Supporting local businesses is one of the best ways to prevent tourism leakage. By supporting local businesses and products and shopping sustainably your destination will be able to utilize the revenue to offset the negative impacts of tourism by mitigating additional emissions, building better infrastructure, and local small businesses will thrive.
Or ‘Kauf Lokal’ as we say in Munich. Look for the Kauf Lokal sign for local handmade artisanal products so you can directly support Munich’s local small business economy. You can visit Kauf Lokal for the full list of local stores participating. An easy way to use this guide is by entering your hotel’s or accommodation’s zip code to see what is around you or search by category. Supporting local businesses in Munich has never been easier with the handy guide created by a local entrepreneur. If you’re BIG into supporting local businesses, then visit during the Kauf Lokal expo in May, where you’ll find all Munich’s local brands, big and small, under one roof.
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Support Diverse Local Businesses
Elle’Cee is a Black-owned clothing boutique in Munich. The woman who owns it is incredibly friendly and speaks fluent English. Stop in, spice up your wardrobe, and support a local small business. While you’re there, swing by Annam Grill, one of my favorite places for fresh Vietnamese food in Munich. We eat here at least once a week.
Makula is a Black-owned West African restaurant serving some of Munich’s best food. The owner is hilarious and often shares some of his secret spicy booze with you after you’re full of flavorful vegan food. I also love Black-owned Cafe Omo for fantastic Ethiopian food – their flatbread and vegan sample platter for 2 is literal perfection.
Bellevue di Monaco is a cafe, restaurant, and community center where migrants work and gain employment skills. They have a ‘pay what you can’ system, and the more you pay for your food, the more money goes back into a program to help migrants gain employment and afford basic housing.
If you shop around Glockenbachviertel at places like Eiscafé Eismeer or Kraftwerk, you’ll be supporting businesses owned by members of or supporting the LGBTQIA community.
Farmer and Flea Markets
One of the best ways to visit Munich sustainably is by supporting local farmers and producers at markets around Munich. Look for labels that say products were grown or produced in Munich, Bavaria, or Germany.
Sustainable Tip: Always bring your reusable shopping bag to markets for local products. This ensures you are visiting Munich as responsibly as possible.
Viktualienmarkt is the biggest market is the Viktualienmarkt. It is a great place to get the full immersive market experience with bustling flower stands, fresh mushrooms, local wine, meats, cheeses, olives, fruits, veggies, spices, honey… you name it, and you can find it. This is a great place to stock up on food for a picnic in the Englischer Garten or get a little souvenir to take home. While you’re visiting, make sure to check out Munich’s May Pole at the center.
Market at Elisabethplatz is my favorite as a relaxing alternative to the Viktualienmarkt. You’ll find stands of fresh food, flowers, local products, and wares. One of my favorite coffee places, Standl 20, is also at Elisabethplatz. This is a great place to kill an hour or stock up on food to get you through the day.
Wiener Markt, or Vienna Square, is a charming small market on the French Quarter’s outskirts. Located at the old road intersection connecting Munich and Vienna, it was destroyed during WWII and rebuilt in 2002, giving it historical significance. This is a great launching point to explore Haidhausen, a charming neighborhood with many boutiques and cafes.
Wochenmarkts are weekly local markets that change locations daily. My favorite is Wochenmarkt Au, south of the Isar. The markets are humble, but you’ll find staples like cheese, bread, and other grocery items from local vendors. Search ‘Wochenmarkt’ in Google Maps, and you’ll find several locations. Check the dates as they are only open one day a week at various locations.
Thrifting is a great way to get clothing if you need to restock some staples while traveling or forgot to pack a windbreaker without contributing to the fast fashion problem.
Sustainable Tip: The fashion industry contributes more to greenhouse gases than the airline industry. Choosing an organic fabric, buying used clothing, supporting local brands, and providing fair trade products are crucial.
Pick n Weight is a store where you pay for your clothing by the Kilo. These stores have a vintage and eclectic selection of clothing, all categorized by color. Another great option is Oxfam, a practical everyday wear store if you’re on a tight budget or don’t like consuming new clothing while you travel. If you’re looking for a previously used Dirndl called Wasch-Dirndl, check out Schwabinger Holareidulijö Trachtenladen or Lily´s Treff. I highly recommend this option if you visit for Oktoberfest and don’t want to buy a new Dirndl you’ll likely never wear again.
Flohmarkts, or garage sales, are popular in Munich, especially in the summer. They range from massive outdoor markets on the Oktoberfest grounds to night markets in lofts and small neighborhood markets. My favorites are large annual summer events like the Night Bazaar and the Frühlingsfrest Flohmarkt. You can find all the dates and locations of the Flohmarkts on this website.
If you’re looking for locally owned boutiques, I suggest exploring Gärtnerplatz and Reichenbachstraße. I also recommend the roads Amalienstraße, Schellingstraße, and Türkenstraße in the university district. Here are a few highlights worth checking out.
MILK is a great place to shop in Munich since they do all the hard work for you by selecting clothing from small businesses, fair and sustainable labels, and clothing made from organic materials. Maloja Store: A local Munich streetwear and athletic store typically uses only organic materials and sustainable methods for making their clothing. The interior of the store has a vintage upcycle feel. Bella Natura features hip European fashion trends from sustainable materials at fair trade prices. Shop fair fashion from a local Munich-owned boutique. Grune Erde is a socially conscious, sustainable, organic, and eco-friendly store full of homewares, clothing, furniture, and more. If you want a sustainable souvenir from Munich, swing by after visiting the Viktualienmarkt.