Swearing 1.0.1


A lot of people say that it’s a lack of vocabulary that makes you swear.
Rubbish. I know thousands of words but I still prefer “fuck”.

Billy Connolly (1998)

There seems to be a lot of misconception nowadays on the beautiful topic of swearing. People do it incorrectly, un-intelligently, with an appalling lack of imagination, and without the use of proper terminology.

While people swear a lot and with admirable zeal, the terms used for swearing (especially those describing particular person being the target of one’s affections) seem to be hardly distinguishable from one another, and are totally left to the swearer’s own devices. This absence of comparative analysis is not only linguistically demeaning, but also confuses those being sworn at, leaving them no possibility of understanding the cause of the swearer’s anger, and no room for improvement. How can you get better, if somebody tells you that “You are an asshole, because you are such a dick!”?…

If you look up any of the most common swearing terms (from a respectable Merriam Webster’s or Oxford Dictionary [who generally shy away from the world of swearing] to the online Urban Dictionary compiled by everyone and their mother online) you get even more confused. Beautiful terms like “Asshole”, “Dick”, “Jerk” or “Jackass” are explained using one another, allowing no room for truly understanding the intricate beauty of the shades of meaning, and leaving many native speakers and enthusiastic learners of the English language poorly prepared for the bright swearing future ahead of them.

There is a fine line between an “Asshole” and a “Dick”, and after digging through the dictionaries, annoying my British, American and Irish friends, I am ready with my totally biased attempt at clarifying the confusion. To further strengthen the well-known point that you don’t really learn to swear until you learn to drive, I included little illustrations from every driver’s life to make the descriptions provided more vivid (thank you, Con, for the inspiring examples!)

So, buckle up, and get yourselves ready for some comparative swearing.

Asshole

Step aside, amateurs – finding the proper definition of an asshole is a job for real science! Nobody pinpointed that elusive trait (or, rather a combination of them) that really classifies somebody as a right asshole better than Aaron James in his “Assholes. A Theory”. Kids, read and learn:

Asshole:
(1) allows himself to enjoy special advantages and does so systematically;
(2) does this out of an entrenched sense of entitlement; and
(3) is immunized by his sense of entitlement against the complaints of other people.”

Now, the main identifiers here are systematic nature of such behavior, the reason a person behaves in an asshole way, and their complete disregard for their fellow human beings. If somebody cuts you off in traffic, almost hits you while talking on the phone – he may or may not be an Asshole. If he did so because he was in a hurry due to an emergency, he may be a Twat in a hurry. If the reason for this behavior was simply an unfortunate fact that his eyes and/or hands were growing out of his ass – he may as well be a Wanker. To deserve a proud name of an Asshole one has to do so repeatedly, and out of sense of entitlement (which brings out arrogance and obnoxiousness), the feeling that he owns the road and does not give a shit about anybody else.

How to recognize:
Asshole is someone who cuts you off in traffic in their brand new black BMW and when you beep the horn ignore you completely (remember, you do not exist to an Asshole!). If physics allowed, an Asshole would drive right through you. An Asshole knows what an indicator is, but refuses to use one on the grounds that this is his road. An Asshole does not recognize your right to be on his road and displays utter contempt for all trespassers.

Main quality:
Obnoxious superiority and complete disregard of others

Jackass (>Am.)

A Jackass is not necessarily evil, but is definitely snide. Somebody badmouthing others behind their backs, making nasty comments, cutting corners out of a sheer sense of entitlement, while not being overly elegant about this behavior, and often doing this in a downright dumb manner – sounds familiar? This is a portrait of a proper Jackass!

Jackass-ness is a rather permanent state of being, although occasional jackasses are also sometimes observed. In a nutshell, a jackass is a stupid asshole.

How to recognize:
A Jackass will also cut you off, this time in a supped up lime green VW Golf with speed stripes and that really annoying-looking aerodynamic thing on the trunk. If you beep, he will give you the finger with gusto, employing Italian-style hand movements. His job is to make your daily commute unbearable, he is confrontational and aggressive and generally quite young. Don’t expect logic from a Jackass – he is just a stupid asshole after all!
Unless extreme measures are taken early, a Jackass grows up to be a Jerk.

Main quality:
Obnoxious sense of entitlement

Jerk

Jerk is rather similar to a Jackass, but represents a stronger and more permanent quality of stupid asshole-ness… There are no occasional Jerks – being one is a choice, not a chance. Consistent and deliberate nastiness is expected to deserve the title, and a certain degree of bluntness of their ways is a given.

How to recognize:
His shiny and expensive car is the one you see parked diagonally right in the middle of two parking spaces in a packed parking lot. A Jerk will have trouble opening his own door this way, but he just can’t be arsed to re-park. Instead, a Jerk will leave fresh scratch marks on a car that is innocently parked nearby, and will make sure to shoot off before the owner comes back.

