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Find the best dishes in Zurich, Switzerland

Find the best dishes in Zurich, Switzerland

by George Black

Zurich is one of the most distinguished cities in the world. Founded in 15 BC, it's a monument to how times change and create natural statues out of stone and natural Europeans out of the ancient peoples who have migrated, settled, and created a civilization. Home of arts, entertainment, global banking and business, Zurich has a firm yet gentle hand on the pulse of humanity. This makes exploring the local food scene as exciting as studying the cultural history and makeup of the people.

1. Ravioli came from Italy
Ravioli came from Italy
Ravioli

This dish dates back to the 14th century Venus and means 'to wrap'. It's a type of dumplings and it's pasta in the form of small dough cases with a savory filling - meat, cheese or vegetables. Ravioli are usually served with broth or sauce.

#79 of 3641 restaurants in Zürich
Italian
Stampfenbachstrasse 38, Zürich, Zurich, Switzerland
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This time we'll start with the international picks for the local gastronomical scene. One of the more European dishes in Zurich originated as a traditional food in Italian cuisine. Ravioli is basically a filling enveloped in thin pasta dough and served hot with a variety of sauces and side dishes. In Switzerland, different types of ravioli can be found, their filling and final taste depend on the inventiveness of the chefs in restaurants. There is the classic recipe with ricotta cheese, spinach, nutmeg, and black pepper, but this combination is not universal.

Casa Ferlin is a great Italian restaurant for ravioli enthusiasts.

2. Schnitzels are a little more fitting to the location
Schnitzels are a little more fitting to the location
Schnitzels

This dish is popular all over the world. Its name is derived from the German word meaning "a slice". Delicious schnitzels can be made from any kind of meat - delicate chicken fillet, wholesome pork, and beef. The meat is traditionally breaded before frying.

#304 of 3641 restaurants in Zürich
Austrian, European
Hofwiesenstrasse 265, Zürich, Zurich, Switzerland
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Switzerland is much too western and northern for Italian cuisine despite the popularity of some Mediterranean dishes. Things like schnitzels are much more common despite being vaguely and mysteriously Germanic in their origin. For those not in the know for some reason, schnitzels are slices of meat thinned with a tenderizer garnished with spices and sauces. Traditionally, the recipe includes a slice of lemon and either potato salad or potatoes with parsley and butter.

Hofwiesen would be a safe choice for a good schnitzel.

3. Entrecote is more exquisite
Entrecote is more exquisite
Entrecote

The name of the dish means "between the ribs" in French. Entrecote is made with tender meat from the rib area. The meat is fried or grilled with spices. It is served hot with vegetable siding. The dish is so juicy and tender.

#28 of 2068 cafes in Zürich
French, European, Central European
Ankerstrasse 113, Zürich, Zurich, Switzerland
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Since we've touched upon the Germanic influences in modern Switzerland cuisine, let's progress naturally to the Gallic ones. Entrecote is a steak cut from the rib, yet it's not the traditional ribeye common in modern cooking. Lots of ways to make entrecote have been invented over the years and centuries it took to perfect the recipes and culinary skills of all involved in feeding the picky meat-eaters. Luckily, Zurich is exactly the place for someone who can make the French steak the way it should be made.

Brasserie Cafe de Paris is self-explanatory. A French restaurant with French steaks.

4. Cordon bleu is Swiss, finally
Cordon bleu is Swiss, finally
Cordon bleu

It's a very tasty and hearty dish that originated in Brig, Switzerland, in the 1940s. Cordon blue means "blue ribbon" in French. It is a veal schnitzel stuffed with cheese and ham. Alternatively, the meat can be wrapped around slices of cheese or ham, then breaded and fried or baked.

#82 of 3641 restaurants in Zürich
European, Swiss
Gertrudstrasse 26, Zürich, Zurich, Switzerland
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For a country of such repute and history, Switzerland came up with its staple food rather recently. Cordon bleu became known as a schnitzel filled with cheese in Brig in the 1940s. It's simplistic and practical, yet rather elegant compared to regular sandwiches. Veal or pork cordon bleu is made of veal or pork pounded thin and wrapped around a slice of ham and a slice of cheese. Replace pork with chicken and stuff the combination with mushrooms, and you get a totally different variation.

Gertrudhof  is a safe pick for cordon bleu.

5. Tiramisu is sweet
Tiramisu is sweet
Tiramisu

It's an authentic no-bake Italian dessert with a coffee flavor. It means 'cheer me up' because of the two caffeine-containing ingredients - coffee and cocoa. Tiramisu is made from espresso-dipped ladyfingers and mascarpone cream.


#1 of 485 pizza restaurants in Zürich
Italian, Pizza
Dübendorfstrasse 223, Zürich, Zurich, Switzerland
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Let's make a pause and enjoy another Italian offering. The coffee-flavored dessert is a good alternative to the more meaty dishes we've discussed previously. Basically, tiramisu is a whipped mixture of eggs, sugar, and mascarpone cheese, flavored with cocoa, a great treat to have when you're enjoying the ambiance of Zurich in the evening. It's the evidence of great progress in globalization - the fact that Italian desserts can be eaten by visitors to the Swiss urban marvel.

