As a capital of finance and business, Zurich’s outstanding art, cultural and culinary life is often overlooked. Boasting numerous Michelin starred venues and exceptional hidden gems, Zurich is worth a visit for its cultural restaurants. The culinary scenery changes rapidly, so following our earlier article on the best venues in Switzerland’s capital, we’ve scoured the city again to bring you the newest Zurich hotspots, from traditional kitchens serving fondue to the city’s best Thai.
The Restaurant at The Dolder Grand | Courtesy of The Dolder Grand Hotel
Situated by Lake Zürich, outside of the city center, Wirtschaft zur Burg is a charming winegrower’s house with a romantic garden that dates back to 1676. Boasting original architectural features, such as wooden paneling, green tiled stove and the authentic flooring, the venue is an ideal run away from modern and chic and is a place to enjoy a homey atmosphere. The internal structure is divided along three dining spaces throughout the house, each one with an abundance of character. The menu is defined as French classic, yet it does not miss some great traditional tastes either. The main focus is on good, fresh and local ingredients, to ensure quality and perfect tastes. Do not miss the seven-grain breaded Lake Zürich pike that is among the favorites at the venue.
Nestled in the luxurious Dolder Grand Hotel, the Restaurant keeps up with the hotel’s fine reputation with ease. Heiko Nieder, the German Head Chef, has been instrumental in creating the sort of classic, modern menu that has seen him win the award of ‘Most Improved Chef of the Year’ in 2010. The Restaurant’s five-course lunch and eight-course dinner prove popular with diners time and again thanks to Nieder’s flair and the venue’s ambience. The Dolder Grand’s 18 Gault Millau Points and two Michelin stars attest to the quality of the menu. Besides the obviously excellent food, visitors should make sure not to miss the views from the terrace, from which you can take in a panorama stretching across Zurich, the Lake and the Alps.
If you’re looking for a traditional Swiss kitchen infused with history and art, then Kronnenhalle is the perfect choice. Located centrally by the Bellevueplatz, Kronenhalle is one of the oldest and most famous restaurants in town, with such luminaries on its guestlist like Coco Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, Pablo Picasso, Alberto Giacometti, Richard Strauss and James Joyce. Serving excellent Swiss specialties with impeccable Swiss hospitality, the venue is frequently visited for its interior, which hides paintings by Chagall, Mirò, Braque and Matisse, making it an arty and culinary heaven for all. A characteristic venue for guests who enjoy tradition, professionalism.
Whether you’re popping in for a short visit or looking for a place for business meeting, Restaurant Sein, with its excellent location just by the Main Railway station, Michelin star and strong Gault Millau points, is ideal. Renowned for its knowledgeable staff, relaxed atmosphere and Mediterranean flavors made with the freshest ingredients, Restaurant Sein has embraced a menu filled with modern twists and ironic touches. The setting is modern with clean, chic lines guaranteeing an ambience that matches with all what the restaurant stands for. Beside the permanent menu choice, the venue offers daily changing lunch menus and prides itself on excellent wine selections. However, if you’re only tempted by little bites, Sein also has a tapas bar for small appetites.
A specialist in all things French, Rico’s lunch menu is modern and contemporary, a fact that has led to the restaurant winning two Michelin stars and 18 Gault Millau points. Innovative and unusual in style, creative in design, the Kunststuben’s menu features dishes such as lasagnette with langoustines and lemon, and fillet of beef with shallot confit and black truffle, two dishes with which you can really spoil yourself. Try the tasting menus to enjoy the full gamut of French flavors on offer, and head out to the terrace in the warmer months for a glass of French wine and some very Swiss joie de vivre.
Though a favored spot with tourists, Restaurant Swiss Chuchi’s Swiss fondue, raclette and rösti specialties are agreed to be unbeatable among locals as well. Almost as unbeatable as the restaurant’s location in Niederdorf pedestrian area, part of the Hotel Adler; therefore, it is an ideal venue during a visit to the old city or during a relaxing dinner with some people watching. The name Swiss Chuchi comes from a well-known Swiss German tongue-twister Chuchichäschtli, in which chuchi stands for cuisine. The menu is entirely Swiss-inspired, filled with home cooked delicious tastes, cheese and meat specialities and daily varying lunch menus. The venue is designed with modern touches, the quasi-rustic chairs seeming to sell out the tables from opening until closing in seconds, so expect to queue; however, Swiss Chuchi undoubtedly worth the wait.
An extraordinary eatery placed in the outskirt area of Zürich, Lasalle Restaurant & Bar is consistently praised by locals. Located in a former ship building factory house, Lasalle dining is surely a unique experience. The interior, a spacious one-room area with elegance and a large Venetian crystal chandelier hanging in the middle, all adds to a real industrial-chic atmosphere. The menu is mainly Italian and French-influenced but hides some international touches to make sure all guests find tastes to choose from. Meat, pasta and vegetarian specialities with outstanding alcoholic drinks selections ensure that the restaurant delivers a high quality dining experience. The bar section is an ideal spot for a cocktail either before or after a cultured night out, for which the area is perfectly placed, having two theaters and a world-famous jazz bar just around the corner.
A little culinary heaven in the city that is favored by businessmen, hipsters, locals and foreigners equally. Their success lies in their innovative and unique food creation and presentation, while designing an atmosphere that lacks any kind of onerous formality; an ideal place to relax and enjoy high quality food. The menu is undeniably short, coming in the format of playing cards, but options are varied enough and ensure a fulfilling dining experience. For lunch Maison Manesse offers menus with pasta, charcoal-grilled entrecote or corn poulard breast, while for dinner guests can chose from the five, six or seven course menus (meat, fish or vegetarian) or opt for a personalized mix from the 12 menu options. Skilled staff and monochrome décor and one of the most exciting wine lists in the city give Maison Manesse its deserved reputation.
Some of the city’s most stunning views are offered by Sonnenberg Restaurant, which is often called the FIFA restaurant, pointing to its important role in the Football Federation. Sonnenberg Restaurant is located above the city; therefore offering unbeatable views across the Alps, Zürich Lake and the city. Not only breathtaking views but also mouthwatering tastes await visitors, with a menu that is Mediterranean-Swiss inspired. The kitchen is led by acclaimed chef Jacky Donatz, who along with his outstanding team earned 15 Gault Millau points and keeps guests coming back for more years after year.
Zürich prides itself on its multiculturalism, a fact clearly mirrored in the quality of city’s Thai kitchens. Blue Monkey, a three roomed venue in the old city is surely among the city’s best known names. Serving authentic Thai food created by Thai chefs, Blue Monkey offers guests Bistro option with cheaper, quicker food; the Thai Heaven option, where you can eat in a more upscale restaurant; and the Monkey Bar Fumoir being a recently renovated cigar room. All three offer a different atmosphere but share the same high quality that Bleu Monkey’s philosophy sets as standard. The design is a fusion of classic and modern with wooden highlights. In warmer months, enjoy the gorgeous terrace and deliciously spicy dishes that come with the delicious curry of all types.