We’re just back from Munich, Germany, where we ended up following a river cruise in Germany. We checked in to Hotel Torbrau, the oldest hotel in Munich, which sits in a fabulous location just a few blocks from the Marienplatz (a.k.a. Mary's Square) and the Viktualienmarkt, the oldest market in Munich. Our room, No. 432, looked out on a quiet group of apartment buildings with lovely balconies; it was cleverly designed with a modern bathroom and bedroom so it was able to capably hold all of our large suitcases and still give us plenty of room to walk around in. The modern bathroom had a shower stall and sink. We loved the service at the hotel, which was friendly and professional. Downstairs in the lobby a doorway led to the hotel’s adjacent restaurant, Shapeau, whose proprietor instantly welcomed us and offered us a glass of water when we told him we had just checked into the hotel. He invited us back for happy hour, which ran from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. When we returned, we found Shapeau’s outdoor seating area gave us a great opportunity to people watch. Under the warm overhead lights and using the soft blankets the restaurant supplies with each seat in case the weather gets chilly, we found ourselves enjoying a lovely evening in the vibrant city.
Tips on Munich: We were tempted to enjoy the best offerings that this great city offered and so when we ventured to the Viktualienmarkt, we promptly went upstairs to Rischart (Marienplatz 18), an outdoor café in the heart of it all. We loved that we could see locals eating here, too, either for good conversation with dear friends or to grab a good bite to eat during a quick lunch during the workday. We told the affable waitress we wanted to taste the best of Munich since we were there for just the day and asked her if Munich had its own sausage. Indeed it did, she said, and she promptly brought us a big white bowl filled with hot water that contained two very large, white sausages. With the dish came two German pretzels and a good-sized portion of sweet Munich mustard. We enjoyed tasting the local fare, but we admit we are a bit more used to sausages with plenty of triglycerides that have been heated by a direct flame, preferable for hours.
Luckily, we noticed from our perch atop Richart that locals were lining up en masse below at a stand at the corner of Viktualienmarket and Pralat-Miller-Weg with the name Lecker Bissen on it. And so we went downstairs to check it out.
Indeed, it was serving, for the cost between 2 and 3 euros, options that included well-roasted sausages on a bun in the form of rostbratwurst, rauchzipferl and gekuhite erfrischungs-getranke. We had the rostbratwurst and like the others before us, stood and chowed down on it just steps away from where we had purchased it because we found it so irresistable. After our post-lunch snack, we looped around to the adjoining farmer’s market in the Viktualienmarket and enjoyed the late October dappled sunlight as it played on stands offering local wines and vegetables, holiday wreaths adorned with Halloween accents and the lovely calluna plant (its relative is heather), which seems quite capable of taking on the climes of a mid- German Autumn. Note: Once you peruse the farmer’s market and then come upon the seafood market, offering oysters, mussels, crab and other amazingly fresh delicacies, you’ll realize you’ll need more than an afternoon in dynamic Munich, which also garners its vibrancy from the fact that it’s a college town (it’s home to the prestigious Technische Universität München and Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München) and so has thousands and thousands of students in its mix.