This is a list of my favorite restaurants in Munich (for various reasons - sometimes it's the food, other times it's the ambience, or maybe it's not the best in the world, but it is the "best" of something you'll find in Munich). Anyway, these are the spots I would recommend for reliably good food in Munich. There are other places I frequent, but these are really the ones that make the shortlist of "favorites". Lots to check out here! There are also several that I still need to write-up, and of course life is always full of new discoveries, but this list is a great place to start if you are looking for a good meal out in Munich.
Cafe Glockenspiel* - best for brunch with visitors or afternoon coffee and cake. Good view of Marienplatz and the Glockenspiel.
Cafe am Beethovenplatz - beautiful terrace on a weekend, and full menu with typical German-style plates.
Cafe Haidhausen - wide range of brunch options (including Weisswurst, omelets, and typical Brot platters) in a Viennese-style cafe.
Das Maria - A Glockenbach mainstay - huge selection of breakfast plates and homemade baked goods, served until 6PM.
Dinermite* - it's a real American-style diner! And yes, they have good pancakes. And bacon. CLOSED
Georgenhof - excellent German breakfast menu- huge "Brotzeit" platters with homemade components.
Keko - Turkish breakfast buffet. If you've never had Turkish, give it a try- all kinds of fresh veggies, cheese, meats, fruit...
Ladencafé Marais - in the Westend, super quirky cafe with a great atmosphere and a good breakfast and coffee menu.
Occam Deli* - divine cappuccinos and I love the bagels.
Osterwaldgarten - great spot on the edge of the English Garden. German-inspired breakfast menu, but somehow not quite...
The Victorian House - full menu of English breakfast options, including scones and crumpets. Rotkreuzplatz locale is best for brunch.
Westend Cafe - excellent selection of brunch "plates" in one of Munich's less-frequented, but still delightful, neighborhoods.
White Rabbit's Room* - small cafe in Au with excellent homemade waffles, an extensive coffee menu, and a cute, quirky atmosphere.
Lunch / Quick Bites / Comfort Food
First, check out my review of Munich's many burger joints if you are in the mood for a burger and fries.
Burger House - one of the best burger shops around town with a few different locations.
Condesa - popular burrito/taco spot at Münchner Freiheit. Watch out, the hot sauce is really spicy!
Deli Dosa- belongs to the more upscale restaurant next door- great for Indian-inspired lunches with quality ingredients.
Feinkost Grasso* - Italian deli and wine bar with a great lunch pasta special.
Hamburgerei* - perfectly cooked burgers inspired with international flavors, and available atop a salad.
Hauptbahnhof Underground* - renovated, tons of quick food options here, also open on Sundays.
Holy Burger* - my favorite burger joint in town. Great selection of veggie burgers too.
La Taqueria Milagros - go straight for the tacos, and skip the burritos. The margaritas and aguas frescas are also recommended.
Manam Thai* - best Thai in Munich. It's tiny and almost impossible to get a table, so it's better to plan for take-away.
Orangebox* - Asian-inspired menu of lentils, curry, salad, etc. Probably my favorite stop for take-out, tons of veg and vegan options too.
Pizzesco* - Roman style pizza with a take-away window on the street.
Pure Burrito* - Chipotle-style burrito joints are getting popular in Munich. This is the best of the lot.
Rischart Bakeries* - good Munich chain of bakeries, best for sandwiches on the go, and donuts during Karneval time.
Stachus Passage* - collection of fast food places to grab a quick bite when around the city, shopping, running errands, or playing tourist.
Viktualienmarkt* - lots of stands to put together a picnic to enjoy in the beer garden, or grab a fresh squeezed juice.
Coffee / Tea House / Snacks
See this post specifically on where to go for Kaffee und Kuchen in Munich.
Aroma* - super cool, hipster-esque coffee shop with a huge selection of coffee, smoothies, baked goods, and sandwiches.
Balla Beni* - one of the best gelato spots in Munich.
Brown's Tea Bar*- excellent cakes and a huge tea selection. Part of the Victorian House family.
Cafe Jasmin* - an old-school Munich establishment. Great Schorle made with fresh berries, and homemade rice pudding.
Der Verrückte Eismacher* - ok, maybe this place is actually the best gelato/ice cream/sorbet in Munich.
Fräulein Grüneis* - great little kiosk in the English Garden.
Garten Salon* - best for a get-together with the girls. Super cute, flowery little cafe in the Amalienpassage.
La Boulangerie Dompierre* - best French bakery in Munich. Now with multiple locations.
Lou Lan Cha* - authentic Taiwanese bubble tea - it's where the Taiwanese go for their fix!
Lu e Lu* - best Italian bakery in Munich (in Pasing actually).
Occam Deli* - great selection of homemade cakes in a modern, rustic, urban setting.
Tafel und Schwafel - it's actually also a great lunch spot, but my preference would be for a coffee meet-up with the girls.
Tante Emma - another neighborhood gem like Cafe Jasmin- Parisian-style cafe with good food, great cakes, tables outside.
The Victorian House* - best for a high tea, and a great location right behind the Viktualienmarkt.
Albarone - one of the best restaurants I've been to, anywhere. Italian/Austrian, no menu, 8 courses, extensive wine list.
Andechs am Dom - central Munich spot with the famed Andechs beer and excellent food. Right by the Frauenkirche.
