From the monster Schnitzel bigger than your plate that requires several shots of Schnapps afterwards to beat it down in your stomach, from places with endless varieties of the deep-fried, flat meat dish.
We’ve put on 10kg to bring you a list of Vienna’s crunchiest, tastiest and best Schnitzels.
Skopik & Lohn – Best Schnitzel
Where: Leopoldsgasse 17, 1020
Located in the heart of the second district, Skopik und Lohn is New York bistro meets Viennese Gasthaus. Opening its doors in 2006, it has become a favourite for its seasonal and high quality food, friendly, knowledgeable and intuitive staff, its old world charm, and also for its Wiener Schnitzel.
The tables are covered in starched white tablecloths, cutlery is shined and the waiters wear white dinner coats. Stark black painted lines zig zag and swirl across the restaurant, making you feel like you’re in an art installation. It is a fabulous contrast to the traditional tables and chairs.
The Schnitzel at Skopik und Lohn has become the restaurant’s staple dish. At one point they even considered banishing the traditional dish from their menu, but there was such an outcry that the Schnitzel remained – a bit like the adult child you love but won’t move out. It’s a lighter Schnitzel (not requiring too much Schnapps after) and always comes accompanied by a choice of potato salad or cucumber salad in a dill yoghurt sauce. The portions are big, while the Schnitzel is perfectly crisp on the outside and inside, filled with cut-with-a fork meat: a real veal Wiener Schnitzel. By the way, we dare you try saying ‘real veal Wiener Schnitzel’ 3 times fast. We did while having a mouthful of Schnitzel!
The place fills up quickly so try and make a reservation.
Click here to see the menu!
Wiener Schnitzel with a potato and cucumber salad = 22€
Green salad = 4.50€
Pfarrwirt – Best Schnitzel
Where: Pfarrplatz 5, 1190
This 19th district garden restaurant calls itself the oldest Wirtshaus (tavern) in Vienna. Offering the perfect place for a summer night’s dinner in the garden, this is definitely a place to which to take your kinda-fancy guests from abroad when they want to sample the city’s famous dish, the Schnitzel. In the winter, guests are warmly welcomed inside, while manager Rainer Husar, who adds an authentic semi-rude, semi-fun charm to the Austrian restaurant, runs around in attempt to serve his guests. While most of the dishes in the menu change seasonally, the Schnitzel is an all-year round hit. The Wiener Schnitzel is excellent and incredibly crunchy, and it’s one of those Schnitzels where the batter makes air bubbles between the meat and the crust coating (mouth watering right here). Pfarrwirt also offers chicken Schnitzel, with a side of typical potato salad.
Click here to see the menu!
Wiener Schnitzel with a potato and mixed salad on the side = 19.80€
Am Nordpol 3 – Best Schnitzel
Where: Nordwestbahnstraße 17, 1020
Although the name may suggest it, you don’t have to dress particularly warm for this one, nor will your schnitzel be made of reindeer (excuse us for this rather poor introduction, we just couldn’t help ourselves)
Am Nordpol 3 is a Bohemian treasure hidden in the 2nd district, with a cool Schanigarten and an indoor restaurant that looks more like the living room of a antique collector. There’s a mismatch of tables and chairs that are so random they actually seem harmonious. Fake flowers, wooden statuettes and walls crowded by some sort of modern art painting complete this chaos.
The menu at Am Nordpol 3 is just as eclectic as the decor, filled with the heavy and hearty dishes of the Bohemian kitchen, meanwhile the Wiener Schnitzel here is the real deal. The portion is huge, while the Schnitzel tastes by the book. It may be pricey, but it lives up to the Euros you’ll invest in it.
Am Nordpol 3 is the place to mention when somebody asks you to name a spot to get a really original Wiener Schnitzel away from the tourist crowds. And then specify that it’s in the 2nd district, away from any elves or sleighs – oops, we did it again.
Wiener Schnitzel with a mixed salad = 17.80€
0.5l beer (Augustiner Helles) = 4.10€
Café Rüdigerhof – Best Schnitzel
Where: Hamburgerstraße 20, 1050
Rüdigerhof is one of those places your grandparents will be happy to hear you visited, as it may have been their hang out back in the day. The coffeehouse/ restaurant is over 100 years old and carries Viennese culture like no other; from the classic coffeehouse interior to the tables full of older guests playing cards and the waiters with their Wiener charm. Their beautiful shady garden by the Wienfluss (river) is a favourite in summer.
The infamous pork schnitzel at Rüdigerhof is fluffy and light, which may be a result of it being fried in lard, rather than oil. It is served with the typical side of potato salad, by a happy waiter who believes he is changing your taste buds forever by serving you the dish.
Pork schnitzel with potato salad = 8.60€
Wiener schnitzel with potato salad = 14.90€
0.5 Budweiser Beer = 4.10€
Salzamt – Best Schnitzel
Where: Ruprechtsplatz 1, 1010
Tucked away in the middle of the infamous Bermuda Triangle party area, Salzamt seems as though time has stood still since it opened in 1983. The Schnitzel is not spilling over the plate like most places we sampled, but it’s still more than enough. It’s not the crunchiest of Schnitzels though – the coating, at times, is a little too soggy for our liking. It passed the one centimetre test, and the veal meat was succulent. But where Salzamt’s Schnitzel really shines though, is its seasoning.