Main quality:
Blunt deliberate obnoxiousness

Dick

While being a “dickhead” can be an occasional occurrence, if somebody is a Dick, chances are – they are staying that way! Calling somebody a Dick implies them being stupid, selfish, and arrogant on most occasions you or others interact with the individual.

How to recognize:
A Dick is a pompous ass in a big SUV or a brightly-colored sports car, who rides your ass for 10 minutes, honking and flashing his lights demanding the right of way, then cuts you off and slows down to below speed limit.

Main quality:
Arrogant stupidity

Dickhead

One of the entries in the Urban Dictionary states that a Dickhead is “a person who is an idiot and shows it all too well“. It is true, but as they say “terms and conditions may apply”.

A Dickhead is only an occasional idiot. We all can be dickheads on occasion, but the term does not imply any fundamental or permanent character flaws. A Dickhead doesn’t need to act in a stupid way systematically to deserve the title. They do, however, need to behave like an idiot AND do so in a rude and obnoxious manner at the same time. A Dickhead can also be described as an annoying Twat. Take the enthusiasm out, and a Dickhead turns into a Twat.

A classic Dickhead is somebody who consistently behaves in an annoying and idiotic manner, but expects different results every time.

How to recognize:
A Dickhead can often be seen cutting lanes in heavy traffic, looking for the faster way to get wherever his dickhead business is taking him. He usually drives a battered Toyota Corolla, but acts as if it’s a Bentley. He honks enthusiastically and flips birds left right and center, sincerely believing that everyone else around him is a Dickhead, just not him.

Main quality:
Stupid persistence

Twat (>Brit.)

A Twat is a Dickhead without enthusiasm. While not the most noble of species, a Twat acts in a stupid way either out of stupidity or laziness, but always in a selfish way. In most cases Twat’s intentions are far from noble, but he just does not give a shit what others might think or feel.

How to recognize:
A Twat is the one firmly stuck in the fast lane going at least 5 km under the speed limit. He ignores all beeping and honking behind him, and collects a long tail of admirers in his wake until he gets off the road, cutting through two lanes of traffic at same speed and giving everyone the finger.

Main quality:
Not giving a shit

Wanker (>Brit.)

A Wanker takes lack of enthusiasm to a whole new level. He behaves like an idiot without realizing it, and does so out of stupidity and laziness combined.

There is a fine line between a Wanker and a Twat – a Wanker is usually a completely useless person devoid of any personality: no brain, no spine and a head full of shit. A Twat at the same time does possess some redeeming qualities – a Twat may not be stupid, but will behave in a stupid way. A Twat may not be selfish, but will act so. A Wanker, on the other hand, will simply not have the brain capacity to muse over such matters.

How to recognize:
A Wanker will turn right from the left lane, and vice versa. He is driving an old Chevrolet,  a Pontiac, or anything else proudly produced by the General Motors corporation (because somebody has to make rental cars, right?) with broken taillights, paint peeling off, and a tail of oil dripping from the engine that is in desperate need of service. The only part of the car a Wanker actually pays attention to is the windows, which will always be tinted. A Wanker tends to yap incessantly on his cell phone, or stop suddenly in the middle of the road to check the map, or just try to remember where he was going to. A Wanker can also be recognized by loud ghetto music blasting from behind the tinted windows. If you see a Wanker on the road – pull off immediately, and wait for them to pass. Avoid trailing behind them at all costs.

Main quality:
Absence of brain

Cunt

Despite popular opinion, a Cunt can be both, male and female. Gender is not important here, what is important is the depth to which a person deserving such a name has fallen.

A Cunt is a person behaving in a vile manner, doing so with an evil intent, and thoroughly enjoying the process. One simply cannot be an accidental Cunt – one needs to live the name. By calling somebody a Cunt you presume that behavior or act you encountered was indicative of the very nature of the person.

A Cunt is a despised person – there are no redeeming qualities, nor does a Cunt deserve any. Unlike an Asshole, their behavior is not driven by a sense of entitlement, but is simply a manifestation of their nasty nature.

How to recognize:
While you are patiently waiting for another car to vacate a spot, a Cunt whizzes into it honking and giving you the finger. If you start protesting, he gives you a mouthful and loudly threatens to call the cops. He won’t hesitate to run his key along the side of your car just to prove whichever point he was trying to make (if he happens to notice where you parked), but will run away quickly before you come back to the parking lot.

Main quality:
Vile nastiness

Fuck

A beautiful word that can be used as a noun, verb, adjective, preposition, article, and pretty much any word form. For the sake of consistency, we’ll focus on the noun.

The beauty of “fuck” is that it can be a derogatory or swear term, but can equally be used in a friendly banter to congratulate your best mate on landing a hot date or a lottery win (as in “You, lucky fuck!”). With this in mind, to use “fuck” properly, make sure to use the correct modifier. If you suddenly find yourself on the receiving end, listen carefully to the adjectives used in combination – “a silly fuck” (friendly) is very different from a “stupid fuck” (offensive), and a “dumb fuck” (insulting) really tops it off.

