Munich has way more on the menu than beer and brats: Check out 8 healthy-eating hot spots


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Photo: Getty Images/Cyril Gosselin

I left New York City—and its incredible health-food scene—behind two months ago when I moved to Munich. And while it’s been fun trying classic Bavarian foods like weisswurst and, of course, all the pretzels, sometimes I just want a nourishing green smoothie or a grain bowl. And thankfully, I’ve been in luck.

There is no shortage of ways to get your healthy-food fix in this German metropolis I now call home. From a restaurant that does a vegan take on Bavarian classics to the best açaí bowl this side of the Atlantic, wellness grub is covered. And paleo devotees? Well, welcome to paradise.

So if Munich is on your wanderlust list (hello, charming holiday markets, Oktoberfest, and nearby castles), stop in a few of these spots to take a break from all the sightseeing—and feel good about and empowered by your eating choices while you’re at it.

Consider your Munich meal itinerary set with these healthy hot spots below.

1. For the best smoothie bowls: Wagners

Here in Germany, muesli is the breakfast of champions—it’s what you’ll see at most coffee shops and breakfast spots. But if you’re looking to change up your a.m. meal while visiting, Wagners is the perfect place to do so.

As a California native, I can tell Wagners takes its inspiration from the Golden State (as well as Hawaii) based on its the chill, nature-inspired decor and fresh, plant-based ingredients. As for the breakfast itself? The smoothie bowls come with so. many. toppings. I got an açaí bowl (I’m a sucker for ’em) decorated with almonds, blueberries, blackberries, bananas, and kiwi—but the options truly feel endless. If you’re a mix-in fan like me, you’ll be in heaven.

2. For yummy vegan takes on Bavarian classics: Max Pett

Being vegan doesn’t mean you’re destined to miss out on Munich’s traditional dishes—especially if you visit Max Pett, a vegan restaurant located just outside the Old City walls that offers tons of Bavarian classics with a plant-based twist. Get everything from vegan spätzle to veggie “wursts,” schnitzel to roast “beef” with onions, plus sides like potato salad.

The spot even has vegan, egg-free kaiserschmarrn for dessert, which is a fluffy, pancake-like treat popular in Bavaria and Austria. It’s often cut into pieces, sprinkled with powdered sugar, and served warm with raisins and apple compote. So basically, it’s all things delicious.

3. For keto-friendly grub: Altes Hackerhaus

Good news for travelers following the keto diet: Much of what’s on the menu in Munich centers around fats and protein, plus some good low-carb veggie sides.

For the best pork knuckle or “schweinehaxn” in town—it’s a thing—try Altes Hackerhaus. The cozy, traditional German restaurant is decorated with hunting gear and old brewery posters.

Many dishes come with vitamin-rich sauerkraut, which is fermented, probiotic-loaded cabbage that aids in digestion. To up the keto ante, the schweinehaxn dish comes with a bacon sauerkraut. Just be sure to opt for no potato dumplings.

4. For good salads (and more): Hungriges Herz

Craving a big bowl of greens? Head to Hungriges Herz (the restaurant name translates as Hungry Heart), the no-fuss casual spot for lunch that offers a glitzy ambiance thanks to chic chandeliers. Two can’t-miss selections are the Panzanellasalat, which comes with tomato, feta, cucumber, olives, and artisanal bread; and the Saisonfruchte & Spinat Salat, which has a spinach base, whatever fruit is in season, plus pistachios, and a wheel of goat cheese. (Yep, a whole wheel.) This spot also offers delish pizza and avocado toast. So basically, run, don’t walk.

5. For wholesome dessert: True & 12

Ice cream shops are everywhere in Munich (the city is but a few hundred miles from Italy, home of gelato). For the really high-quality stuff, visit the family-owned True & 12. The store makes its ice cream (or “eis”) by hand, and sources its ingredients locally—including the organic milk from grass-fed cows. Yes, there’ll probably be a line, but once you get a taste of the lavender with black currant, apricot with basil, hazelnut, or chocolate (trust me, those last two taste more unique than you’d expect!) scoops, you’ll realize just how worth the wait it is. But before you set out to line up, be sure to check the site and see when the shop closes for the winter.

6. For gluten-free pizza: Pizzesco

A funky little pizza place known locally for its great slices, including top-notch made-to-order pies, Pizzesco is the perfect spot for dinner if you’re gluten-free. The restaurant has a designated gluten-free oven and a separate space for making the pies so there isn’t cross-contamination (and that happens often, people!).

And bonus: Pizzesco is located just down the road from True & 12, so you can get a scoop after your main meal.

7. For a charming farmers’ market: Viktualienmarkt

Love shopping at farmers’ markets for fresh and local produce? Then Viktualienmarkt is the right place to be. The quintessential, historic Bavarian farmers’ market is located in the heart of the Old Town. If you’re staying at an Airbnb, it’s a great place to stock up on ingredients for your meals (there’s produce, fish, meat, cheese, wine, and more), and if not, you can buy tasty ready-made food at the stalls, too. Take your meal, grab a fresh juice, and sit at the communal tables tables to enjoy the scenery. You may even spot some locals in lederhosen.

8. For produce-forward food: Siggis

Whether you’re vegetarian, vegan, or just want to feed your body a ton of plant-based goodies after a solid run of meat and potatoes, Siggis is your spot (and FYI, it has no relation to the Icelandic yogurt company). Siggis offers sandwiches and wraps you can take to go, and the actual restaurant is typically packed with visitors and locals alike. (My rec? Enjoy the bites in the nearby Englischer Garten.)

The eatery is known as one of the best to visit if you have a food allergy (it offers gluten-free picks on the menu, too). Oh, and if you’re in the mood for more muesli, try a quinoa, cashew, and banana variety that’s sure to hit the spot.

Before you go, download this app to save you tons of time (and frustration) waiting in the line at customs. And put these genius packing hacks from flight attendants to good use.

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