Munich is one of the most famous places for typical beergardens with simple wooden benches and tables, where you sit on gravel ground under large chestnut trees, the beer is served in 1-liter mugs and you are allowed to bring your own food. As there are so many beergardens in Munich, we will suggest only the most important and typical ones and add a link where you can find more beergardens in Munich.
Beergardens - which are typically Bavarian - are outside restaurants where beer is served. The most important characteristics are that you are allowed to bring your own food and people sit on wooden benches under large chestnut trees on gravel ground. The beer is served in large 1-liter mugs.
Beergardens have their origin in Munich in the 19th century when particularly bottom-fermented beer was drunk. As this kind of beer was supposed to be brewed at low temperatures, Kind Ludwig I. issued a decree that it was only allowed to brew it in winter.
In order to be able to drink the beer in summer as well, many big breweries set up beer cellars at the Isar to store the beer. In order to keep the temperatures lower, large chestnut trees were planted and gravel was put on the ground. People came with large mugs to take the beer home. Many people, however, started to stay at the storage place and drink their beer there.
Within a short time, the beer cellars were not used only for the storage of beer any more; the brewers started using their cellars for pouring out beer. For this purpose, simple wooden benches and tables were put under the chestnut trees. In order to help the small brewers in Munich who didn't have large cellars for storage, King Ludwig I. issued a decree again that prohibited the sale of food by the brewers. People who wanted to drink their beer directly at the beer cellars were supposed to bring their own food.
Although this decree is not valid any more nowadays and beergardens often serve food, it is still allowed to bring your own "Brotzeit" - the Bavarian term for this kind of food.