How to recognize:
A lucky Fuck is somebody who can afford a better car than yours while being permanently un-employed.
A silly Fuck is the person you have been watching for the last hour trying to parallel-park his battered SUV in a spot that would barely contain a Vespa.
A stupid Fuck will block a one-way street for half an hour, trying to park a Smart where a tourist bus would easily land, will scratch both cars in front and behind, scratch his tires, and eventually leave swearing loudly in search of a better spot.

Main quality:
(Look for the modifier to identify properly
)

A Munich Guide to Eating Like a Local

I was sitting at an airport, waiting for the flight home and browsing through some readily-available press, when a US Today’s special on Germany caught my eye. Having scanned through the restaurant part of the article I was disgusted. The places on the list were predictable tourist traps, wearily travelling from one guide to another, all those dodgy venues the locals avoid like the plague.

Even though I am not technically a local, I love my new home. During the 5 years I’ve lived in Munich, I have definitely explored the local food scene, and have a couple of discoveries to my name that many of my German friends knew nothing about. There is so much more to Munich than pork knuckle, schnitzel and sauer kraut, and somebody has to tell the visitors about all that, so why not me?!

As any restaurant guide mine will be completely biased, and will include places I personally like and frequent. Some of them I found myself by pure chance, others I was dragged into by friends, or heard about eavesdropping to people on the underground and in beergartens.

So, here’s my guide to Munich’s local eating haunts – love it or leave it, but don’t do so without trying at least some of them out first.


BAVARIAN (if you have to)

DON’T MISS:

Weinbauer
Weinbauer12

www.weinbauer-muenchen.de
Fendstraße 5, 80802 Munich, Tel +49 89 38887102
Monday through Friday 11:30 till 24:00; Saturday and holidays 17:00 till 24:00

I am not a big fan of German food, but if I have to eat Bavarian – it will definitely be Weinbauer!  Hidden in one of the back alleys off Leopoldstrasse in Schwabing, this place is a real gem for those in the know.  The first time I was dragged in there for a friend’s birthday, and filled with culinary prejudice I gloomily anticipated an evening lost.  Surprisingly to myself I loved the place and still fondly remember that tender and beautiful veal schnitzel, served with cranberries and home-made roasted potatoes…  The beer is not the best for Munich (Hacker Pschorr), but still several levels over anything that is considered fantastic anywhere else.

The staff are friendly and quick, the prices are more than reasonable, and the atmosphere is cosy and loud at the same time.  Good feelings and a full stomach are guaranteed! The place is very popular, so better book in advance.

Augustiner Bräustuben
Augustiner1

www.braeustuben.de
Landsberger Str. 19, 80339 Munich, Tel.+49 089 507047
Open daily from 10:00 till 24:00

Turn right when you enter (on the left is a restaurant with a rather stiff atmosphere), and you will find yourself in the traditional atmosphere or a proper Bavarian beerhall, sharing long tables with strangers (who quickly become friends), drinking excellent beer, eating good food, and maybe singing a song or two.  If you love a good hearty Schweinehaxen (pork knuckle), or a Schnitzel the size you have never seen before, and want enjoy them with a Mass (1 liter) or two of the best beer on this planet, Augustiner Bräustuben is for you.

The restaurant is located right at the brewery, so the beer is fresh and plentiful – where else to get it better than at the source?..  The place has 2 floors, and as an additional bonus on the way to the toilets on the ground floor you can take a peek inside Augustiner brewery stables, where their prize horses are kept.  Don’t worry, the stables are separated from the restaurant, so there’s no smell, but you can admire the beautiful animals that are otherwise can only be seen during Oktoberfest parade through a glass wall.

If you come with a group, it is always good to book in advance.  The staff speak English, and have menus in all languages, so you don’t need to worry about being fluent in Bavarian.  If you are a group of 10 or more, and are thirsty, you can order a barrel (!) of beer, which you can either try tapping yourself, or ask the waiter for assistance.  Generally, you come here more for the beer and the ambiance than for the culinary delights.  Although the food is good, the portions are hearty, reasonably priced and compliment the beer well, there is nothing extraordinary about the menu.  This said, you won’t leave hungry or disappointed and are guaranteed to enjoy your visit.

Wirtzhaus Zur Brezn
Zur Brezn

www.zurbrezn.de
Leopoldstraße 72, 80802 Munich, Tel. +49 89 390092
Sunday through Wednesday from 10.00 till 1.00; Thursday till Saturday from 10.00 till 3.00, Sundays – closed

This 3-story labyrinth of a restaurant right off Leopoldstrasse may easily be mistaken for a tourist trap because of its location, but don’t be fooled: Zur Brezn is a proper Bavarian where the locals come to eat and drink. Cozy and warm atmosphere, excellent food, attentive service and very reasonable prices make the place one of the ever-lasting local favourites.

The beer is good and the menu even has decent wines (German whites and Austrian reds).

