For most vegetarians and vegans, the most anxious part of travelling is finding food. Often, Indian cuisine has been the default option. In the swish Swiss city of Zurich, Indian is no longer the only choice for those looking for vegetarian/vegan (though there are fabulous Indian restaurants in the city). More so from this year, as the country has made a determined push towards sustainability with the Swisstainable Veggie Day (October 1) campaign wherein over 1200 establishments across the country, including traditional and fast food chains, offer a veg-only menu. From fine dining to bistro/deli-style food, there are several options across cuisines, and vegans/vegetarians will be spoilt for choice. Here are some of the places to check out.
Haus Hiltl, Sihlstrasse
The Guinness record holder for being the world’s oldest vegetarian restaurant, Hiltl offers two settings: a buffet-style meal that you can pay for by weight and a more sophisticated white tablecloth, a la carte option upstairs. Dishes are drawn from over 60 cuisines from all over the world, so the choice is truly incredible. While here, also check out the vegetarian butchery. You’ll be pleasantly surprised!
Address: Sihlstrasse 28, 8001 Zurich
Timings: Mon-Thu: 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Fri: 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Sat: 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Sun: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Tibits, Seefeldstrasse and multiple locations
Designed like a fast food restaurant, but with the atmosphere of a sophisticated café, Tibits is at multiple locations. The one at Seefeldstrasse is centrally located and buzzing for much of the day. A buffet with over 40 dishes, the delicious sandwiches, takeaways, and desserts as well as fresh juices are its mainstay. They also serve breakfast. The brand takes special care of vegans and those with lactose intolerance, celiac disease, and other food intolerances.
Address: Seefeldstrasse 2, 8008 Zurich
Possibly the most luxurious vegan restaurant in Zurich, Marktkuche has multi-course menus designed to seduce the senses. More popular are its surprise menus. It also offers tasting meals with seasonal and local produce, paired with wines. Reserving ahead is advised.
Address: Feldstrasse 98, 8037 Zurich
An international menu across a buffet as well as a la carte option, Sa.m.ses relies entirely on ingredients sourced locally and in season. It scores over several other similar restaurants in that it offers comfort food dishes that are not usually plant based. Look out for special themed pop-ups that could range from Caribbean to Indian.
Address: Langstrasse 231, 8005 Zurich
Roots, Lintheschergasse and multiple locations
Roots is not just about vegan food but is on a mission – to promote mindful eating. Though it is at several locations, the one on Lintheschergasse is central. Don’t miss the Açaí and smoothie bowls, which are a hot favourite here. For those who prefer traditional, the restaurant has lots of choices in soups, salads, sandwiches as well as juices, smoothies, and protein shakes.
Address: Lintheschergasse 15, 8001 Zurich
Vegelateria The Sacred, Müllerstrasse
Hailed as Zurich’s first organic restaurant, The Sacred’s menu extends to both local (Swiss) and international (Indian and Asian) cuisines. The eatery is known as much for its food as its beverages which include smoothies, lemonades, lassis and much more. And then there’s its vegelato – vegan ice cream – which is a crowd favourite. It also organizes not just cooking courses, but even exhibitions, movies, and guided meditation sessions.
Address: Müllerstrasse 64, 8004 Zurich
Tamarind Hill, Schaffhauserstrasse
Even if Indian is not what you are looking for, and even if it is not a vegetarian/vegan restaurant per se, Tamarind Hill is definitely worth visiting. It steps away from the ubiquitous to showcase cuisines from across India, using seasonal produce and homegrown herbs for its dishes as well as spice blends.
Address: Schaffhauserstrasse 306, 8050 Zurich
Café Conditorei 1842, Napfgasse
This is not a vegetarian restaurant but more a café and pastry shop tucked away in a lane in the old town with a stunning array of cakes, sweets, and chocolates. But what it does so well is the delicious hot chocolate, especially the one laced with a hint of red chilli. Add a croissant or a cake or a tart, and it truly is a blissful experience.
Address: Napfgasse 4, 8001 Zurich