Good "homestyle" restaurant in Zurich?
December 8, 2013 11:31 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a good homestyle restaurant in Zurich. By "homestyle" I mean good examples of local cuisine. The typical websites (tripadvisor, urbanspoon) haven't been particularly helpful. Cost doesn't matter. Bonus points for links to menus!
posted by Philosopher Dirtbike to Food & Drink (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I don't have a restaurant recommendation but one thing I liked eating in Zurich, which I was told was echt Zurich food, was this dish that's basically macaroni and cheese with applesauce and onions mixed into it. Oh, here it is, Älpermagronen. So a place with that on the menu might be a good bet.

And if you're going to be eating out in Zurich a lot, I'm happy to hear that cost doesn't matter...
posted by escabeche at 12:37 PM on December 8, 2013

The Zeughauskeller is fairly touristy, but it's a bit of a Zurich institution. It's about a 10-15min walk from the central station.
posted by Jakey at 12:46 PM on December 8, 2013

Best answer: My go-to in Zürich was always Restaurant Markthalle, sort of a farm-to-table-ish restaurant in a nice marketplace in an old railroad viaduct. I also had some good meals at Café Boy, which is definitely Swiss but has a bit more of a modern style of cooking (and prepared the best cordon bleu I had in Zürich, a confusingly popular dish there). Since it's cold, fondue is also local cuisine. I can't vouch personally for any one place, but Fribourger Fonduestübli looked quite good and was booked up often (which is why I can't vouch for it personally). Honestly, local cuisine probably won't blow you away, but it can be solid and hearty, particularly in winter.

And not a homestyle restaurant, but since you're there in December, I highly recommend the öpfelchüüchli stall (apple fritters with vanilla sauce) at the Hauptbahnhof.
posted by Schismatic at 4:43 PM on December 8, 2013

I had a great time and enjoyed good food at the restaurant Swiss Churchi below Hotel Adler in Zurich. Very homey decor, menu had several fondue options and spaetzle options, definitely had that Alpermagronen dish that escabeche mentioned because that's what I ordered and it was amazing. Restaurant is a bit touristy but it's in Old Town amidst all that activity and also connected to a hotel. Here are the Trip Advisor reviews and some pictures. Everyone working there was friendly and professional (although that's quite common in Switzerland from my experience). And, here are the menus!
posted by belau at 6:21 PM on December 8, 2013

There are loads of places that I can think of that serve "traditional" food. These are a few we've tried.

There's the Schutzenhaus Albisgütli, which does a pretty mean Älplermagronen (as mentioned above), as well as the standards: cordon bleu, pork or veal schnitzel (deep fried) or geschnetzeltes Schweinflesch Zürcher Art (schnitzel cut into little pieces and served in a cream sauce with pasta or fries).

A touristy option that does big servings of Swiss food is in the main railway station: Brasserie Federal. Does a great röschti.

And for something different but delicious: Hiltl is Europe's oldest vegetarian restaurant and is truly delicious.

For fondue there are a few places in the Altstadt and Niederdorf, but I would go for the Fondueschiff, which is a boat that does a 2-hour round trip while you dunk your bread and potato in a massive pot of cheese, or go up Uetliberg on the train and get fondue at the restaurant right beside the station. It's cosy on a cold day, the fondue is decent and the views up there are stunning when there's no fog.

Can't recommend a good raclette place yet -- we haven't tried any! But raclette is another Swiss classic.
posted by tracicle at 7:53 AM on December 9, 2013

I have been thinking about this for a couple of days and it is pretty tough for the city. There are tons of great restaurants in Zürich, but not too many of them focus on homestyle food. There are a bunch that serve traditional Swiss food, but all in a restaurant manner.

That said, tracicle's recomendation of Hiltl is great. I would add that Hiltl makes vegetarian versions of lots of Swiss specialties. Also, Hiltl is fantastic because it is the kind of place that everyone goes to. Young, old, trendy, business people, tourists, locals. You will find everyone there. It is a true Zürich institution.

One other Zürich institution you should not miss is the Bratwurst at the Vorderesterne on Belvue. This also fits into the Zürich institution where you will find everyone (see categories above).

Also on Belvue - Zürich institution - is the Kronenhalle. Touristy, but locals definitely go here. They are famous for their Züri Gschnätzlets. The front room used to be a place / the place (I don't know) to see and be seen.

Other places that focus on being traditionally Swiss are the Zunfthauses. These are traditional men's clubs based on ancient guilds. They are maintained as clubhouses and restaurants and are generally all serve swiss food. Again, not homestyle.

By the way, natives will generally not go to Swiss Churchi or the Zeughauskeller. I haven't eaten there and have no idea about the food.

I will try to think a bit more.
posted by jazh at 11:32 AM on December 11, 2013

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