It’s not for the refined, the prissy, or the faint of heart, but it is an absolutely unique Munich experience and has been for almost 200 years. What makes it special is its enormous size and at times raucous, beer-fueled atmosphere. Yes, it’s touristy—some nights there seem to be more foreign tourists here than Germans—and if you can’t go with the flow (and the din), don’t even step inside because you’ll probably hate it. You don’t have to eat; you can just order a beer and one of the giant pretzels sold by dirndled Frauleins who parade around the room like cigarette girls of yore. In the Schwemme (tap room) on the ground floor, you sit on benches at bare wood tables as a band plays and the Germans periodically burst into song, swaying back and forth in unison; a big beer garden is on this level, too. Upstairs there are a number of smaller, somewhat quieter dining rooms. The beer is Hofbrau, served by the mass (equal to about a liter and costing 8.40€); Weissbier (a light beer) is the only beer served in a smaller glass. The food is heavy and hearty with a menu that includes Weisswürste and several other sausages, Schweinbraten (roasted pork), Spanferkel (roast suckling pig), and the big favorite, Schweineshaxn (ham hocks). You gotta love it—or you won’t.