There are many Bavarian taverns in Munich where the locals in particular feel at home. Many Munich residents have their favorite Bavaria there, to which they also like to take visitors from beyond the white sausage equator if they want to dine in a real Bavarian way. The Donisl on Marienplatz, in the heart of the city, was not one of them for many years. Hardly any Munich resident (and certainly not a Munich resident) who was self-respecting went in there voluntarily, especially not after guests were systematically drugged and robbed by a gang of robbers disguised as staff in the 1980s.
That’s how the tourists kept the shop going. When the bar was demolished and reopened in 2015, it was supposed to be a tavern for the people of Munich again. The first tenant of the new Donisl, Karlheinz Reindl, managed to do this only moderately. And after he had given up because of the missing guests due to the corona pandemic, Peter Reichert took over the restaurant, also with the claim to run a real Munich pub again.
After some fine-tuning of the interior, the Donisl has actually become more comfortable again. And many visitors to the “Realen Bierwirtschaft zur alten Hauptwache” should already know details of the menu from the Oiden Wiesn, where the landlord and musician Reichert ran the “Zur Schönheitskönigin” tent. From the next Oktoberfest he will also be the host of the Bräurosl, the Hacker-Pschorr-Brauerei only handed over the tent in a double pack with the Donisl.
Donisl now wants to be an “authentic place to meet with social enjoyment and regular musicians’ tables”. The landlord bridges the gap with modernity with a (currently still closed) wine and gin bar on the upper floor and a culinary offer that ranges from traditional Munich cuisine to vegetarian and vegan options. This card reads extremely well and guests are welcome to take them home with them. There he can also study various Bavarian song texts that are printed on the card, such as Karl Valentin’s “Rittersleut” or “The Beauty Queen of Schneizlreuth”. We did not come to sing, of course, but to eat, with joyful anticipation. Because, for example, we still had pleasant memories of the “King Ludwig’s Hechtenkraut” from the Oktoberfest.
So when reading the menu, it was not easy for us to make a choice, given the interesting range on offer. Should it be something with “active vegetables” that are “activated” with a little salt and sugar in a vacuum? Or do you prefer fish or meat? We initially decided on a classic liver spaetzle soup (6.90 euros) and a pumpkin soup (6.50) as a starter. Fortunately, neither of them tasted like a pack, even if the pumpkin soup was a bit too thin for our taste. A pleasant surprise was the half farmer’s duck with red cabbage and potato dumplings, which, given the generous portion, seemed quite cheap for a downtown restaurant at 23.90 euros. And it also tasted delicious: crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, that’s the way it should be.
The fried char fillet (22.90) with a vegetable and potato casserole dubbed “Bavarian frittata” was also convincing, not least because a smoky, sweet “Bavarian teriyaki sauce” was served with the fish Roast pork (15.50 the really big portion) was tender, the sauce classically spicy, the coleslaw as it should be. Unfortunately, the meat came with a crust and a kind of pork rind chip on top, that’s not everyone’s cup of tea What is missing is that this is touted as “Bavarian topping” in the menu.
The onion roast beef (24.50) was also adorned with a bit of crispy fried onions, the meat was okay, as was the Kässpatzn, even if the latter made the dish a little generous. Normal spaetzle usually fit better. But at least the cheese had something good, as it distracted from the badly dominating rosemary note of the sauce. The latter also irritated the veal knuckle (21), which was also nice and juicy on the plate and served with potatoes and crunchy vegetables – we were delighted with the taste of the fennel that was included.
So far, it’s all so solid. The service was sometimes quick, sometimes – when the house was full – a bit confused, but always friendly and hard-working. So we were all the more disappointed with the dessert: With the “Münchner Dampfnudel” (6.50) the steam noodle expert at the table missed both taste and fluffiness, with the Kaiserschmarrn (11.90) according to the menu “with raisins, butter, sugar and Caramelized almonds “should be, we felt sorry for the co-cook.
The Schmarrn might have enjoyed one or the other egg more, and while caramelizing it had formed a hard, sweet crunch in the pan that was difficult to crack. We’ll probably come back to the Donisl to enjoy freshly brewed veal sausages with a musical Sunday morning pint and toast the musicians (4.90 for the half light; 5.30 for the 0.3 wine spritzer; 4.90 for 0.1 liters of Pinot Gris) . But we don’t come for the desserts.
Address: Weinstrasse 1, 80333 Munich, Telephone: 089/2429390, www.donisl.com, Opening times: Monday to Saturday 10.30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Sunday 10.30 a.m. to 3 p.m.