Schnitzel / What To Order In Germany

What to Order In A German Restaurant can be intimidating for those not familiar with the cuisine or language. After staring at the menu (speisekarte) trying to decipher words that seem to have way too many letters, your eyes settle on one word you recognize…Schnitzel. The word means “cutlet” and you slowly breathe a sigh of relief. While maybe not the most adventurous item on the menu, you can be assured of getting a dish that everyone loves, the locals and tourists alike.

Technically this simple classic is an Austrian specialty rather than German but is widely eaten across both countries. The Austrian dish that most of us are familiar with is Weinerschnitzel, a cutlet that must be prepared with veal. It is pounded thin, coated in flour, egg and breadcrumbs and then quickly fried in butter. It is absolutely delicious and a popular dish that you can’t go wrong in ordering.

German Pork Schnitzel, "Schweineschnitzel"
“Schweineschnitzel”, A Classic Pork Cutlet

Schweineschnitzel is equally popular in Germany because it is more economical and richer in flavor. It is a classic cutlet of tender pork that is encased in a crispy golden crust on the outside and is juicy and flavorful on the inside.

German Pork Schnitzel,  “Schweineschnitzel” 

Serves 2, adjust the recipe accordingly

  • 2 – 3 pork cutlets, pounded thin (about 1/2 inch thick or less if you prefer)
  • salt and pepper to taste (I also like to use garlic powder and onion powder for extra flavor)
  • flour for dusting
  • 1 – 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 c. fine breadcrumbs
  • peanut or canola oil, enough to come halfway up the side of the cutlets
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • finely chopped parsley, for garnish
  • sliced lemons

Pat the cutlets dry with paper towel, season each side well with salt and pepper then dust lightly with flour, shaking off any excess. Dip the cutlets into the beaten egg, letting the excess dip off. Coat both sides of the cutlets into the breadcrumbs. In a large sauté pan, heat the butter and oil over medium high heat. Add the cutlets and fry until golden brown on the first side, about 3 or 4 minutes, turn and cook 2 to 3 minutes more until golden, being careful not to overcook. Drain on paper towels then plate, garnish with parsley and serve with sliced lemons.

****

If you look at a menu written in German more closely, you will see schnitzel as the second half of many of the entrée items listed. These are variations of schnitzel, each with a different name depending on the meat used and how it is garnished.

Jägerschnitzel, Pork Cutlet Topped With Mushroom Gravy
Jägerschnitzel, Pork Cutlet Topped With Mushroom Gravy

Jägerschnitzel is topped with mushrooms gravy, Zwiebelschnitzel is topped with fried onions, Holsteinschnitzel is topped with a fried egg, Rahmschnitzel is topped with a cream sauce and Schnitzel Wiener Art means a schnitzel made in the style of Vienna but with a meat other than veal. If you don’t want to eat veal or pork, schnitzel is also made with chicken Hänchenschnitzel or turkey Putenschnitzel.

Schnitzel is good anytime of the year. In the warm months, schnitzel served with a squeeze of lemon and sprinkled with parsley would go well with kartoffelsalat which is potato salad or gurkensalat which is a cucumber salad and in the cold months, schnitzel is delicious served with a hearty mushroom cream sauce and kartoffel which are potatoes or spätzle which are egg noodles, and perhaps rotkohl which is a sweet and sour red cabbage.

If you are traveling to Germany or even Austria, I would suggest buying yourself a menu translator before you leave home. I’ve had mine for years and it helps me order in confidence if no English menu is available in the restaurant where I am dining. That will be the case in many restaurants unless they cater to tourists. I’ve also found that many German waiters and waitresses speak English and are more than happy to explain dishes that I can’t find in my translator.

My husband and I will be heading to Germany in October and I know that one meal we will enjoy on the trip will be schnitzel. Even if you aren’t planning to fly off to Germany or Austria anytime soon, you can prepare a delicious schnitzel dinner at home that everyone will enjoy.

Guten Appetit

 

 

 

 

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I travel the back roads of the world, sharing great food and interesting places and enjoyable pastimes.

