If you’re a ZuriGirl who likes to dine out, you’ve surely noticed the burger trend that’s been happening everywhere . . . and our beloved Zurich is no exception.
We recently went on the hunt for the best burgers in town and found what we think is a list which will keep you busy and sated with delicious beef for months (or weeks or days, depending on how dedicated a carnivore you happen to be).
It’s so hard to say who has the best burger in Zurich, because it is a subjective thing, but we think you’ll agree that these are all top-notch and worth the trip.
Best bang for your buck – Heidi & Tell
Get there early to avoid the lunchtime line out the door – but even when there is a line, it moves quickly. If you’re looking for a fresh alternative to a fast food burger, this is the place.
It’s a no-nonsense burger lovers haven with a simple but complete menu, serving beer, wine, coffee, tea, soup, salad and fries in addition to burgers. We loved our cheeseburger the first time we visited – it was even better than we had expected, but the second time we were a bit disappointed by a dryer, less-tasty version of our first. Our friends who go here weekly (who shall remain nameless), don’t have the same complaint about lack of consistency so perhaps we just hit it on an off day.
On the wall are posted instructions on how to eat their burger – hint – you keep it nestled in the provided box, thus creating place to catch any juices, which is far better than on your new Missoni skirt, don’t you agree?
Any place with a line out the door every lunch and dinner must be doing something right. And we look forward to popping in for a quick bite next time we’re in Enge.
Most authentic diner experience (& amazing milkshakes!) – Helvti Diner
If you’re looking for a retro-fun atmosphere and a good burger, check this place out. Like all the restaurants on our list, the Helvti is almost always busy, so it’s a good idea to make a reservation.
You can choose from Swiss Prime, Classic Angus and their specialty, Wagyu Beef burgers. We tried both the Classic Angus and Wagyu and could definitely taste a difference though it was not so much about quality; the Wagyu has a richer taste but they were both good and very fresh-tasting. Add the side of cole slaw, pickle, red onion, tomato, an order of fries and thick cut, very good onion rings, and you’ll be glad you skipped breakfast.
But please don’t stop ordering yet. The milkshakes were a hearkening back to a time when we ordered such things and didn’t think of our waistline and we were thrilled to find them on the menu. Just when we thought it couldn’t get any better, the server offered us a shot of Baileys in our espresso milkshake and we thought we’d died and gone to heaven. (In full disclosure, we did need to go home immediately after and nap this huge meal off.)
So book a table, clear your afternoon, and sit along the Limmat eating more than you should in one sitting and smiling through every bite.
Hippest place to get a burger – The Bite
We are not claiming to be the hippest ZuriGirls in town, but we admit to feeling at home at this yummy and comfortable burger joint just a stone’s throw from Langstrasse.
This place is all about the sauces. Garlic Aoli, Miso-Red Wine, Chipotle- BBQ, Spanish Romanesco and Coriander Pesto. Yum. Yum. Yum. Yum. And yum. The combinations they have created are perfect and unless you have an aversion to perfect marriages, you should not mess with the creations and just order your burger as is. You won’t be disappointed.
We had the Classic Bite and the Californian and both were perfectly cooked as we ordered – medium rare, of course. A little disheveled and messy-looking, but artistic and inviting all the same (hip), and were served on cutting boards along with the fries and a fresh salad we ordered on the side.
The novelty continues with water served in mason jars and tables made of old doors. Which is cool, but can be slightly dangerous if you’re prone to clumsiness (again, not naming any names), and you put your glass down on the wrong spot.
The music is fresh, the service attentive but casual, and the gourmet burger recipe a secret. A good combination by any standard. Be sure to check out the other patrons while you’re there, you never know, at a place with so many hipsters, you might just spot the latest Zurich fashion trend while you dine.
Best place to eat locally and drink globally – Korner
We felt like we were in London or New York when we first stepped into Korner. The business crowd was there in full-force and for good reason. You can always count on bankers to find a good burger.
And the burgers at Korner are very, very good. The meat is freshly prepared daily and served on a giant bun with all the usual condiments. We loved their not-paper but-paper-looking napkins, which are a fabulous hybrid of aesthetically-pleasing cloth and practical burger-sauce cleaning paper. Yes, we do get excited about such things.
We forgot to ask about done-ness and our burgers came out medium, which is a bit too cooked for our taste, so if you want your Korner burger prepared other than medium, make sure you ask your server – but they are very happy to oblige. The owner told us they used to ask and people didn’t like it so they stopped. We find that a bit odd, but hey – we’re not local.
We couldn’t decide which was better, the fries or the onion rings. We’d go back and just sit with a Newcastle and a double order of those rings.
And speaking of beer, we were thrilled to find root beer on the menu – and not just any root beer, A&W Root Beer, the taste of which transported us immediately back to our youth. During our lovely chat with the owner, we suggested that he put a real root beer float on the menu. Now that would be amazing (and maybe if enough of us ask, he’ll do it!)
Best place for a martini and a burger – The Lounge at the Park Hyatt
Who goes to a hotel restaurant on a weekday for a 3 hour lunch with martinis and burgers? We do!
We always love going to the Park Hyatt for a piece of fish or a cut of steak but our secret desire each time we head to the lounge or the restaurant is to bite into one of their fantastic burgers. While we are thrilled to have found so many new choices to sate our burger cravings in Zurich, we must admit we still cling to our old favorite at the Hyatt.
We’re suckers for the little condiment jars that arrive along side the perfectly-toasted bun and crispy fries. The wait staff seems to anticipate your needs and we admit we could get used to that.
The only thing we would have changed is the salad – while it’s a lovely green salad that makes us feel oh-so-healthy having on the plate next to our side of beef, it was drowning in a bit too much dressing. But this is a very minor complication and can be solved by opting out of all greenery save for the solo crisp, green lettuce leaf to be placed in between bun and burger.
So. That’s our list of our favorite burgers in Zurich – where are your favorites? Write to info@myGirlfriendGuide.com and tell us and maybe we’ll just have to go and check them out for ourselves. It’s been a few weeks since our burger-binge, so we might just be ready for another round of burger tastings.
Article & photos contributed by: Zuri Girl Kristen Vermilyea, an American actor, filmmaker, writer and artist who has lived in Zurich for nearly 6 years. She hosts the Zurich Film Festival TV show and is a social media and film consultant.
When not watching and writing about film, she keeps busy attempting to learn to play new instruments as her four year old daughter has insisted they start a band.