When many people think of Food in Munich (and in Bavaria), the immediate thought is likely to be schnitzel, sausages, schweinshaxe (pork knuckle) and potatoes.
For us who have lived in Munich for a longer time, thank goodness, we have discovered many more amazing restaurants besides those offering Bavarian cuisine.
There is a wide range of international gastronomy available in Munich, ranging from modern Asian, Middle Eastern, classic Americans to exotic Mediterranean delicacies.
There really are endless choices, so many in fact, that sometimes hungry Bavarians find themselves suffering from “decidophobia”!
So while there are boundless options for sourcing spannende (exciting) food in Munich via the range of specialty restaurants all over the city, in this article we endeavour to set you, our readers, a “foodie challenge”.
The next time you decide to dine out, we want you to consider “Good Eating” by supporting one of these featured places that are supporting a move towards a Green Munich and a much more Socially Aware Munich.
You’ll find these places not only satisfy your taste buds but also offer a heartwarming and positive Munich eating experience all based around their socially aware outlook to food sourcing, preparation and service!
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If you enjoy an international vibe, a meal at the Üben den Tellerrand Café will put a smile on your face.
At the Einstein 28 (MHVS), a multi-cultural hub where many newbies take their German course, a visit to the cafe will take you on a surprise culinary adventure.
The café is part of the Üben den Tellerrand social enterprise started in Berlin in 2013. Their mission, like the meaning of their name, that is, “to look at something beyond one’s own horizon; to be open to new things”, their core vision is to “create opportunities for people of different cultures to meet and get to know each other, based on shared interests.”
Over the eight years, they have successfully expanded to over 30 cities offering not only socially responsible Food in Munich, but also throughout the whole of Germany.
They’ve become so popular that they’ve also expanded to the neighbouring countries of Austria, Switzerland and the Czech Republic, but can also be found as far afield as Colombia and the USA.
These guys regularly run activities and events bringing locals and refugees together in a wonderfully resourceful and socially aware manner.
In Einstein 28 Café itself, it is currently operated by 15 employees crossing over six nationalities. This intercultural mix simultaneously brings an exciting fusion to their menu and offers a superior level of exciting food in Munich
Their daily menu is changed every day depended on the cook, so it could be Arabic, Afghan, Italian and of course Bavarian.
On a sunny day, you can also enjoy your meal in their spacious courtyard. Manchmal (sometimes), they have also guests performers playing live music as you take delight in your Mahlzeit (meal).
Socially Responsible Food in Munich Concept:
– Besides hiring refugees and immigrants in the cafe, the enterprise also organises community events such as cooking classes and “Human Library”.
One very interesting concept from the cafe in supporting their cause is that their menu offers 3 payment options.
Schmaler Taler : for the “budget tight”
Fairer Deal: affordable price where it covers the restaurant’s cost
Zukunftsfutter (future feed): a percentage is donated
– For deliveries (Lieferung), they uses reCIRCLE Pfandbox. On your next order, when you return the box, you also receive your Pfand (deposit).
In the overlooked small 4-street Dreimühlenviertel district, this neighbourhood with touches of old village character and independent-hip bars and fair trade shops, there, you’ll find the Roecklplatz restaurant.
With a summer garden with fairy lights and a modern ambient, this is the perfect restaurant if you are looking for a sophisticated place for a date night or special celebrations.
Founded in 2008 by Sandra Forster, a gastronomy expert owning other notable restaurants like Charlie, Kismet, and the no-photo allowed Blitz Club, and Angela Bauer, managing director of the youth welfare organization, hpkj e.V.
With their expertise, Roecklplatz has become a successful social project, making a mark in the gastronomic scene in Munich.
Socially Aware Food in Munich Concept:
At Roecklplatz, youth with difficult backgrounds receive professional training (Ausbildung) in high-end cookery as well as gaining social pedagogy support.
The open-minded atmosphere allows youths to be creative and be engaged. This is definitely reflected by their food and drink menu. They offer not only modern Bavarian classics but also international cuisines.
Their four-course menu is always changing, especially to feature seasonal menu and offering vegetarian and vegans options.
