Temperatures dropping below zero, cold, squally nights and snow-covered streets…there is no denying, winter is here and it has come to stay for a while.
The usual holiday frenzy has passed and we simply feel like snuggling up in the warm. What better way to spend those cold nights than to indulge in good food, wine and interesting conversation. Züri Girl has a perfect remedy for those wintry weekends and is pleased to present our top 5 pick of Zurich’s coziest winter restaurants.
This tiny restaurant is a true institution in Zurich.
Ambiance: Unassuming from the outside, the restaurant’s inside is a real gem. The intimate, dimly lit dining room can host a maximum of 25 people. The beautiful decor has a country type theme to it and creates a very warm and homely atmosphere.
The Food: The menu is proudly Italian and very concise with 4 starters and 4 main courses. Prices are based on your choice of a main course and range from CHF 50-65 including a starter. Unlike other restaurants where choosing amongst a similar sized menu can be a real challenge, Züri Girl is spoilt for choice and opts for the buffalo mozzarella with Mediterranean vegetables in tomato sauce. The vegetables are aromatic and the mozzarella is very tender.
For a main course, it is the risotto with dried tomatoes and smoked ricotta on grilled zucchinis. The dish is well prepared and the smoked ricotta adds an interesting flavor. Other favorites include the saltimbocca with seasonal vegetables, which is tender and makes for a well-rounded dish.
Coffee is served with discretionary cantuccini and vin santo…so yummie! The service, helmed by Catherine Pezzotta-Egli will make you feel at home in an instant.
Züri Girl Tip: If you don’t feel like ordering a bottle of wine, opt for wine by the glass. A bottle of your choice of wine will be placed at your table and you will be charged by the glass.
This former foundry was abandoned in 1996 and later became a squat occupied by artists who started to cook. It was re-opened as a legal restaurant more than 10 years ago.
Ambiance: At Giesserei, industrial charme is paired with an elegant and eclectic decor. The result is charming and it is hard to imagine that this was an operating foundry only 20 years ago.
The Food: Claude Trefzer, chef at Giesserei , aims to create an authentic yet innovative menu, pepped up by seasonal influences. As far as Züri Girl can tell the combination seems to work. The menu changes daily and there is a choice of 3 starters and main courses including meat, fish and vegetarian dishes. Züri Girl devoured a chourcroute-prosecco soup with shrimps. The lamb salad is nicely seasoned and Züri Girl can’t help swoon over the spaghetti with Italian winter truffle and a sole with black risotto, olives and tomatoes is superb too. The friendly staff is a real joy.
Züri Girl Tip: Giesserei offers a to die-for Sunday brunch a discretion. Early reservation is recommended.
Dating from 1801 Oepfelchammer has a long history to look back at.The restaurant used to be Gottfried Keller’s favorite hangout and emanates a historic charme.
Ambiance: Split into three section Oepfelchammer hosts a dark wooden bar, famous for the many people who have graved their names into the walls. It also offers two cozy dining rooms complete with white table cloth and a green tiled stove.
The Food: The menu features Swiss classics and is particularly famous for its hearty meat dishes. Züri Girl opts for a lamb salad with egg and a beetroot soup. Both are well prepared and nicely presented. The roasted gilthead with saffron sauce is mouth-watering delicious and the sliced veal a la Zurich style is just as it should be.
Züri Girl Tip: Up for a challenge? The restaurant offers a free bottle of wine to those who manage to swing around the restaurants lofty beams three times – without falling down that would be.
Tucked away in Zurich’s old town, Lindenhofkeller is an uber-romantic, elegant cellar restaurant which is visually striking as well.
Ambiance: The walls are covered with wine etiquettes, the decor is tasteful and the two dining rooms are candle lit. In the summer you can sit outside on the patio however Züri Girl insists that it is the inside dining rooms that make this restaurant so special.
The Food: Lindenhofkeller has attained fame for its veal steaks, grilled to perfection, but Züri Girl opts for the Angus tenderloin steak which is a perfect pink and accompanied by delicate pommes alumettes. The gnocchi covered with a generous portion of black truffle are simply heavenly and not to be missed. Züri Girl has no more space left for desert however is green-eyed for a delicious looking warm moelleux chocolate cake with sour cream ice cream served at our neighbor’s table.
Rene Hofer, the restaurant’s chef, is a wine lover and the exhaustive wine list reflects this.
Zuri Girl Tip: Reserve early as tables are sought after. The restaurant is closed on Saturdays & Sundays.
Caduff’s Wine Loft
What used to be a 19th century warehouse has been transformed into a restaurant. Caduff’s wine loft impresses with its minimalistic, lofty charm.
Ambiance: The ambiance is welcoming yet uncluttered and clean. Caduff’s true gems can be found in its candle lit cellar. The restaurant’s wine cellar consist of roughly 2000 bottles and guests get to pick their favorite wine directly in the cellar.
The Food: The menu is a reflection of the restaurant’s ambiance. Simple, clean and fresh. Züri Girl fell in love with a fresh lamb and dandelion salad with blood orange dressing and marinated shrimps. Other favorites include a creamy hummer bisque, porcini ravioli with rucola and an Omaha beef with gnocchi. For dessert Züri Girl cannot resist a beyond delicious tarte au citron with pistachio yoghurt crème.
Züri Girl Tip: Finding a parking space can be a nerve-racking exercise in this neighborhood. Try to come by public transportation if possible.
Article & Photo created by: Zuri Girl Sarah Stary. In the corporate world Sarah works as a Head of HR for an international energy company. Sarah’s blog “A taste of the town” focuses on dining and wining, fashion and art in and around Zurich. Sarah is originally from Hamburg, Germany and can be found strolling around art exhibitions, trying out new restaurants and exploring the Alpine mountains on her ski’s or mountain bike.