Tuesday, 13 October 2009

A Munich Retrospective: Victual Pleasure at the Viktualienmarkt...

To honour my memories of Munich and just to get back in the habit of doing proper entries with photos and more than just bullet point descriptions, I thought that tonight might be a good time to talk about the Viktualienmarkt. It was the first thing I read about in my guidebooks before arriving. A paradise for any foodie, I was told. Well, I can't say it was a let down. In fact, towards the end of my time in Munich, it was more of a way of life...

The Viktualienmarkt is a huge open-air market around the corner from Marienplatz. It's open every day of the week except Sunday. Anything you need you can probably get here. From fresh vegetables, fruits, and meat from Bavaria and beyond, to flowers, and even the occasional tacky souvenir. The vendors are cheerful, and will tell you not only where all of their produce is sourced from, but will even share recipes on how to best prepare something. Of course it's also the perfect place to eat your way through an afternoon. They have the best Spreewaldgurken here (sweet pickles), not to mention countless places to get a proper meal. if you'd rather not graze. The Viktualienmarkt even has its own Biergarten! Here you can bring your own food (as is traditional of all Biergarten in Bavaria) and get a Mass (1 litre) or a half Mass (1/2 a litre) of beer (if it's your first time in Germany it will probably be the best beer you have ever tasted!) and enjoy your surroundings. Of course not everyone can spend the afternoon, so it's helpful to know that many of the butchers can vacuum seal their meat products, and that you can get many non-perishable goodies (like spices,
jam, honey, or even seeds if you aren't heading back to the U.S. that is). If you are planning your trip for a specific time of year, the Viktualienmarkt is the place to be on Fat Tuesday when the traditional Tanz der Marktweiber (Dance of the Market Women) occurs. For the truly dedicated there are tours with food tastings (they have these in English as well). For the less dedicated, the history, sculpture, and promise of a good meal should be enough incentive. And for the true barbarians, there's a McDonalds around the corner...

Around the corner from Marienplatz
Public Transport: S-Bahn 1-8, U3 + U6, Marienplatz
Open Monday-Saturday, opening hours vary but generally 10:00-18:00 (although some stalls will be open until 20:00).

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