When I arrived in Berlin, I knew what I wanted to eat first: Wiener Schnitzel. My journey led to me Prater Garten, a beer garden north of Alexanderplatz.
For those unfamiliar, Wiener Schnitzel is actually an Austrian dish made with a thin cutlet of veal which is then breaded and pan fried. Even though Wiener Schnitzel is an Austrian dish, the Germans sure know how to do it right.
Prater Garten was located just down the street from Eberswalder Straße U-Bahn Station and Konnopke’s Imbiss, one of my favorite currywurst stands in Berlin. I knew I was at the right place when I saw the large sign with bright red letters that read “PRATERGARTEN.”
After passing under the sign, I walked past a small parking lot with only a few cars. Continuing past the parking lot, I found myself in an empty area which I assumed was the outdoor beer garden. Unfortunately, since I was here in the middle of the winter, the beer garden was closed. For a moment, I wondered to myself, where is everyone? Was Prater Garten even open?
As I continued walking through the beer garden, I eventually stumbled upon a long wooden building with large windows. Looking through the windows, I could see a bright beer hall packed with diners.
Hungry, tired, and cold, I knew my Wiener Schnitzel, and a cold beer, was just through these doors.
As I walked through the doors of Prater Garten, I quickly shifted from the cold and windy winter of Berlin into the warm, cozy, and open hall. Though not full, the hall was still vibrant and loud with guests having a great time. Even though the hall was open, it felt warm and cozy.
Directly in front of me was a large L-shaped bar. Wrapping around the bar was a vibrant and open dining room, filled with people sitting at one of the many dark wooden tables enjoying delicious warm food and tall cold glasses of beer.
The decor was simple and rustic while being clean and slightly chic. Along with the dark wooden tables as mentioned before, Prater Garten featured tall white ceilings and white walls along with dark wooden floors. A couple more tables were found on the small and slightly elevated stage in the back.
Luckily since it was a cold Monday night, the friendly hostess was able to sit me right away at a large table without any wait.
Prater Garten Menu
The Prater Garten menu was simple and printed for each day. Be aware that the menu you see posted above could be completely different on your visit.
What I enjoyed about the menu at Prater Garten was that it was simple and straightforward. At other restaurants in Germany, I was often handed a menu that weighed ten pounds with 25 pages or more. It was hard to order with so many options. But not at Prater Garten. I knew I wanted the Wiener Schnitzel, and maybe some warm soup.
One thing to note about the menu was that the beef and duck items were sold out completely by 6:00PM. If you want to order certain items, you might want to plan on arriving earlier than later.
Pumpkin and Ginger Soup
Pumpkin and ginger are two of my favorite ingredients. Put them together and you have the Pumpkin and Ginger Soup (6,00 EUR) with croutons and beetroot strips.
For a soup with so few simple ingredients, I was blown away with the robust flavors of the hot and thick soup.
The soup was not as sweet as I would have thought. The sweetness of the pumpkin was wonderfully offset by the refreshing and light ginger flavor.
Small crispy pieces of croutons and beetroots added a much needed contrast to the otherwise creamy soup.
Wiener Schnitzel with Potato and Cucumber Salad
Wiener Schnitzel, how I love you.
Before I landed in Germany, I already knew what I wanted to order for dinner on my first night: Wiener Schnitzel. I might have not been in Austria, but I didn’t care.
The Wiener Schnitzel (19.90 EUR) served at Prater Garten was made by lightly breading then pan frying two large pieces of thin veal escalope. Underneath the veal was a small serving of potato salad with a small cucumber salad on the side. So simple, yet so delicious.
When this wonderful dish was placed before me, the smell was almost intoxicating.
The breading on the large pieces of veal was not the crispiest I have ever eaten. I found the breading to fall off the meat on each bite, but it was seasoned to perfection. The acid from the quick squeeze of lemon mixed well with the saltiness of the breading and the slight smokiness of the meat.
Underneath the breading, the thinly pounded pieces of veal were juicy and cooked perfectly.
I was in a zone with the Wiener Schnitzel and almost forgot about the potato salad and cucumber salad.
The potato salad, though simple, was cooked well. The potatoes were creamy as they were tossed lightly in mayonnaise and topped with freshly chopped pieces of chives. The texture of the creamy potatoes was a perfect match with the salty, lemony, smokey, and breaded veal.
I was definitely a bigger fan of the cucumber salad. In this salad were thin slices of cucumbers dressed in a refreshing and slightly watery dill sauce. The sauce tasted similar to tzatziki. I forgot to mention this before, but when I sat down and ordered a beer, I received a small basket of bread without butter. This bread, though great on its own, tasted amazing when dipped into the cucumber salad.
I was full but happy.
If you have been to Germany, then you know firsthand that service is not always the best in this country.
At Prater Garten, I was surprised as the service was quick and friendly.
When I walked into the restaurant, I was sat at a table and handed a menu right away. The server came around only minutes later to take my food and drink order. My food arrived about 12 minutes after my order, which was surprising since all the dishes were freshly prepared.
When I needed to order another beer, the server was never far away. When I just wanted to eat and drink my beer in peace, the server seemed to know.
No complaints from me. I wish all restaurants in Berlin had this great of service.
Prater Garten is a solid choice in a city such as Berlin that has more beer gardens than you can count.
The flavors and textures of the Wiener Schnitzel and the Pumpkin and Ginger Soup were both delicious with great textures. The service was quick and friendly.
Great service, flavorful dishes, cold beers. This is why I came to Germany.
Next time I am in Berlin, I will definitely return to Prater Garten, especially on one of those warm summer days when the beer garden is open.
- Large portions, so make sure you come hungry
- Cozy and warm interior
- Food was seasoned well and had robust flavors
- Complimentary bread
- Quiet location makes you forget you are near a busy street in Berlin
- Friendly and quick service
- Cash only
- Some of the food items on the menu, such as the beef and duck, were sold out, even early in the evening
- The breading on the Wiener Schnitzel could have been a little crispier
- The beer garden was closed (I know, it was winter)