Unique Restaurants in Zurich: 12 Coolest Places to Eat

by Jen
Unique Restaurants in Zurich
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Are you searching for the most unique restaurants in Zurich? Here’s your guide to the best places to eat in Zurich that you can’t miss!

Welcome to Zurich, a gem in Switzerland and a city that’s a delight for food enthusiasts. As we explore its vibrant streets, we’re greeted by an exciting variety of dining experiences. Zurich is home to everything from luxurious restaurants to cozy, budget-friendly cafes.

Here, dining is an adventure. Looking for an elegant dinner at one of Zurich’s most unique restaurants or a casual meal in a charming local spot? Zurich has it all! This city blends traditional flavors with innovative culinary ideas, showcasing its lively and diverse spirit.

I’m eager to share with you the hidden gems and culinary wonders of Zurich’s food scene. We’re not just exploring places to eat. We’re discovering the heart and soul of Zurich’s dining culture. From restaurants with breathtaking views to secret bistros nestled in quaint alleys, each spot has its own unique story.

Join me on this culinary journey as we explore the tastes and stories that make Zurich’s dining scene truly one-of-a-kind. For me, it’s about the amazing food and the memorable experiences we’ll share. Let’s dive into the world of unique restaurants in Zurich and see what delicious secrets we can uncover!

The top restaurants to visit in Zurich right now
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Unique Restaurants in Zurich: 12 Memorable Zurich Eateries

Ready to dive into Zurich’s coolest restaurants? We’ve already hinted at the city’s great variety of places to eat. Join us as we explore the best places to eat in Zurich.

How about eating in an old guild house, trying food in the dark, or enjoying a meal with city views from a rooftop? Zurich has all these unique dining experiences. You can try new, exciting flavors or have a classic Swiss meal in a cozy place. Let’s start our tour of the most unique restaurants in Zurich!

1. Zeughauskeller

Ever thought about dining in a historic armory? At Zeughauskeller, you’re entering a piece of Zurich’s history. This restaurant, set in a building from 1487, takes you on a journey back in time, surrounded by ancient armors and weapons. It’s one of Zurich’s most unique restaurants that you need to experience!

Here, the menu celebrates traditional Swiss dishes. Despite its historical setting, the food is always fresh, filled with robust tastes and quality ingredients. My personal favorite is the ‘Zürcher Geschnetzeltes’, a dish of thinly sliced veal in a creamy mushroom sauce, served with golden rösti. It’s a must-try food in Zurich!

Zeughauskeller is more than a historical spot. It’s a meeting place for both tourists and locals. The friendly vibe here makes everyone feel at home. And if you enjoy a good beer, their selection is impressive and pairs well with the rich flavors of their dishes.

For anyone searching for a unique restaurant in Zurich, Zeughauskeller is an excellent starting point. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed!

Zeughauskeller is one of the unique restaurants in Zurich.
Dine at Zeughauskeller, a restaurant set in a 1487 building with ancient armor and weapons.

2. Zum Kropf

If you’re in search of unique places to eat in Zurich, Zum Kropf should be at the top of your list. Imagine stepping into a restaurant that feels like a page from a Swiss storybook. That’s Zum Kropf for you, nestled in the heart of Zurich with its stunning painted ceilings and a history that dates back centuries.

The moment you walk in, you’re greeted by an ambiance that blends tradition with a cozy charm. But it’s the food that truly steals the show. Zum Kropf specializes in classic Swiss cuisine, each dish crafted to perfection. Think hearty, soul-warming, and bursting with authentic flavors.

Their menu, rich with traditional recipes, offers a taste of Zurich’s culinary heritage. The famous ‘Rösti’, crispy and golden, is a must-try. Each meal here is a celebration of Swiss culture and culinary craftsmanship. Truly, it’s an experience that connects you with the heart of Zurich.

In terms of cost, Zum Kropf is a delightful surprise. It offers an exquisite dining experience that’s both authentic and affordable. This place is a gem amongst Zurich’s best restaurants, perfectly blending history, charm, and delicious flavors.

Discover the charm of Zum Kropf, a restaurant that feels like a page from a Swiss storybook.
Discover the charm of Zum Kropf, a restaurant that feels like a page from a Swiss storybook.

3. Didi’s Frieden

Looking for a dining experience that stands out in Zurich? Didi’s Frieden is your answer. This cozy spot, hidden in a quiet Zurich street, is known for its exceptional European cuisine with a Swiss touch. It’s not just the food that makes Didi’s Frieden one of the coolest restaurants in Zurich. It’s the whole package – great dishes, a warm atmosphere, and attentive service.

