Tourist Traps That Are Worth It
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RATSKELLER, MUNICH, GERMANY
Tourist trap cred: A traditional Bavarian beer cellar/restaurant in the neo-Gothic Neues Rathaus—the bull's-eye of Munich's tourist zone, where you'll also find the tourism office and the city's oft-photographed glockenspiel—Ratskeller goes all out with costumed Fräuleins; beamed, vaulted, frescoed ceilings; and an English menu…with photos.
Why it's worth it: Sooner or later, you'll have to get those cravings for bratwurst, knackwurst, sauerbraten (pot roast), and Jägerlendchen (pork loin with mushroom sauce) out of your system, and the Ratskeller is just the place to do it. Since 1874, locals have been frequenting this atmospheric warren of rooms for regional fare that's more upscale than you'll find at many Munich beer gardens—chef Michael Schubaur trained with Michelin-starred Bavarian chef Otto Koch. Start with a bowl of the outstanding potato soup, followed by Grillwurst Schmankerl, a rib-sticking mixed grill that includes no fewer than four types of bratwurst, bacon, sauerkraut, and mashed potatoes. The Ratskeller is also unusually child-friendly, with crayons and books to keep the kiddies occupied.
Insider tip: You'll want to wash your wurst down with a liter stein of Löwenbräu lager, but don't ignore the wine list, which includes a selection of German vintages from Würzburger Juliusspital, a wine estate whose proceeds sponsor a hospice.