DON’T BOTHER:

Hofbräuhaus

www.hofbraeuhaus.de

For God’s sake DON’T go to Hofbräuhaus!!!! It is known as the 51st State of America for a reason, and no local will be seen dead in there. The food is overpriced, the atmosphere is chaos, the service is shit, and the waiters are snappy (can’t really blame them – anybody would be, should they be forced to look at drunk tourists in plastic lederhosen dancing on the tables all day). Enough said…


ITALIAN

DON’T MISS:

Dal Cavaliere
Dal Cavaliere2

www.dalcavaliere.de
Weißenburger Str., 81667 Munich, Tel. +49 89 488388
Open daily from 11:30 till 24:30

THE best Italian food in town, if a bit pricey. Pizzas are to die for (and are not expensive at all), the menu changes frequently, and there are always dishes with fresh seasonal ingredients on it. The ever-lasting favourites and classics stay, though. Dal Cavaliere proudly makes the best vitello tonato in Munich – this is no joke! The restaurant has a separate grill menu, with excellent meats prepared on a wooden grill.

The owner, manager and staff are all Italian, and the place is worth visiting just for the banter with and among staff!… The menu is a strange mix of Italian and German languages, but if you find yourself at a loss, the staff will gladly explain the dish to you using a lot of gestures, hearty laughter, and a variety of words borrowed from about a dozen languages.

Unlike many Munich restaurants that close for Sundays (what the hell?…) and public holidays, Dal Cavaliere is open every day of the week from 11:30 till half past midnight, and can be relied upon to feed you with hearty dishes made with love.

As any proper Italian family joint it’s cash only, but there are 3 different banks on the square nearby, so if you find yourself low on Euros, there are plenty of options to replenish your supplies.

Bar Centrale
Bar Centrale2

www.bar-centrale.com
Ledererstraße 23, 80331 Munich, Tel. +49 89 223762
Monday through Saturday, 07.30 till 13:00, Sunday 09:00 till 24:00

At first glance it’s just a bar serving coffee and drinks: always packed, always noisy with good laughter and banter. However, if you elbow your way through the front room, and walk past the smallest kitchen you have ever seen, you will find yourself in the restaurant. It is also tiny, with kiddie-size mis-matched furniture, and menu scribbled on a chalk board in Italian.  If you manage to secure one of the kiddies tables – stay there, for the place fills up very quickly.

The menu changes daily and offers several starters and some of the most fantastic Italian pasta in Munich – all prepared with rocket speed by a guy slaving in a galley kitchen with one gas burner and a wild assortment of old pans. The selection and quality of wines is very respectable, and Bar Centrale‘s aperitifs will put you in a great mood in no time.

Pepenero
Peppenero

www.pepe-nero.de
Schwabing: Feilitzschstraße 23, 80802 Munich, Tel. +49 89 38 99 88 83
Lehel: Thierschplatz 6, 80538 Munich, Tel. +49 89 62 24 77 13
Glockenbach: Hans-Sachs-Straße 12, 80469 Munich, Tel.
+49 89 24 23 16 13
Open daily from 11:30 till 24:00

If you are on a budget, but still want good quality food, Pepenero with its three locations in Schwabing, Lehel and Glockenbach is for you.  Their simple menu with amazingly delicious authentic Italian dishes will fill your stomach and warm your heart. The service is quick, the wine is good, and the atmosphere is friendly and relaxed – what more can you wish for?

DON’T BOTHER:

Bella Italia

www.ristorante-bella-italia.net

A name-sake of a chain of Italian restaurants (not the best either) peppered all over Munich, the Bella Italia Ristorante is located on the same square as Dal Cavaliere. It is interesting to see, how all tourists in the area flock to Bella Italia, while all the locals only eat at Dal Cavaliere. Make your conclusions and act appropriately. I was there a couple of times (I am a firm believer in giving everybody the benefit of the doubt, which is normally limited to 2-3 visits), and the service was lukewarm, as were the dishes. Not my cup of tea (or shall I say a bowl of noodles?…)

La Stanza

www.la-stanza.de

An old Jewish proverb says “Don’t open a shop if you don’t know how to smile“. I am sure the Italians have something similar about restaurants. Well, the guys running La Stanza must have missed out on that memo. While the place looks nice and inviting, the service is not. The restaurant is small and cozy, but you will wait for hours for the waitress to pay any attention to you, and the barman who clearly saw you coming in and has been lazily observing your fidgeting at an empty table for the past half hour would not help either. When the food does arrive, your order is very likely to be mixed up with somebody else’s and if you are hungry you’ll simply have to eat it, for another 1.5 hour wait will be simply too much. A visit to La Stanza can be an interesting anthropological exercise, just make sure you eat before you go.


