On August 25th 1867 the first foundation stone was laid for this honorable venue, and on August 1st 1874 the Ratskeller opened its doors for the first time. Since then guests have been delighted to the Bavarian specialties served in its historic rooms. Today the menu showcases food from Franconia and other Bavarian regions.
Many German towns in earlier times had a traditional Ratskeller restaurant or inn, housed in the cellar of the their town hall. Munich’s Ratskeller in the past years found its place in the Bavarian capitals gastronomy scene as a Wirtshaus (inn) which not only offered traditional Bavarian meals, but also offered a menu with a variety of international dishes. The huge Wirtshaus under Munich’s Town Hall currently seats 1,200 people inside and a few hundred outside at the Prunkhof of the Town Hall at the Marienplatz.
I would recommend before lunch you stop to watch the Munich Glockenspiel, located steps from Ratskeller Munchen. It is a delightful show that attracts thousands of people to witness its magic each day. This is “classic Munich” and is the best-known work of artistic engineering of its kind in the world. It occurs in the tower of the New Town Hall at Marienplatz at 11 a.m., noon and, except in the winter, at 5 p.m. Munich’s glockenspiel is the largest in Germany and 4th largest in Europe, containing 43 bells.
The first part of the Carillon, takes place on the top section and represents the wedding festival of Renata von Lothringen and Wilhelm V, founder of the Hofbräu brewery. The wedding took place on the Marienplatz (then called Schrannenplatz) in 1568. 18 figures dance around Wilhelm and his bride, including two jousting knights. The Wittelsbacher (Bavarian), with the white and blue colors on his horse, wins against the Habsburger (Austrian, with red and white), knocking him backward, every single day. This really beautiful and worth seeing if you are in the Marienplatz for lunch.
When entering the Ratskeller you will find the Bavarian hand painted murals, lighting, furniture design and dishware fascinating. Numerous rooms in the Ratskeller, provide everything from traditional elegant Bavarian to cozy and down-to-earth interiors that are artistic and inviting. The food preparations and presentations include specialties from Munich and Franconia accompanied by Löwenbräu beers fresh from the tap and wines from the wine estate of Würzburger Juliusspital.
The Sunday brunch at the Ratskeller is worth planning your schedule around, as the huge selection of authentic local dishes is astounding.
Chef Michael Schubaur, a pupil of the famous Bavarian Michelin star chef Otto Koch, creates with expertise and fantasy, true culinary surprises for patrons. The tireless kitchen team uses only fresh ingredients of flawless quality and origin, primarily from their own region. The Ratskeller has also become known for its selection of beautifully prepared fish dishes.
Most sought after dishes at Ratskeller Munchen include Schweinebraten €11.5/US$12.80 (roast pork with gravy and crispy bacon crumbs, served with bread dumpling, potato dumpling and Bavarian coleslaw) and Grillwürstl Schmankerl €18/US$20 (Nuremburg-style bratwurst, skinless veal wollwurst, smoked beef beer-knack bratwurst, Schnapps bratwurst, grilled bacon, sauerkraut and mashed potato). They also appeal to vegetarians with dishes like the Käsespätzle €10.50/US$11.70 (egg noodles and mountain cheese).
The Ratskeller traditional menu includes starters of Pancake soup in beef broth or Frankish (Nuremberg grilled sausages, “Silvaner” herbs and horseradish) or a Munich salad plate (Herb salad with bacon, potatoes salad, cucumber salad, carrot/orange-salad, green leaf lettuce and yogurt dressing). Choices of main-course include Lean roast pork with crisp bacon crumbs, potato dumplings or Frankish Sauerbraten, a German specialty of beef marinated in vinegar with smooth burgundy sauce, and served with red cabbage, potato dumplings or green asparagus risotto (Italian risotto with green asparagus spears, oven dried tomatoes, in a tomato-wrap).
Desserts include Black Forest Kirsch cake or hot apple strudel with vanilla sauce or Munich apple fritters with vanilla ice-cream and whipped cream, plus 2 drinks per person (choice of beer, wine or soft drinks) also including a coffee/tea. Kids Menu (0-12 years old) includes choice of Fish fingers crispy baked with french fries or Chicken nuggets crispy baked with french fries, mixed ice cream with whipped cream, 1 soft drink of choice plus Hot chocolate. It’s all wunderbar in Munchen!
Millions of people visit the Ratskeller and enjoy the Munich Glockenspiel during Octoberfest each year. The first Oktoberfest was held October 12,1810 in honour of the marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig. Octoberfest 2016 in Munich will be held September 17 through October 3. For information visit: http://www.muenchen.de
About Bonnie Carroll
Bonnie Carroll has been a food/travel/lifestyle writer since 1983. She is the founder & publisher of Bonnie Carroll’s Life Bites News, and does travel and food reporting on local radio/TV, she also contributes to a variety of national and international travel/lifestyle publications, and is a member of IFWTWA and NATJA. Contact her at email@example.com.