The Best Schnitzel in Toronto
The 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.
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »