Viktualienmarkt: The Munich Farmers’ Market

Shopping at Viktualienmarkt, the Munich farmers' market

A couple years ago, I took a three-week holiday through Europe with my mom. We circled Western Europe and toured 9 countries in total (10 if you count the Vatican), zipping across channels and cities and countrysides, starting in London and ending in Amsterdam. (Has anyone ever flown out of Amsterdam’s airport? I don’t think I’d ever gone through so many security checkpoints in my life.)

In the middle of it all, I landed in Germany. I spent an afternoon roaming the Munich farmers’ market, but to call Viktualienmarkt merely a “farmers’ market” is underrating it.

Viktualienmarkt is a daily open-air market and square in the heart of Munich’s old town. It spans 240,000 square feet with over 140 stalls and farm stands selling everything from freshly cut flowers to freshly butchered meat. Everything is fresh fresh fresh. For a farmers’ market fiend, a stop here is a vacation in itself.

I recently came across these pictures again and could feel the hustle and bustle of the market all over again. I actually got lost in it, literally, and had to find my way back to my meeting point through the kind Germans who tried to give me directions in sign language and Germanglish (yes, we managed to invent our own language over the course of our conversation).

Viktualienmarkt is a maze of market vendors and a central Biergarten. It is the beer garden to end all beer gardens, with seating for a thousand. If you’ve never been to a beer garden before (German-style beer gardens are popping up all over the US these days, especially at street fairs), think of it as a lively food court. They serve beer (of course) as well as Bavarian specialties like brats and kraut. I actually brought over some cheese and fruit that I found from the surrounding vendors and sat down in the Biergarten, under the shade of hundred-year-old chestnut trees, to lazily enjoy the bier of the day.

Beer garden

Viktualienmarkt is the oldest farmers’ market in Munich, dating back to 1807. Its name is derived from the Latin victualia, or victuals, meaning food or provisions. The dizzying array of stalls is quite a feast for all the senses… the question to ask at this place would be, What can you not find here?

Bundles of brightly colored radish (I’m currently growing that black variety, Round Black Spanish radish)…

Radishes

Beautiful fractals of Romanesco broccoli…

Cauliflower and broccoli

Greens

Lusciously ripe fruits and cases full of figs…

Fruit stand

Fruit stand

Berries and stone fruits

Figs

Garlic in braids and squash piled high…

Garlic

Garlic

Squash

Squash

Tomatoes, greens, beans, and things I’ve never seen before…

Tomatoes and garlic

Greens and leeks

Fruit stand

Artichokes and peppers

Thai fruit

So many different kinds of mushrooms!

Mushrooms

Mushrooms

Mushrooms

Meats and cheeses and crates of wine… (Isn’t my mom adorable? She is nearing 60 and still gets mistaken for my sister.)

Butcher shop

My mom at the cheese stall

Cheese

Cheese

Wine

Crafty little things for the home…

Home decor

And idling in the aisles of these flower stands means you’ll come out smelling like a field of fragrant blumen.

Cut flowers

Artichoke flowers and wreaths

Potted plants

My time in Munich was much too short (as was my time anywhere in Europe on that trip)… but it definitely gave me an idea of places to visit again in more depth! And, it’s sparked a desire to visit more amazing farmers’ markets around the world… one can dream!

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November 22 2013      26 comments     Linda Ly
Frutas   Hierbas   Verduras   Viajes

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  • http://www.gardenbetty.com/ Linda Ly

    Thank you!

  • Aparna

    Thanks for sharing! Everything look amazing, especially the mushrooms!

  • Her Emerald Thumb

    Wow, your pictures make me feel like I was there! Love your blog!

    Her Emerald Thumb

  • Jennifer

    I grew up in Germany and miss the markets amongst other things.
    Thank you for the pictures!

  • Mount Eden

    Great article, I can totally relate to it. My husband is from Germany so we go back there often and he has a brother that lives in Munich as well! All I have to say is the Markets in Germany (as well as other parts of Europe) are out of this world!!

    • http://www.gardenbetty.com/ Linda Ly

      I love visiting other countries’ farmers’ markets… all the things we find exotic are like apples and oranges to them. :-) It really gives you great perspective on the sheer variety of food that can be grown in this world.

  • Isis Loran

    WOW! I think I would have stimulation overload. LOOK at all those fresh veggies!! I’m drooling over here. Great pictures and what an amazing experience.

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