Rent the difference.
Get to know the people who shape the special vibe of the Bahnhofsviertel. Restaurateurs, retailers, cultural workers or hoteliers provide special experiences and stories here day after day.
MIA Trattoria e Bar
25 Hours Hotel
Sara Restaurant, Landwehrstraße 42
Heat roars from the ventilation of the small bakery. It comes from a chest-high stone oven that's continuously loaded with more and more dough patties. It's 10 o'clock in the morning, and although there isn't much going on yet in the restaurant next door, the four bakers have already filled the shelf opposite the oven with dozens of flatbreads. In the snug space they operate in, they navigate with an almost sleepwalker-like precision. Each movement is executed flawlessly. It's like watching a meticulously rehearsed dance routine.
Ask who serves the best pita bread and kebab skewers in the station district and you'll usually be advised to check out Sara Lounge on the corner of Landwehrstrasse and Goethestrasse. "We bake around 5,000 flatbreads here every day!" Waran Saeed tells us, grinning at our amazement. Waran Saeed is 27 years young and the manager of Sara Lounge, set up by his father. Around 2,000 patties are needed every day as a side dish for the restaurant's specialties. About 1,000 are sold with takeout meals. The rest are delivered to local supermarkets.
But it's not just pita bread that's served with sensational freshness here; the kebab skewers are always freshly prepared and grilled, too. "We have our own butchery," Waran Saeed explains proudly. "So we can be sure that the quality is always right." In addition, he says, they don't produce in vast quantities in advance. "If we're out of something, that's it." And it simply has to be made again the next day. Anyone who's tried the minced meat or chicken skewers here knows exactly what Waran Saeed is talking about.
By mid-afternoon, Sara Lounge is bustling with people coming and going. There are plenty of regulars - you can see them greeting familiar faces as they search for a free table. Some guests drop in for a cup of tea and a chat during their break. If the tables outside are full, they sometimes just turn their car bonnet into a makeshift table for their tea glasses. Then it's back to work - but not without taking a few flatbreads with them.
Supermarkt Çavuşoğlu, Goethestraße 15
Dive into a vibrant tapestry of flavors and hues with fruits and vegetables of every imaginable kind. From aromatic preserves and rich cheeses to freshly caught fish and a meat counter that's second to none, the Çavuşoğlu supermarket offers a tantalizing world of culinary delights. Munich's station district is renowned for its outstanding Turkish supermarkets, and this time-honored shop on Goethestrasse is an excellent example. With a legacy spanning over 40 years, many aficionados deem it the crown jewel of the city's grocery offerings.
The managers are Gülün Korkmaz (née Çavuşoğlu) and Şahinaz Çavuşoğlu. The two sisters are continuing the work of their father, Ruhi Çavuşoğlu, who opened his supermarket operation in 1985, and sadly passed away last year. His portrait hangs on the wall and he almost seems to be supervising the store every day, just as he used to. The distribution of tasks between the sisters is clear: while Şahinaz mainly procures goods in the wholesale market ("She has a truck driver's license"), Gülün takes care of the accounts and organizational matters.
"This is our home," Gülün Korkmaz says of the station district. "I know everyone here." She means not just the neighboring storekeepers, but also the pensioners who come to her supermarket not only to shop, but also to talk. "I can always make time for a friendly chat," she adds. There are regular customers who come from nearby Schwabing, while others drive all the way from Rosenheim to shop at the Çavuşoğlu supermarket - first and foremost because of the goods, but perhaps also because they're seen here not as customers but as people. At the meat counter, lamb chops or veal escallops aren't just wrapped up and handed over - it's also a place for sharing recipes and cooking tips. And if meatballs are in stock, there are always a few on the counter for customers to try. "I want customers to really feel at home here," says Gülün Korkmaz. And she adds a remarkable sentence: "Our store doesn't really belong to us. It belongs to everyone who shops here."
MIA Trattoria e Bar, Schwanthalerstraße 12
Munich is often dubbed the "northernmost city of Italy" - and with good reason. Folks here truly embrace the dolce vita. Trattoria Mia on Schwanthaler Street is one of the prime spots to fully savor this lifestyle. Its splendor could turn heads even in cities like Milan, New York, or Singapore. Owner and manager Frank Mansory grins when he recalls how he raved about his new restaurant to friends and acquaintances shortly after it opened in fall 2022. Despite telling them how beautiful it was and that they had to see it for themselves, they didn't quite believe him.
A top-level eatery? In the station district? "And when they finally got there, they couldn't stop being amazed," Mansory laughs. There was the tall bar going right up to the ceiling, the intimate seating areas, the spherical lamps, the small round marble tables - and last but not least, the huge inner courtyard with a lounge atmosphere stunningly lit up in the evenings.
Frank Mansory arrived in Germany from Iraq in the 1990s, going first to Leipzig and later to Munich. His career seemed predestined since he was born into a family of restaurateurs. In addition to the Trattoria Mia, he also runs the Sojo, the restaurant in Deutsches Theater, right across the street. He even plans to build a new hotel in the station district. Mansory loves the dynamism of the area and the huge potential lying dormant there. "Schwanthalerstrasse is so wide. It could become a real boulevard." To do so, it would only have to be a little greener and offer more space for people, events and eateries, and a little less for cars.
