The Carlton: Brunch with Old World Charm

posted on | updated on | by Zuri Girl

If you’re tired of the frantic pace of the world today, we’ve found a great place to escape in this old-world quiet and cozy restaurant and bar, The Carlton. Tucked away just off of Bahnhofstrasse, you’ll find yourself in a transformed world of the Belle Époque, the golden age of literature, music, and theater before World War I. The place is perfect for a Saturday brunch, an afternoon tea, a relaxing evening with friends, or an interesting nightlife.

The Atmosphere

Walking inside brings you into a world of Art Deco beauty.  Every detail is well thought-out, from the soft velvet chairs to the ornately-decorated silverware on the table – and most especially the outfits of the waiters and waitresses, including white glove service.  The music in the background is swing music and is relaxing and upbeat at the same time. The darkness of the floors and walls makes you feel comfortable and cozy and ready to stay for a long while. Overall it just has a wonderful feeling of glamour and charm.

When the weather is nice, an outdoor seating makes for a lovely setting to escape the hectic pace of Bahnhofstrasse.

The Food and Drinks

What we loved most was the small rose-gold bell placed on every table next to a sign labeled “Ring for Champagne”. That’s right, ladies, there was ringing all around us as table after table would ring their rose-gold bell and a waiter would promptly appear with freshly poured glasses of champagne for the table. We couldn’t resist ordering a few glasses ourselves to take part in the fun.

The Carlton serves all of our favorite brunch items: from eggs benedict to fruit and granola to club sandwiches, the menu has breakfast and lunch items everyone will enjoy. The menu is broken into foods that are served directly at your table, a la carte items, and items served from rolling display tables. Foods like the smoked salmon were carved freshly in front of our table. Warm foods came out freshly prepared from the kitchen with a silver cover and were unveiled by a waiter, giving you the feeling of royal dining. It was a true food experience you wouldn’t get at any other restaurant.

Our favorite course was (no surprise) the desserts. A beautifully-presented rolling cart of small desserts is offered at the table. The options included macaroons, sweet cakes, tiramisù, chocolate mousse, and much, much more. Since they were all rather small, we thought it was okay to indulge in several different desserts and make it a dessert tasting alongside our second cups of coffee.

Why we love it

The brunch is set up so you can order several small courses slowly over time. We never felt rushed about enjoying all of our food and could keep the conversation going for a few hours as we slowly enjoyed our meal. All of the food was presented in such a beautiful way that it made the dining a full experience. And the atmosphere is so cozy, you won’t want to leave.

The Carlton has a long history and has been open since nearly 20 years so you can trust the quality of the food and service is excellent. They were a real part of old-world Zurich!

Zuri Girl Tip

Carlton is also known for their authentic and delicious English Afternoon Tea, offering 25 unique flavors along with all our favorite delicious sandwiches and treats, including homemade scones and their own “Carlton Strawberry Jam”.

Carlton Restaurant & Bar

Location: Bahnhofstrasse 41, Zurich (map)

Opening Times: Monday – Thursday 11am – Midnight | Friday: 11pm – 1am | Saturday: 10.30am – 2am

Additional Information & Reservations: Carlton Website


Article written by Zuri Girl Lisa Christen. Lisa in an Executive Coach and expert in developing business leaders to be top performers in their organisations. Lisa focuses on building 21st century skills like communications and storytelling, influencing and charisma, leveraging conflict and delivering difficult feedback, and emotional intelligence and agility. She loves to balance work and life and enjoys exploring Zurich, always excited to find a new place to eat or creating a night to remember.

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