At the intersection of Lake Zürich and the Limmat River with a breathtaking Alpine backdrop, the Swiss capital is a leading world financial center that has tons to offer. The buzzing city boasts four official languages, a high quality of life and is consistently recognized among the world’s top cities to live in. When planning your trip to Zürich, know you’re spending your money wisely at these 13 restaurants serving rustic, yet elegant, and always comforting Swiss foods.
In Zürich’s Old Town, people have been visiting this famous cafe since the 1800s for their sweets and breads. For a quick stop, pick up a braided loaf of zopf, a delicious, challah-like buttery bread given by the Swiss to loved ones on holidays like Christmas and New Years. If you have time to stay, each room of this charming spot has a different theme, so order a pastry (or two) with a cup of homemade Swiss hot chocolate and find a perfect place to relax; life is sweet.
Conditorei Peclard im Schober / Napfgasse 4, Zürich 8001 / +41 44 251 51 50
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Certifiably Swiss, Raclette Stube is a quaint and cozy fondue restaurant in the center of Zürich’s old town. Get the namesake plate of raclette, cheese roasted until brown and then scraped right off the wheel and onto your plate. They also serve creamy fondue with the classic dippers of bread chunks and whole baby potatoes.
Raclette Stube / Zähringerstrasse 16, Zürich 8001 / +41 44 251 41 30
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Wander through the back streets of Zürich’s old town and have lunch at the charming Swiss restaurant Le Dézaley. For a taste of everything this restaurant has to offer, get one of the three “fondue pleasure” tasting menus.
Le Dézaley / Römergasse 7, Zürich 8001 / +41 44 251 61 29
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With walls bedecked in the finest pieces of art from Picasso to Matisse, Kronenhalle is not just a restaurant: it’s a culinary monument. Opened in 1924, Kronenhalle has welcomed famous diners like Sigmund Freud, Albert Einstein and James Joyce. Enjoy classic Swiss meals, served in hefty portions, like duck à l’orange, chateaubriand, and spätzle.
Kronenhalle / Rämistrasse 4, Zürich 8001 / +41 44 262 99 00
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Right on Lake Zürich, Seerose boasts panoramic views of the water and surrounding mountains. Dine al fresco on the restaurant’s large lakeside terrace, enjoying Mediterranean-inspired cuisine like cold orange and tomato soup, grilled sea bream with melon carpaccio or grilled pike perch with artichoke.
Seerose Restaurant / Seestrasse 493, Zürich 8038 / +41 44 481 63 83
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In a building dating back to 1348, the Gothic Hall dining room at Haus zum Ruden is a unique place to eat in the old town. Try the goose liver terrine, beef carpaccio, champagne risotto or fillet of veal, Zürich style.
Haus zum Ruden / Limmatquai 42, Zürich 8001 / +41 44 261 95 66
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Credit: Zunfthaus Zur Zimmerleuten
In the center of Zürich on the river Limmat, Zunfthaus Zur Zimmerleuten serves a Swiss favorite: fondue. Going through hundreds of pounds of emmental and gruyère cheese each day, Zunfthaus delights diners with all you can eat melted cheesy goodness on their open-air patio. Traditionally served with bread and potatoes for dipping, you can also add tomatoes, green pepper, even pear pieces to your order.
Zunfthaus Zur Zimmerleuten / Limmatquai 40, Zürich 8001 / +41 44 250 53 63
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This brightly colored vegan cafe is known for their chocolate truffles, which are crafted by hand in-house. Try the always changing, novel flavor combinations like jasmine tea and champagne or peanut butter and orange.
Les Gourmandises de Miyuko / Beckenhofstrasse 7, Zürich 8006 / +41 44 350 21 43
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This classy restaurant features a back garden terrace that draws people from all over and usually has a wait, so plan ahead. Expect dishes like organic tagliatelle with chanterelle mushrooms and local Swiss Angus beef with toast points and butter. The friendly service and large wine list will keep you smiling long into the night.
Wirtschaft Neumakrt Restaurant / Neumarkt 5, Zürich 8001 / +41 44 252 79 39
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Credit: Beatrice Sos
For a fresh take on regional specialties, try this bistro in the old town. Sit outside for lunch next to the large fountain and order from the seasonal menu, with dishes like tomato peach salad with burrata and oregano or the fresh lemon ricotta ravioli with tomato, chive and butter.
Kantorei / Neumarkt 2, Zürich 8001 / +41 44 252 27 27
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The first vegetarian restaurant ever, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, Hitl is family-owned and has been in operation since 1898. They serve an array of over 500 different vegetarian dishes on a huge buffet so you can try as many as you can handle.
Hiltl / Sihlstrasse 28, Zürich 8001 / +41 44 227 70 00
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Modern and elegant, CLOUDS has one of the best views in all of Zürich. Using Mediterranean flavors and vibrant produce, diners can enjoy the panoramic views while feasting on beluga lentil salad with black summer truffle and a poached egg, or grilled lobster-scallop skewers with lemongrass and red curry.
CLOUDS / Maagplatz 5, Zürich 8005 / +41 44 404 30 00
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In a 17th-century guild-house turned restaurant, Zunfthaus Zur Waag is known for the seemingly simple, yet quite time consuming dish: zürcher geschnetzeltes mit rösti (veal cutlets with creamy mushroom sauce and a potato cake). The process of making the velvety mushroom sauce starts at 7am and doesn’t end until 10pm, creating something that’s special, packed with flavor, and downright fabulous.
Zunfthaus Zur Waag / Münsterhof 8, Zurich 8001 / +41 44 216 99 66
Feature image credit: Zürich Tourismus / Bruno Macor