Swiss food is definitely hearty and warming. Maybe it’s the mountains, or the copious snow experienced in winter, but most traditional dishes from Switzerland taste even better in winter. Add the treats found in the Christmas markets dotted throughout Zurich, and you are onto a winner.
Here are six quintessentially Swiss dishes to try when you visit Zurich over the cold and festive season.
Cheese fondue was first mentioned by Homer, more than 2,000 years ago, and originated in Switzerland as a way of making a decent meal out of hardened cheese and stale bread during winter. Since the 1930s, it has been promoted as the Swiss National Dish, as per the Swiss Cheese Union, and it’s the perfect treat for when it’s cold outside.
Homegrown Gruyere (from southern Switzerland) and Emmentaler (that iconic perforated Swiss cheese) are favored for this gooey concoction, kept molten by some white wine, bubbling away on a flame.
Where to try it: Head to Swiss Chuchi, a restaurant on the Hirschenplatz, right in the heart of the old town on the eastern bank of the Limmat River.
Rösti is a type of pancake made from grated and pan-fried potatoes. Crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, Rösti used to be a breakfast dish of farmers, and it can appropriately be described as a giant hash brown. Today, Rösti is eaten across Switzerland, not just for breakfast, and often accompanies other dishes, such as Züricher Geschnetzeltes.
Where to try it: There are few restaurants which do not offer Rösti, but reportedly the best is served in the Zeughauskeller.