Vegetarian Zurich / Switzerland
I am thinking about going to Zurich for 3-4 days. My budget is small, so I'll most likely be self-catering from the grocery stores--any good cheeses to recommend that is unique to Zurich or Switzerland? Anything else for vegetarians?
I'd probably eat out one or two meals. Aside from the roesti at Rheinfelder Bierhaus, Marktgasse 19, any other Swiss specialties for vegetarians?
Also, I read that Peclard the sweet shop is recommended. What's good there? The macarons, the cakes, the chocolates? I used to live in Paris and so am used to macarons from Paul to Pierre Herme--looking for something uniquely Swiss.
I just wanted to post back on my research for other vegetarians. Here are some things I am going to look out for, many on the low-end of the price scale, simply because I just realized how $$$ everything is:
Sprüngli : truffe du jour, hand-dipped milk or dark chocolate truffles made of fresh cream with no preservatives
A fairly new entry into their truffle lineup is the extraordinary Cru Sauvage, made from wild cacao beans harvested in Bolivia (or so the pamphlet says). Intensely chocolately and creamy, they are about as close to a chocolate orgasm as you can get. The Cru Sauvage is only available for a few months during the year, so if they aren't around, the next best would be the Grand Cru truffles.
Teuscher (try the champagne truffles) and Sprüngli. For the rest of us, even the generic grocery store brand chocolates in Switzerland still blow away the Hershey bars found elsewhere.
Pamaco chocolates, derived from the noble Criollo beans and accomplished through the original, complex process of refinement that requires 72h (quite expensive though, a bar of 125g costs about CHF 8.-).
Carac which is almost a Swiss institution. It is like a tart crust but filled with solid Swiss chocolate with green icing with one dollop of chocolate in the center.
Bischofberger Baerli-Biber – an authentic Swiss classic! It’s a round shaped large “cookie” made of gingerbread and filled with sweet hazelnut or almond paste.
Cailler Frigor, Ragusa, Kägi Fret, Coop Prix Garantie Giandino, Frey at Migros
Napfkohlerkaese (tasty hard cheese found in Migros) and St Agur (blue cheese sold in Migros and Coop). A close third one would be Truffelino (soft cheese with truffle-flavoured centre)., Blaus Wunder BIO, Aged Gruyere is definitely one - and it comes on sales regularly. Emmenthal - nutty, sweet - is also nice, although I am partial to Gruyere.
Sbrinz is brilliant - not a Parmigiano, although it is comparable to Grana... - and the aged stuff is to behold, but you will rarely find the aged ones at the supermarkets.
For fresh cheeses, I suggest some of the local tommes. Here (Lausanne area) I find some brilliant Tomme Vaudoises - Paudèzes or else - cream, plain, pepper, bear garlic... they are all worth the buy.
Chaux-d'Abel (from the Jura)
Winzerkäse.....distinctive with its black skin......
Hi gutsofsteel, Captain Falkenberg, and Sue Style!
Great recommendations on the vegetarian places. It sounds like Switzerland is a lot like Germany, where I am currently. Unless I go to veg-specific places, it's pretty meaty.
And thanks for the special cheese recommendations; I'll keep my eye out for them.
There's a range of cheeses from Canton Zurich (i.e. up-country from the city) called Züri-Natürli - look out for them in stores like Globus on Bellevueplatz, which has a good cheese counter. Switzerland has many 'unique' cheeses, starting with Gruyère (try and find a Gruyère d'alpage, made only in summer up on the alp); Sbrinz, a match for any grana cheese; Berner Alpkäse (another summer cheese, a lot smaller than Gruyère, packs a punch); Piora, a semi-hard cheese from the Tessin (Italian part) - and anything from either Willi Schmid in Lichtensteig or Michel Beroud in Rougemont.
For veggies, Hiltl is great, buzzy, fun, as is the self-service tibits (2 in Zurich, both of them near the Opera), which is part-owned by Hiltl but separate from them. See http://www.zesterdaily.com/dining/916... for a description of the tibits restos and what makes them tick. You couldn'nt call them 'typically Swiss' in any sense, but they're certainly unique and the food's great and fairly priced - hard to spend more than ca. 20 francs a head
Sprungli's macaroons, called Luxemburgerli, are yum - there's a little notice on the box saying 'Zum sofort geniessen', i.e. eat at once, an intruction that isn't hard to comply with
En guete/bon appetit!!
Have fondue at Le Dezaley - best in Zurich.
Eat sweets at Sprungli. Doesn't get more Swiss than that.
There is a wonderful vegetarian restaurant in Zurich called Hiltl. Reservations necessary for the dining room, casual salad bar type of situation on the lower level.
The rosti at Rheinfelder Bierhaus is nothing special - I mean it's a bierhaus, it's crowded and smoky and full of students. Big portions, decent casual traditional food. Traditional bierhaus type of place. Brusk service. Pretty meat oriented menu.
at Sprungli, the savoury vegetarian pastries are excellent. the last time I was there  they had two curried vegetable pastries on the menu one of which was called a samosa [although it is not in a triangular filo pastry case]
I plan to go to sprungli for breakfast when my plane lands at zurich airport on thursday [there is a branch there]... not even waiting to get into the city!
again following up the reply above, there is a casual version of Hiltl called Tibits, at Seefeldstrasse 7. the best thing about these restaurants is the buffet.