Certainly, here’s a paraphrased and expanded version of the text about Zurich’s progressive plant-based food scene:
Unlocking Zurich’s Innovative Plant-Based Food Scene: A Local’s Guide
Zurich, a city that feeds on innovation, is rapidly becoming a hub for plant-based culinary excellence. Meet Ity Tiwari, an Indian-born, Zurich-based vegetarian food blogger and chef, who is on a mission to explore and celebrate the city’s thriving plant-based food culture. “As a vegetarian myself,” Ity begins, “I’m constantly amazed by Zurich’s culinary creativity and the commitment to doing things sustainably. Many restaurants here are leading the way with zero-waste initiatives and community-driven projects.”
Our gastronomic journey starts a bit earlier than expected as we head to the new company canteen at On, located in Zurich-West. On is renowned for its Swiss-engineered footwear with a cult following. Ity explains, “On has joined forces with a local vegan eatery called Roots to introduce Switzerland’s first 100% plant-based office canteen.” Roots Food Lab, situated next to the flagship On store, is open to the public and has even attracted the likes of tennis legend Roger Federer. The space exudes a futuristic ambiance, and the vegan buffet is nothing short of delightful.
Innovative Collaboration: This new canteen, a collaboration between Swiss footwear brand On and Roots Food Lab, offers a diverse array of delectable plant-based dishes. It’s a testament to Zurich’s commitment to sustainable dining.
But Zurich’s forward-thinking culinary scene has deep historical roots. Our next stop is Hiltl, which opened its doors in 1898 and proudly holds a Guinness World Record as the world’s oldest continuously open vegetarian restaurant. Inside, you’ll find Hiltl Vegimetzg, Switzerland’s first in-house plant-based butcher’s shop. Here, you can explore vegan wines, plant-based milk alternatives, cookbooks, and innovative deli meat alternatives.
Milo Stegmann from Hiltl sheds light on Zurich’s unique dining culture. “While only 5% of the Swiss population is strictly vegetarian,” Milo reveals, “many Zurich residents regularly enjoy meat-free meals. In Zurich, people consume a vegan lunch without even realizing it.” Hiltl, an establishment with a rich history, is far from resting on its laurels. When asked about their commitment to the community and sustainability, Milo proudly states, “We removed avocados from our menu due to ethical concerns about water waste. Our chefs then crafted a popular pea-based guacamole alternative.” With ever-evolving menus and a dedication to ethical sourcing, Hiltl is just one example of Zurich eateries championing positive change.
Historic and Forward-Thinking: Hiltl, the world’s oldest vegetarian restaurant, marries tradition with a commitment to ethical dining practices, exemplifying Zurich’s dedication to sustainable cuisine.
In the heart of the Old Town, we visit Café & Conditorei 1842, housed in a 13th-century listed building. This historic café is now under the management of the Arbeitskette Foundation, which strives to integrate disadvantaged young people, including participants in Switzerland’s migration program, into the hospitality industry. Ity insists that they serve the best hot chocolate in the city, and as I sip on a creamy cup in the lavishly decorated drawing rooms, I wholeheartedly concur. It’s a treat on every level.
As we stroll along Napfgasse, a narrow alley adorned with patisseries and delicatessens, Ity points out Schwarzenbach, a heritage grocery that pioneered bean-to-bar chocolate and fairtrade single-origin coffee long before it became trendy. A little further down the alley is Äss-Bar bakery, on a mission to reduce Zurich’s food waste by offering day-old baked goods from the city’s top bakeries at affordable prices. “This approach makes high-quality items, like sandwiches from Sprüngli, Switzerland’s best-known high-end bakery, accessible to students,” Ity notes. “Zurich’s international diversity makes its food scene endlessly fascinating,” she adds, as we step into Zurich’s answer to Harrods Food Halls — the grand basement at Jelmoli, the city’s most prestigious department store. It’s a treasure trove of Swiss and international delicacies, and you could easily lose track of time exploring the condiments section alone or sampling gouda at the cheese counter.
A World of Culinary Exploration: Zurich’s food scene isn’t just about delicious flavors; it’s a testament to the city’s creativity and commitment to ethical dining practices.
Ity’s top three restaurant recommendations in Zurich:
Hiltl: With multiple locations across the city, Hiltl’s international vegetarian buffet has become a Zurich institution. Don’t miss their palak paneer (spinach with Indian cottage cheese).
Marktküche: Awarded both a Michelin star and a Michelin green star for sustainability, Marktküche’s surprise tasting menu is the perfect introduction to Swiss produce and Zurich’s culinary creativity.
Markthalle: This bustling covered market hall in hip Zurich-West is a must-visit. Start your culinary journey at the grocery Berg und Tal, then explore the wine bar, cafe, restaurant, and food stalls.
Plan Your Culinary Adventure: Fly with SWISS directly to Zurich from various UK airports. Consider getting a Zürich Card, which covers public transport, cruises, museums, and more, to make the most of your trip. Discover more at zuerich.com.
In Zurich, it’s not just about the quality of locally sourced ingredients; it’s about the principles and passion behind these culinary ventures that make it a paradise for food enthusiasts.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Zurich Plant-Based Dining
Q: What makes Zurich’s plant-based food scene unique?
A: Zurich’s plant-based food scene stands out due to its creativity, sustainability, and commitment to ethical dining practices. Many restaurants in Zurich are pioneering zero-waste initiatives and community-driven projects, making it a hub for eco-conscious dining.
Q: Can you recommend some must-visit restaurants in Zurich for plant-based dining?
A: Absolutely! Here are three top recommendations:
Hiltl: With multiple locations across the city, Hiltl offers an international vegetarian buffet and is recognized as a Zurich institution. Try their palak paneer for a flavorful experience.
Marktküche: This restaurant has earned both a Michelin star and a Michelin green star for sustainability. Their surprise tasting menu is a fantastic introduction to Swiss produce and Zurich’s culinary creativity.
Markthalle: Located in hip Zurich-West, Markthalle is a bustling covered market hall worth exploring. It offers a range of culinary experiences, from groceries to wine bars, cafes, and restaurants.