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Best of Toronto

The Best Schnitzel in Toronto

Posted by Rick McGinnis / December 6, 2011

best schnitzel torontoThe best schnitzel in Toronto has made a long voyage here, from the tables of middle Europe to a city where paprika was an exotic spice and Wiener Schnitzel was like Pad Thai in a town that closed up tight on Sundays. A couple of the restaurants on this list actually date from this era before tapas and cheap sushi, and have survived mostly because there are probably few things as filling as a big slab of breaded and deep fried meat on a plate of potatoes and slaw.

The proprietors of many of these eateries read like a roll call of the Austro-Hungarian empire and its Warsaw Pact successor - Hungarians, Czechs, Poles and Croatians, all of whom have their own particular spin on schnitzel. And while the classic Wiener Schnitzel was made from veal, the cost of a decent cut these days means that pork and chicken are what's on the plate nowadays.

Here is the best schnitzel in Toronto.

See also:

The best perogies in Toronto

Country Style Hungarian

Country Style Hungarian

Country Style is all that’s left of what was once a thriving Hungarian restaurant strip along Bloor in the Annex, and it serves a textbook schnitzel in period surrounding. It’s a big, plate-covering schnitzel, its lightly peppered breading bubbled loosely around the meat, and served with roasted potatoes and a more-sweet-than-tart cucumber salad. More »

Schnitzel Queen

Schnitzel Queen

There are just four seats in this tiny storefront at what has to be the dodgiest corner in downtown Toronto, but customer loyalty means that you’ll be lining up for takeout. The schnitzel plate comes with a lemon potato salad, while the sandwich is massive, an unwieldy disc of whole grain bun and seasoned sliced tomatoes built around a buttery-tender schnitzel. More »

Cafe Polonez

Cafe Polonez

A fixture on the (decreasingly Polish) Roncesvalles strip for years, Polonez features a menu full of eastern European favorites (cabbage rolls, borscht, herring) and five different schnitzels available in chicken or pork. The house specialty is a massive plate of food, a huge schnitzel smothered in sauteed mushrooms, and accompanied by dilled potatoes, sauerkraut, cabbage slaw, beets and mixed veg, a meal that could fuel a barn-raising. More »

Bread & Butter

Bread & Butter

Schnitzel is a lily begging to be gilded, which explains the bacon and melted cheese on this Leaside eatery’s signature sandwich, which comes in a deluxe version with a fried egg, a combination the chef calls a hangover cure. It’s a real mouthful, almost overwhelming, built around a classic schnitzel cutlet, pounded thin, with a peppery crust of breading. More »

Gourmet Schnitzel House

Gourmet Schnitzel House

The newest entry on this list set up shop just ten months ago in a Kingston Road strip mall not far from the Scarborough bluffs. The menu features three schnitzel sandwiches and seven dinners built around their classic pork and chicken schnitzel. The house specialty is a broad, peppery cutlet served with a veggie garnish and scoops of onion-laced mashed potatoes. More »

Izba

Izba

Dressed up like a mountain chalet, this Queensway restaurant is the most gemuchlichkeit dining room on the list, and features a European cuisine menu full of greatest hits, cabbage rolls, pierogies, goulash and Turkish coffee among them. The schnitzel comes coated in an herb-laced breading with roast potatoes, carrots and a rich dollop of braised red cabbage. More »

Green Eggplant

Green Eggplant

This popular Beaches haunt features what’s probably the most radical schnitzel on the list. It’s a chicken schnitzel, thick and tender, coated with a crispy corn bread-laced breading and topped with a sculptural tangle of shredded beets. The mashed potatoes are pillowy and light, but the ramekin of baba ghanoush on the side is both unorthodox and perfect. More »

Town Crier

Town Crier

This club district pub has taken the high road with their gourmet schnitzel, a big pork cutlet covered with creamy mushroom sauce and served with herbed roast potatoes and perfectly steamed veggies. The veg is a nice relief from the rich, earthy taste of meat and mushrooms, and gives a hint at where the humble, rib-sticking schnitzel could go next. More »

Discussion

39 Comments

KPB / December 6, 2011 at 10:58 am
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Don't forget Hrvati!
Stefan / December 6, 2011 at 10:58 am
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First things first. Schnitzel should never be deep fried.
Sacha Sayan / December 6, 2011 at 11:00 am
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Missing one: Old Country Inn in Unionville.

