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Nice quiet place for Schnitzel in Vienna?

We will be in Vienna for a week pursuant to a home exchange. While we generally cook dinner "in" when we have an apartment, we would like to sample some good Schnitzel, either vom Schwein or the authentic veal. ( I make pretty good Schnitzel at home, but hope I can learn something). I do not like the sound of the oft-recommended Figlmüller---long lines, a huge portion that hangs over the side of the plate (cannot eat that much), and according to some reviews they rush you to finish and leave---one review said they allow you 20 minutes from the time your plate is delivered to eat, then start annoying you. Whether or not this is true, the general gist of many reviews is that the place is touristy and rushed. I am sure there are other places that make Schnitzel that is just as good, without the rush ( and ridiculously huge portions).

We would prefer a smaller, quiet place with nice local ambiance and friendlier waitstaff, where we can relax and linger over our wine. Any recommendations? Our apartment is near St. Stephan's Dom.

( I hesitate to ask our hosts for recommendations as I know from the food they left behind when they stayed in our home that they are vegetarian).

Posted by
671 posts

If I may focus on making schnitzel yourself.....maybe you know this, but in case you don't: The secret to great schnitzel is the semmel broesel (the ground up stale 'semmel' rolls)! From our experience, no bread crumbs you can buy in the U.S. work as well. Most likely it is the cultivar of wheat that the Austrians grow (i.e., the specific types and amounts of proteins and carbohydrates in the flour) that makes the difference. We always bring some back when we travel to Austria or ask our Austrian friends to send us some to keep supplied. Frankly, I feel that the Wiener Schnitzel I make at home in PA is as good (not better, but as good) as any I have ever had at a restaurant in Austria, and I base that statement on many meals eaten out during one year of living in Vienna as well as on subsequent trips to Austria. So, try this in your apartment: whichever meat you choose (chicken breast - huhnerschnitzel - is great too!), pound with a meat hammer to tenderize, coat both sides well with all-purpose flour, dip in beaten eggs, then coat both sides with semmel broesel (I also add some salt and pepper to it). Then fry in oil until golden brown, turning at least once (we like to use peanut oil for flavor). Lastly, I put the schnitzel on a wire rack, set the rack on a cooking tray, and put in the oven at 300 F for about 15 minutes to let the oil drain. Always comes out great! As far as current recommendations for a non-touristy, quiet place for a Schnitzel, I will defer to others who are now living in Vienna or recently traveled there. But we 'discovered' such a place many years ago (early 1990s) when we lived in the 19th District - s'Eckbeisl ("the corner beisl") on Gatterburggasse, which apparently is still in business. It was a great local restaurant (no tourists there) with very friendly waiters. I think maybe the second time we went there, and with a very young (4 or 5 months old) daughter in tow, the waitress told my wife that she needs some time to relax and enjoy her meal. So, she held our daughter for a while and then took her to the kitchen, reappearing momentarily with a dish of whipped cream ('schlag') which our daughter greatly enjoyed. After that, we became 'regulars' there. Of course, a nice heurigen in Neustift am Walde or Nussdorf should also fit the bill, but on the 'friendliness scale', the wait staff didn't compare to the waitress at the s'Eckbeisl.

Posted by
3460 posts

You can get either Schwein or Kalb done perfectly at 3/4 Takt , Praterstrasse , 54 in Leopoldstadt ( second district , U1 , Nestroyplatz - about ten minutes from Stefansplatz ) . Very quiet , relaxed place and excellent food . We have been here for three weeks and it's our favorite . Just down the street from our hotel , and the name ( 3/4 time ) indicates the meter for the waltz . Johann Strauss , the younger lived in the building for a time , and it was there that he composed his iconic " Blue Danube Waltz " ( it's actually green ) . While you wait for the food to be cooked , you will hear the schnitzel being pounded in the kitchen ( in waltz time , of course ) . It's almost time for dinner , guess where we are headed .

Posted by
13093 posts

Thank you both! I used to make my own breadcrumbs but lately have been using panko which makes a very light and crispy crust. I will see how the Semmel Bröseln crumbs compare when we are in Vienna.

And I will put 3/4 on the list to try. Guten Apetit, Steven.

Posted by
671 posts

Good luck. You can buy a bag (500 g or 1 kg) of broesel at any supermarket (Billa, Spar, Meinl, etc.). I think that you will notice a big difference.

Posted by
12898 posts

I recommend Schnitzel Wirt at 52 Neubaugasse, very popular with locals primarily since at lunch, it's difficult to get in. True, it is one of the places where the portion is huge but that's deceptive since the meat be pork or veal (vom Schwein oder vom Kalb) is very thin. Schnitzel Wirt is hardly a place where you feel rushed. I didn't get that feeling regarding myself or see that happen to others.

Another place where the Schnitzel is cooked in front of you as you stand at the Schnitzel counter is "Rosenberger Restaurant" on Maysedergasse off of Kärntnerstraße, towards the Staatsoper. The rest of the restaurant is buffet style...always room there. since it is a large and spacious place.

