Took a trip to Zurich to visit an old friend who recently moved to the city and we had a blast exploring and trying out a bunch of vegan places. Below is a list of 11 vegan-friendly restaurants and joints I think you should visit.
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1. Queen Idia African Restaurant (Badenerstrasse 125)
This was a pleasant surprise. Possibly the only Nigerian restaurant in the entire city (I couldn't find any others online), this restaurant is cosy, beautifully decorated and offers a little slice of home away from home. Several items on the menu are accidentally vegan and most dishes can be easily adapted. Think jollof rice, fried rice, yam and stew, beans and plantain. The food was so good that I went back a second time before the end of my trip.
2. Bona Dea (Bahnhofplatz 15)
Located right next to the main train station, this vegetarian buffet restaurant is definitely worth a visit. The menu clearly draws some inspiration from Indian cuisine and 90% of it is vegan. For a set price you can fill your plate only ONCE. Of course, I went all out to 'get my money's worth' and in the end had to conclude that it was good value for money as I couldn't even finish it!
3. Elle 'n' Belle (Limmatstrasse 118)
Honestly, this place ought to be at the top of your list if you're ever in Zurich. This edgy restaurant and bar is all vegan and utterly delicious. You'll recognise a lot of the food on the menu, like burgers, chips, pizza etc. But they've added their twist to a lot of it, so when it reads 'black burger' and 'red burger', expect the bread buns to be just that. The black burger is infused with charcoal while the red burger is dyed using beets. It's bold food with even bolder flavours. And their carrot cake is bomb.
4. The Sacred/Vegelateria (Müllerstrasse 64)
Apparently the first organic vegan restaurant in the whole of Switzerland. This venue doubles as an eatery and ice cream parlour. We came just for the vegan gelato, and we were not disappointed. The customer service was fantastic and we struck up a lovely conversation with the gentleman who served us. He ended up introducing us to a vegan meet-up group that was parked there in the restaurant, and this led to a long and insightful conversation about the history and growth of veganism in Switzerland.
5. Roots (Am Schanzengraben 19)
It turns out that brunch is pretty big in Zurich and brunch places get booked out quickly. Roots is a healthy juice bar and restaurant with a handful of locations around the city, offering a gorgeous mostly-vegan brunch buffet. Remember to reserve seats a day in advance to guarantee a place. If you forget, there will likely be space to sit at the bar so don't let that put you off from visiting.
6. Hiltl (Sihlstrasse 28)
A ridiculously large vegetarian restaurant with loads of vegan options that are clearly marked. Whether you're after a buffet, takeaway or a la carte dining, Hiltl has you covered. It is also the oldest vegetarian restaurant in Europe, having opened its doors in 1898. It will be busy when you visit and you do have to weigh your plate to pay, but you will also be spoilt for choice and will enjoy the vibrant atmosphere. There are a couple of branches dotted around the city.
7. Klara's Kitchen (Universitätstrasse 17)
Vegan-friendly takeaway joint near the University of Zurich. The menu changes every day, with three or four organic hot food options alongside wraps, cakes, juices and breakfast foods.
8. Rami 59 (Rämistrasse 59)
I think it's really cool that the cafeteria inside of the University of Zurich is fully vegan. Arrive at lunch time for hot food, and any other time for vegan cakes, drinks and snacks. I had a luscious mango cake - worth the visit if only for that.
Similar to Hiltl, Tibits has a massive self-service buffet and the charge is by weight. There's a branch right here in London so I was already familiar with the restaurant. Several branches in Zurich so just google to find your nearest location.
10. Alnatura/Migros (Löwenstrasse 31)
I wanted to buy some chocolate to bring back home with me, but wanted vegan brands only. Alnatura was a lifesaver. This organic food/health store has a wide selection of vegan products including biscuits, chocolates, plant milks, ready meals, savoury snacks, and lots more. Reasonable prices too.
11. Caffe Spettacolo
Not the best customer service in the world, but they do offer vegan croissants and hot drinks if you've got a hankering for it. Check the labels first as not all the croissants are vegan. There's a branch in the main station and several others scattered around the city.