Mansory is consistently pitching his ideas to the city council. And truly, when you glance out of the trattoria's windows onto the street, it's easy to envision a boulevard reminiscent of those in Paris, Barcelona, or Lisbon. "It just needs to get done," says Mansory, who's been getting things done all his life. And he's clearly prepared to play his part.
Deutsches Theater, Schwanthalerstraße 13
Slowly the lights dim in the red velvet auditorium. The whispering in the rows of spectators, punctuated by the odd cough, gradually falls silent. An expectant tension descends over the darkened room. All eyes are fixed on the stage. The show is about to begin.
Deutsches Theater on Schwanthaler Strasse is one of the most extraordinary stages in Munich's cultural scene. Director Thomas Linsmayer has been responsible for the program since 2022: "Nowhere else will you find such a wide range of shows and musicals as we have," he says proudly. It's supplemented by concerts with prominent artists from all over the world. What's special about the theater is that it only hosts guest performances. "We don't have a permanent ensemble to work with. Instead, we can attract the best productions worldwide," explains Linsmayer. This quality can be truly witnessed when West Side Story, straight out of New York, hits the stage in Munich. The artistic direction behind it has been driving its success for decades.
Linsmayer goes into raptures when he talks about the baroque Silver Hall. The smaller of the two performance spaces at Deutsches Theater, it's been open to visitors since 1896. Under the motto "The World in the Silver Hall," the genre of world music was given a permanent home there in Munich for the first time. The new salon program, on the other hand, brings small revues and classical music to the Silver Hall. "They can be enjoyed here in an intimate, free, and sometimes cheeky atmosphere," explains Linsmayer. Its original use as a dance hall has also recently been revived.
And talking of dancing, where would Deutsches Theater be without its legendary ball season? For five weeks a year, it hosts some of the biggest society and carnival balls in southern Germany. For this purpose, the seating and other fittings in the large auditorium are removed. For those who picture a stuffy, formal event at the mention of the word "ball," Linsmayer suggests checking out the Grand Swing Ball during the final weekend of carnival. At this event, around 2,500 people from around the globe, including a lot of young attendees, descend on Munich. They dive into a two or three day swing festival, filled with an infectious zest for life."
With its energy, Deutsches Theater fits perfectly into the diverse station district - "one of the few places in Munich that's colorful and urbane," as Linsmayer says. One thing is certain: if you want to really discover and experience this quarter, you can't overlook its most renowned stage.
25hours Hotel The Royal Bavarian, Bahnhofsplatz 1
The Boilerman Bar is one of those locations that ingeniously combine energy and comfort. Armchairs made of red, blue, or green velvet stand in front of shelves filled with books or fine spirits. On the way to the bar, guests pass a chair seemingly made from swans, hunting trophies, a horse-drawn sleigh, and an ancestral gallery in oils.
"If you know one, you don't know any!" laughs Frank Beiler, general manager of the Munich offshoot of 25hours Hotels, where the Boilerman Bar is located, alluding to the uniqueness of the place. The hotel, aptly named The Royal Bavarian, has been around for six years. Here, Bavarian coziness is interpreted with gentle irony and complemented by a casual cosmopolitanism.
Haya Molcho's beautifully decorated restaurant NENI also contributes to this. Here, sharing food is an integral part of the concept - entirely in the Balagan style, which means "sympathetic chaos." A delightful sharing cuisine is served that's primarily influenced by Israeli-Oriental flavors, but also draws inspiration from various global dishes. But that's not all, for if you visit the hotel at the right time, you might stumble into a beer yoga session or a queer dating evening. "Let's see what else we can come up with in terms of events," smiles Beiler.
The location of the 25hours Hotel The Royal Bavarian couldn't be better. It used to be the site of the old royal telegraph and post office. The Boilerman Bar looks out onto Munich's most important construction site: the main train station. The hotel stands right at the entrance to the lively Schützenstrasse. Even before he took on the role of general manager at 25hours Hotel The Royal Bavarian in March 2022, Frank Beiler was a hotel manager in the station district - and enthusiastically so: "What people love about New York or London can only be found here in Munich: people of all colors, unusual stores, and a huge density of shops. The district is lively, loud, sometimes disreputable - and a bit outrageous!"
And the many construction sites? Aren't they a nuisance? "They're part of the job. Of course we have to clean the windows more often because of the building sites. But I'm so looking forward to 2030, when the big projects are completed. It'll be wonderful!" declares Frank Beiler. Incidentally, the colorful, slightly crazy atmosphere that 25hours Hotel The Royal Bavarian perfectly embodies doesn't just go down well with hotel guests. Munich's residents have long since discovered the Boilerman Bar and NENI for themselves. The long lines in front of the bar or the restaurant - especially on weekends - testify to this.