There are some misconceptions about schnitzel, so let’s clear them up. The preparation originated in Austria and remains popular there, in Germany, and, let’s face it, around the world. Schnitzel simply involves meat being pounded thin, generally coated in a bread crumb mixture, and flash-fried. Veal, chicken, and pork are popular proteins, but not the only ones used. And the usual side dishes range from warm German potato salad and spaetzle to cured cucumbers and French fries, but those can vary as well. In case you’re not headed to Oktoberfest, here are nine restaurants for schnitzel to help you celebrate on this side of the pond. Not near any of these spots? OpenTable has 51,000 restaurants – and one of them is right for you.
The Dutch, New York, New York
There’s a reason why veal schnitzel is a classic. It’s comforting, it’s satiating, and it’s just the right amount of indulgence. This version arrives with warm potato salad and a fresh lemon to squeeze on to cut through the richness.
Rave restaurant review: “Have already recommended The Dutch to friends. Great imaginative food, charming service.”
Make a reservation at The Dutch.
Trace, Austin, Texas
Here’s a handheld schnitzel for you. A bouncy brioche bun bookends lightly fried pork loin, pickled red cabbage, roasted garlic aioli, and arugula. Consider it the sandwich of your dreams.
Rave restaurant review: “We had such a WONDERFUL experience here on my birthday! Such amazing food and the overall look and feel of the restaurant was ON POINT! Can’t wait to go back!”
Make a reservation at Trace.
Funkenhausen, Chicago, Illinois
Pork schnitzel gets the Nashville hot treatment. An 8-ounce pork tenderloin is dipped in spices and fried in housemade hot chile oil. It’s served with a drizzle of cooling dill ranch and crunchy zucchini bread-and-butter pickles.
Rave restaurant review: “What a wonderful surprise this place was. Innovative menu, knowledgeable and fun waiter, attentive wait staff and fun ambiance!”
Make a reservation at Funkenhausen.
Augustine, New York, New York
This schnitzel is the shizzle! The comfort food classic comes with potato salad and lingonberry compote. So good, you just might freestyle rap about it.
Rave restaurant review: “Flawless really! I can’t say much more than that! Great food, great drinks, great decor, great service. One of NYC’s best.”
Make a reservation at Augustine.
Vineyard Table & Tasting Lounge, Livermore, California
There’s a summery vibe to this schnitzel. The crispy chicken breast is dressed up with golden cherry tomatoes, a bright herb salad, and a delightfully unexpected madras curry vinaigrette. Goes well with a glass of Chardonnay, so order one made onsite at the winery.
Rave restaurant review: “Fantastic views, beautiful food presentation, great service, local gem of history. Can’t wait to come back.”
Make a reservation at Vineyard Table & Tasting Lounge.
Bâtard, New York, New York
This chicken schnitzel is everything you want it to be. The thinly pounded cutlets boast a crunchy golden exterior that gives way to tender juicy meat. Potato salad and cured cucumbers with micro sprigs of dill round out the plate.
Rave restaurant review: “Truly a lovely meal! The staff and ambiance is welcoming and the food was spectacular. We sometimes find Michelin dining at 1-star can fall short of its reputation/standard, but here it surpassed and surprised.”
Make a reservation at Bâtard.
Baba, Arlington, Virginia
There’s a Serbian spin to this schnitzel. A length of veal Schnitzel is stuffed with aged kajmak cheese (similar to cottage cheese). It sits on a swipe of tartar sauce.
Rave restaurant review: “I spent my birthday there and I would recommend to anyone! The food was delicious and the staff was great! I will definitely be back.”
Make a reservation at Baba.
Bauhaus, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
They hew to tradition here. Depending on the season, the schnitzel may arrive with fresh seared potatoes and cranberry jam or it might come with baby potatoes and white asparagus. No matter what, a mandatory slice of fresh lemon is always a part of the equation.
Rave restaurant review: “This has to be the best restaurant in Vancouver. Deserving of Michelin stars. Every time we are here, we are always pleasantly surprised by new menu items with fantastic wine pairing. It is always a whimsical gastronomic adventure with each visit to Bauhaus.”
Make a reservation at Bauhaus.
Central Michel Richard, Washington, D.C.
Pounded thin into a perfect circle, the chicken schnitzel is almost as big as a dinner plate. Drizzle on the warm grenobloise sauce packed with capers and sautéed shallots, and squeeze on the lemon. It’s your choice of a salad or fries on the side, but why would you turn down such perfect frites?
Rave restaurant review: “My favorite restaurant in DC. Consistently exceptional quality and wonderful staff!”
Make a reservation at Central Michel Richard.
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Nevin Martell is a Washington, D.C.-based food and travel writer and the author of several books, including Freak Show Without A Tent: Swimming with Piranhas, Getting Stoned in Fiji and Other Family Vacations. Find him on Twitter @nevinmartell and Instagram @nevinmartell.
Photo credits: Daniel Krieger (Batard); Noah Fecks (The Dutch); Nevin Martell (Central Michel Richard).