Munich is an expensive city and knowing where to eat cheaply means you will have more money to spend on museum entrances, tours, and more traveling. The cheapest and best option for the extremely price conscious among us would be to live off of döner kebab as much as you can. Döner kebab is a German-Turkish invention (originating from the “guest workers” who came to Germany starting in 1961) so one could argue you are eating semi-local food! Typically healthier and cheaper than the big fast food chains, it consists of thinly shaved cuts of calf, turkey, and/or chicken slices in a bread bun with lettuce, tomato, and often times other veggies. Döner kebabs can be found in nearly every part of the city from high end areas to the central train station. There are many different varieties in Germany today and also serve as very popular late night food. Döner can either be taking with you and eat on the street food or you can sit down and order inside if you want as well. A döner kebab usually costs around €3.50 in Munich as of November 2011.
Döner can be found all over the city, but my personal favorite is right next to the train station:
Ali Baba is a Turkish restaurant located just outside of the main train station and mainly serves lunch to the local Turkish population. You can get döner in the front and sit and eat it there or for take away. Other Turkish specialties are available in a cafeteria style with reasonable prices.
The local Bavarian food is generally going to be about the same cost no matter where you eat it and since most of it is pork, it is relatively cheap. To try and stay Bavarian on a budget, try these places:
Donisl is a traditional restaurant located literally right on Marienplatz with outdoor seating for the summer and a couple floors of seating for when it’s not. Dishes are typically smaller than the massive plates of food served at most Bavarian restaurants and because of that the prices are also more agreeable. I wouldn’t worry though; there is still enough food on any of their plates for an average human. A full traditional meal can be had for less than €10.
The Hofbräuhaus is not only the most famous beer hall in the world; it is also very much a restaurant. The food prices are very reasonable at the Hofbräuhaus and as long as you don’t fall into the “trap” of drinking there all night, it can be a fairly cheap experience. A full meal can be had for under €10.