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A work by Miró at Kronenhalle | © Kathryn Maier
A work by Miró at Kronenhalle | © Kathryn Maier

This Restaurant in Switzerland Is Basically a Fine Art Gallery

Picture of Kathryn Maier
NYC Food & Drink Editor
Updated: 8 January 2018

The world-class art collection at Zurich’s Kronenhalle restaurant makes it a must-visit in Switzerland.

Kronenhalle, in Zurich, is a bastion of old-world dining, dating back to 1924. It offers French-influenced Swiss dishes like rösti and a massive chateaubriand, and chocolate mousse which is generally ordered with extra-whipped cream. The leather banquettes and white linen-topped tables are constantly packed with a well-dressed and influential crowd, during both the lunch and dinner hours. It’s even got a famous food-world fan in Swiss-born chef Daniel Humm, of Eleven Madison Park, who seems to visit each time he returns to his home country. “This is one of my favorite places in Zurich, probably in the world,” he’s told Vogue.

Rear Window #kronenhalle #makeitnice

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The food served at Kronenhalle is, frankly, entirely forgettable. But that’s okay—if it were any better, it might distract from the real reason you’re there: the stunning, museum-quality art collection, with works by Picasso, Miró, Chagall, Rodin, Bonnard, and several more—many of whom once dined there.

It’s essentially like dining within a major art museum … but better. Sitting with a piece of art for a couple of hours is a much different experience than merely walking past it at a museum. Over the course of a meal, you get to stare at it, study it, explore its nuances. You get to know the piece. How often do you get to do that with the works of the Modern Masters?

And if you’re kind to your server, he might tell you where in the bi-level and multiroom restaurant to find other paintings and drawings you shouldn’t miss, and point out smaller but still notable pieces you might have overlooked.

Pro tip: Grab a drink in the restaurant’s bar next door after your meal. It, too, houses some amazing works by Miró, Picasso, and Rauschenberg, and lamps by Giacometti.

Living Art History. Oh, how fun it is to be a tourist in one’s own city. A few months ago I volunteered to help manage a small Arts Club here in Zurich and this morning we had so much fun on our first outing of the season. We were treated to an in-depth tour of the legendary restaurant Kronenhalle by Managing Director Christian Dangel who shared with us the history of the restaurant and it’s famed art collection. Thank you @kronenhalle for such a wonderful morning and for your gracious hospitality. I look forward to many more dinners surrounded by the likes of Chagall, Giacometti, Miro and under the hospitable eye of Hulda, the restaurant’s founder. As always a few more snippets of the restaurant and of the very charming Christian in stories. . . Bravo @lkprettythingsprettyplaces and @sharonlongakervibert my art partners in crime ❤️ . . #kronenhalle #zurich #switzerland #arthistory #lovewhereyoulive #travelerinZurich #chagall #marcchagall #learnsomethingneweveryday #demwadventures

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