In summer, the large terrace offers ample opportunity to look at the variety of people passing by. Indoors, a bar with a true Viennese barkeeper (you’ll understand when you meet her) and traditional dining room awaits. The waiters are impeccably dressed in their white button-up shirts and seem to glide through the establishment. They casually switch between German and English as locals and tourists dine alike. It feels like old world Wien, and we like it.
Look out for: The handwritten menu. They update it daily!
Click here to see the lunch menu!
Wiener Schnitzel with potato salad and green seeds = 19.50€
Figlmüller – Best Schnitzel
Where: Wollzeile 5, 1010
What started as a Heurigen (wine tavern) in an outer district, has become one of the most famous restaurants in the city since it moved to the city center in 1905, and it’s earned its name for their Schnitzels that are bigger than the plate they’re served on. Per year, there are over 200,000 Schnitzels served up at Figlmüller by professional waiters that have been around so long, they’re as much a part of the place as the furniture. And while many locals will disregard Figlmüller as an overhyped tourist spot, they couldn’t be more wrong. It doesn’t get more local and rooted in the Viennese spirit than the Figlmüller name, family, and the scrumptious Schnitzel they’re serving up. While Thomas Figlmüller (one of the friendly brothers who took over running the Figlmüller restaurants a while back) wouldn’t reveal to us all their secrets to what makes their Schnitzel so good, he did let us in on a few insider hints to the old family recipe:
“My father created the recipe so that the breadcrumb coating wouldn’t be too oily and heavy. The Schnitzel meat is thin so that it doesn’t need to spend too much time in the fryer to cook through,” explains Thomas.
The Figlmüller house speciality Schnitzel is made out of pork, unlike the traditional Wiener Schnitzel which is not on the menu here. There’s a history behind this – back in the day when the recipe was created, veal was not easy to come by, so Papa Figlmüller used pork in the recipe. This is one of the few Schnitzels that are lighter, and that won’t make you want to crawl up on a sofa somewhere and sleep directly after eating one. They’re also famous for their potato salad here, which is topped with a drizzle of pumpkin seed oil, and made fresh several times a day.
When their charming, little location down a hidden alleyway in Vienna’s old city center started overflowing with Schnitzel craving locals and visitors to the city, they opened another location just around the corner on Bäckerstrasse, where one can get the original Wiener Schnitzel made with veal.
It’s not rare to see a line snaking for miles out the front of Figlmüller, therefore we recommend you try to reserve days in advance.
Click here to see the menu!
Figlmüller Schnitzel (without sides) = 15.50€
Potato salad with pumpkin seed oil = 4.70€
Gasthaus Kopp – Best Schnitzel
Where: Engerthstraße 104, 1200
Something about this place made us feel like regulars even though it was our first time visiting. The Wirt, a real old school Viennese who made a career out of waiting tables, starts the conversation with a joke that we don’t get, but laugh along with anyway. The place looks like it’s been decorated by random souvenirs that regular customers have picked up on Austrian vacations: old metal plates with classic Austrian brands on the walls, shelves filled with ceramic pints one would find in village flea markets and, our favourite, a plastic life-size rooster on top of the bar. The place smells like the fried food coming out of the kitchen, the lighting is weird and there’s freaky little men and women embroidered onto the farmhouse table cloth.
It’s all about choice when it comes to Schnitzel at Kopp. There is a long line of schnitzels one can order here, including some “original” creations, most being under 10€ (except the Wiener Schnitzel, of course). We couldn’t decide which one to get so we applied the golden rule “When in doubt, order the mixed platter for two”. It could have filled up 4 people easily. So much crunchiness on one platter, served with cold beer and the waiter’s ongoing bad uncle jokes – we’re not sure for which one we’ll return, but Kopp surely hasn’t seen the last of us.
Click here to see the menu!
0.5l beer (Murauer) = 3.60€
Wiener Schnitzel = 16€
Schnitzelwirt – Best Schnitzel
Where: Neubaugasse 52, 1070
Schnitzelwirt is a place full of surprises – from the first one that awaited us at the entrance when we were confronted by some 6 to 8 people waiting in the entrance to be seated, slightly crammed in the little space in front of the bar, to the novelty bar stools that make anybody who sit on them look like they’re wearing a pair of good old Lederhosen.
A few minutes in, a lady in a dirndl with boobs exploding out of the top sees us to our table. The menus, shaped like beer jugs, hang next to the jackets on the coat hanger beside us. The place is packed, the tablecloth is stained, there’s fake flowers on the table and the service is slow – but aren’t these often hints for awesomely tasting food that simply takes time (ok, maybe not the fake flowers thing).
We flip through the menu and notice that the light snack section starts with “Baked ham on salad”. It’s at this point that we already feel the food-coma of the upcoming Schnitzels that we’re about to enter. The variety of Schnitzels goes from Paris to Mexico (use your imagination to think of what these involve), but we choose the Viennese style. However, the long list is the longest out of all of the places we visited (there’s even one Schnitzel called the Zigeunerschnitzel (gypsy Schnitzel), and also the cheapest.
The food takes surprisingly little time to be served and before we know it we are facing two sizzling, giant, golden pieces of coated pork waiting to be devoured. To be frank, they do make a very decent Schnitzel. Actually a pretty tasty one, however, we assume their glowing reviews on the net have more to do with the mammoth size, rather than their quality and taste. We’d say Schnitzelwirt is the kind of place you want to tick off the bucket-list once, and then never look back.
Click here to see the menu!
Cordon Bleu (without sides) = 12€
Baked garlic Schnitzel (without sides) = 11€