During a recent lunch hour, we decided to visit the newly renovated Jelmoli Food Market here in Zürich. Dining in the basement of a department store was not exactly top of mind for us, but entering this culinary wonderland made us reconsider this notion!
Eleven specialty vendors run their own stores-within-a-store, and the concept reminded us of that popular market hall in Florence, Italy.
The open floor layout and seamless transition from shop to shop invites for discovering. But this time around, our mission was finding lunch and so we decided to save the exploring for later...
The Market Grill
As we passed by a seafood vendor, a sushi counter and a fruits and vegetables stand, Mamiko's appetite for meat inevitably steered us to the Market Grill!
An incredible 800 degrees Celsius is what it takes to sear their tender meat to perfection. Our ribeye was a soft and juicy.
And the assortment of desserts presented on a three tier serving tray was delightful as well.
Halfway through our meal, we had forgotten that it was just a regular weekday...
Wonderpots Frozen Yogurt
Straight from Berlin come the fruity frozen yogurts of Wonderpots! The start-up's first branch outside of Germany cannot be missed as you enter the Jelmoli Food Market.
Colorful, delicious toppings from mango slices to roasted nuts are waiting to be combined in ever new ways. And the friendly staff is not shy to hand out samples, either!
We especially like the Wonderpot policy of using only local, organic milk for their fat-free frozen yogurts. A medium cup for CHF 8.50 comes with a choice of three toppings.
Switzerland's First Cheese Humidor
Did you know that there is a cheese cellar located underneath the busy shopping mile of Bahnhofstrasse? The new cheese humidor happens to also be one of the highlights at Jelmoli Food Market.
Due to its sheer size, the humidor is essentially a walk-in fridge featuring more than 200 varieties of cheese. It has been carved out of local oak wood and is kept at a constant 14 degrees Celsius with 90% humidity.
The humidor is a dream for cheese lovers - and for the cheese itself! Because under these perfect conditions, cheese ages gracefully...
We did not have enough time to even get started, but we are told that any of the cheese on display may be sampled!
So whether you fancy a local Zürcher Oberländer cheese or a French camembert, step in and ask for a free sample. And if you are planning a party, you can pick the wine at the Mövenpick cellar next door and have it paired with a matching type of cheese.
Finally, if you feel adventurous, you could decide to melt some cheese at the permanent cheese fondue station in the dining area! Yes, you heard right: 365 days of cheese fondue!
It really is a perfect venue for tourists and visitors to enjoy this traditional Swiss dish - any day of the year! And for those locals who do not want to get caught eating fondue in the summer, this might just be the place to go undercover...
The concept of Jelmoli Food Market convinced us: Patrons are free to combine foods and beverages from the various vendors - just like in a traditional marketplace! Except that here, you are in the middle of Zürich, just steps away from the bustling Bahnhofstrasse...