What’s special here? Try their signature dish, the beef tartare, which has a loyal following. It’s perfectly seasoned and a true taste of what Didi’s Frieden does best. They also offer a selection of fresh, locally-sourced fish dishes that are a hit among regulars.

The restaurant’s charm lies in its intimate setting. This makes it ideal for a romantic dinner or a quiet evening out. The prices are reasonable, especially considering the quality of the meals and the experience.

Booking a table in advance is a smart move, as this place is a favorite among locals and visitors alike. Didi’s Frieden offers a unique dining experience in Zurich, combining great food with a cozy, inviting atmosphere.

Discover a standout dining experience at Didi's Frieden, renowned for exceptional European cuisine with a Swiss touch.
Discover a standout dining experience at Didi’s Frieden, renowned for exceptional European cuisine with a Swiss touch.

4. Haus Hiltl

No list of the most unique restaurants in Zurich would be complete without mentioning Haus Hiltl. As the world’s first vegetarian restaurant, founded in 1898, it’s a place where eating healthy doesn’t mean compromising on taste. The first time I walked in, I was struck by the vibrant, welcoming atmosphere. It’s a perfect reflection of the colorful dishes they serve.

The menu at Haus Hiltl is a testament to how exciting vegetarian cuisine can be. From rich, creamy curries to fresh, zesty salads, every dish is a celebration of flavor. I still dream about their vegetarian lasagna, layered with rich tomato sauce and perfectly cooked pasta. It’s comfort food redefined!

Remember to explore their cooking classes and cultural events, adding another layer to this unique experience. It’s one of the best things to do in Zurich, where you can dive into the art of vegetarian cooking. These classes are a fun way to learn new skills and take a piece of Zurich’s culinary tradition home with you.

For those looking for unique places in Zurich to eat, Haus Hiltl is a must-visit. The prices are reasonable, especially given the quality and variety of the food. It’s popular, so booking ahead is a good idea. Whether you’re a vegetarian or just someone who loves great food, this place will surprise and delight you!

Explore the world's first vegetarian restaurant, Haus Hiltl, founded in 1898, where eating healthy doesn't compromise taste.
Explore the world’s first vegetarian restaurant, Haus Hiltl, founded in 1898, where eating healthy doesn’t compromise taste.

5. Raclette Factory

Raclette Factory brings the warmth of Swiss comfort food right into the heart of Zurich. It’s a cozy spot where melting cheese and hearty ingredients come together, creating a symphony of flavors in every dish.

The ambiance here is inviting and rustic, capturing the essence of traditional Swiss dining. Their signature raclette, a dish of melted cheese scraped over potatoes and accompaniments, is a must-try. It’s a delightful mix of gooey cheese, crispy potatoes, and a choice of savory toppings. But that’s just the start – their menu offers a range of Swiss favorites, from fondue to meaty platters, all prepared with a homely touch.

Raclette Factory stands out as one of the best places to eat in Zurich for those who crave a taste of authentic Swiss cuisine. It’s perfect for anyone looking to indulge in a meal that’s both comforting and unique. The prices are reasonable, which makes it accessible for a casual night out or a special occasion.

This restaurant is usually welcoming walk-ins, but given its popularity, making a reservation is a smart move. It’s a favored spot for locals and visitors alike, looking for a fun, delicious, and quintessentially Swiss dining experience. Trust me, your tastebuds will thank you! Is this one of the most unique places to eat in Zurich? 100%!

Savor Swiss comfort at Raclette Factory in Zurich, where melting cheese and hearty ingredients create a symphony of flavors.
Savor Swiss comfort at Raclette Factory in Zurich, where melting cheese and hearty ingredients create a symphony of flavors.

6. Blinde Kuh

Ever thought about dining in complete darkness? Blinde Kuh in Zurich offers just that – a culinary journey without light. This unique restaurant opened in 1999, and it was the world’s first to provide a dining experience entirely in the dark, served by visually impaired staff. It’s a must-visit for anyone looking for fun restaurants in Zurich.

The first time I dined here, the surprise element was everything. With no light, each bite becomes a mystery. The menu, kept a secret, is ever-changing, ensuring a new experience with every visit. The dishes are crafted to tantalize your taste buds, emphasizing quality and creativity.

By dining at Blinde Kuh, you support the Blind-Liecht foundation’s mission to create job opportunities for the visually impaired. The restaurant also hosts cultural events like concerts and readings in the dark, enhancing the unique experience.

