When you tell your friends and family that you will be embarking on an European adventure in these three countries, France, Switzerland, and Italy, you can probably guess which one of those will get over looked. Frankly, France has probably one of the most famous and visited cities in the world, Paris. On the other hand, Italy has cities like Milan, Florence, Rome, and Venice just to name a few that will excite any worldly traveler upon just the mere mention of the name. For foodies like myself, if you ask them to name any country to visit based off of their cuisine alone, France and Italy will top the list no doubt. However, if you ask someone to even name one single city within Switzerland, Zurich may not even come up. Zurich? Where’s Zurich?
I admit, I was one of those people who only knew Switzerland to be a great skiing/snowboarding country in the winter time up on the Alps. Besides that though, I really knew nothing else about it and even less about Zurich itself. As I didn’t go to Switzerland in the winter months, I had no idea what to expect of it in the middle of summer so I was very skeptical to say the least. Even researching online did not get my hopes up as the main consensus I got was that the city is super expensive and that the food is average at best. With that being said, only one of those statements have proven true.
Let me just get straight to the point. The food in Zurich was nothing short of amazing! I only stayed for a short 2 nights here, but during my time I was fortunate enough to taste some exquisite food with a great bonus of having great plating on all the dishes me and my friend ordered. The restaurants were by no means fine dining albeit the cost of the food may say otherwise, so it is very possible to just randomly pick a restaurant on the streets of Zurich and have a very pleasant meal because that is exactly what we did.
Deep Fried Filets of Perch with Salad and Tartar Sauce. Cost - 21.50CHF (Approx CAD$25.95)
Carrot and Orange Risotto with Rocket and Parmesan Shavings - Cost 19CHF (Approx CAD$22.95)
Raspberry Tart with Vanilla Ice Cream. Cost - 9.00CHF (Approx CAD$10.85)
Caramel Custard - Cost 8.50CHF (Approx CAD$10.25)
Spinach Quiche with Cottage Cheese and Leaf Salad. Cost - $22.50CHF (Approx CAD$27.50)
Sliced Veal “Zurich Style” with Crispy Rosti. Cost - $38.50CHF (Approx CAD$46.45)
Movenpick’s Pistachio Ice Cream. Cost - 5.00CHF (Approx CAD$6.05)
I found that the desserts in Zurich were not priced outrageously and very close to what we would find here in Toronto. Actually, for the taste and presentation of the desserts I was surprised they didn’t charge more. The main courses were a different story though and the prices were jacked up higher than what we would normally expect here.
The sliced veal “Zurich Style” with Crispy Rosti was probably one of the most expensive dishes I ever had especially since it wasn’t lobster, steak or a filet mignon. I couldn’t help but try it though because it had the name “Zurich Style” and my curiosity as a tourist got the best of me to see what zurich style even meant. Essentially it means that the strips of veal are browned and then tossed in a creamy mushroom sauce where the dish is almost always paired off with a bed of golden and crispy rosti (potato pancake). Having the description “Zurich Style” allowed them to charge a premium on it, but it’s not to say that I regret getting it because it was in fact very delicious, it’s just one thing I don’t need to try again for my wallet’s sake. However, I can now say that I can cross that off of my foodie bucket list!
Although I thoroughly enjoyed every single dish I had here, my top two favourites would have to be the Deep Fried Filets of Perch with Salad and Tartar Sauce and Carrot and Orange Risotto with Rocket and Parmesan Shavings. That risotto was the best risotto I ever had in my life! Period. Both dishes also easily make it into my top 5 overall dishes I tasted throughout my two week adventure abroad.
I had a fantastic time in Zurich and have nothing but good things to say about this world class city. The scenery, the weather, the people, the transportation system, and of course the food were all incredible. I can’t wait to come back Zurich. Let no one doubt you ever again!