MEAT

DON’T MISS:

Rustikana
Rusticana

www.steaks-spareribs-rusticana-muenchen.de
Grillparzerstraße 5, 81675 Munich, Tel. +49 89 4703887
Daily from 17.00 till 23:00; Saturdays, Sundays and holidays from 16.00 till 23:00

Famous for their spare ribs with the secret sauce (no joke!), they also grill phenomenal steaks. When Bayern Munich win a game – they celebrate here. And these are some picky mother**kers!… The place is tiny, and styled as an old Alpine hut with the bar in the middle and an open wooden grill behind it in clear view of the salivating customers. You can watch your steak grilling, while you drink your first Weissbier or wine (the bar is well stocked on both). If you want a table – book well in advance. If you come alone or as a couple, especially around the opening time, they will always find place for you at the bar. But eat quickly – by 7 or 8 even the bar is booked, and all customers are given a 2-hour slot to enjoy their meat.

I am a big fan of steak, and try to find a good meat place everywhere I go. I spent substantial time in the US, and lived for a while in Argentina (THE steak capital of the world), and I have to admit that the ribeye I get every time at Rustikana surpasses everything I have had at the priciest restaurants of North America and seriously competes with the best steakhouses of Buenos Aires.

Brenner
Brenner

www.brennergrill.de
Maximilianstraße 15, 80539 Munich, Tel. +49 89 4522880
Monday through Thursday, 08:30 till 01:00; Fridays and Saturday 8:30 till 02:00; Sundays and holidays 9:30till 01:00

Strictly speaking, it’s not a steakhouse. It’s a meat market of another sort – a place to see and be seen. Located in the back of Maximilianstrasse with the Four Seasons and Mandarin Oriental in the vicinity, no wonder it is considered by many to be a high-society hangout. The hostesses are all malnourished aspiring models, but will be friendly to you even if you show up in dirty Chuck Tailors and a ripped T-shirt (Munich people do dress down, but understand the power of brands – your outfit may look like garbage, but can easily have a thousand Euro price tag, which is all that matters in certain circles).

However, if you can phase out the posh clientele, Brenner‘s food is perfect and the prices are surprisingly palatable. The restaurant has 3 open kitchens, where meats are grilled, Italian dishes are prepared and Asian noodles are stirred by skilled cooks for all to admire. In summer you can enjoy your beautifully prepared food on an open terrace in the back, and if you only stop for coffee and a drink before theatre (Munich opera house is just next door), an open bar area and the outside seating in the front (heated by gas burners) are there for you.

DON’T BOTHER:

Nero Pizza & Grill

www.nero-muenchen.de

Even in the name the mean comes second, and it shows. While Nero may wll be worth a visit for a pizza or a salad, thir steaks are nothing to write home about. The restaurant with its 2-storey interior does look cool, though, and always seems to be full, so probably the regulars know something I don’t…


ASIAN

DON’T MISS:

Manam (Thai)
Manam

www.manamthaifood.com
Rosenheimer Str. 46, 81669 Munich, Tel. +49 89 1893 4748
Monday through Saturday 11:00 – 23:00, Sundays closed

Their website sucks. Their food rocks. The best Thai in Munich, although now sharing their premices with TimeSquare – a dodgy pick-up bar with plush furniture (the photo above is of their old digs). The food is to die for, and is well worth suffering through the ambiance. All dishes are available to take away, so if you have somewhere else to eat them, do this.

The symbiosis with a pick-up bar is a recent development, though. Manam moved in there some time in 2015, before that they held the fort in a tiny venue around the corner, regularly besieged by hordes of hungry customers. Three tiny girls were always sweating in the open kitchen that emanated the smells of real Bangkok throughout the street, those lucky enough to have already ordered and received their food were happily slurping away on kiddies plastic stools, and a couple dozen of hungry customers were queuing at the door, completely blocking the street to the anger and amazement of passers by. This was the Manam before the move, though. Their name-sake and sister venue still occupies the same place, but has a smaller, predominantly soup-oriented menu, that tends to lean towards Vietnamese cuisine. The food is still an honest decent Asian, just not as good.

If you want proper fragrant, spicy and beautiful Thai – you have to turn around the corner and descent down the stairs into the pick-up bar (don’t worry, it’s not that scary, just a bid dodgy). The move in with the bar got Manam the liquor license and a bigger seating area, so I guess they are still doing ok. I stick strictly to the take-out option. My favorite #6 with chicken (lemongrass and coconut soup) is still as good as ever.

Pitahaya (Vietnamese)
Pitahaya

no website
Franziskanerstraße 15, 81669 Munich, Tel. +49
89 67971178

Monday through Friday 11:30 till 15:00 and 17:30 till 22:30; Saturday 14:00 till 22:30; Sundays and holidays – closed

Don’t let the low overheads interior scare you away (the photo above is very flattering) – the dishes that the cooks in this canteen-like place throw on the table is well worth the visit. If you like freshly made spring rolls and proper Pho soup – don’t think twice. Their noodles and rice dishes are also tasty and the portions are big. Lunch menu is only slightly smaller than the evening one, but is conveniently half the price. Very busy with workers from nearby offices during lunchtime, but quite relaxed in the evenings. Pitahaya may not be your #1 choice for a romantics candlelit dinner, but if you want good Vitnamese food in a no-frills atmosphere, this is the place to go to.

