Zurich is a great city for vegetarians. It is even a good place for vegans (though I do eat dairy products).
There are at least eight exclusively vegetarian restaurants I can think of. And most other restaurants offer vegetarians lots of options, anyway, so that you don’t have to just order a salad.
Here is a review of four vegetarian restaurants, all quite centrally located. The overall rating is based on the quality of the food, the service, and the overall atmosphere (e.g. interiors, outdoor seating).
Ratings: Outstanding / Very good / Mediocre / Bad / Terrible
According to the Guinness Book of Records, Hiltl is the world’s oldest vegetarian restaurant. It opened in 1898 and is a place locals love.
Actually, Hiltl is more than a restaurant. It is a two-floor complex with a café / lounge area, a restaurant, a cooking studio, and – in the evening till late night – a dance club.
I’ve been there countless times, but the meal I enjoy most at Hiltl is brunch.Every Sunday and on public holidays, Hiltl serves an all-you-can-eat brunch buffet from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. During the winter months, there is live music, too.
Address: Sihlstrasse 28, 8001 Zurich
Opening hours: Mon-Sat, 6:00 a.m.-2:00 a.m. / Sun, 8:00 a.m.-2:00 a.m.
Tibits is located on Seefeldstrasse, very close to the lake. It has a pay-by-weight, 100% vegetarian buffet, with around 40 cold and hot dishes to choose from: lasagne, jalapenos, onion rings, caprese, basmati rice, brussel sprouts…
I love their vegan tiramisù. The recipe is not always the same, though. I’ve tried out three different types of tiramisù: strawberry; pineapple & coconut; and the more traditional one with coffee. All three tasted awesome!
Address: Seefeldstrasse 2, 8008 Zurich
Opening hours: Mon-Fri, 6:30 a.m.-11:30 p.m. / Sat, 8:00 a.m.-11:30 p.m. / Sun, 9:00 a.m.-11:30 p.m.
Samses is another vegetarian restaurant with a pay-by-weight buffet. It is smaller and less well-known than Hiltl and Tibits, perhaps also because of its location on Langstrasse, known as Zurich’s red light street.
They have over thirty cold and hot dishes in their buffet: pumpkin salad, roasted rosemary potatoes, stuffed eggplant, artichokes, olives, lentils…
What I like most is their veganisù, a vegan version of the Italian dessert tiramisù. Very delicious!
Though Samses might not be on a tourist’s path in Zurich, it is certainly worth a visit.
Rating: Very good
Address: Langstrasse 231, 8005 Zurich
Opening hours: Mon-Fri, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. / Sat, 4 p.m.-11 p.m.
Mohini is Zurich’s first and only Ayurvedic restaurant, which seems to be doing so well that you can hardly ever find a free table. And if you do, and if you’re on your own, you will most probably be asked by another customer to join you at the table, since all other 20+ tables will be already taken.
Mohini is only open for lunch from Monday to Friday and serves a daily menu (25,00 SFr.) that includes four courses plus a cold beverage. To be more specific: they bring all dishes together on a large tray.
When I went there the daily menu was composed of: basmati rice with vegetables (potatoes, cabbage, carrots); lentils with coriander; mixed salad; saffron cake with pears.
The food tasted very good. Though the portions looked small, they were enough to make me feel full. The rooibos tea tasted okay, but could have been a little sweeter or spicier.
Rating: Very good
Address: Weinbergstrasse 15, 8001 Zurich
Opening hours: Mon-Fri, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.