How long have you been living in Zurich?
I grew up in a small village called Neftenbach, located near Winterthur in the Canton of Zurich. After graduating from the University of St. Gallen (HSG) in 2011, I started working for a law firm in Zurich and therefore permanently moved to this lovely city. Except for a year I recently spent in Los Angeles, I have lived in Zurich ever since.
What do you love most about Zurich?
Since Zurich is situated right in the heart of Europe, it has become very international in recent years. Although Zurich is a rather small city compared to other metropolises around the world, it is incredibly diverse both in terms of people and (food) cultures. What I admire most about Zurich is that it managed to become a driving force in financial markets but at the same time to keep its rural roots. I especially like the Hardturm area where wonderful events such as the Street Food Festival take place. Lake Zurich and its surrounding areas can only be described as gorgeous, particularly in summer time. I love to take a stroll along the waterside promenades during my lunch time. What I also love about Zurich is that you can get everywhere by means of public transport without bothering about traffic jams and parking spaces. This is especially handy when experiencing Zurich’s food culture and night life without bothering about drinking and driving.
What do you do?
I am a lawyer, working for a major international law firm in Zurich. I also have a degree in higher education and used to teach classes in a Swiss high school. As for hobbies, I like to travel around the world with my wife and to dive into different (food) cultures – we can only be described as huge foodies.
How do you feel about the food scene in Zurich?
I think that Zurich has a lot to offer in terms of food from all around the world. Zurich locals love discovering new trends, and they want exotic dishes to be as authentic as possible. There are a lot of secret places that are not easy to spot among the numerous restaurants and food courts located all over the city. Most restaurants I go to have been recommended to me by locals. If there had been the opportunity to book a food tour around Zurich in the past, my wife and I would have been the first ones to book it! I am convinced that our tours add a lot of value to the Zurich food experience of both visitors and locals.
Name your top 3 restaurants in Zurich.
The first that comes to my mind is one we used to go to on a regular basis as we lived in Zurich-Wiedikon: La Côte. Beautifully decorated in an old-fashioned style, La Côte serves French classics like Entrecôte Café de Paris and other delicious dishes. One of the highlights is also the Charbonnade, an all-you-can-eat beef dish for which you get your own little charcoal (!) grill to prepare the beef in any way you like it. Another restaurant I really like is the Giesserei in Zurich-Oerlikon. Situated in an old factory building, there is a daily changing menu of authentic and innovative Mediterranean dishes and seasonal delicacies. Lastly, Caduff’s Wine Loft has an outstanding menu of perfectly arranged and deliciously tasting dishes – not to mention the thousands of wine bottles lying in an air-conditioned undercroft under the Wine Loft, illuminated by candles.
Where would you take a date?
That depends on the date’s taste in food. To play it safe (since everyone loves Italian food), I would probably take her to one of the Italian restaurants like the Cantinetta Antinori located in Zurich’s lovely old town. As an alternative, restaurant Sorell on Zurichberg is also recommendable for a date, also for the stunning view of Zurich you will have from there.
Which Swiss dishes would you encourage travelers to try?
I would definitely encourage visitors to try Swiss cheese dishes like Fondue and Raclette (although it sounds a little cliché). When I lived in Los Angeles, the first food device we bought was a Raclette oven, which was a highlight for our American neighbors and guests whenever they came to visit. For breakfast, I recommend to try a Birchermüesli, a dish known throughout the world that was invented by Zurich physician and nutritionist Dr. Max Bircher-Benner. Ultimately, I also suggest to try Luxemburgerli – the Zurich macarons that are light and airy and therefore incredibly scrumptious.