Where the Locals Eat in Zurich
Discovering a hidden eatery will make any Swiss sojourn utterly memorable. Find out here where the locals in Zurich eat. Discover a restaurant down a quiet side street of the Niederdorf that serves up delicious food using seasonal ingredients. Scale the hill in the Wollishofen neighborhood and splurge on Zurich’s best entrecôte steak. Or enjoy the finest catches of the day from Lake Zurich at a fish restaurant located on the city’s only campground.
Neumarkt 5, 8001 Zürich, Switzerland
The Niederdorf may be overrun with tourists, but it’s mostly locals who make their way down a quiet side street to this restaurant, which boasts excellent local wines, dishes driven by seasonal ingredients, and what might be the city’s loveliest garden, shaded by huge trees and strung with lanterns.
Locals come to this white heritage-protected 1800s house perched on a hill in the leafy green Wollishofen neighborhood to splurge on the city’s best entrecôte Café de Paris, served in its pan over a warming candle, along with heavenly fries (waiters come around offering more if they see you’re running low). Come summer, the kitchen moves outdoors and the garden terrace, dotted with white umbrellas and shaded by a huge Linden tree, is as lovely a place as any to enjoy the lake view.
At this perpetually packed café, locals angle for seats around one of the mismatched communal tables before heading to the counter to order the piled-high club sandwich, terrific Caesar salad, or one of the delectable pastries displayed in their baking pans. The vibe is cozy chic done right, with vintage pots and baking molds hanging from the walls and candles in the fireplace. On cool days, patrons who opt for one of the handful of outdoor tables are given Swiss Army blankets to drape over their knees.
Seestrasse 559, 8038 Zürich, Switzerland
Located on the shores of Lake Zurich, Fischer’s Fritz restaurant is located on Zurich’s only campground—a favorite camping destination for the well-heeled city dwellers on holiday. The catch comes straight from Lake Zurich; the restaurant employs a fisherman to cast his net daily. Expect whitefish, trout, perk, pike, wels catfish, burbot and jellyfish to dot the menu. Try the fischknusperli (Swiss fish & chips) or Lake Zurich freshwater sushi prepared by a Japan-trained chef.
“Dini Mueter” translates to “your mother,” so it’s no surprise this is the most inviting restaurant on bustling, seedy Langstrasse, with a chalkboard wall, and the kitchen windows that overlook the long wooden communal table and the green-and-white gingham curtains. There are two daily changing specials—often incorporating seasonal, organic ingredients—plus a terrific brunch menu with eggs Benedict and fluffy pancakes topped with vanilla yogurt. Photo © Katja Granzin.
Bahnhofstrasse 21, 8001 Zürich, Switzerland
There are 14 outposts of the famed chocolate shop in and around town, but the one to go to is its flagship, which occupies a prime corner perch on Paradeplatz. There are gorgeous displays of Sprungli’s signature sweet, the Luxemburgerli, Lilliputian takes on the macaron; its exquisite line of truffles; and its dense, rich, uniquely shaped Truffe cake—quite possibly the best chocolate cake ever. Don’t miss its gorgeous second-floor café.