You hear the coffee filter click into the coffee machine and perceive the scent of freshly brewed coffee rise into the air. Unless you’ve caught a cold, the intense coffee flavour will reach your nostrils. The tempting scent of coffee makes me sit down at almost every café table to have a cup of espresso, cappuccino or a glass of caffè latte. Nevertheless I also enjoy a good cup of tea every now and then. It all depends on the coffee the café serves. In terms of coffee, I am extremely demanding. I prefer highland coffee with a touch of Arabica. What I love in almost the same manner as a good cup of coffee, is enjoying a rich breakfast in a town like Munich. There are numerous excellent places where to have breakfast in Munich. Between Englischer Garten and Nymphenburg Palace I know several locations where to order simple continental breakfast and really exotic varieties.
From now and then I start my day strolling through Englischer Garten early in the early morning. From the underground station Münchner Freiheit I walk to Kleinhesseloher See, where alle the swans, ducks and geese are waking up to fly around the little lake, take a bath or just graze and waddle around until the first dogs with their owners arrive at the wide meadows.
A swan is landing gracefully, spreading its wings, sliding above the water, the water drops are rolling off its white feathers.
With an area of 417 ha, the Englischer Garten is one of the world’s largest urban public parks. Following a fashionable trend from England Prince Charles Theodore had this popular park built in 1789. At first, it was primarily used for hunting before it was officially opened to the citizens of Munich in 1792 Walking east, towards Chinesischer Turm, you have to cross a street which is only used by urban buses and horse-drawn carriages.
Turning right towards the city centre and then taking the first street to the left you’ll find yourself in Königinstraße. After a small distance you’ll find horse stables, a riding school and Café Reitschule at your left. On Sundays you can enjoy an excellent brunch here – be careful not to eat too much at the beginning, the warm dishes for lunch will be served later… While having your meal, you can watch horses being trained in a riding hall. If you continue your walk through Englischer Garten passing Chinesischer Turm eastwards, you’ll soon reach Monopteros on a small hill, where you have a fantastic view of the two towers of Frauenkirche.
Café Königin 43
In the early morning you can watch sports addicts performing their exercises in groups. If you keep right and walk out of the park towards the city centre, you’ll soon find yourself in front of Café Königin 43
Its furniture is presumably as varied as its guests. Furthermore, it has a very popular garden. This is one of my favourite cafés, where I usually order freshly squeezed juice, for example Berry Mix Classic (orange, carrot, ginger). After returning to the park, keep right and continue your walk until you reach a pedestrian tunnel. Cross the little bridge to your left, pass Haus der Kunst and you’ll find yourself at Munich’s famous standing wave which the little river Eisbach forms here. It’s a very popular river surfing spot where you can watch the enthusiasts surf (I guess you have to be a real enthusiast to go surfing here, in the shallow, cold water all year round – not only in summer).
Just around the corner you can find the Japanese Teahouse, where you can take part in real tea ceremonies during the summer months.
Hofgarten and Schwabing
If you walk through the pedestrian tunnel, you’ll note an expanded building, Bayerische Staatskanzlei, seat of the Bavarian government and reach Hofgarten, a former Renaissance garden. Today it is a baroque park with numerous benches and flowers, where you can sit down and enjoy idleness (Bavarians like to call it Gemütlichkeit). After you’ve had enough of Gemütlichkeit, you can continue your walk and leave Hofgarten towards Odeonsplatz, where you’ll face the impressive façade of Theatine Church. Leave the church at your right and turn into Briennerstraße, and after about 200 metres you’ll find the popular Café Luitpold.
It appears very elegant, historical; the prices, however, are relatively moderate. You will be served a very nice French breakfast or a big Bircher muesli with a variety of fresh fruit for under 10 Euros.
Actually, they have Asian chicken soup on their breakfast menu. For those of you who prefer an unusual, fancy treat, you should try champagne breakfast for two – at a fancy price however.
When the weather in sunny (however not too hot) I enjoy having breakfast at Café Vorhoelzer – on Sundays they serve brunch. The special thing about the café are its the location and its coffee. You can find it on the roof-deck of Munich’s Technical University where you are offered excellent coffee – a special home blend and roast. Follow Briennerstraße from Café Luitpold until you reach the obelisk and Königsplatz, a monumental place with neoclassicist buildings.
Before entering Königsplatz you turn right into Arcissstraße which you follow for about 600 metres.
Another recommendation – especially for the ladies – is Café Lotti located in Schleißheimer Straße 13. When I was there, the other visitors were mostly female – in contrast to the staff. I am really fond of exotic stuff like the vegan breakfast with avocado cream and a spread of rockets. However, I find it really difficult to do without butter, which I usually order in addition… On Café Lotti’s website (Lotti lädt ein) you can find information about a number of interesting workshops.
Café Neuhausen offers a very creative breakfast menu. However, entering the restaurant building with its high white ceiling and its dark furniture doesn’t make you think of having breakfast here in the first place, more of having copious meals at lunch and dinner.
And indeed, the breakfast creations reminded me of abundant meals: bruschetta topped with tomato and mozzarella, honeydew melon with Serrano ham and tomato, scrambled eggs, Nostrano salami and olive bread was the breakfast of my choice.
Needless to say they also serve Munich’s famous white sausages, but you can also order steak for breakfast.
Nymphenburger Palace Park
After breakfast at Café Neuhausen, I like going for a walk in the park of Nymphenburg Palace. Hidden in the green you can discover little romantic castles surrounded by little lakes and several garden pavilions.
The palace was commissioned by prince-electoral Ferdinand Maria in 1662 after the birth of his first son Maximilian II Emanuel. The first plans were drawn by the Italian Agostino Barelli, the same architect who planned Theatine Church. Deer, roe deer and rabbits also live in the park.
In its centre there is the palace surrounded by accurate green spaces, sculptures and fountains. Since very recently it has been possible to enjoy a bit of Venice spirit: a gondoliere steers you up and down the canal in a real Venetian gondola.
It seems impressive in front of the attractive backdrop of the castle (after all the palace was designed by an Italian), however, I’m not convinced if it’s really worth the money. In the park there’s also a café, Café Palmenhaus, which I really like.
It’s a huge glasshouse with palm trees and an impressive portrait of the young King Ludwig II. You’ll find filled cream puffs and King Ludwig cake. Apart from a rich brunch on given Sundays (call in advance for the exact dates) you cannot have breakfast there for 10:30 – however, there is always excellent coffee.
By the way, for those of you who are interested in King Ludwig II (the one who built Neuschwanstein, Linderhow Palace etc.), you can visit his cot in the the palace, since he was born here on 25th August, 1845. Well then, enjoy breakfast in Munich and your discovery tour through Munich!