The burning question: where to go for the best Schnitzel in Vienna?
When you think of Vienna, you think of Waltz, Sissi, balls, the café culture, the Imperial palaces and the best quality of life in the world. But the Austrian capital is also home to the world-famous Wiener Schnitzel!
Viennese will argue over where to have the best Wienerschnitzel; everyone has their favourite Schnitzel restaurant that is, of course, “the best” place to savour the city’s signature dish — traditionally made from veal, although IMHO, I prefer the lighter version from pork. Either way, the perfect Wiener Schnitzel must be seriously crunchy on the outside and the meat, so soft you can almost cut it with your fork. The dish always comes with a side of potato salad or cucumber salad with yoghurt and dill sauce.
As you might expect, our editors too, have their chosen restaurants to get the perfect Schnitzel, which are, obviously, the best in Vienna. Period. If you promise to keep the secret, we will share with you our favourite spots for Vienna’s world-famous signature dish.
The best-known restaurant is without a doubt, Figlmüller. Situated since 1905 next to St Stephen’s Cathedral, in the heart of Vienna, the charming original restaurant serves only pork Wienerschnitzel, but you can get the veal option at the nearby newer location. Although some Viennese will say the place is too touristy because of the lines of visitors waiting outside, even in the coldest days, to get a table, it is worth a visit. They serve more than 200,000 Schnitzels per year, and theirs is absolutely delicious. The Viennese dish is bigger than the plate it comes on but paper thin and thanks to the secret family recipe, isn’t oily or heavy.
This restaurant located on the Ring originally opened its doors at another address in 1896 and became legendary until it was destroyed in 1945. Their veal Wienerschnitzel is prepared in the traditional way to perfection, pounded flat and fried golden brown.
An authentic and unpretentious Viennese restaurant packed with locals, Helitschka is tucked away in a backstreet in the third district, and in summer, you can eat outside under the arcade. The delicious Schnitzel is light and crisp, and as always, big enough to serve two.
The simple Austrian restaurant in the 7th district has an old-fashioned atmosphere that may look a bit run down, definitely too smoky and even dirty for some, but for most people, that’s precisely what makes it cool and unique, besides its excellent typical food, of course. Wratschko was featured on an episode of Anthony Bourdain, catching the attention of foodie tourists who now rub shoulders with art students and old locals who seem to be part of the decor.
The restaurant that opened 40 years ago in the 7th district, claims to serve the biggest and the best schnitzel in town, which many in Vienna and at Notorious, agree! The delicious schnitzel is gigantic, the ambience is hectic and friendly, and because the restaurant is always crowded, you probably will have to share your table with strangers, which can be a fun experience … or not!
After enjoying a delicious Schnitzel, maybe you want to check out the best bakeries in Vienna!
Image courtesy @Meissl&Schadn, photo @FlorianWeitzer