128 thoughts on “Schnitzel / What To Order In Germany

  1. Looking for similar words is very good advice in most Latin languages – I’m surprised that they don’t teach this kind of thing in schools, because it can get people a long way down the learning path. Your schnitzel looks delicious with a perfect crispy coating.
    I saw a recent Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown show comparing the food and culture of Cologne and Düsseldorf, which is worth a look if you can find it online 🙂

    1. Hi Mad Dog, Thank you for your compliment. I’ll have to see if I can find that episode…each area that we have traveled in Germany definitely has its own specialties.

      1. I found it very interesting to see quite big differences between to cities which are fairly close together. There’s a certain amount of rivalry between Cologne and Düsseldorf too.

  2. You did a great job explaining the schnitzel and your recipe looks great. Because of the many regions that are in Germany you get a wide variety of regional foods. I am from the north and every time I go back I crave certain meals.

  3. Your Schnitzel is delicious. I had a lovely weiner schnitzel my last night in Vienna; it seemed the perfect dish to choose. The Italians do a similar dish with veal and chicken but call it ‘alla Milanese’ and I tend to think of it that way when I’m cooking. It’s interesting how some similar dishes carry through different countries, each with their own name and angle. I look forward to your posts about your coming German trip! 🙂

    1. Hi Kay. Yes, many countries such as Italy and Japan have a dish like Germany’s schnitzel. I’m happy you liked this post and are looking forward to the posts about our trip, thank you.

    1. Hi Madonna, You can’t believe have many variations of schnitzel there are on a German menu. I’m glad you like the looks of mine, thank you.

  4. Great read. Never had a schnitzel that I didn’t like. Really easy dish to make at home, too, although for some reason it’s not one I often make.Almost always make a pork schnitzel when I do — it has more flavor than veal, and of course is much less expensive. Anyway, good post — thanks.

    1. Thank you John, I’m happy to know that you enjoyed the post. Yes, I believe the pork version has more flavor than veal and costs way less to prepare.

    1. Hi Sylvia, I’m glad you like the recipe…thank you. We are looking forward to our trip and the way time flies, it will be here before we know it.

  5. We loved all the Schnitzels we had last summer in Austria and Germany. One of our friends – who just visited Germany for the first time – avoided all Schnitzel thinking it was a hot dog. That is because here, in Tucson, we have a chain restaurant called Wienerschnitzel that only sells hot dogs. Sadly, for her, she didn’t discover her error until it was too late! Love your recipe!

    1. Hi David, I can’t believe your friend missed out on schnitzel while in Germany but of course, there is so many good dishes to order there. Thank you for your compliment, I’m glad you like the recipe.

  6. Those photos made me instantly hungry! We have a great German restaurant nearby where I can get my Jager and Weinerschnitzel fix. And thanks for the info, I had no idea there were so many different kinds.

    1. Hi Lea Ann, You are lucky to have a good German restaurant where you live. We’ve not found one in here in our area of Florida as yet. I’m glad you enjoyed the post…yes, there are many different variations of schnitzel.

  7. Hi Karen
    Wienerschnitzel has always been my favorite. When my mother and I travelled in Bavaria , I ate it almost every night They pounded a piece so thin, you could practically read the paper through it. It was phenomenal–and practically filled a platter.
    I finally found a great butcher in Traverse City ( a foodie’s version of heaven) and they carry it organic. Pricey, but well worth it. I buy a pound every year for my birthday supper. Heaven on a plate.
    Hope your summer is going well. We’re hot as blazes up here this week–good time to catch up on reading (you’ll note, I did not say housework….hahah)

    1. Hi Susan, Yes the wienerschnitzel is very thin in Bavaria and it is so good. You are lucky to have a wonderful butcher. I had a great shop like that when we lived in New England but nothing like that here. Summer is hot here as well. Reading is way more fun than housework, I understand. 😀

  8. I agree Karen. Schnitzel is universally loved. It is just like Pork Milanese which we had in Italy last year. Come on over to see my version and enter my Giveaway.

    1. Hi Penny, Yes the pork Milanese from Italy and the schweineschnitzel from Germany are basically the same, sometimes the seasonings are a little different. I’m smiling about the giveaway you mentioned…I’m so happy that I won. Thank You! 😀

  9. My mouth was watering. I lived in the area near Kaiserslautern back in 1972. My favorite was the Jägerschnitzel! Of course, the German beers went well with any schnitzel!

    1. Hi Bishop, I’m glad that you like the looks of the jägerschnitzel…thank you. You are right, a great German beer goes great with the dish.

