The Müchner Suppenküche is an institution in town probably just as much as the well known Hofbräuhaus, but certainly much less touristy – a must see if you ever end up in Munich. Don’t let the literal translation of “Soup Kitchen” mislead you, you’ll find yourself enjoying a bowl of hot soup next to student, just as well as manager – if you’re lucky you may get to see the one or other local movie star, as the Viktualienmarkt has always been an attractive movie location. As diverse as the guests may be, they all have one thing in common: they’re soup lovers. And if they haven’t been before, they’ll for sure become one afterwards.
Munich’s Suppenküche is nestled in the heart of the Viktualienmarkt, to be more exact, it is just off of the corner of Frauenstrasse and Reichenbachstrasse on the opposite side of the market (coming from Marienplatz). We’ve learned to fully appreciate it’s convenient location between all those fantastic stalls, especially in cold and uncomfortable weather, as a hideaway for a quick stop to warm up and regain energy.
About 24 years ago, the soup concept was born by accident. In 1982, after acquiring a stall/space on the Viktualienmarkt, Karl Wörle’s original plans had envisioned a traditional bratwurst stall. The city however did not approve his undertaking, based on the number of already existing bratwurst stalls. In an entrepreneurial spirit, he thought of something that no one wanted to do at the time and filled a niche, borrowing the idea from the largely forgotten notion of “boil out kitchens” (Auskochküchen) – a new direction was taken.
Dominik and Heinz Huber have been running the Münchner Suppenküche for the past 4 years, both very successful entrepreneurs, continuously evolving their business model and have grown the company to about 30 employees. They also deliver directly to businesses as part of their catering services. While the original can be found on Viktualiemarkt, three more locations are scattered throughout Munich, a world-wide franchising concept is in the making.
What’s so special about this place? Suppenküche combines the notion of fast food (in it’s true sense) with a high quality product, well presented, at very reasonable prices. You can choose from more than a dozen homemade soups, always delicious and filling, from a menu that changes daily (9 classics + 6 different ones each day), based on a recipe archive including more than 450 (!) different soups. Only the freshest ingredients are being used with family recipes: seasonal produce is largely acquired locally, supporting local producers in an eat-local spirit and encouraging awareness. Since neither preservatives nor flavor enhancers are added whatsoever, the overall selection of soups naturally changes with the season: You won’t find a cream of asparagus soup served on a rainy November day, instead perhaps a Pichelsteiner made of savoy, meat and potatoes. Next to classics such as noodle or liver dumpling soup. During the summer months, they serve an array of chilled soups (Gazpacho Andalouse), but if you can stand the heat, try one of the traditional soups anyway.
Typical sides include fresh salads, delish slices of bread (German Bauernbrot) topped with a herb/curd mix (Kräuterquark), chopped chive or Obazda (that yummy Bavarian cheese mix) as well as the obligatory Bavarian butter pretzel (the real thing) and other goodies to go with your soup – or just have it straight up.
Don’t wait to get seated, the place is self service. Grab a tray and place your order either inside or outside. Even though heaters are available, I prefer having my soup inside standing up. As soon as the temperatures has reached a sane level again, the outside picnic benches are perfect. Allowing you to catch a glimpse of the cauldrons inside, but at the same time one can enjoy watching the busy Viktualienmarkt, the fountains and statues that surround you.
Depending on how busy it is and the lines can get long(!), the staff tends to be a little impatient, so try to have your full order ready by the time it is your turn to order.
Whenever your journey takes you to Munich, make sure to stop by the Münchner Suppenküche, chances are you’ll enjoy one of the best traditional German soups – they’re open all week except Sundays.
With all that said, we’re happy to present Münchener Suppenküche with the award for best soup in town, as part of the 2006 Independent Food Festival and Awards.
Dominik & Heinz W. Huber
Abt. III, Laden 5/28/29
(off of Frauenstrasse)
Monday-Friday from 10am to 7pm (closing at 6pm in the wintertime)
Saturday from 9am to 5pm, Sunday closed