http://www.oldcountryinn.ca/

Their Hausplatte is especially incredible, and is so much kraut, schnitzel, and wurst it could probably feed a herd of horses.
Aydin / December 6, 2011 at 11:15 am
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I'm excited to try many of these places!
My personal favorite so far is The Coffee Mill in Yorkville: http://www.blogto.com/restaurants/coffee-mill-toronto
schnitzellover / December 6, 2011 at 11:48 am
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The Victoria restaurant on Mount Pleasant is such a big loss.
MRB / December 6, 2011 at 11:51 am
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Prague microwaves their schnitzel when you order a takeout sandwich, effectively removing any crispiness that existed.
I can speak for eating in, but I'm not a fan of Prague for takeout.
M J / December 6, 2011 at 11:53 am
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Schnitzel is an Austrian dish, so safe to say that Old COuntry Inn in Unionville must be on the list.

Not familiar with all the places in the list. Country Style Hungarian is quite good. Be careful of Bread & Butter - the schnitzel is too salty, not fresh (as confirmed by the staff) and can be a few days old!
Syncros / December 6, 2011 at 12:05 pm
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+1 for the green eggplant chicken schnitzel. Insanely good, too large for one meal, so split it or take half home for the next day.
DC / December 6, 2011 at 12:34 pm
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You guys left out Bier Markt (Esplanade) they have chicken and pork schnitzel...insanity
Sonia / December 6, 2011 at 01:37 pm
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I swear by Bread & Butter, and ate there probably three times a week in high school. Best schnitzel.
Neda T. / December 6, 2011 at 02:04 pm
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Thank YOU! I was really craving a good Schnitzel withno clue where to look for one!
Bunty / December 6, 2011 at 02:37 pm
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The best food is Austrian food! :)
Fig / December 6, 2011 at 02:48 pm
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This post has me craving a Schnitzel! Thanks for the great suggestions.
nib / December 6, 2011 at 02:53 pm
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There's a small Polish place called Amber near Bloor and Runnymede that has really good schniztel too.
nib replying to a comment from nib / December 6, 2011 at 02:54 pm
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Actually I should amend that, it's closer to Bloor and Windermere. Tasty stuff.
jojo / December 6, 2011 at 03:30 pm
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agree with dc. really enjoyed bier markt's schnitzel!
Dennis Marciniak replying to a comment from nib / December 6, 2011 at 05:03 pm
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Are you thinking of Astra Deli on Bloor. W of Runnymede? Two schnitzel to go for about $3.50 to go. Amazing food, staff is wonderful as well.
Richard / December 6, 2011 at 05:36 pm
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Unionville?

Might as well start listing places in Europe if we're willing to go that far out of TO :)
Scott Snider / December 6, 2011 at 07:53 pm
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The Green Eggplant Schnitzel was a revelation to me when I first tried it. Juciy and tender and bursting with flavour. The serving size is gigantic too; worth a visit to the East end.
Angela / December 6, 2011 at 09:45 pm
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Vienna House on Birchmount just north of Lawrence is fantastic, lunch bar only with grocery store. Fantastic! Another great one is the Blue Danube on Ellesmere just east of McCowan. It is in the cultural centre/senior's residence.
Yoshiboy / December 6, 2011 at 11:42 pm
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Country Style Hungarian hands down.

It's not even a contest. Yes, Green Eggplant is good, and Bier Market is also not bad, Schnitzel Queen is also very good, however nothing comes close to Country Style.

It's not even a competition and this is because they haven't changed anything since the restaurant opened which is why it's a success.