Cam Yi (Chinese)
Kam Yi

www.kamyi.com
Rosenheimer Str. 32, 81669 Munich, Tel. +49 89 4481366
Open daily from 11:30 till 24:00

Not the cheapest option when it comes to Asian food, but it is one of the very few Chinese restaurants in Munich (and oxymoron everywhere else in the world, but somehow Bavarian capital seems to be short on Chinese places…) With predominantly Chinese staff and cooks, Kam Yi is also a popular place with all visiting Chinese tourists, who get bussed in here during summers, and enjoy their meals in a big common room in the back with proper turntables.

The menu is extensive and covers a variety of dishes, all freshly made and exceptionally tasty. If you are lucky to live in the area, you can also order all dishes to take out and have a proper feast at home. The size of portions will guarantee “a take with you to the office” lunch the following day.

Mangostin Asia
MANGOSTIN

www.mangostin.de
Maria-Einsiedel-Straße 2, 81379 Munich, Tel. +49 89 7232031
Monday through Saturday 11:30 till 14:30 and 18:00 till 24:00; Sunday 11:00 – 24:00

A little off the beaten path in a quiet residential area of Talkirchen, the place is well worth a visit. Mangostin is more of an upscale restaurant, but still affordable. They have a very extensive and varied menu, covering Thai, Japanese, Vetnamese and Chinese dishes. Usually, when the food is that diverse, you start having suspicious about quality and authenticity. Not with Mangostin, though – everything her is to the highest standard. A good evening is guaranteed and your palate will be more than satisfied.

The place is popular, so it’s recommended to book in advance. If the place is full – there are no nearby alternatives.

DON’T BOTHER:

Far East Bar & Lounge

www.fareast-muenchen.de

While some dishes may be ok (a couple of friends swear by their duck), I have not been lucky there, although tried several different dishes over time. The food lacked fragrance and spice, and was more of a western-style Asian, catering to the German tastes. The atmosphere is also quite non-descript: despite the name, it’s neither a bar, nor a lounge.


GREEK

DON’T MISS:

Lucullus
Lucullus

no website
Birkenau 31, 81543 Munich, Tel. +49
89 662951

Monday through Saturday 17:00 till last visitor, Sunday 12:00 till last visitor

Be careful: if the owner likes you, he will keep bringing the ouzo from neighboring tables who are struggling with theirs, or simply are not having enough fun. The food is plentiful, freshly made and fragrant and not expensive at all. You can easily feast on mouthwatering starters alone, so think about ordering the main course. It will be fantastic, but big enough for a family of five.

The best time to visit is in summer, when you can enjoy the outdoor seating, laugh and banter with others sitting next to you, and for the evening get transferred to a taverna somewhere on the streets of Athens.

Kalami
Kalami

no website
Kellerstr. 45, 81667 Munich, Tel. +49
89 487282

The restaurant’s big common room is always full and noisy, and the place has been around for ages. The owner and his son (who doubles up as a bartender and waiter) can always be spotted smoking outside the door, greeting all passers by with a friendly nod and a smile. Their food is always freshly prepared, the menu is big and varied, and the drinks are flowing freely.

The atmosphere in Kalami is always friendly and relaxed, with both, the guests and the staff enjoying themselves. Very reasonable prices, authentic Greek dishes for every taste.

DON’T BOTHER:

I am sure there must be some shitty Greek restaurants in Munich, but somehow none come to my mind just yet, so I won’t waste your time, and just leave this part empty here.


COCKTAIL BARS

DON’T MISS:

Mauro’s Negroni Club
Mauro's

www.negroni-club.de
Kellerstraße 32, 81667 Munich, Tel. +49
89 44488770

Monday through Thursday 18:00 till 01:00; Friday and Saturday 18:00 till 03:00; Sunday – closed

Simply THE best cocktail bar in the world. At least for me. The cocktails are fantastic, the bar staff are friendly, attentive, and definitely know their shit. If you secure a seat  at the bar, you can see them in action – every cocktail is a work of art, made specially for you with love and undivided attention. The freshest berries and herbs are there to artfully decorate your drink and make sure you will remember and enjoy not only the taste, but also the look.

Don’t know what you want, and can’t choose from the extensive multiple-page menu? No worries, the bartenders will attentively listen to even the lamest explanations as to what your tastes are: “not too fruity, not too alcoholic, not too sweet, but not too sour” – I am ashamed to admit that these were my first steps at Mauro’s!… – they will listen patiently, and will come up with the drink you will absolutely LOVE. If you happen by Mauro’s in late summer, make sure to try their Bellini, that they refuse to make with anything but supremely fresh white Italian peaches. During the extremely short period of time when the peaches are in season – this is the drink that everybody has to have!