Augustiner Keller - the basement here has a great atmosphere, and they have decent standard German food.
Ayinger Wirtshaus - directly across from the Hofbrauhaus (and a great alternative). Ayinger beer and really good German food.
Buffet Kult - a great place to bring guests or for a special occasion, in one of the most picturesque parts of town.
Cooperativa* - love the salads! So much.
Fabbrica* - excellent pizza (best in Munich?) in an industrial back courtyard - a "hidden" spot well worth finding.
Fraunhofer Wirtshaus - good traditional German spot, with an excellent atmosphere.
Gasthaus Isarthor - a real "locals" Munich spot. Small and good standard German food.
Georgenhof* - German cuisine of a slightly higher level. Great patio in summer. It can get a bit loud here if your seated in the back room.
Hanoi* - very small place - good if you stick to the traditional Vietnamese menu items (e.g. pho, spring rolls, bun bo).
Hans im Glück* - burgers and fries. The veg burgers are my favorite. Oh, and the mojitos. A bit of a "scene" now, but still decent.
Hey Luigi* - Italian and salad. Huge portion sizes, and great quality for the money. Never disappoints.
Kalypso* - fantastic, high quality Greek food. The mezze platter for two is a particularly good deal.
Kim's* - one of the few Korean restaurants in town, and luckily it's good. The kimchi and small sides are particularly good.
Le Refuge - excellent, high quality French food. Good cocktails and always good service.
Lemar - super delicious Afghan restaurant with three locations in Munich. If you've never had Afghan food, try it!
l'Osteria* - Italian, with decent pizza. Great for bigger groups. Several locations in Munich, though I like the Künstlerhaus.
M Belleville - hands down one of the best restaurants in Munich. French-trained chef. They also have a lunch menu now.
Makassar - specializes in French/Colonial cuisine. Best for groups and special occasions.
Nage und Sauge* - great salads and also a nice bar.
Nero* - excellent, really thin, crispy pizza.
Nomiya - Asian/Bavarian style. Need I say more?
Nudo* - small cafe restaurant in the heart of Schwabing. Italian-leaning menu, with lots of vegetarian/vegan options.
Occam Deli* - NY-inspired menu, with pastrami, bagels, etc., as well as a good modern farm-fresh menu. A bit pricey.
Öeins - Austrian restaurant with a wider menu than the usual Bavarian/Austrian fare. Very authentic and high quality dishes.
Özdeveli* - Turkish restaurant behind the Gasteig. Nicer alternative to an imbiss. Beautiful presentation of traditional Turkish coffee.
Picnic* - Indian-inspired dishes. Quality sourced ingredients for a really good price, and a good atmosphere with friendly staff.
Pizzeria Grano* - small family-style Italian restaurant in the Altstadt. Great location and great pizza.
Quan Com - Good Vietnamese food- I always order the special platter where you roll your own fresh spring rolls.
Steinheil 16 - a student schnitzel spot.
Seehaus - great traditional German food. Nice location on the lake in the park. Good for groups.
Sushi Bar - reliable sushi in a good location. Other Japanese options as well (e.g. dumplings, ramen) if you are afraid of raw fish.
Sushi Kaito - best sushi in Munich (but that's not saying much). A bit pricey, but the quality is good. Heard recently it's gone downhill...
Sankt Emmeramsmühle - good standard German fare (the Brotzeiteller is really fantastic) and nice location north along the Isar.
Theresa Grill - the best place in Munich for a steak dinner. Modern, industrial (though warm) ambience. A bit pricey, but good.
Wirtshaus in der Au - best dumplings in town. Overall excellent traditional cuisine. I like to bring guests here.
Bars / Late Night
Baal - good spot for a beer. Feels like a cozy library.
Bar Centrale - bar/lounge right around the corner from the Hofbrauhaus. Good wine selection and cocktails.
Bergwolf - the late-night-drunk-food stop - for currywurst.
Cafe Vorhoelzer - a rooftop bar at the Technical University - best view in town and great for summer evenings. Crowded though!
Freebird - small neighborhood bar with a good vibe.
Kennedy's - always a happening place, right at Sendlingertor. They have karaoke nights, and show most of the games.
Masters Home - a basement bar with an Old World feel and designed to be like someone's home, e.g. have drink in the bedroom.
Palau - Barcelona-style bar with cheap wine and tapas.
Ryan's Muddy Boot - my favorite Irish pub in Munich.
Schmock* - Jewish wine bar and restaurant. Upscale. Something a little different in Munich, and they do it well.
Volksgarten* - a hidden gem in an otherwise business district. Courtyard garden with loungers and tables.
Outside Munich, but worth the journey
Brauereigasthof Aying - great food- modern spin on traditional Bavarian, with a beautiful beer garden and Ayinger beer.
Bräustüberl Tegernsee - Tegernsee is one of the most scenic lakes south of Munich, and this is an ideal location right on the lake.
Kloster Andechs - old monastery on top of a scenic hill with a beer hall and beer garden.
Moarwirt- really fantastic food and location near Bad Tolz and the mountains.
Ratzenhofen Biergarten - in the middle of hops country, there is no better beer garden to visit than this true Bavarian location.
Schlossbräukeller Au - north of Munich, this brewery in a small castle serves excellent German food with a modern twist.
Weihenstephan Brauerei* - The oldest brewery in the world, located in scenic Freising just north of Munich.
* recommended for vegetarians