If you haven't been, then well you're losing out. And the perogies and and sausage is amazing.
Not to be missed.
CuliNerd / December 8, 2011 at 11:39 am
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How about Blu Danube here in Etobicoke. Best Schnitzel hands down in sandwich form, fried sauerkraut with garlic mayo. Blamo!!
David Manion / December 15, 2011 at 04:54 pm
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Blu Danube for an excellent sandwich but go around the corner to The Musket for a great sit down old school german schnitzel
zoe / January 11, 2012 at 12:17 pm
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Its more tasty if u add grated parmesan on any breadcrumbs.take note the meat should slice thinly...not only u enjoy the taste but the crispy of each bite.
Mur / May 2, 2012 at 03:16 am
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You are all forgetting the number ONE BEST schniztel place in Toronto. Pumpernickels Deli and Catering (specifically the TD location...) has the BEST schnitzel sandwich (on a bun) AND the best customer service. Overall.. number one for sure goes to them!
ben / July 12, 2012 at 10:30 am
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if you love schnitzel like i do join the facebook fan page! http://www.facebook.com/iloveschnitzel (there is a link to a video on how to make schnitzel here too)
COSPLAY / September 26, 2012 at 11:44 pm
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The Victoria restaurant on Mount Pleasant is such a big loss.
Lulu / October 17, 2012 at 04:18 pm
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I went and tried Bread & Butter the other day, umm... although the schnitzel was tasty, I don't think it's top 10 material anymore since the change in owner. Half the stuff on their website doesn't even correspond to their real in store menu, made me feel so foreign.
cheKoz / December 9, 2013 at 05:12 pm
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I had THE WORST experience at Izba, aside from the kitschy decor, there is nothing at all redeeming about the food or the service, it just looks like a schnitzel house, it peddles drek, sorry... Please remove from Izba from 'Best Schnitzel' list, now, please, or this list had no cred! Anything on Ronces or Bloor West is better than Izba
Melanie / April 9, 2014 at 05:43 pm
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You definitely have to add The Old Country Inn to the list. How can you have a top 10 schnitzel list without including an Austrian Restaurant? It's worth the drive to Unionville trust me. Best Schnitzel and Apple Strudel ever!

http://www.oldcountryinn.ca/
Durendal / July 2, 2014 at 12:26 am
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As a schnitzel connoisseur, I recently tried Gourmet Schnitzel House for the first time. The Wiener Schnitzel I ordered was very good, but not spectacular. That fact combined with its location on a dreary, hard-to-get-to stretch of Kingston Road unfortunately mean that the place isn't worth the long, arduous journey required to get there, unless you live in the immediate area. Toronto really needs more German/Austrian restaurants downtown in areas easily accessible by mass transit.

As for Country Style, I loved going there in the past, but honestly, charging 17 bucks for a simple schnitzel in a place that hasn't seen a renovation since at least the 70's is a joke, and recently they were slapped with health violations by city food inspectors, so I'm afraid I won't be going back. Plus they only took cash! What is this, the 20th century??

I also used to frequent Izba, but haven't been in a long time because I concur with what others have been saying - the place really went downhill quite some time ago, and the service was always lousy.

Can no one open an authentic German/Austrian restaurant in this city? It's really not that hard.
Kat / October 28, 2014 at 10:23 pm
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me va me
Charles / October 28, 2014 at 11:24 pm
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Mevame is the best schnitzel in Toronto!!!! No doubts about it!
Aziza / October 28, 2014 at 11:27 pm
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what about Biermarket. Best schnitzel ever. Best German beer too.
Kraut / October 29, 2014 at 01:53 am
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There's a German restaurant on the Danforth called Das Gasthaus... Serves great schnitzel
red cabbage / October 29, 2014 at 06:44 am
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Where has all the quality German restaurants gone.. I guess many have moved out of Toronto with the changing demographic. No schnitzel seems FRESH anymore. Microwave city. Or just has the taste of old frozen meat.

The best schnitzel I ever had (other than what my parents made) was an old place up in Wasaga Beach.. called the Schnitzel house. Went there many times in the 90's during the summer. They also made amazing red cabbage .. rouladden(sp?) And everything was crazy fresh.. I think this place closed down in early 2000. Or moved somewhere else.

If a small dump can make amazing FRESH schnitzels .. why can't anyone in Toronto anymore?

Hope this list gets updated. Its 3 years old.
Roslyn Keri / October 29, 2014 at 10:43 am
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Obviously you haven't wandered up north to try the schnitzel there...Rhapsody...no contest!
stopitman / October 30, 2014 at 08:05 pm
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For those who will venture west of the Humber and go to that land that Torontonians are scared of... Hamilton.

Pro Tip: check out the Black Forest Inn on King St E, which has been open since the 1960s. The schnitzel is the size of the plate, schnitzel prices are good ($13-16), and the food has consistently been good (going back decades).
northdot9 / November 1, 2014 at 11:29 am
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Schnitzel queen : always fresh. Number 1 for me.

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