Tegernseer Landstrasse – “TeLa” – brings together long-time Giesing locals with blow-ins and football fans with food-lovers. Though the Obergiesing street may not have architecture or beauty to shout about, the people here certainly know how to make the most of its virtues.
When locals talk about Giesing they make liberal use of the keywords beer and football – reflecting clichés about the area that absolutely prove true if that’s what you’re looking for. But there is plenty more to discover here too. You can enjoy a sumptuous dinner at an award-winning restaurant and then go for a Spezi (lemonade and cola) in an alternative beer garden. You can stroll through the tranquil Ostfriedhof cemetery and seek out something unique in the cool bicycle shops. You can go for a spot of outdoor yoga and then gorge on Italian meatballs.
TeLa fells honest and authentic – everything here is somehow connected like a network of contacts and stories.
The thing that makes Tegernseer Landstrasse so exciting is probably the fact that it has grown organically over time, so everything feels honest and authentic. That impression is confirmed when you notice that everything here is somehow connected – like a network of contacts and stories. The popular Obergiesing street functions as its own mini-cosmos where you can find everything you need – good pubs, good restaurants, good shops and above all, good people. Indeed, without its people, Giesing’s most popular street surely wouldn’t be as lively, raucous and wild as it is.
We start our journey at Giesinger Grünspitz – an important and very inclusive green space in Munich, with plenty going on: tango hours and concerts are regularly held here; the community garden is tended by volunteers; and people meet in the beer garden in the evenings. Miriam Worek’s Zeitkapsel art project is also based at the Grünspitz. She has been living right beside Tegernseer Landstrasse since 2013, and knows that Giesing is home to a wide range of people, experiences and activities. The Zeitkapsel – literally ‘time capsule’ – is a discarded telephone booth which has been converted to become a single-person screening space; it plays movies and audio gathered from historical eye-witnesses, neighbours and artists, and functions as a platform to conserve their stories.
At the moment the installation’s focus is on Giesing’s future – from self-programmed computer games to utopian advertisements about future living in the neighbourhood. The Zeitkapsel booth will remain in place until the end of September 2021 and is open every day from morning until evening. Miriam says: “The Zeitkapsel was born of my love for this neighbourhood and especially TeLa. For me, this street simply means coming home – I buy my cheese at the Käse Alm and I know the shop assistant at the drinks shop. If you are open to it, you will quickly get to know people here – it’s just like in a village!”
"For me, this street means coming home – I buy my cheese at the Käse Alm and I know the shop assistant at the drinks shop. If you are open to it, you will quickly get to know people here."
Miriam is keen to support local businesses, which is why you’ll often see her in the Giesinger Buchhandlung bookshop (21 Tegernseer Landstrasse) or Ertl fruit shop (111 Tegernseer Landstrasse). When she needs a peaceful moment she heads to the Ostfriedhof cemetery, as it is always quiet there – even on beautiful summer days. If you are more inclined to go where the people are, Miriam recommends the beer garden at Café Schau ma moi. We wander over to the little pub next door to the Grünspitz, where Stevie’s working behind the bar today. Miriam tells us that he has also contributed to the Zeitkapsel. “The capsule just brought the neighbourhood and the street together, which was great!”
On the way to Café Schau ma moi, we first pass one of Giesing’s real gastronomic gems: Restaurant Gabelspiel. Chef Florian Berger and his wife Sabrina have been gracing the district with their culinary creations since 2016. Having met while working at Tantris, the couple are now producing fantastic menus in a wonderful restaurant of their own – which has since become the proud recipient of a well-earned Michelin star. Gabelspiel offers proof that award-winning cuisine doesn’t have to be pretentious. The food is very special, and yet the atmosphere is always cosy – almost familial.
Formerly a tramway hut, Schau ma moi is now a venue for readings and concerts.
It is precisely because the restaurant is not fancy that it fits in so well on Tegernseer Landstrasse – right between the Grünspitz and Schau ma moi, a few paces further on. The café-bar was opened in 1997 by owner Gabi Benkert and has remained true to its character ever since: during the day it serves delicious coffee and a changing menu, accompanied by today’s newspaper. At night, friends meet amid the fairy lights in the bar’s rustic beer garden to enjoy some good Giesing beer. Formerly a tramway hut, Schau ma moi is now a venue for readings and concerts.
The Ambar bistro (25 Tegernseer Landstrasse) is another great place where the neighbourhood comes together. It’s run by Italian-born Gianluca Massa, who greets his guests with a broad smile and a Bavarian “Grias Di!” – perfectly capturing the blend you can expect to find here: Munich craft beer with Neapolitan meatballs. The bistro also sells fantastic wines and homemade pasta. We order almost everything on the menu because it all sounds amazing: fried mackerel fillets, mussels, pasta with salsiccia and yellow tomatoes. For dessert, there is tartufo ice cream and a rum baba – a sweet yeasted cake soaked in rum and sugar syrup.
"TeLa is unique – it is not like the rest of Munich. Actually we don’t have much in common with the rest of the city because here, everything is really lively, noisy and scruffy."
Gianluca has been running the Ambar bistro since 2015 and he also lives in Obergiesing himself – so he is well acquainted with the neighbourhood and Tegernseer Landstrasse. “It’s great – you can meet all of Giesing here,” he enthuses, “the street is like the neighbourhood itself – full of contrasts, beautiful and tough at the same time. TeLa is unique – it is not like the rest of Munich. Actually we don’t have much in common with the rest of the city because here, everything is really lively, noisy and scruffy.” If you ask Gianluca, Tegernseer Landstrasse is unquestionably the most beautiful street in Munich!
During the week the restaurateur is, of course, often in his bistro, but at the weekend you’re very likely to meet him at a football match at Grünwalder Stadium. Like so many Giesing residents, Gianluca supports the TSV 1860 Munich football team, and he and his friends drink at the Grünspitz or the Riffraff before and after every match. For food, he recommends Vietnamese restaurant Bep Ho (44 Tegernseer Landstrasse) and Pizzeria Morelli (15A Wirtstrasse), which he says serves the best pizza in Giesing.
It’s neither the architecture nor its intangible beauty that defines this lively, popular street in Obergiesing – it is simply the people and what they make it.
After dinner we return to the beer garden at Schau ma moi and look back on the day we’ve had: the wonderful thing about TeLa is that you can drift from one place to another very pleasantly, and it’s very likely you will keep running into the same people as you do so. It’s neither the architecture nor its intangible beauty that defines this lively, popular street in Obergiesing – it is simply the people and what they make it. On TeLa, one thing is always true: it doesn’t matter where you are – as long as you are there with the right people.