It is doubtful if there is a more archetypically German city in the world when it comes to its food. Munich, based in the heart of Bavaria, is the home of over-sized pretzels, sausages of all shapes and sizes, and beer with every meal. Which is not to say that a city of its size and international regard doesn't also cater to a variety of ethnic and vegetarian cuisines, but c'mon, you're in Munich, so you better have a desire to try Bavarian staples like Leberkässemmeln, Brezen, Schweinshaxe, Schweinsbraten, Krapfen, and (of course) Bratwurst.
But wait, embark writer, you can't just throw all of these words out there and just expect me to go look them up in my handy German dictionary! No, loyal and trusting reader, we aren't toying with your emotions. Read on and be enlightened!
Munich is known for some excellent breakfast and bakery items, particularly as part of their brunch, when a freshly made Weisswurst (a gray-white sausage) and a Brezel (a large, salty pretzel) is eaten and washed down with a mass of Weissbier (a light, wheat beer). This Bavarian staple is offered at most cafes and traditional restaurants. Then again, why have meat at all for breakfast when bakery choices in Munich are sublime. Krapfen (doughnuts filled with all sorts of delightful things) are quite popular and can be had at institutions like Rischart in Marienplatz and Dallmayr on Dienerstrasse. Also try the Kuchen if you're craving a traditional cake (and foregoing any sort of diet during your adventuring), which comes in a variety of styles.
One of the typical snacks found everywhere in Munich is the Leberkässemmeln, a cheap and delicious roll filled with veal and pork that has numerous variations. Schweinshaxe, an odd dish of roasted pig knuckles, and Schweinsbraten, a roast pork dish, are more of a meal in themselves and are touchstones of Bavarian dining. These dishes are found in beer gardens, brew pubs, and anywhere else where Bavarian food is prepared.
You'll not find too many “food streets” in Munich, but you'll find a great variety of good food throughout the city, whether you're looking for cheap eats or fine dining. Although we hate to say it, it may be best to start out at the central Marienplatz and explore a few of the side streets from there. One of the highest concentrations of authentic Bavarian cuisine is on Tal, which is just off of this plaza, and home to excellent options like Weisses Brauhaus and Paulaner im Tal. Also nearby, Haxenbauer is known for its impeccable Schweinshaxe, Bratwurst Glöckl for its great sausages, and Donisl near the Rathaus for everything Bavarian.
To be honest, Munich can get expensive if you eat high-end, so one last tip is to eat and shop at local markets like the Viktualienmarkt south of Marienplatz. Most beer gardens will allow you to carry your food in as long as you buy your drinks there. For more information on the establishments you'll see in Munich, take a look at our dedicated pages and start your carnivorous Bavarian-food tour.