Somewhere between a traditional English pub and a Flemish tavern, the biergarten is to Munich what jambon-beurre is to Paris: a classic. On summer evenings, grab your family for an outdoor meal in the garden or on the terrace, order some fresh beers and delicious, golden fries and simply soak up this ambiance with your children.
Throughout the spring and summer, the dolce vita atmosphere of these gardens is a favorite of families in Munich: it’s a local institution. An entirely German concept – one their European neighbors envy – these beer gardens were established to create a friendly spirit, celebrate beer and offer families a great, outdoor meal where hops are flowing.
The idea may seem a bit prosaic to those who have never visited Munich, but beer plays an important role in German culture and folklore. The worldwide popularity of Oktoberfest is a perfect example – this beer celebration attracts thousands of tourists each October. In truth, the biergarten reflects the epicurean and sometimes hedonistic lifestyle of residents of the Bavarian capital. In the summer, every bench and picnic table is packed. And each week, everyone arrives between 4pm and 6pm, when Munich businesses have all undoubtedly closed their doors. Here, overtime simply doesn’t exist…
Picnic baskets, trampolines and cold beers
Just beneath the fields of sheep and swans in Englischer Garten (Munich’s largest public park, covering more than 4km2), you’ll find a number of picnic tables spread out around a main lodge that serves beer by the liter . Better yet, these biergartens also have playground for the children – with slides, wooden castles, merry-go-rounds, sandpits, trampolines… For dinner, all guests are welcome to bring their own picnic baskets and just order beer (be sure to bring a water bottle for the kids. the menu may not have drink options for them), but the biergarten also offers its own, traditional menu for gourmands to enjoy: grilled chicken, pork knuckle or sausage accompanied by fries or boiled potatoes, and of course, some signature pretzels.
You’ll find all of Munich at these cheerful, outdoor breweries – businessmen, retirees, families and teenagers… Some spots may be trendier than others, but the same comfortable, laidback feel can be found at any of these improvised taverns. On the weekends, it’s not uncommon for a band to set the tone for the evening and inspire guests to get up dance – a little taste of the big event in October.
Translated by G.W.
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