As a city famous for the world's oldest vegetarian restaurant (Hiltl), Zürich sure knows a thing or two about plant-based dinning. But a lesser known fact is that Zürich is also a hotbed for vegan cuisine. Here, we round up our top recommendations for where to grab some healthy, delicious and cruelty-free food in Zürich.
Check out these vegan restaurants in Zürich:
A convenient pit-stop while shopping inside the Jelmoli food court, head downstairs and you will find Bad Hunter serving up soups, fresh juices and salads.
Everything here is vegetarian, but with lots of vegan options. My favorites are their vegan cheese and broccoli wrap with avocado and quinoa, the fennel countdown salad, and the "Butter Me Up" smoothie with vegan ice-cream. They try to minimize the use of salts and added fats, and they only use natural sugars such as maple syrup. Bad Hunter also have a special meal deal for students, so no need to break the bank!
(Photograph copyright Bad Hunter)
Bad Hunter at Jelmoli
Located in the heart of Zürich is Beetnut, a stylish oasis. They offer plant-based meals as their core menu (non-vegan options are only offered as sides or add-ons). On my last visit, we ordered their choco banana toast and almond chai latte, a winning combination.
If you are after something with more of a savour slant, hit up their fresh salads which are anything but boring. Or grab a warm hearty bowl, such as "Made by Ghandi", which contains sweet potatoes, lentils and cashews in a Malabar sauce. Or how about "By the Incas", a red bean trio drenched in mole sauce with avocado kale guacamole and tortilla chips?
(Photograph copyright Patrick Armbruster)
Incredibly popular, Restaurant Hiltl is the place to win over your non-vegan friends and family. With an impressive self-service veggie and vegan buffet that seems to go on for miles, you can simply choose whichever plant-based dishes take your fancy. (The price is calculated by the final weight of your plate.)
It is impossible not to get carried away and want to try a bit of everything... Just make sure to save some space for their legendary desserts including hot chocolate fudge cake, hazelnut mousse and mango chai pudding. I have even been known to skip mains altogether and just indulge in their puds!
(Photograph copyright Haus Hiltl)
If you are after something a bit different, head straight for Mesob Restaurant and order their Ethiopian Vegan Platter. It comes with an assortment of spicy lentil and vegetable dishes and their famous injera pancakes. No utensils needed, just dig in with your hands.
And in case you have not tried injera before, it is made from fermented teff flour and is one of the most nutritious grains in the world. Also, it is gluten free! This is the ideal place for bringing the whole crew together for a vegan blowout.
(Photograph copyright Rae @raeindigoyoga)
Miyuko is a Japanese manga styled café and tearoom run by Sara Hochuli, a cake making master. While not exclusively vegetarian or vegan, they always have lots of plant based indulgences to choose from. For instance, you will be in for a real treat if you order their "Vegan Tea Time", a take on an English afternoon tea.
I simply cannot resist their vegan cakes, scones with jam and gigantic beetroot lattes - Miyuko is such a unique experience!
(Photograph copyright Carolina Caruso Photography/Miyuko)
Roots and Friends
On the top of our list should be Roots and Friends, a completely vegan restaurant serving up an array of nourishing smoothies, buddha bowls and dreamy acai bowls.
They have several locations around Zürich, including one at Balbao Gym where they host an epic weekend brunch featuring the fluffiest blueberry banana pancakes, avocado toast, Moroccan tofu scrambles and much more. (Trust me, it is not to be missed.) At the restaurant, you can conveniently grab some gourmet vegan pralines made by two Swiss sisters that go by the name of Löw Delights.
(Photograph copyright Roots and Friends)
Roots and Friends
Vegelateria at The Sacred
If you are looking for a sweet scoop of dairy free ice-cream, make a beeline for Vegelateria at The Sacred. There, you will get to sample a huge array of mouth-watering flavors, including matcha, hazelnut, chocolate, coconut, mango, raspberry and apple-cinnamon. Seriously, you will be spoilt for choice!
The Vegelateria also has a completely vegan buffet bar with a changing menu of wholesome dishes. For instance, tofu curry and aubergine stew, as well as lots of raw options including raw sushi and phenomenal raw cakes.
(Photograph copyright Celine from @blueberrysmiles22)
Vegelateria at The Sacred
Another one of my favorites is Samses, a vegan and vegetarian restaurant with a mix of a la carte and buffet options. I love their approach to veganizing classic dishes like cordon bleu, cheese burgers or tiramisu.
And if you are lucky enough to pay them a visit in December, you will be rewarded with their legendary vegan fondues! They have not one, but six different flavors, including "DeLux Fondue" with ceps, truffles and herbs, or "The Hutten" with beer and vegan bacon. Samses in Zürich is the perfect spot to warm your cockles when it is chilly outside.
(Photograph copyright Samses/Facebook)
Stripped Pizza is an omni pizzeria but with knockout vegan options. We highly recommend the "Food Porn" pizza smothered in beetroot and cashew sauce, fresh rocket and pomegranate seeds on a wholegrain base which is an absolute beauty (and bona fide delicious).
At Stripped Pizza, they also offer more traditional flavors like the "Veganzza" with tomato and basil. Or you can get creative and customize your own pie. They also serve delectable Hey Life drinks and lush smoothies like the "Avocaccino" made with banana, avocado, espresso and almond milk.
(Photograph copyright Stripped Pizza)
Kick back and relax at Juicery 21, the ultimate juice bar and breakfast spot. They serve cold pressed juices, raw almond milk and healthy fruit shakes. Set in a little enclave, this hidden gem is the place to go to nourish and revitalize you body.
I recommend their iced almond matcha, superfood acai bowl and beautiful oatmeal porridge topped with peanut butter, fruits and berries of your choice. On top, Juicery 21 also serves some delicious bagels and quinoa bowls. Grab a seat in their cute outdoor space surrounded by tropical plants, soak in the sun and enjoy some laid-back vibes.
The Restaurant Marktküche is a fine-dining gourmet vegan restaurant (that's quite a mouthful). They offer innovative dishes with exquisite plating which are more akin to edible works of art.
If you are celebrating a special occasion, their five-course tasting menu is the perfect treat with elegant sounding dishes such as wild garlic ravioli and cauliflower with truffle jus. Instead of relying on meat substitutes, they put the focus firmly on local and regional food, showcasing vegetables in their purest form. It is definitely one to impress - and blow the budget...
Bonus: New Root's artisan food
How about some vegan products made and sold locally? There is a company called New Root's who make award winning artisan vegan cheese, including vegan Camembert. It is sold in various vegan hot spots around Zürich, including at Hiltl Laden.