If you’re looking for a butcher in Munich centre, there’s plenty of choice at the Viktualienmarkt.
Walking to the Viktualienmarkt from the Marienplatz S-Bahn station, you’ll go past this row of buildings on your right. These are all butchers, with varying types of sausage and meat on offer. Venture into the market itself and you’ll find more – everything from the usual suspects, right up to speck, seasonal game and horse meat sausages!
I use two butchers near here. One in the market itself and one in a building facing it.
For at least 18 months before moving to Germany, I’d been buying the majority of my meat online. From Pipers Farm and then Field & Flower, with additional bits from Waitrose’s free range product lines. Where possible, I’d increasingly wanted to ensure the meat I was purchasing came from well cared for, traditionally reared animals. I firmly believe what you choose to consume or not is a personal choice. I’m of the “work within your means” mindset, though I’m not sure there’s ever much of an excuse not to buy free range eggs.
In Germany a “Bio” product is organic. Thanks to EU legislation, the same rules apply regardless of location. Take a look at their website for more details. This link goes to the section on animal welfare. It’s worth noting that an organic classification is not the same as it being free range – it just has to conform to a certain set of rules which dictate quantifiable husbandry requirements.
It can be awkward (or impossible) to get particular Bio cuts of meat in a standard supermarket – not to mention expensive. Whilst I’ve seen freilandhaltung chicken portions available in Rewe too, the price is eye-watering. So I’m sharing the two places where I prefer to shop for meat.
Viktualienmarkt 5, Laden 6+7 | Website
There’s a bit of information about the business ethos and their products on the website. Google Translate does a decent job of translating too, if you’re interested.
This shop sells free range chicken as well as the French Marie Hot brand, which was described to me as ‘forest raised’. It’s more expensive, of course, but has a nice flavour and texture if your budget stretches that far. Also sold and pictured is a turkey breast portion – though this isn’t a free range bird. Unlike in the UK, you’ll have to truss it yourself for roasting but this is the place to come for meat for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. You’d be wise to order in advance for popular events!
Staff here are friendly and happy to help. They’ll wrap your purchases up in newspaper to help protect them from the heat of the day too!
Frauenstraße 6 | Website
I’m only discussing pork here, but Herrmannsdorfer offer a variety of fresh meats, along with processed meats like sausage, cheese and eggs. Regarding pork, it isn’t a free range option but Herrmannsdorfer provide space to their animals with light and airy stalls. Where possible, pigs will spend the last 3 -4 months in pasture (link). Their website states:
Animal husbandry should be not only environmentally friendly, but also animal friendly. We and our partner producers respect the dignity and needs of the animals. Cattle, pigs, sheep and poultry live in group sizes appropriate to their species and in a balanced ratio to the fodder producing land around them. | Herrmannsdorfer.de
I once got chatting with a butcher here – I think he wanted to practice his English and he was very nice. He was quite pleased to show me a binder at the meat counter, with information on the breeds of animals and the conditions in which they’re kept.
He did tell me that if there was a particular cut of meat I wanted, they could request it (think braising steak and fatty, traditional cuts). If the manager agreed, it could be ordered the next time an animal was going to slaughter. He specifically said they have Irish customers who they’ve done this for before. Germans don’t go for fatty cuts like we use in the UK, meat is trimmed within an inch of its life.
Pictured above is a cut of pork neck, which I’m using for mince. It’s schweine halsgrat ohne knochen – without bone. Asking for schweine schulter will get you pork shoulder. On request, the butcher can also turn it into mince. If they do, get them to weigh it afterwards, so you’re not paying for more than you receive. I like the fat content of pork neck for the kinds of things I cook. The flavour is far better than anything you’ll get at a supermarket.
Please check with the websites linked for opening times and further details, as they may be subject to change. Always make sure you’re fully aware of anything important to you when shopping for meat!
Do you have any favourite places to shop for meat in Munich? I’d love to know your recommendations!