AuGust, a rustic butchery, is located just outside of the Widder Hotel. Dark, natural wood tables and checkerboard tiles make for a contemporary urban deli setting for the approachable classics and more adventurous items like tripe salads. The charcuterie plates are perfect for a leisurely lunch or a light dinner before a cocktail at the Widder Bar.
Zurich locals love this buzzy, intimate spot near Langstrasse for its excellent pastas, wines and cocktails. Start the evening with small plates and snacks (focaccia, burrata and fried polenta, along with a mini chicken parm and seasonal salads and veggies) before moving on to the pastas. The menu features only three options, which change with the time of year but are reliable takes on Italian classics. During a recent visit, the tagliatelle al ragu, cacio e pepe and cappelletti with pumpkin and brown butter were uniformly excellent. Bar Lupo is walk-ins only.
Tucked in a narrow, pedestrian-only lane not far from the river, Ristorante Bindella is a favorite neighborhood spot serving delicious Italian food, including the freshest pastas, seafood and meat. The chef focuses on what is in season, so the menu changes to focus on ingredients like truffles or white asparagus. The restaurant has a convivial atmosphere, offering outdoor seating during the warmer months as well as seats at the marble bar if you want to eat alone or don’t have a reservation.
Hiltl, the oldest vegetarian restaurant in Europe, is widely recognized as a dining mecca for herbivores. The inventive buffet (paid for according to its weight) offers cuisine ranging from German to Indian, all of which are conveniently labeled for more than 11 allergens (i.e., nuts, gluten, dairy) for the safety of sensitive diners. Haus Hiltl has a respectable wine list and the 20 desserts offered daily are worth saving room for.
Set in a refined townhouse off pedestrian-only Rennweg, Kindli offers Swiss cuisine prepared with seasonal ingredients. Diners will enjoy classics like geschnetzeltes (veal in bite-sized pieces) as well as fish and beef specialties. Desserts at this inviting restaurant are not to be missed—the warm chocolate pudding is decadent and delightful
Opened in 1921, this dark, masculine, wood-paneled space transports guests to the speakeasy era. The professional bartenders deliver classic negronis, White Russians and martinis as well as special requests from behind the gilded green marble bar. Original works by Chagall, Matisse, Miró, Braque and Picasso hang on the walls, making having a cocktail here a unique experience.
This rustic, informal restaurant focuses on two quintessential Swiss dishes: raclette and cheese fondue. The enormous portions can be shared and go well with a bottle of local wine.
The Viadukt shops in Zurich, built into the old railway overpass, are not to be missed. The same can be said for Restaurant Markethalle, a delightful spot to pause between purchases for a lunch of locally sourced dishes. Plates are simple and served family-style on long communal tables in the dining room or outdoors. Menu items like freshly made breads and tomato pesto can be found along with house-made sausages, roasted meats, cured fish, pasta and market-fresh vegetables. The Markethalle also hosts artisan shops for those wishing to take any gourmet treats home.
The Restaurant Dolder
The two-Michelin-starred The Restaurant at the Dolder Grand offers stunning views of the Alps, lake and city that are as impressive as Chef Heiko Nieder’s innovative cuisine. The amuse-bouche lunch and wine pairing allow visitors to sample many of Nieder’s creations as well as the extensive wine list.
Vorderer Sternen at the Bellevue (Sternen Grill)
Locals speed in and out of this standing room–only take-out spot for the best Wurstbrat (sausage) in Zurich. The best way to enjoy the steaming sausage is topped with spicy mustard. Know before you go: this haunt is cash-only.
Handsomely outfitted with red leather booths, 13th-century wooden beams and a backdrop of over 1,000 bottles, the Widder Bar is widely known as the “Library of Spirits.” Live jazz attracts a fun-loving crowd of people who are fueled by the bartenders’ creative concoctions that incorporate classic and unusual ingredients. In the spring and fall, the intimate space hosts art shows featuring internationally recognized artists.
Widder restaurant is led by Chef Tino Staub, who is best known for his passion for high-quality regional produce and mastery of French and Asian flavors. The menu changes daily based on what is available locally.