  10. We love schnitzel and have enjoyed it in Germany, Austria, at home and Texas as chicken fried steak – I love the German influence in the Texas hill country.

    1. Hi Larry, Yes a large part of Texas was settled by Germans. They were the ones credited with creating chicken fried steak. As a Texan, I can tell you I ate many of them when I lived at home.

  11. Schnitzel is a dish my dear Mom prepared regularly. The Hungarian version is eaten with a squeeze of lemon juice and chopped parsley. If you order it at a restaurant, it often comes the size of a dinner platter! Your version looks wonderful with the buttered noodles..

  12. I think I have never encountered so delicate a crunch as when I bit into my first Schweineschnitzel in a in Heidelberg. On the other hand, the gemischte salads with their ponderous surprises under the leafy greens made up for that delicacy. Oh, and the beer. 😉

  13. Am so pleased you are able to travel internationally this year and I know from previous posts how you enjoy your ‘homework’ and preparations. I notice the nose of the plane will again turn towards Germany . . . when will we have the pleasure to welcome you to the wondrous history, culture and unbelievable food of the Asian region – the wonders of Vietnam and Thailand and Japan, the exciting street food of Malaysia and, say, a real foodie spice trip to Kerala?

    1. Hi Eha, Before I was married to my husband, I was lucky to have traveled to much of Europe, as well as to Morocco, Egypt, Iran and yes to Thailand and Japan. For years my husband and I traveled to France and Italy but he loves our trips to Germany and Austria. He has no desire to travel to the Asian region although he loves their food. After our trip this fall, we are talking about perhaps going to Spain and France in the spring or perhaps another trip to Italy. For now, the Asian food on my blog will be the ones I prepare myself. 🙂

      1. *biggest smile* Well, Asia from east to west and north to south is ‘my’ world as may be apparent [and I am Baltic by birth!] . . . . dear Karen, I guess I had to find a way to say ‘hello’ ’cause I would not ever eat anything crumbed, and v rarely fried . . . oh have eaten plenty of schnitzels in my early lifetime . . . they are oft served in Estonia also, but not to me 🙂 ! Actually have lived in SW Germany and it was my first language up north also . . . without prejudice and admitting this is a personal but strongly health issue: German and Austrian food are not for me . . .

  14. Thankfully Afrikaans helps a bit when trying to read German. 😀
    We haven’t enjoyed schnitzels for the longest time. Think I shall put them on the menu this week while Pete is home.
    Have a beautiful week ahead.
    🙂 Mandy xo
    PS. Hope you are nicely settled in your home.

    1. Yes, I can see why it would help. I hope you and Pete got to enjoy some schnitzel while he was home. Thank you for asking about our home, we are happy and enjoying our new home a lot. 🙂

  15. So, I tried to learn German myself last year. In school I did 8 years of French and also Latin and Classical Greek. I always wanted to learn German and figured with some knowledge of how languages work, I could learn. I actually learned quite a bit…before where words just looked unpronounceable, I was able to decipher them. Of course, I haven’t kept up with it.
    I love the crispy look of the schnitzel, I may replace the pork with chicken but I can imagine it’s still pretty good. Looks fab in your photos!

    Nazneen

    1. Good for you about trying to learn German. Thank goodness most Germans speak English or I would be in a lot of trouble during our travels there. Yes chicken or hänchenschnitzel as it is called in German is delicious.

  16. This isn’t my favorite kind of meal, but I did order it often in both Austria and Germany. I much preferred the fresh trout, which had nothing to do with traditional cuisines, but boy was it good. And, once when we were there it was white asparagus season, served with ham and bechamel!!!

    1. Hi Mimi, It sounds like we order similarly. One of my favorite dishes in Germany is pan sautéed trout with almonds and boiled potatoes…delicious. And yes, in spring when it is the spargel season I have to order asparagus. 🙂

      1. My very humble apologies – I truly am not a ‘troublemaker’ – but OMG [corny, I know!!] this would truly be my favourite menu ‘over there’ also : ‘grosse weisse spargel’ in springtime . . . I could live on that!!

