Behold, the Schmalznudel

Before Mat and I discovered the glorious stroopwafel, there was the schmalznudel. It was in the lovely city of Munich that we would find this incredible little piece of pastry perfection. We asked our Airbnb host, Matthias, if he had any recommendations for a good breakfast in town, and he insisted we venture to one very special place.

‘Schmalznudel,’ he said. “A Munich institution. Ask any local, ‘where is Schmalznudel?’ – and they can tell you exactly where it is.”

Matthias attempted to describe the exact nature of a schmalznudel, though in the end we couldn’t settle on anything wholly familiar. What we could discern was that it was fried and doughy. We were intrigued at once. 

Though affectionately referred to as ‘Schmalznudel’, the little bakery is in fact called Café Frischhut. You’ll find it right by Munich’s wonderful daily food market, Viktualienmarkt, making it a very convenient stop for the visiting foodie. The bakery boasts just four different pastries – striezerl, krapfen, rohrnudel and most importantly, the famous schmalznudel:

Little Wanderings - Schmalznudel 1

A ring of fresh, deep-fried dough circling a thin, almost transparent dough film; the schmalznudel is kind of like a large, flat doughnut. Direct from the fryer – you can observe the chef working his magic with impressive speed and skill through the shop window – the cooked pastry is wonderfully warm and full of the most incredible, rich flavour. Matthias had told us that a schmalznudel should be doused generously with sugar, and the waitstaff were also quite particular about this. I was of course very happy to oblige. We spied several locals on nearby tables upending that sugar dispenser with a vigour to behold!

Little Wanderings - Schmalznudel 2

Over the course of a couple of visits, we also tried the krapfen (above), a doughnut filled with apricot jam, and the striezel, which is essentially a long, stick-like version of schmalznudel. Everything is fresh and hot, so the pastries have that wonderful crisp outside and a delightfully soft centre. The coffee is actually pretty decent too, which made for a couple of lovely, lazy Munich mornings sitting outside and happily basking in the schmalznudel buzz. It’s certainly very popular with Munich’s own; whilst we mostly found ourselves surrounded by greying locals (always a good sign), Schmalznudel is apparently also quite the destination for young folk on their way home after a big night out. A fresh schmalznudel sure sounds better than a dirty Macca’s run to me!

It was after our first visit, totally enraptured by the place, that Mat and I thought to Google the English translation of ‘schmalznudel’. You know something tastes damn good when the words ‘lard noodle‘ don’t sway your determination to return the very next day. Or ever, for that matter. Oh, dear schmalznudel: may our paths yet cross again!

Little Wanderings - Schmalznudel 3

Schmalznudel – Café Frischhut | Prälat-Zistl-Straße 8, 80331 Munich, Germany

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  • http://phampants.wordpress.com/ phampants

    *crosses fingers* If I make it to Munich at the end of the month, I’m so going there.

    • Terri

      Oh my god, you absolutely must! Hit me up for a few more food recommendations if you do end up going :D

  • http://susiekenzie.wordpress.com susiekenzie

    Lard noodle – hilarious!

    • http://www.littlewanderings.com Terri

      It was a bit of a shock, I’ll admit! :P

  • http://www.notquitenigella.com Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella

    I love learning about new things and the schmalznudel is a new one for me! :D

    • http://www.littlewanderings.com Terri

      Me too, Lorraine! The schmalznudel really was such a wonderful, unique little piece of Munich – I hope you get the chance to experience it one day! :)

  • Ev

    Job Tez, getting one for tomorrow’s breakfast!!

    • http://www.littlewanderings.com Terri @ Little Wanderings

      Yes! So excited for you guys to experience the wonder that is the schmalznudel! I imagine it will be even better in the middle of winter :D

  • Keysha

    Hi there! I’m a flight attendant headed to Munich tomorrow…I’ve been to this place once, but they weren’t frying them fresh when I went (perhaps waiting until after a nap was my mistake). What seems to be a good time to go? We arrive at 7:20 a.m.

    • http://www.littlewanderings.com Terri

      Heya! Oooh, so excited for you. I visited the schmalznudel cafe a couple of times, both around 11am I think. Do let me know how you go! :D

  • Frischhut

    Just want to say thanks for your nice article (& photos) about our place.
    Hope you had a good time and please let me know when you visit us the next time……
    P.s. We do them fresh all the time , even on request.
    Thx again

    • http://www.littlewanderings.com Terri @ Little Wanderings

      Thank you for your kind words! My boyfriend and I absolutely adored your cafe, and we still talk about schmalznudel all the time way over here in Australia. My sister recently travelled to Munich and I made sure she visited Cafe Frischhut – and of course she loved schmalznudel too!

      Definitely hope to return for your delicious pastries one day soon :D