Mauro’s preserves the atmosphere of a traditional classy cocktail bar, and the owner (who is often seen working behind the bar) also trains bartenders, who are later hired by the most renowned drinking establishments around the world. Cocktails come with free home-made bar snacks (roasted spicy bread bits, olives, etc.), but Mauro’s also has a small menu of excellent food, inspired by Italian and Arabic cuisines, and cooked to perfection to complement the cocktails.

Book in advance on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, especially if you are a group of more than two. Cash and cards are both welcome.

BarRoom
Barroom

www.barroom-muenchen.de
Milchstraße 17, 81667 Munich, Tel. +49
89 44142762

Tuesday through Saturday from 20:00 till last visitor; Mondays and Sundays – closed.

The tiniest cocktail bar in Munich, the size of a very small living room, where not more than 20 people can fit in (there are 2 tables, and a bit of space in front of the bar). The owner and main bartender, Emanuele, mostly greets the customers personally, dressed in an impeccably white shirt.

BarRoom‘s cocktails definitely match Mauro’s in quality and elegance, and the place has a sweet and relaxed (if only a bit packed) atmosphere. They don’t serve wine or straight drinks – only cocktails, so be ready for one.

Barista
Barista

www.barista-muenchen.de
FÜNF HÖFE, Kardinal-Faulhaber-Straße 11, 80333 Munich, Tel: +49 89 20802180
Monday through thursday 11.00 till 01.00; Friday and Sunday 11.00 till 02.00; Sunday – closed.

A nice and honest bar with character. Excellent cocktails, attentive staff, relaxed atmosphere. If you want a chat, you can park yourself at the bar, and enjoy the conversation with the bartender. If you prefer solitude, or  a more intimate setting – there are plenty of tables in quiet corners to cater to every client.

Barista is very centrally located, in the back of a shopping passage on Maximilianstrasse – THE most expensive and posh street in Munich. Luckily, the bar is a welcoming refuge from all this.

DON’T BOTHER:

Schumann’s

www.schumanns.de/en

Considered THE place to be by the Munich’s in-crowd, the place is usually packed to the brim, and if you manage to get in, you will have to shout your orders to the bartender. The cocktails are impeccable, but somehow I never managed to warm up to the place. I always felt underdressed, un-glamorous, and had a permanent feeling of being the only woman not working there in this or that capacity…


MEXICAN

DON’T MISS:

Condesa
Condesa2

www.condesa-gourmet-tacos.de
Schwabing: Münchner Freiheit 6, 80802 Munich, Tel +49 176 20227136 Monday through Friday 11:00 till 22:00; Saturday 12:00 till 22:00; Sunday 12:00 till 21:00
Hauptbahnhof: Bayerstr. 16a, 80335 Munich Monday through Friday 07:00 till 21:00; Saturday 11:00 till 15:00; Sunday – closed

An authentic Mexicam burrito bar with two locations, at Hauptbahnhof and in Münchner Freiheit, Condesa caters to both, take-away and eat in. It’s not just burritos, though – they have also tacos and quesadillas, but the burritos are seriously to die for: freshly made while you wait to nice music and laughter with colourful and fragrant ingredients. Don’t overlook the spice meter over the counter – it clearly shows exactly how spicy your burrito is going to be on a scale from 0 (not spicy at all) to 4 (full Mexican blow-your-brains-away).

Both their venues are simply but stylishly decorated, with nice seating areas, so well worth to eat in. Specially for students they do discount (yet, as big and freshly made as full price) burrito/quesadilla + drink combo every day before 6, so if you are still studying – have your student or ISIC card ready!

Pequeno con Carlos
Pequeno

No website, but they are on FB: www.facebook.com/Pequeño-Con-Carlos-Cantina-y-Bar-Mexicano-743343112422498
Lucille-Grahn str. 25, Munich, Tel. +49 89 47084966
Open daily from 17:00 till 01:00

A stray (and most likely prodigal) son of the equally good and successful Pequeno in Lehel, this venue near Ostbahnhof in Haidhausen, Pequeno con Carlos has one big advantage over the mothership, namely Carlos. The owner/manager/bartender, Carlos runs the place with an iron fist, ready jokes, hearty smiles, fantastic food, thrown together in the kitchen by his son, and sizeable cocktails. If happen to stop by right after/before the happy hour, and loudly express your sorrow of not being able to benefit from it, Carlos will extend the happy time in each direction by sheer managerial will. Several sorts of Mexican beer are also available, and you are sure to leave the place full, tipsy and well entertained.

Prices are very reasonable, the atmosphere is fantastic, and the food is great. An excellent evening guaranteed!

DON’T BOTHER:

Sausalitos

www.sausalitos.de/mein-sausalitos/muenchen-im-tal

The worst Margaritas in Germany (and possibly on this continent) with the food to match. A tourist trap with nothing but location to its name.