  17. It’s fun to order schnitzel – especially in Bavaria and Austria, where every restaurant seems to have their own home-spun version. But what’s harder than ordering food in a German restaurant is ordering beer! The beer menus are generally voluminous! Fortunately, you can hardly go very wrong, since they all seem to be superb. (And they go so well with schnitzel.)

    1. Your comment gave me a chuckle, Jeff. While I’m not a beer drinker, my husband is and you are right…so many great beers to be had there and they are the perfect beverage to enjoy with schnitzel.

  18. My mouth starts watering at the sound of schnitzel and then your pictures really drive the craving home! All looks delicious – you must be so looking forward to your trip in October!

    1. Hi Monica, We are looking forward to our trip this fall and I’ll be having schnitzel somewhere along the way. I’m glad you like the looks of my versions, thank you.

  19. Schnitzel is a family favorite, such a fabulous recipe. Always with a wedge of lemon. My dad was in the military and was stationed in Austria for almost 3 years. It was then that schnitzel became a family favorite. So much so, my mom would make it for my birthday dinner! If I was lucky she made apple strudel too.

  20. That was a very informative post, Karen! I enjoyed learning about all the different kinds of schnitzels. I had no idea there were so many. I visited Germany 32 years ago and still remember eating schnitzel there (I’m not sure which kind). I loved it! I don’t think I’ve ever eaten it since. I would like to. Thank you so much for your recipe!

    1. Thank you Shari, I’m glad to know that you enjoyed the post. It sounds like it has been way to long…you much try making a schnitzel one of these days soon. 🙂

  21. Welcome home, Karen! I love schnitzel and now learned the A,B,Cs of its serving varieties. I must say, the two dishes I see here are much better than I have ever seen in Europe. Yes please to both! 😛

    1. Hi Fae, I appreciate the welcome but actually our trip isn’t until October. 🙂 Thank you for your lovely compliment about my schnitzels, how nice of you to say so.

  22. Karen, This was such an interesting post on all the schnitzel varieties! We love it and I will instantly consider it as my choice on any menu while dining out, here or in Germany! There is an excellent Inn in northeast CT where we often have it and we used to eat it often at Trapp in Stowe. A good friend who was relocated to Munich by his company taught us to learn the “danger words” as he called them, so we could be adventurous when dining out yet still avoid things like kidneys or anything we might not want! I can’t wait to see photos from your October trip. It’s the perfect month for travel in Europe, I think! Linda

    1. Hi Linda, I’m happy that you enjoyed the post, thank you. You gave me a real laugh about the “danger words”. Yes, I try to look up all the things I don’t like to eat and learn what they are called in German. 😀 I’m glad you will be following along on our fall adventure in Europe.

  23. German food is so good! I love schnitzel. I haven’t had much since we moved to San Diego, but back in Michigan there were several German restaurants we would go to for great meals like this. Sounds like I’ll be needing to make your recipe at home 😉

    1. Hi Sarah, I agree with you about schnitzel…it is good. I hope you will enjoy it when you get a chance to make schnitzel, it certainly is easy.

  24. This looks luscious Karen!! We had a schnitzel the size of our plate in Vienna when we were there– with those yummy noodles as well, but I never thought to make it at home. thanks! So fun that you’re off to Germany in October. Is it for business or just an adventure?? Hope it’s the best (and that you post lots of pictures!) xox

  25. Gorgeous recipes and great post! I speak a few languages but German isn’t one of them…some useful tips here and could save me from getting up and pointing to neighbouring diners plates if their food looks good and asking for that!

  26. Karen, that Schweineschnitzel looks perfection itself. I have ordered schnitzel in Germany often. It varies a lot (and not in a good way). You have shown them how to do it.
    Lovely,
    C

  27. This sounds incredible, Karen! My wife traveled to Germany last year, but I’ve never gone myself. She came back and told me how the menus were like half schnitzel…but I didn’t quite understand what she meant. I totally get it now. And I could totally go for this one tonight for dinner! 🙂

  28. Oooh I do love any shnitzesls and just recently made the Jagerschnitzel for my blog. I hope you have a grand time on your trip! I’m so glad you are enjoying your new home and also getting time to travel, Karen.

  29. Schnitzel is my favorite German dish, and being of German heritage myself, make it quite often. I did not experience so many varieties as you mentioned in the post. I had both pork and veal while traveling, but none had any of the toppings or gravy you mentioned. I did eat a lot of schnitzel too.