Posted by
5697 posts

Seconding the recommendation for Schnitzel Wirt -- we shared one serving of tasty schnitzel and an extra potato salad and were barely able to finish. NO feeling of being rushed. (This was our second visit -- the first time we didn't take the advice of Tina from K&T and ordered one schnitzel apiece ... thanks to the shared refrigerator at K&T, we had leftover schnitzel for dinner the next night.)

Posted by
4690 posts

I recommend Huth, which has the second best schnitzel I've had in Vienna. (Figlmueller is my favorite and it's popular for a reason even for locals; most restaurants serve schnitzels that hang over the plate). Huth is classy with an upscale menu and good wine. I'd also recommend Plachutta zur Opera for schnitzel- elevated dining experience known for schnitzel from the famous restaurant group Plachutta.

Posted by
4697 posts

I will second Plachutta Zur Opera. I went there post opera last year based on Emily's recommendation and the schnitzel was delicious.

Posted by
178 posts

You can always split the portion of schnitzel in half.

We ate at Fliglmueller and split the order. We noticed many local people there. The staff was friendly.

I would imagine that any resto in Vienna serves a great schnitzel. For sure I would ask your hosts. Just because they are vegetarian doesn't mean they can't recommend a good place.

Posted by
1492 posts

I recommend Schnitzel Wirt at 52 Neubaugasse, very popular with locals primarily since at lunch, it's difficult to get in. True, it is one of the places where the portion is huge but that's deceptive since the meat be pork or veal (vom Schwein oder vom Kalb) is very thin.

The pork Schnitzel they serve is big, juicy, and not thin. I doubt that they serve veal Schnitzel. But you cannot call it a quiet place Lola was asking for.

In my opinion, the best original Wiener Schnitzel (from veal) you get in the "Meierei", located on the embankment of the Vienna river right in the middle of "Stadtpark" (city garden).

Posted by
12898 posts

I'll agree that Schnitzel Wirt is not a quiet place. As packed as it is, that can hardly be expected. True, the place has a certain noise level, at least that was the case at lunch, the two times I was there. My copious portion was one that drooped over the plate like elephant ears, it was thin.

Posted by
2353 posts

We LOVED 3/4 Takt! Yes - you can hear them pounding the cutlets from the kitchen! And yes - the cucumber salad is devine! If pounded out properly there is no getting around a very large cutlet. We would split one along with a salad and dessert!

Posted by
63 posts

I'll agree with the previous posters about Schnitzelwirt. We were there a couple of days ago. The schnitzel was fantastic and we didn't have to wait long.

Posted by
971 posts

oh man, I was thinking of schnitzwirt but all the reports about it being super smoky scared me off... my son is pretty sensitive to smoke.

How was it?

Kim

Posted by
13093 posts

I am still checking in here, reading and taking notes.

I am particularly interested in the answer to Kim's question about smoke at Schnitzelwirt---that would be a major bummer for my husband.

So far it sounds like Meierei might be the "quiet" place we are looking for--is it outdoors? And it also sounds like we should be prepared to split a single order as they are always huge. Do we ask them to do that ( I speak German and can do that nicely) or do we just share the one plate?

Posted by
12898 posts

What reports? I was at Schnitzelwirt twice for lunch (not on the same trip) and don't recall any smoking going on. In doors I would have noticed that nuisance rather quickly. I remember Schnitzelwirt at lunch as crowded, informal, ie noisy, copious portions, and pretty inexpensive.

Posted by
1492 posts

I was thinking of schnitzwirt but all the reports about it being super smoky scared me off..

Only in the very first room there are the smokers. So if you enter Schnitzelwirt, just hold your breath and march right through into one of the other rooms in the back.

Total smoking ban will be in Austria effective May 2018.

Posted by
1492 posts

So far it sounds like Meierei might be the "quiet" place we are looking for--is it outdoors? And it also sounds like we should be prepared to split a single order as they are always huge.

Outdoor tables are available when the weather permits, only. You need not to share a plate of Schnitzel there. I recommend to make a reservation for a table.

By the way, in my opinion you get there the best "Kaiserschmarrn" - a famous dessert - in Vienna. This plate you should share. Because this restaurant prepares it fresh from scratch, which needs more than 20 minutes, you should order it upfront, so it is ready when you are finished with the main course.

Posted by
4690 posts

The Meierei is the sister restaurant to Steiereck - one of the top restaurants in the world. Meierei has decadent breakfasts as well. Tables are inside and outside. To share a main course would be considered uncouth, especially at this place). To share a dessert is acceptable (although Kaiserschmarrn is often served also as a main). I again suggest Huth Gastwirtschaft for schnitzel.

Posted by
13093 posts

Thanks, Emily. I do not want to do anything uncouth! I only asked about sharing because people suggested that was one way to handle a huge platter-sized Schnitzel. But we don't normally split dishes when we dine out; we each order a main and when I have eaten all I want, I discretely pass my plate over to my husband for him to finish. It is amazing he is not as big as a barn, but he isn't.

I love Kaiserschmarrn---have had it several times for lunch in the Dolomites---but cannot imagine eating that for dessert after a filling meal. And when my husband has something sweet, it has to be chocolate. I don't imagine we will have trouble finding that in Vienna.