Absolutely nothing prepared me for how expensive Zürich is. 7.50 CHF for a bratwurst from a street stand. 40 CHF for an average sounding risotto from a nice restaurant. And at a cheap Chinese restaurant (I say cheap because the place certainly looked like a budget eatery), 16 CHF for a one dish meal of sweet and sour chicken and rice. And on our last day of holiday, while waiting at Zürich airport, I saw that a Japanese stand at a food court was selling a small miso soup for 5.50 CHF. Oof.
I cannot deny though that Zürich is a beautiful city with its winding old streets, giant clocks and gorgeous location on Lake Zürich.
Our holiday in the Inn Valley in the Alps started with us flying into Zürich and staying the night before taking a train the next morning to Innsbruck. That meant we had a dinner there and with no real plans, we went to visit what is possibly the most touristy restaurant in Zürich: Zeughauskeller. The Swiss guy who sat next to us told his business colleagues that yes it was touristy but even the Swiss bring their visiting friends here as it had a very good variety of Swiss dishes. Well, that makes it ok then…
Kalbsgeschnetzeltes nach Zürcher Art was panfried sliced veal and mushrooms in a creamy white wine sauce and was served with rösti. It was certainly a generous portion of this delicious stew and we mopped up as much of the sauce as we could. There doesn’t look like much on the plate but the rest of the portion was kept hot in a small chafing dish in the middle of the table.
The Engadiner Hauswurst geräuchert was a beef and pork smoked sausage seasoned with red wine and herbs and spices and served with potato salad. This was a boiled sausage but its flavour didn’t suffer for it.
The Zeughauskeller Wurstspiess was served with more potato salad and also came with an onion gravy. There were at least three different varieties of grilled wurst on that skewer and the variety is great for a single diner.
Three main meals and three soft drinks came to a total of about 100 CHF. It was all delicious but yeah, expensive. If, like us, you don’t visit with a reservation, it’s likely that you might have to share a table with others.
The next day, we had a 3.5 hour train ride to Innsbruck and like any Asian going on a long trip, I stocked up on nice things to eat at the train station. Sprüngli was my bakery of choice that day and all their sandwiches were delicious and made with excellent bread. I’ve only got a photo of the delicious quiche mit speck I bought. That was a gorgeous buttery little quiche.
And a week later, back at Zurich airport on our way back to London, we encountered more Sprünglis than I could shake a stick at – and it was here that I bought a few of their Luxemburgerli to use up some Swiss Francs. Some of the flavours of these bite-sized macarons were a bit better then others and the texture if the biscuit could have been a bit lighter. Still, it was a tasty little treat.
So, Zurich – delicious but hard on the wallet.
Bahnhofstrasse 28a, near Paradeplatz
lots of branches throughout Zürich