Eight Special Winter Food Experiences in Zurich

Heading for the snowy slopes of Switzerland? Tack on a gastronomic city break in Zurich and make culinary explorations part of your winter adventures

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Heading to Switzerland to hit the pistes? We'd recommend adding a city break in Zurich to your mountain adventures. There's no better time for exploring the cosmopolitan city's culinary offerings than in winter, when warming brunches, luxurious hot chocolates and festive fondues take on new dimensions. For a winter holiday combining awe-inspiring alpine pursuits with culinary and cultural city highlights, Zurich partners perfectly with a few days in Gstaad, Zermatt, St Moritz or Verbier. These eight Zurich experiences will add some urbane gastronomic gloss to your slopeside sojourn.

Eight wintry food experiences to try in Zurich

Café & Conditorei 1842, Zurich, Switzerland
Photo credit: Charley Derouet

Sip hot chocolate at Café & Conditorei 1842

Housed in a beautiful 13th-century listed building, this cherished city sweet shop and patisserie is now run by the Arbeitskette Foundation, which aims to integrate disadvantaged young people (including participants in Switzerland's migration programme) into the hospitality industry. Widely considered to serve the best hot chocolate in the city, in lavishly decorated drawing rooms, it's a treat on all levels.


Napfgasse 4, 8001

Berg und Tal, Zurich, Switzerland
Photo credit: Charley Derouet

Shop and eat your way around the Markthalle im Viadukt

For food lovers, hip Zuri-West is a must-visit, and a focal point for local gastronomes is this beautiful covered market nestled under the arches of the old city viaduct. When it's sub-zero outside, Markthalle im Viadukt offers a cheerful, cosy refuge, and it's easy to spend a few happy hours here. Start at the fabulous épicerie Berg und Tal, which carefully curates the best Swiss products from innovative and sustainable makers, then move on to the wine bar, café, restaurant and international food stalls.


Viaduktstrasse, 8005

Fondue, Bernadette, Zurich, Switzerland
Photo credit: Charley Derouet

Feast on fondue in a gondola at Bernadette

This gorgeous restaurant has contemporary art deco-influenced interiors and a jaw-dropping view of Lake Zurich, plus a Mediterranean-influenced menu that's just as dreamy as the surroundings. For four months over the winter, things get seriously festive, too. You'lll find fondue served outdoors in vintage ski gondolas overlooking the lively Christmas market in the Sechseläutenplatz. To keep the magic alive after dinner, wander to the lake and catch a burlesque show (plus drink) at the floating Salon Theater Herzbaracke, which is moored here for the first five months of the year.


Sechseläutenplatz 1, 8001

La Flor, Das Provisorium, Zurich
Photo credit: Charley Derouet

Take a chocolate factory tour with La Flor at DasProvisorium

Zurich has a thrilling bean-to-bar chocolate scene, and Taucherli, Garçoa and La Flor are all worth seeking out. Want to go a little deeper? Book a factory tour with the fabulous and passionate Laura Schälchli, founder of La Flor, at the chocolatier's small factory. La Flor's production facilities are in DasProvisorium, a co-working space specialising in innovative and sustainable food projects. It's worth keeping an eye on the DasProvisorium calendar for workshops, tastings and talks. Past events have included a vegan Cypriot pop-up, natural wine tastings and coffee roastery tours.


Uetlibergstrasse 65, 8045

Kronenhalle, Zurich, Switzerland
Photo credit: Charley Derouet

Drink cocktails at Kronenhalle

Arguably Zurich's most iconic restaurant and bar, Kronenhalle was opened in 1924 by an art-loving couple, Hulda and Gottlieb Zumsteg, and has been hosting writers, artists and bohemians ever since - James Joyce, Coco Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, Marc Chagall and Federico Fellini, to name but a few, in visiting. Our order? Beef goulash with spaetzle, or perhaps the breaded veal escalope, with the seriously rich chocolate mousse to finish. Some artists repaid the Zumstegs' generosity and good faith with works of art: spot pieces by Joan Miró, Pablo Picasso and Paul Klee casually adorning the walls.


Rämistrasse 4, 8001

Marktküche, Zurich, Switzerland
Photo credit: Charley Derouet

Try the plant-based tasting menu at Marktküche

To really test the inventiveness of a city's culinary scene, we believe in trying the vegetarian offerings. Naturally, Zurich passes with flying colours, being home to one of the most thrilling vegetarian dining scenes in Europe. For an unforgettable tasting-menu experience, make a beeline for this District 4 diamond, which has been awarded a Michelin green star for sustainability. The surprise tasting menu (diners just choose the number of courses, then sit back and allow the dishes to arrive) is the perfect introduction to both the calibre of Swiss produce and the creativity of Zurich's chefs.


Feldstrasse 98, 8004

Jelmoli, Zurich, Switzerland
Photo credit: Michael Derrer Fuchs / Shutterstock

Go Christmas shopping at Jelmoli

Zurich's answer to Harrods Food Hall is the grand basement at Jelmoli, the city's swishest department store. For travellers, this is a treasure trove of Swiss and international delicacies, and we could spend hours in the condiments section alone, or choosing dates, or olive oil, or tasting slivers of Gouda at the cheese counter. It's the perfect place to do your Christmas shopping for the food lovers in your life.


Seidengasse 1, 8001

John Baker, Zurich, Switzerland
Photo credit: Charley Derouet

Breakfast like a local

Like every true work-hard, play-hard city, Zurich has a lively breakfast culture, whether that looks like friends meeting up over croissants after a bracing dip in the lake, or a creative brainstorming session fuelled by excellent coffee. Of all the hotels facing the lake, it's AMERON Zürich Bellerive au Lac that has wooed the young professional crowd, thanks to its plush art deco-inspired interiors and a menu that mixes Swiss classics with ultra-healthy flourishes. For more of a grab-and-go local brekkie, head to a branch of cult bakery John Baker, which cultures its own yeast on the premises, offers the full spectrum of savoury and sweet baked treats and also does superb coffee.


Utoquai 47, 8008

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The Lowdown

How to get there

Fly direct from London Heathrow to Zurich Airport with SWISS. From the airport, the city centre is just 15 minutes by train with Swiss Federal Railways. Use a Zurich Card (£24) to get an unlimited 24 hours of travel on all public transport.

Ready to plan your Zurich trip? Visit myswitzerland.com to get a taste of all the Swiss city offers.

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