IRISH PUBS

DON’T MISS:

Irish Folk Pub (aka “The Old Irish”)
Old Irish

http://www.irish-folk-pub.de/
Giselastraße 11, 80802 Munich, Tel. +49 89 342446
Wednesday through Sunday from 18:00 till last customer, Monday & Tuesday closed.

The first Irish pub in Munich, and the oldest one in Germany, The Old Irish was founded by Ede and Heidi, who after a trip to Ireland fell in love with the country and decided to take a bit of it back home. The Old Irish can boast the best pint of Guinness in Munich and one of the most extensive whiskey collections in the country (to the job of the visiting public the collection is open for tasting).

The Old Irish is also the smallest Irish pub in Munich, where you have to elbow your way in. It is well worth the visit, though, for in addition to some of the best drinks you can wish for, here you will find the most genuine and cozy pub atmosphere away from the Green Island. Do not leave without visiting the bathrooms: the signs (especially in the gent’s) are hilarious and definitely bring the great Irish humor to the masses.

Kennedy’s
Kennedy's

www.kennedysmunich.com
Sendlinger-Tor-Platz 11, 80336 Munich, Tel. +49 89 599 88 460
Monday through Thursday 11:00 till 02:00; Friday and Saturday 11:00 till 03:00; Sunday 11:00 till 01:00

No matter what day of the week, or time of the day you happen to drop by, the place is always hopping. Very centrally located, big and noisy, it welcomes you with open arms, and sucks into its depths. Good Guinness, excellent Augustiner beer (plus a Kilkenny or two) with extensive menu of great pub food (in 2015 Kennedy’s won “The best Irish pub food of the year” award in Germany), and you can watch a football or rugby match if you have to. If you just want a quiet pint and a friendly banter with bar stuff or a strange sitting next to you – sit at the bar, and the TVs won’t bother you.

With live bands playing almost every night, and with Karaoke evenings every week, Kennedy’s is always a good crack with excellent entertainment value. A huge open terrace in the summer provides a relaxed and cool refuge from the heat, and the service is as quick upstairs as it is downstairs in the bar.

Killian’s + Ned Kelly’s
Kilian's

www.kiliansirishpub.com
Frauenplatz 11, 80331 Munich, Tel. +49 89 24219899
Monday through Thursday 16:00 till 01:00; Friday and Saturday 11:00 till 03:00; Sunday 11:00 till 01:00

A surprising symbiosis of an Irish pub and an Australian bar, operating at the back of Marienplatz. Killian’s is much smaller and a bit cozier than Kennedy’s, but just as packed. Probably even more crowded, due to a slightly more central location. By about 11 pm at the weekends the place may get too full, and the security won’t let you in, so come earlier.

The owners are the same as Kennedy’s, so the same quality beer and food are guaranteed. Ned Kelly’s Australian flavour is noted by good (if pricey) wines in additional to all the usual beer and cider suspects. Live bands and karaoke evenings ensure the steady levels of mayhem and madness.

Weekend lunchtimes may be a bit depressing, as many stag night parties that thoroughly enjoyed themselves the night before tend to flock to Killan’s for late breakfast. Many of them look (and smell), like they partied through the night (which in 99% of cases was the case).

DON’T BOTHER:

Dubliner

www.dubliner-irishpub.de

The only thing Irish about it is the name. It’s a sports bar, and not even a good one. Packed by the drinks from the Hofbrauhaus, it’s definitely a place to avoid.


FOR SPECIAL OCCASIONS

DON’T MISS:

Gesellschaftsraum
Gesellschaftsraum

www.der-gesellschaftsraum.de
Bräuhausstraße 8, 80331 Munich, Tel. +49 89 55077793

Monday through Friday 11:30 till 15:00 and 18:00 till 24:00; Saturday 18:00 till 24:00; Sunday – closed.

Don’t get scared by the long and unpronounceable German name (it simply means “Common Room”), or it’s closeness to Mandarin Oriental (this is a recent change – previously the place was located in the dodgy area near Munich Central Station, and was literally the only good thing in there).  If you want to take that special someone for a dinner they will remember for months and maybe years, or just want to spoil yourself with an evening of designer food of superb quality – Gesellschaftsraum is your place!  Hard rock music blasting from the open kitchen and heavily tattooed cooks and staff should appeal to the rebel in you, and the dishes that come out of that loud kitchen will be works of art.

The restaurant does fixed menu, and you can choose a 3-, 4-, 5-, or an astounding 6-course one.  Even though the portions are quite small, and there are breaks and digestives in-between, think twice before committing to anything more than 4 courses.  The waiters will help with wine paring (you can try different ones from their tasting menu, or make it easy and order one for the whole evening), and will advise on replacing any ingredients in case of allergies or dietary restrictions. Needless to say in a place of this caliber they all speak perfect English.

If you don’t feel up to the full dinner, stop by the restaurant for lunch – they now have a small tapas menu that will allow you to try out the cooks’ culinary skills in a smaller and more budget setting, and will convince you to splurge on a dinner later.