Remember, reservations are key as this place is popular for its one-of-a-kind concept. While it’s not the cheapest option, the experience at Blinde Kuh is worth every penny. Believe me, it’s an adventure in the dark that you’ll remember for years to come. For a truly unique place to eat in Zurich, Blinde Kuh stands out as a remarkable choice.

Blinde Kuh is one of the unique restaurants in Zurich.
Dine in complete darkness at Blinde Kuh, where visually impaired staff serves a distinctive culinary experience.

7. Viadukt

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to dine in a piece of history? Viadukt in Zurich offers just that – a unique dining experience set in the arches of an old railway viaduct. This spot is a blend of urban chic and historical charm. Hands down, it’s one of Zurich’s most unique places to eat.

As you step into Viadukt, you’re greeted by the cool, industrial ambiance of the refurbished arches. It’s a striking setting that combines the old with the new. The menu here is a celebration of modern European cuisine, with a focus on fresh, local ingredients. Each dish is a creative twist on classic flavors, served in a way that’s as visually stunning as it is delicious.

But Viadukt is more than just a restaurant. It’s part of a larger market area, buzzing with boutiques, artisan shops, and lively bars. Dining here means you’re right in the heart of a vibrant community hub. It’s perfect for foodies who love to explore and immerse themselves in the local scene.

In terms of price, Viadukt offers a high-quality dining experience that’s worth the splurge. Remember to make a reservation, especially if you’re planning to visit during peak hours. Viadukt is a popular destination for both locals and tourists, and it’s easy to see why!

Dine in history at Viadukt, a unique spot in an old railway viaduct, blending urban chic with historical charm.
Dine in history at Viadukt, a unique spot in an old railway viaduct, blending urban chic with historical charm.

8. Le Dézaley

One of the best restaurants in Zurich, Le Dézaley is a hidden gem in the heart of the city. This place is all about the authentic Swiss experience, from the cozy, rustic ambiance to the mouth-watering fondue and raclette.

When I ate at Le Dézaley, I was struck by its warm, inviting atmosphere. It’s like stepping into a Swiss chalet! The wooden interiors and traditional decor set the perfect scene for a hearty Swiss meal. The cheese fondue here is a must-try. It’s rich, creamy, and absolutely delicious.

Le Dézaley isn’t just about great cheese, though. Their raclette is a showstopper, perfectly melted and served with a variety of sides. It’s a dish that brings people together, perfect for sharing with friends or family.

The staff at Le Dézaley are friendly and make you feel right at home. They’re happy to recommend the perfect Swiss wine to complement your meal. And the prices? They’re reasonable, especially considering the quality and the authentic experience you get.

Le Dézaley is a top pick for anyone looking to indulge in traditional Swiss cuisine in Zurich. It’s popular, so booking ahead is a good idea. Trust me, it’s worth it for a taste of Switzerland that you’ll remember long after your meal!

Le Dézaley: a hidden gem for an authentic Swiss experience with a cozy ambiance and mouth-watering fondue and raclette.
Le Dézaley: a hidden gem for an authentic Swiss experience with a cozy ambiance and mouth-watering fondue and raclette.

9. Wurst & Moritz

Craving something unique and affordable in Zurich? Head to Wurst & Moritz for a fun twist on classic sausages. This spot is a standout for cheap eats in Zurich, offering a variety of inventive sausage dishes that are both delicious and easy on the wallet.

Located in the heart of the city, Wurst & Moritz is a fun place to eat in Zurich. It’s perfect for a casual meal with friends or a quick, satisfying bite. Their menu features traditional sausages with a creative spin, which makes each visit a new culinary adventure.

The atmosphere at Wurst & Moritz is relaxed and welcoming, ideal for enjoying some of the best and most affordable food in Zurich. Whether you’re a sausage aficionado or just looking for a unique dining experience, this is a must-visit destination in the city.

So next time you’re in Zurich and craving something delicious and affordable, head over to Wurst & Moritz. This top restaurant in Zurich is a culinary adventure that’s as fun as it is satisfying!

Head to Wurst & Moritz for a unique and affordable twist on classic sausages.
Head to Wurst & Moritz for a unique and affordable twist on classic sausages.

10. Josef

Josef in Zurich is a playground for food enthusiasts, where the menu brims with inventive and diverse dishes. It’s easily one of the coolest places to eat in Zurich, perfect for foodies and adventure-seekers alike. You’re in for a treat at this spot!

The menu is a mosaic of creative dishes, each with a unique twist. From Brioche Toast with melting onions and Vacherin to confit trout with mustard velouté, your taste buds are in for a journey.

