Recently I had the occasion to visit Munich with work and thought to take an extra two days to see something of Munich and Bavaria.
Arriving late on Saturday afternoon my priority, after having checked in to my hotel, was to visit the world famous Hofbrauhaus situated in the Old Town. The Hofbrauhaus, established in 1589, is a true Bavarian Experience. Deciding to arrive early as it was a Saturday night, I got there around 6 pm. The place was already packed.
The second floor restaurant was full and, disappointingly, the world renowned Main Hall was closed for a private function. This hall is THE centre for Octoberfest in Munich and, infamously, was the venue where Hitler delivered his 24 Thesis in 1920 and was thereafter regularly used by the National Socialist (Nazi) Party.
However, the ground floor restaurant was available for drinking, eating and singing if the mood took you. Even though I was travelling alone, finding a single seat was something of a challenge. If you were in a group, it was nigh on impossible.
The atmosphere is loud, raucous and happy. Staff are dressed in the traditional Bavarian costume of lederhosen for the men and dirndl for the women. The resident Oompah band, belts out tunes that pervade the Hofbrauhaus, with patrons joining in the singing and drinking in Bavarian style. Of course, ‘Ein Prosit’ is performed every 15 minutes where you stand, sing, then down your beer. Didn’t see any dancing from where I was seated, but that might be a blessing in disguise, given what drunk people dancing can look like!
Sharing a table with a gentleman from Shanghai, I ordered a beer which only came in a 1ltr Stein (traditional beer mug) and accompanied it with a pretzel. The menu is typically Bavarian, featuring pork, sausage and sauerkraut. I went with the recommendation of roasted pork knuckle which was a bit like pork Osso Bucco with crackling, served with potato. It was tasty and filling but other than potato, there was not another vegetable in sight. Not a place for Vegetarians or Vegans.
Another beer was ordered which I couldn’t finish, but I did order an authentic strudel for dessert.
Whether you like beer or not, the Hofbrauhaus is definitely worth a visit. The great thing is if you go today but don’t remember going, you can always go tomorrow.
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