Zum Schneider has been a favorite of mine for quite a while. It was only after I’d been to Bavaria that I realized just what a treasure this little corner of the Lower East Side really is. If you’re looking for a little piece of Bavaria in New York City, you’ll find it here.
There are very few places in New York where you can get a Maß, which is a liter of good Bavarian beer and pronounced “mass.” It’s one of only a handful of places in the five boroughs of New York City where you’ll find proper weißwurst, served in the correct Bavarian style – heated in water and served with spicy & sweet mustard and a soft pretzel. On busy nights, the dining room has the atmosphere of an Oktoberfest beer tent. I’ve been to a few other German restaurants in NYC and none of them can hold a candle to Zum Schneider. I’ve tried most of the menu, and I have yet to have a meal that is anything short of amazing.
One of my favorite dishes, and a frequent special, is the Schweinshaxe or “pork knuckle.” The outside is crispy, and the meat inside is tender, juicy, and falls apart for your fork. For a lover of pork, the Schweinshaxe is a must. The sausage platter is another excellent choice. Grilled sausages are served over sauerkraut with a side of mashed potatoes garnished with radish slices and grape tomatoes and two kinds of mustard – one is coarse & mild, the other fine & sharp.
The service is quick & friendly and the staff puts up with my terrible German pronunciation and generally makes an extra effort to make you feel welcome. With the communal table style, you can make new friends with every meal.
The apple strudel is excellent, but at least as of my last visit, they don’t serve coffee. Maybe it’s just that I’m not German, but I’m not a fan of having my sweets with beer. This is truly the only negative comment I can come up with about this wonderful restaurant. If you like beer, German food, or are a fan of swine flesh, go to Zum Schneider. You’ll be glad you did.
Zum Schneider is located at:
107 Ave C (corner of East 7th Street)
New York, NY 10009