With their “Electricfoodsessions” on Fridays, starting at 22:00, Josef becomes a vibrant blend of food, music, and art. This fusion makes it a central spot for Zurich’s food and art lovers, offering a unique experience where culinary arts meet creativity.

While the prices reflect the quality and creativity of the dishes, the experience is worth every Swiss Franc. Josef invites you to immerse yourself in its unique atmosphere and innovative cuisine. Reservations are recommended, especially for larger groups, to ensure you get to savor this one-of-a-kind Zurich dining experience.

Explore foodie paradise at Josef, a cool spot with an inventive and diverse menu, perfect for adventurous eaters.
Explore foodie paradise at Josef, a cool spot with an inventive and diverse menu, perfect for adventurous eaters.

11. Neue Taverne

Next up on our list of Zurich’s best restaurants is Neue Taverne. Here, modern meets tradition in a cool, cozy setting. It’s the kind of place that makes you feel right at home, but with a menu that’ll wow your taste buds.

At Neue Taverne, it’s all about fresh, local ingredients whipped up into dishes that are as tasty as they are pretty. Think of it as a foodie’s playground, where each plate is a little adventure in itself. It’s definitely one of Zurich’s unique spots for a meal that’s a bit out of the ordinary.

Whether you’re planning a date night or catching up with friends, Neue Taverne has the perfect vibe. It’s laid-back yet classy, and every bite is a reminder of why Zurich’s food scene is buzzing.

Heads up, though – this place is popular! Booking a table ahead of time is a smart move. Trust me, it’s worth it for the kind of meal that’ll have you planning your next visit before you’ve even left. Neue Taverne isn’t just about eating. It’s about enjoying every moment of your dining experience.

Neue Taverne: where modern meets tradition in a cozy setting with a menu that wows.
Neue Taverne: where modern meets tradition in a cozy setting with a menu that wows.

12. Gertrudhof

Gertrudhof is the perfect finale to our list of unique restaurants in Zurich. It’s a cozy spot where Swiss tradition meets a fun, friendly vibe. Walking in, you’re greeted by a mix of classic and quirky decor that makes you feel right at home.

Here, it’s all about tasty Swiss dishes. Think rich stews and freshly baked bread that make your taste buds dance. Eating at Gertrudhof is like joining a big, joyful Swiss family dinner.

I remember my first time here, filled with laughs and a buzzing atmosphere. It’s not just the yummy food that makes this place special, but also the super welcoming staff. They really know how to make everyone feel part of the fun.

Gertrudhof is a hidden gem and one of Zurich’s best restaurants for a memorable meal. It’s perfect for a night of great food and even better company. Be sure to book ahead – you don’t want to miss out on this charming spot that’s all about good vibes and great times!

Gertrudhof is one of the unique restaurants in Zurich.
Gertrudhof is a hidden gem for a memorable meal, perfect for great food and even better company.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Unique Restaurants in Zurich

Searching for more information to help you decide where to eat in Zurich? Here are some common questions (and answers) I get asked a lot about Zurich’s coolest restaurants.

What is the must-have food in Zurich?

When visiting Zurich, there are several must-try foods. Here are some of the top choices that I recommend:

  • Fondue: This classic Swiss dish is a must-try in Zurich. It’s made with melted cheese (typically Gruyère and Emmental) and served in a communal pot (caquelon) over a small burner. Diners use long forks to dip pieces of bread into the cheese.
  • Raclette: Another cheese-based dish, raclette involves melting the surface of a wheel of semi-hard cheese and scraping off the melted part. It’s typically served with small potatoes, gherkins, and pickled onions.
  • Zürcher Geschnetzeltes: This is a traditional Zurich dish. It consists of thinly sliced veal in a creamy mushroom sauce, often served with Rösti (Swiss-style grated and fried potatoes).
  • Rösti: Originally a breakfast dish, Rösti is now enjoyed as a side dish with various meals. It’s made from grated potatoes that are pan-fried until crisp and golden.
  • Swiss Chocolates: Switzerland is famous for its chocolate, and Zurich is no exception. Indulge in some of the finest Swiss chocolates from local chocolatiers.
  • Birchermüesli: Invented by a Swiss physician, this is a healthy breakfast dish made from rolled oats, lemon juice, condensed milk, grated apples, and nuts.
  • Swiss Pastries: Try some local pastries like Luxemburgerli (small, airy macarons) or Züpfe (a plaited, brioche-like bread), especially popular on Sundays.
  • Sausages: Don’t miss out on trying some Swiss sausages like Bratwurst or Cervelat, often served with bread and mustard.
  • Swiss Wines: While not a food, Swiss wines, particularly those from the regions around Zurich, are worth sampling. The local white wines, made from the Chasselas grape, are especially noteworthy.