  30. This German dish reminds me of the Japanese tonkatsu…I love it, especially with the mushroom sauce on top…thanks for the post Karen!
    Hope you are having a fabulous week 🙂
    By the way, thanks for the comforting words…

  31. Your yummy recipe and photos bring back so many delicious memories of many trips to Germany, Karen! Schnitzel is one of my favorites, with all of the interesting little salads on the side. The portion sizes are always so generous in Germany! I had to learn how to say, “I’m too full” to the concerned waiters and waitresses, who worried that I didn’t enjoy my meal! Thank you so much for this tasty trip down memory lane. I know you will have a wonderful time on your trip! Autumn is a perfect time to visit Germany!

  32. I’ve never been to Germany but it’s definitely a country a want to visit. Your schnitzel looks very good! I love the colour of the crumbs. I think I’d like this with the mushroom sauce (don’t ask me to spell that in German!) Have a great time in October and I look forward to reading about your travels xx

  33. Have fun on your trip! We clearly are plenty of schnitzel on our recent trip. One of my favorites is Jägerschnitzel. Though when we lived in Germany years ago a local restaurant made a great schnitzel with fried gets on top.

  34. I love schnitzel and yours looks especially tasty! How fun that you and your hubby will be getting away to Germany in the Fall.
    You must love your Vero Beach paradise! Oh, how I would love to eat one of those freshly picked pineapples, Karen!

  35. Beautiful schnitzel, Karen. I am now drinking a fabulous German dry riesling (my favourite varietal), so I almost feel as if I were on a trip to Germany! Whenever we go to Germany, I’m torn between tasting new dishes and ordering one more schnitzel! In Poland schnitzel is quite similar, so it also brings back childhood memories…. I also love German southern potato salad!
    It’s funny because I have never learnt German, but since in Switzerland all the food labels are written in three languages, one learns without thinking… First time I went to Germany I realised I understood most of the menus! It’s much more fun ordering in German than in English, too.

  36. I had to chuckle a little bit while reading remembering our son’s trip to Germany and Austria and his attempt to describe how much he enjoyed “all the schnitzels.” He has been back at least once since that time and really enjoys the food (and beer). There was a time we had a really authentic German restaurant near us and I’m thinking that may have been the last time I had schnitzel, and although I don’t recall the details of the meal, I do remember how tasty it was. Your recipe sounds easy enough to follow and would be a nice addition to a special meal. I’m sure you’re very excited about your October travels. How nice!

  37. I’ve ordered schnitzel more than once when it’s the only thing I’ve recognized on the menu! Your version looks wonderful – nicely done.

  38. We lived in Germany for a year and schnitzel was the best!!!!! We got schnitzel, potato salad and a huge beer for the equivalent of $1 and it was the best. Now I want to go back for a visit! Veal is nearly impossible to find here, but thankfully the Chicago area has some fabulous German restaurants!
    Your pork schnitzel has to be delicious, perfect! Thanks for the recipe, I want to try!

  39. I love Schnitzel so much and order it whenever I see it on a menu of a good German restaurant. I especially love the Jagerschnitzel with the extraordinary mushroom sauce labeled over the top. I’ve never heard of a menu translator……what a brilliant idea! Thanks Karen!

  40. Schnitzel is always a good choice and happens to be one of my favorites. I love your idea of a taking a menu translator, My husband speaks a little German and also can read a little, but menus can be intimidating at times.
    Sam

  41. Your Schnitzel certainly looks nicer than what you get in many restaurants.
    My American husband invariably orders a Wiener Schnitzel when he sees one on the menu, I rather find something I can’t get in the US, like fresh-cut white asparagus with smoked ham in spring (Spargel mit Katenschinken), marinated young herring (Matjes), pan-fried sole with bacon (Finkenwerder Scholle), North Sea shrimps (Krabben), and any kind of game (Hirsch, Reh, Wildschwein) in fall.
    Happy travels!

  42. Bon voyage! Yes, I’m only now getting around to catching up with some blogs – well, it is summer. 🙂 And I’m busy enjoying some ok weather.
    Ah, like a tourist I had to have Weinerschnitzel the first evening in Vienna And it was delicious. Perhaps not as good as a friends Austrian Mother used to make in London. Hers was always special.

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