outback. It’s very charming and it’s easy to forget that you’re steps away from busy Isartor.

Wirtshaus im Braunauer Hof, Frauenstraße 42, 80469 München

Augustiner am Platzl

More than one Munich local has told me that Augustiner is their favorite city brewery. But, for whatever reasons, the tourists flock to Platzl to visit Hofbräuhaus or Hard Rock Cafe. Instead, take my tip and avoid the crowds (or the largest crowds) and go across the street to Augustiner am Platzl.

The charming restaurant has all the Bavarian charm you’d expect: wood paneled walls, cozy booths and plenty of local decor. Augustiner am Platzl offers friendly service and serves large portions of wonderful food. But don’t expect it to stay quiet for long! Locals and visitors alike keep things lively at the popular restaurant!

Augustiner am Platzl, Orlandostraße 5, 80331 München

A keg stands at the entrance to Munich's Hofbräuhaus.

Hofbräuhaus

Hofbräuhaus needs no introduction. The brewery is owned by the Bavarian state government and the restaurant at Platzl is arguably the most popular Wirtshaus in the city. Tourists flock to experience the traditional atmosphere. Brass bands, locals in Trachten, pretzels bigger than your head and all the traditional Bavarian food you can eat and all the beer you can drink.

The restaurant is really sprawling. And when it’s busy it can take several laps before you can find empty spots. On nice days, be sure to grab a seat in the Biergarten in the center of the restaurant.

If you’re looking for a quieter experience, visit just after opening. They may not be serving food yet but you’ll still be able to get a drink.

Hofbräuhaus, Platzl 9, 80331 München

Augustiner Keller

The Augustiner Keller is similar to Hirschgarten but a bit more urban version. Huge chestnut trees tower over the Biergarten where you can help yourself to food and drink at the stalls then grab a seat at a bench. It’s a more laid back, casual atmosphere that suits families and meeting up with friends. The brewery also operates a restaurant that overlooks this Munich Biergarten.

It’s also extremely easy to get to the Augustiner Keller. It’s located a short walk from Hackerbrücke and the central bus station.

Augustiner Keller, Arnulfstraße 52, 80335 München

Schneider Bräuhaus

If you’re looking to be in the heart of the action, Schneider Bräuhaus is on Tal located between Marienplatz, Platzl, Viktualienmarkt, and Isartor. The restaurant has a small selection of outdoor seating but all the fun is inside! A band regularly sits at the door playing and staff hustle around the restaurant taking and filling orders. While it’s usually quite busy, I’ve never had to wait long for food or drink there. But if there is a wait, the food is worth it! Schneider Bräuhaus has been recognized for its Bavarian cooking with an “Ausgezeichnete Bayerische Küche.” It’s a friendly spot to enjoy an afternoon and meet some new people.

Schneider Bräuhaus, Tal 7, 80331 München

Löwenbräukeller

Located on Stiglmaierplatz, the Löwenbräukeller is a historic restaurant. The brewery’s offices are just across the street. The restaurant can seat thousands of thirsty and hungry customers both outside in the Munich Biergarten and inside at their cavernous restaurant. And don’t forget to come hungry. Löwenbräukeller is serving up classic Bavarian cuisine in addition to their trademark brews.

Löwenbräukeller, Nymphenburger Str. 2, 80335 München

Inside the Aying Braeustueberl.

Ayinger Brästüberl

While no one could accuse Munich of being too urban, it just takes a short trip to the suburbs to really get a taste of Bavaria. The small, sleepy village of Aying comes alive quite quickly. That’s thanks in large part to Ayinger Beer, the town’s brewery, and the beer brand’s restaurant and Biergarten. The charming town is well worth a visit — if only for a drink and a meal!

In the heart of the town is the Ayinger Bräustüberl. In warm weather the fun is all outside. But the restaurant’s wood paneled interior isn’t to be missed either. The staff are friendly and helpful.

The food, traditional and hearty Bavarian fare, is delicious. The giant Schnitzel is no misnomer, it lives up to its promise. And be sure to leave room for dessert. The Apfelkucherl, fried apple slices covered in cinnamon and sugar, with vanilla ice cream is the perfect finish to any meal.

If you’re looking for something a little lighter or more casual, the self-service section of the Biergarten is where you want to be. Just stop by the stand on the side of the restaurant for a food and drink.

The Biergarten and restaurant are popular and they can both get busy quick! The place is a popular watering hole for cyclists. The activity and excitement add to the fun atmosphere.

Ayinger Brästüberl, Münchener Str. 2, 85653 Aying

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10 of the best Munich Biergarten & Wirtshaus for traditional Bavarian food. A visit to a Munich Biergarten cannot be missed on any trip to the city. #munich #bavaria #germany #biergarten #foodie #travel

Thank you to München Tourismus for hosting me at Augustiner Klosterwirt. All photos, as well as all opinions, are my own.

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