Lunch at… Samses

A question to the food sociologists out there: Is there any scientific explanation as to why women love buffets?

After all, the evidence is clear: the vast majority of customers at restaurants serving buffet food are women. And as a woman, I love buffets myself.

What I also find interesting is that almost all buffet restaurants are either Asian or vegetarian. Zurich, for instance, has three vegetarian restaurants with lovely buffets: Hiltl (the very first vegetarian restaurant in Europe), Tibits, and Samses.

Hiltl and Tibits are very well-known, thanks to both their great food and their central location. They open daily from morning till late.

Samses, on the other hand, is less well-known and is located on Langstrasse, known as Zurich’s red light street. Its opening hours are much more restricted than those of Hiltl and Tibits.

I went to Samses for a late lunch yesterday at around 3pm, which is actually way too late for lunch in Zurich! But I found that to be a perfect time, since for most of the time of my visit I was the only customer.

The buffet looked gorgeous. And it tasted very delicious, too!

I went for several cold and hot dishes: pumpkin salad, roasted rosemary potatoes, stuffed eggplant, artichokes, olives, lentils… I served myself twice from the buffet. It was really yummy!

The waitresses were so friendly, they took a moment to explain what the dishes were made of and also offered to heat up the food a little more if desired.

To drink, I ordered a Kombucha, a low-calorie herbs-based soda drink that is very popular in Switzerland and Austria. (Makes me wonder: Is it sold elsewhere?)

The atmosphere was very pleasant. As soon as no other customers were there, one of the waitresses turned on some background music and started setting the tables for the evening shift. I enjoyed being the only customer in such a relaxed atmosphere.

Although I was quite full after two servings from the buffet, I could not leave without first having vegan tiramisù for dessert! I’d had it before and knew how good it is. It is one of the best desserts I’ve ever had.

This is one of those places that seem to get everything right: food, service, atmosphere. Though Samses might not be on a tourist’s path, it is certainly worth a visit!



  • Buffet mix, 570 g, 22,25 SFr.
  • Veganisù, 7,50 SFr.
  • Kombucha soda drink, 5,00 SFr.
  • Espresso, 3,90 SFr.



Address: Langstrasse 231, 8005 Zurich

Opening hours: Mon-Fri, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. / Sat, 4 p.m.-11 p.m.

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