Munich is certainly not short of gourmet restaurants, but if it’s spectacular surroundings you’re after, there’s one place at the top of the list: BMW World at the Olympic Park. This futuristic visitor experience has long been Bavaria’s number one tourist attraction. With around 3 million visitors a year, it draws twice as many people as the fairy tale castle at Neuschwanstein. But what’s not as well-known, but just as remarkable, is that these days BMW World not only offers cars and spectacular architecture, but also the chance to spoil your taste buds rotten.
The ultimate eatery to check out is the EssZimmer Munich gourmet restaurant, tucked away on the third floor. Just a year after it opened in 2013, head chef Martin “Bobby” Bräuer was awarded his first Michelin star, and in November 2014 he gained another, propelling EssZimmer into Munich’s top league of gastronomy. This is hardly surprising, given Munich-born Bräuer’s previous track record at some of the best restaurants in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, including Eckart Witzigmann’s legendary Aubergine.
Mix and Match the Menu to Taste
Diners at this gourmet restaurant have the choice between two evening set menus, each with a different tack. The Herzstück menu has more of a regional flavor, consisting of four to six courses depending on how hungry you are. The international alternative, Exkursion, tempts you with five to eight courses. But you are free to switch between the two without getting dirty looks from the waiter. Groups of six or more, however, are encouraged to opt for one or the other, to avoid turning up the heat in the kitchen. Every few weeks, Bobby Bräuer changes the menu, surprising his guests with new creations. If you need advice on which wines go best with your choices, restaurant manager Frank Glüer, one of Germany’s top sommeliers, is on hand.
EssZimmer Munich is open from Tuesday to Saturday from 7 p.m., and on Mondays too in December. Here’s a tip: The best tables for entertainment value are the ones next to the Pâtisserie and Entrées kitchen windows, where you’re treated to a live cooking show while you dine. And if you like to live in the clouds, you could do worse than to sit by the panoramic windows with a rooftop view of BMW World. The view is what really makes EssZimmer Munich unique. Where else can you watch a glittering parade or ogle the latest BMW models while you eat?
More Down-to-Earth Culinary Delights at the Bavarie
If you’re not setting your sights quite so high but are still looking for a fine-dining experience with a magnificent view, exit the elevator one floor earlier at Bavarie. Here, Bobby Bräuer has combined the French brasserie concept with sustainably grown regional produce from Bavaria. And here you can indulge in fine dining at lunchtime too. From 12 to 2:30 on Monday to Friday, you can tuck into a tasty two- or three-course business lunch. In the summer months, booking a table on the terrace is de rigueur. The ambiance at the Bavarie Brasserie is inviting wherever you sit, but the view from the terrace across to the Olympic Park and Olympic Tower has to be one of Munich’s finest!