For theatre buffs out there, the Conviva Im Blauhaus is a great place to entice your appetite before or after a show.
Inside the once upon a time old workshop of the Münchner Kammerspiele, the Blue Room is now converted into a minimalistic restaurant, serving Bavarian cuisines and specialities from Austria and Northern Italy.
Conviva itself had a humble start. Its founding parent partner, the cba.e.V (Cooperative Schutzende Arbeitsstätten e.V). It was established to develop alternative career paths for people with disabilities.
In 1995, The Conviva finally opened a mini bar in Liam.
Sixteen years on, the success helped Conviva to flourish, leading not only the opening of Conviva Im Blauhaus, but also Conviva canteens in Gasteig, Prinzregententheater, and in the HFF (University of Television and Film).
So the next time you are in the neighbourhood, make sure to stop by for a coffee or a meal, where you will be greeted with delightful and cheerful staff.
To watch out for:
The Essbahn (Food Train) is another project run by the cba e.V. partnering with Der Bahnwärter Thiel. It’s an awesome place where you can grab a quick bite from an awesome old train with graffiti artwork. (If you are a fan of graffiti, also check out this post.)
Talking about Kuchentratsch (Cake Gossip) just warms our hearts! This little bakehouse located in the centre of Munich specializes in cakes baked by Omas und Opas (grandmas and grandpas).
The concept comes from Katharina Mayer when she was still a young student. She was just not satisfied with any cakes except the ones from her Oma.
With this innocent goal, she started Kuchentratsch with the mission that the bakehouse will offer cakes that are “leckere und mit Liebe gebackene Kuchen von Oma” (delicious with love from grandma) and also be socially responsible. She wanted to open opportunities for elderly and young people to work together.
Currently, there are around 50 Omas and Opas employed in Kuchentratsch. They help out either in baking or with delivery. The eldest being Oma Irmgard, she is 86!
The elderly love working in this lively bakehouse, as they can work in flexible shifts and get extra money outside their retirement funds.
More importantly, they get to socialize with people in their age group and the young. They may be old, but they are sure curious and want to be up-to-date with the trends and gossips that are happening!
If you are impressed by their initiative already, wait till you taste the cakes! All the recipes are originals created by the different grandma and papas.
Currently, there are eight classic cake choices. Carrot cake by Oma Irmgard is an all-time favourite. Other flavours include chocolate, berries and cheesecake.
During different seasons and holidays, there are also special featured cakes and cookies.
With each order, not only the cake is baked with love, but it is also individually hand-packed with care. Each one is personified with a photo of the “star baker”, so you know who baked it.
For special occasions, custom orders can also be made. This is particularly exciting for the Omas, as they get to be more creative and “play”!
So come around Christmas or co-operate events, their baking goods is a great “yummy” and sustainable gift or catering idea that could be considered.
To have a taste of their cake before making an order, you can also try a slice of their goodies in one of these cafes around Munich!
Or for more hands-on action, you can try their pre-mixed cake mix or bake a cake yourself from their own Kuchentratsch cookbook. Maybe you can even hold a “bake-off” with your Oma!
Caring is sharing, right?
Well the next time you visit a café or a bakery, watch out for a wooden “Hey” sign with receipts (Belege) pinned on it. This is where you can grab a coffee for yourself and also shout one for free for another person.
Taking on the vision of “social participation”- an idea that has long existed in Italy and Nepal, in 1995, Michael Spitzenberger set up Brot am Haken e.V. (bread on a hook) in Munich. As the popularity grew, the team has grown forming the new Hey.
Up to date, there are over 40 bakeries, cafes and restaurants participating. So whenever you are feeling generous, pop into one of these outlets, treat yourself, and another!
We hope you are now inspired to visit some of these socially responsible outlets offering some wonderfully diverse styles of food in Munich.
Choosing to support some of these outlets that base their entire ethos on social issues, presents an unparalleled opportunity to help better our environment and our society.
If you know of any other food related socially aware initiatives here in Munich, we’d love to hear more from you, after all “small changes eventually lead to huge results”.
To support further sustainable living here in Munich, read about sustainable shopping via our article on second-hand stores and Resale Stores in Munich.
Let’s live better. Let’s live green!