How expensive are restaurants in Zurich?

In Zurich, you’ll find a mix of dining options to suit various budgets. While some of the best restaurants in Zurich offer high-end, fine dining experiences, there are also plenty of unique places in Zurich to eat that are more wallet-friendly. For a casual meal, you might spend around CHF 20-40 per person. If you’re exploring fine dining in Zurich, expect higher prices, but remember, these spots often provide a one-of-a-kind culinary experience amidst the diverse landscape of exploring Zurich.

What is a typical breakfast in Zurich?

A classic Zurich breakfast usually includes fresh bread, local jams, Swiss cheeses, and cold cuts. Bircher muesli, a mix of oats, fruits, nuts, and yogurt, is a popular choice. For a unique twist on breakfast, many of Zurich’s best restaurants serve up these traditional items with modern, creative touches, often using fresh, local ingredients.

Zurich's delectable muesli, a delightful mix of oats, fruits, and nuts.
Zurich’s delectable muesli, a delightful mix of oats, fruits, and nuts.

What time do the Swiss eat dinner?

Dinner in Switzerland is typically around 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM. However, in Zurich, dining times can be more flexible, especially in the city center or during weekends. Many restaurants in Zurich cater to late diners, offering a vibrant evening atmosphere and extended service hours.

Do you tip for meals in Switzerland?

Tipping isn’t a must in Switzerland as service is included in your bill. But, it’s common to round up the total for good service. In Zurich’s best restaurants, a small tip (5-10%) is a nice gesture for exceptional service, but it’s always at your discretion. Remember, tipping here is more about showing appreciation than an obligation.

How can I save money on food in Zurich?

Saving money on food in Zurich, a city known for its high cost of living, can be challenging. However, it’s definitely possible with some smart strategies. Here are some tips to help you save money on food while still enjoying the local cuisine:

  1. Supermarket Meals: Swiss supermarkets like Coop, Migros, and Denner offer a variety of ready-to-eat meals, sandwiches, salads, and snacks at reasonable prices. They also have a selection of fresh produce and ingredients if you prefer to cook your own meals.
  2. Street Food and Food Trucks: Zurich has a growing street food scene. Look for food trucks and street vendors selling affordable and delicious options like sausages, kebabs, and international cuisines.
  3. University Canteens and Cafeterias: These are open to the public and offer meals at lower prices than typical restaurants. ETH Zurich and the University of Zurich have several canteens with a variety of food options.
  4. Daily Specials and Lunch Menus: Many restaurants offer a daily special (Tagesmenü) or a set lunch menu at a reduced price compared to their regular menu. These are usually available on weekdays.
  5. Picnics: Zurich has beautiful parks and lakeside areas perfect for picnics. You can buy affordable food from a supermarket or bakery and enjoy a meal outdoors.
  6. Avoid Tourist Hotspots: Restaurants in tourist areas tend to be more expensive. Explore the neighborhoods a bit off the beaten path for more affordable dining options.
  7. Refill Water Bottles: Tap water in Zurich is drinkable and of excellent quality. Carry a reusable water bottle and refill it throughout the day to save on buying bottled water.
  8. Hostel/Hotel Kitchen: If your accommodation has a kitchen, take advantage of it to prepare some of your meals.
  9. Farmer’s Markets: Visit local farmer’s markets for fresh and often more affordable produce compared to supermarkets.

Recap: Unique Restaurants in Zurich

Zurich’s dining scene is full of surprises. Each restaurant we’ve talked about offers more than just good food. They give you unique experiences. From the special atmosphere of Blindekuh to the creative dishes at Josef, these places make eating out in Zurich exciting.

If I had to recommend just one, it would be Josef. It stands out with its fun menu and lively vibe. It’s a place where food is not just tasty but also interesting and different.

For a beautiful view and great food, Gertrudhof is perfect. It combines lovely scenery with delicious meals. And for those looking for good food that’s also easy on the wallet, Wurst & Moritz is a great choice.

In Zurich, eating out is about trying new things and having fun. These restaurants are not just places to eat; they are part of what makes Zurich special and contributes to the beauty of places in Switzerland. So, when you’re in Zurich, be sure to check out these amazing spots. You’ll have a great time and enjoy some fantastic food!

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