On our last visit to Leopold's, we got challenged to a boot chugging contest by the table next to us. It’s that kind of place.
Leopold’s is San Francisco’s German-Austrian party cabin, and it's always a good time, due to an extensive and delicious beer list that makes up for the mostly forgettable food.
The interior is trussed up to resemble an alpine chalet, with antlers and old school photos of skiers on the walls. The waitstaff wears German outfits, which lends some Disney World vibes to the situation. Thanks to some hearty pours, Leopold's is almost always operating at shouting-range volume levels, so you can re-live your study abroad voyage to Munich for Oktoberfest. Naturally, you can get your beer in a giant glass boot, should you so wish.
A massive beer is probably the right choice, because the food is mostly just decent, albeit incredibly hearty. The entrees and schnitzels tend to lack flavor and are occasionally overcooked, while the appetizers are decent if less than thrilling. If you’re hunting for truly excellent German food, we’d recommend heading down the hill to Suppenkuche in Hayes Valley, which executes on a higher level than Leo’s. Despite the pretty average eats, the beer hall vibe and über-attentive service keeps us coming back when we’re looking for a partei. After a few steins, we're shoveling down our schnitzel even though its main flavor is "fried."
The sauerkraut is excellent, and the sausage is nicely spicy.
The potato pancake is super-thick and greasy, skip this.
Decidedly not Austrian or German, and while they don’t skimp on the speck, the dough is a little too mushy.
Fun for the whole family! Good meats, hearty bread, great mustard and pickles. Get this to share and start your trip to the Austrian-German border.
Well-seasoned, but dry. They throw a chunk of prosciutto-wrapped sausage on the side, which is spicy and arguably better than the tenderloin. The dumplings and green beans are the best part of this dish.
This is one of our favorites - perfectly roasted with awesome accoutrements, dumplings and a pile of pancetta, since this is what they do in Germany?
THE POTATOES ARE COLD. We really can’t get past the freezer-cold potato salad served with the schnitzel. It was not edible. The schnitzel is bland, but you can slather on lingonberry jam for a little more flavor.
This guy comes with a great mushroom gravy that makes it way better than the wiener schnitzel. The strudel on the side tasted like day old pasta and fried dough had a baby. Let’s just call it interesting.