La Fonte has some marvellous tiramisu.

6. Muesli is too cool
Muesli is too cool
Muesli

This tasty and nutritious breakfast will be a good start of the day for the whole family. You can diversify it, each time adding to the muesli other fruits, such as peaches, strawberries, bananas, and apricots.

#1 of 2068 cafes in Zürich
European, Swiss
Zinnengasse 21, Zürich, Zurich, Switzerland
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Now we get back to Swiss cuisine. This one is curious in that it has been invented as a sort of medicine, or at least, a dietary product. Muesli was introduced by Swiss physician Maximilian Bircher-Benner for patients in his hospital. It's a cold oatmeal dish based on rolled oats and ingredients such as grains, nuts, seeds, and fresh or dried fruits served with milk or cream, a squeeze of citrus juice, often with a sweetener such as honey. There are many homemade recipes, and preparing a decent alternative to them in a restaurant is a challenge.

Sprüngli is a place to visit for some muesli with original additives.

7. Veal with mushrooms is surprisingly amazing
Veal with mushrooms is surprisingly amazing
Veal with mushrooms

It's a typical hearty winter dinner in Zurich. The dish is prepared from veal which is cut into cubes, then fried and topped with marsala sauce consisting of onions, butter, white wine, cream, and mushrooms.

#63 of 3641 restaurants in Zürich
German, Swiss
Zinnengasse 28A, Zürich, Zurich, Switzerland
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Now, this is something unique not only to Switzerland but to Zurich itself. Veal with mushrooms is one of the variations of the classic local recipe for "Zürcher Geschnetzeltes", or Zurich-style sliced meat. The classic recipe from the 1947 cookbook includes sliced veal strips, white wine, cream, and demiglace, but we are more interested in the version with mushrooms and sliced veal kidneys. To accompany the dish, spätzle, pasta, rice, or mashed potatoes are usually used.

Zeughauskeller is one of the first places that come to mind when talking about Zürcher Geschnetzeltes and mushrooms.

8. Fondue is something inevitable
Fondue is something inevitable
Fondue

It's a dish made of melted cheese and white wine. Two kinds of cheese are melted in the hot wine. Then spices are added. Fondue is eaten hot right from the pot by dipping pieces of white bread or vegetables with special forks.


#179 of 3641 restaurants in Zürich
Swiss
Zähringerstrasse 21, Zürich, Zurich, Switzerland
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Of course, everyone saw that one coming. The Swiss melted cheese dish served in a communal pot is probably the most famous culinary invention of the people. Allegedly developed from the tradition by mountain shepherds to make food out of scraps of what they had, it is now a rather expensive and high-class dish. Fondue has even been promoted as a Swiss national dish by the Swiss Cheese Union and later became generalized to other dishes in which food is dipped into a communal pot of liquid kept hot in a fondue pot.

Walliser Keller can offer some of the best fondues in Zurich.

9. Meat pies are not what they seem
Meat pies are not what they seem
Meat pies

This dish is always on the menu: a homemade party, a sporting event or a breakfast after "going out". Today in shops they sell a lot of exquisite and expensive versions of this dish, but a real pie must be tasted with mashed potatoes and sauce.


#60 of 3641 restaurants in Zürich
Fusion, International, Contemporary, Healthy food
Hopfenstrasse 2, Zürich, Zurich, Switzerland
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Food like meat pies is rather generic at first glance. But as some may remember, no two pies are the same, and the Swiss have their own brand of meat pies called Chur Pies. These originate from Graubünden in southeastern Switzerland. They contain cream from flour, margarine, and salt combined with minced meat and the bacon, then rolled into the premade dough and topped with eggs. It's a very Medieval dish, but enjoyable nonetheless.

Maison Manesse offers a great selection of meat pies.

10. Mushroom soup is a decent finish
Mushroom soup is a decent finish
Mushroom soup

Mushroom soup is a traditional Latvian hot dish, whose main ingredients are wild mushrooms and potato. Additionally, the soup includes paprika and bacon.

#6 of 3641 restaurants in Zürich
Swiss, European, Central European
Stampfenbachstrasse 32, Zürich, Zurich, Switzerland
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After we've seen a gallery of foreign and local dishes, providing readers with a recommendation for something healthy and not too common is both a polite thing to do and something that fits with the general tone. Mushroom soup is exotic enough to play into the strengths of Zurich as a hub for European cultures and universal enough to be easily accessible to wandering guests. Various mushrooms and potatoes - what can be simpler? Something that a good chef comes up with, of course.

Didi's Frieden is the place to go if you want soup.

Zurich is a great place to spend your time resting and exploring something new. Please enjoy your time there if you wish to feel the vibe of the local cuisine.

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Find the best dishes in Zurich, Switzerland