Flip flops, friends and Feldschlösschen! Beer gardens are the perfect place to enjoy these cozy comforts in life – the comforts that cause the laughter and familiarity to really make you feel at home.
By definition, a Beer Garden (Biergarten) is an open-air area where beer and local food are served to large groups of guests seated at long wooden benches. Our neighbors in Germany are best known for their excellent, traditional beer gardens and host the worlds largest, the Hirschgarten in Munich seating 8,000!
While Zurich is not sprawling with Beer Gardens, there are a few spots perfect for enjoying a cold lager outdoors on a Saturday afternoon. So give your high heeled aching feet a break and check out Zuri Girl’s favorite casual outdoor meeting places!
Although the number of wines slightly out number the beers on offer, the environment of this former military horse stable feels authentic with its casual and rugged ambiance. The numerous long, picnic style tables are scattered throughout the oversized garden area with colorful, overhead strands of light bulbs. This is an ideal spot for large groups seeking a relaxed atmosphere to enjoy a few drinks and chit chat. If you have a few too many, order their tasty appetizer platter – it is ideal for sharing with its offer of 9 bite size Mediterranean munchies.
Also known as Oktoberfest & Circus Conelli, Bauschaenzli is as “touristy” as they come, but a true must when guests are in town. The dramatic setting on the Limmat River showcases all of the beauty of Zurich with views of the river, lake and even the Alps on a clear day. It features a self-service buffet style menu with over 12 different beer options and hearty Swiss specialties, such as bratwurst and Wienerschnitzel. Live music (and often dancing) is played from 3pm – 5pm and 7pm – 10:30pm.
Not as traditional as the other beer gardens listed, but worth mentioning for its casual atmosphere and mouth-watering, open-air grill aroma…it is really just screaming for you to pull up a plastic chair, have a beer and play a good game of cards! The tables are not traditional beer garden style, but instead informal tables and chairs (verse long stools) are grouped in 4’s throughout the gravel courtyard. Xenix is primarily an open-air cinema offering a few films in English so the beer garden might just be the “appetizer” for your evening!
A bit of an upscale beer garden, or ‘Sonnegarten’! The traditional rugged look isn’t quite the offer, but can we really complain about the authenticity when presented with soft cushioned, plush outdoor couches! Sonne has a superb location, sitting on the edge of Lake Zurich, and offering unbelievable views. The buffet style menu adds a bit of casualness to the plush setting, where everything from customary Bratwurst to delectable Thai food are offered.
Under grape vines, Gasthof Oshsen is quaint and a bit noble for a beer garden, but we love this place because it is run by a husband and wife team, Urs and Monika Lindauer. The ‘ox’ restaurant and beer garden have been in the Lindauer family for 46 years and they have some of the best steak tartare in town. Urs proudly makes his own grappa ‘Dorfbächler’ from the garden’s grapes and would enjoy sharing photos of the process if you asked!
Fork & Bottle
A popular hangout year-round, it gets even better in summer with rows of wooden benches and chairs, a kid’s play area and 100+ craft beers to toast with. Nothing would be better than a soft-shell crab burger and artichoke dip after hiking Uetliberg!
If we skipped your favorite Zurich Beer Garden, please leave a comment below and Zuri Girl will be sure to scope it out!