As one of the leading financial cities in the world, Zurich’s culinary culture unsurprisingly offers elegance and sophistication, reflected in its abundance of Michelin starred restaurants. Alongside this, food enthusiasts can also find authentic experiences unique to Switzerland’s largest city, such as locally sourced menus in traditional Swiss wine houses and even dining in complete darkness. Here are ten of the best dining-establishments to visit when you’re in town.
This charming winegrower’s house dates back to 1676 and still boasts original features such as the wooden paneling, green tiled stove and the authentic flooring. The owners of Wirtschaft zur Burg have created three dining spaces throughout the house, each one with an abundance of character. The menu is kept simple and traditional, with a focus on honest, local ingredients, including dishes such as the seven-grain breaded Lake Zürich pike. Situated on the lake, its beautiful surroundings are exceeded only by Wirtschaft zur Burg’s lovely gardens, perfect for a post-dinner stroll.
The Women’s Association of Alcohol-Free Inns bought this run-down building back in 1914, and since then have taken it from strength to strength. Restaurant Spice is now a stylish and trendy restaurant, which boasts one Michelin star and 15 Gault Millau points thanks to a menu which successfully encompasses a fusion of global cuisines and light flavors. Restaurant Spice’s experimental approach, fresh and sustainable menu and creative concoctions attract visitors from far and wide. The Spice menu is highly recommended, especially on the terrace which is open for dining during the summer months.
As the first restaurant experience to take place in complete darkness, Blindekuh Zurich have been revolutionizing the dining experience since 1999. This unusual approach to dining means the remaining senses — smell, taste, touch and sound — take over, highlighting various flavors and aromas that may have gone unnoticed. The majority of the restaurant staff are partially sighted or blind, and offer a knowledgeable insight into the cuisine on offer. Blindekuh also hosts culture nights, offering a three course meal accompanied by a musical, play, or comedy event.
German fine dining chef Heiko Nieder has sculpted a creative and modern menu with classic undertones and, as a result, was crowned the ‘Most Improved Chef of the Year’ in 2010. Playing with flavors and combinations, The Restaurant‘s five- course lunch and eight course dinner are both very popular choices. The chef’s creative flare along with the restaurant’s ambiance has seen it awarded a staggering 18 Gault Millau points and two Michelin stars. Visitors flock here for its outside terrace, which boasts panoramic views stretching across Zurich, the lake and the Alps.
Sophistication and tradition are combined effortlessly throughout every component of this revered restaurant. With wooden panels adorned with paintings by Chagall, Mirò, Braque and Matisse, Kronenhalle‘s interior matches its elegant menu. Its history figures the likes of Coco Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, Pablo Picasso, Alberto Giacometti and James Joyce, who would often frequent the fashionable restaurant. Kronenhalle remains one of the most celebrated restaurants in Zurich and continues to attract an eclectic mix of visitors.
Revered head chef Tobias Buholzer has created a gourmet menu that balances classic dishes with innovation and humor. The playfulness and creativity of the menu is reflected in the atmosphere of Restaurant Münsterhof, which is welcoming, informal and unpretentious. With a more established dining area upstairs, there is also a wine bar downstairs which features a seasonal menu and a market-inspired lunch menu. The restaurant caters for vegetarians and does an alternative version of their much loved eight course ‘chunks and droplets menu’.
This Michelin starred restaurant is renowned for its knowledgeable staff, relaxed atmosphere and above all its humorous menu. As well as offering vegetarian alternatives, visitors can opt for small dishes between menus to create a personalized culinary experience. Made with the freshest ingredients, the chefs at Restaurant Sein have comprised a menu filled with modern twists and ironic touches. Situated next to the exclusive Bahnhofstrasse, it is the perfect place to put down your bags after a hard day’s shopping. If only tempted by a small bite, Sein has a tapas bar which serves more manageable portions.
Rico’s Kunststuben specializes in French cuisine combined with modern touches, keeping his famous lunch menu exciting and current. This two Michelin star restaurant is known for its creative presentation of dishes, complemented by its stylish interior. Rico’s Kunststuben boasts a contemporary French menu which features ‘Lasagnette with Langoustines and Lemon’, and ‘fillet of beef with shallot confit and black truffle’, two highly recommended dishes. In the summer the restaurant’s experimental and dynamic menu can be enjoyed on the terrace.
Situated in the center of the financial district, Tao provides a moment of calm with its manicured Chinese garden and elegant interior. Their Euro-Asian menu blends together global cuisines to form a diverse range of dishes which includes the well loved Tao burger and a wide variety of Dim Sum. With affordable prices, lunchtime can be well spent here, and the day whiled away in the garden, bar or restaurant. In the evenings the bar becomes a lively hub of activity, with people gathering to sample Tao’s extensive cocktail menu.
This restaurant places an emphasis on the artistic process behind its culinary creations. A trendy hotspot within Zurich, Segantini attracts young media and industry folk, who come to enjoy their three course menu featuring traditional Swiss cuisine with modern twists. The interior is one of the highlights of the dining experience at Segantini, where a fragmented mirror piece covers the wall. Segantini offers a creative, youthful and inventive take on traditional Swiss cuisine, and is a must in terms of value for money within a unique setting.