Day two in Zürich started with breakfast at one of the city’s oldest cafés, Café Péclard (aka Café Schobert). The stunning café has a pastry shop with delicious pâtisseries, delicate confections and gorgeous candy-filled boxes (they make great gifts!) located on the first floor. Several seating areas with different decors that haven’t changed much for the past hundred years are located on the second and third floors. We sat down on crushed red velevet seats and had müesli, café crèmes, hot chocolate (the best in the city) and pastries for breakfast. What a great way to start the day!
Across the street from Café Péclard is Schwarzenbach, the oldest coffee roaster in town. On one side is a shop filled with dried fruits, nuts, spices, teas and all kinds of goodies. On the other side is a café where you can taste the coffee they roast as well as other things. Don’t forget to buy a bag of mixed dried fruit or jeweled-coloured dried berries to bring home. Our next stop was Truffe, a chocolate shop spotted the day before in the shadow of St. Peter Kirche and highly recommended by my friend, chocolate expert and organizer of Sweet Zurich tours, Kerrin (merci Kerrin!). Truffe is a tiny store with big taste. I dare you to walk out of there without buying a chocolate bar! The excellent Reichmuth Von Redding and/or Nobile chocolate are always a good choice and a great souvenir to take back home.
Lunch was a traditional affair of Kalbsgeschnetzeltes nach Zürcher art (“a must when in Zurich”), a dish of panfried veal and mushrooms in a creamy sauce served with a potato “Rösti” at Zeughauskeller Restaurant. The place is more of a pub serving typical Swiss German fare like sausages, sauerkraut and of course, beer. It caters to professionals and locals and did not seem very touristy to me, which is always a plus. When you’re done with lunch, walk over to Sprüngli, a gorgeous shop and café with Old World charm founded in 1836 and offering lovely sweet and savoury confections, including the famous Luxemburgerli, a Swiss German version of the dainty French macaron. Grab a box and walk down Bahnhofstrasse all the way to Lake Zürich to enjoy your Luxemburgerli with a great view of the water.
That afternoon, we took the tram to Zürich West, an old industrial neighbourhood that is being gentrified and taken over by “hipsters” and independent creative types. If I lived in Zürich, this is where I would live. The neighbourhood is a great mix of gritty industrial factories which now house hip restaurants, art galleries, stores and cafés. The Im Viadukt project is a great example of the changing face of Zurich West. It encompasses the re-appropriation of an old aqueduct and its transformation to house shops and restaurants. On one side you’ll find Markthalle, a collection of food-related stores and restaurants and on the other, boutiques and art galleries. The neighbourhood is also dotted with nightclubs and funky stores like Bogen33 and Walter, both selling vintage, mid-century furniture and original objects. Don’t be afraid to explore the area and the back of the buildings where a few surprises might be waiting. We ended our tour of Zürich West at the 36-story high Prime Tower, the tallest building in Switzerland, and more precisely at CLOUDS, a bar at the very top of the building serving delicious (if expensive) cocktails with breathtaking views of the city below.
Dinner that night was at Hiltl, the oldest vegetarian restaurant in the world. Founded in 1898, the family-run restaurant is one of the most popular ones in Zürich. Dinner options include the all-you-can-eat buffet or à la carte dining. The place was packed when we were there and one can understand why. The options are endless and everything is made with fresh and seasonal ingredients. Hiltl has recently opened a “vegetarian butcher shop” offering typical meaty items transformed into vegetarian-friendly food.
I managed to catch some sleep on the flight back in SWISS’ Business Class. The seats slide under the one in front of you until they are completely horizontal. You can watch TV from that position or blissfully drift off but not before you enjoy the delicious inflight meal. I seriously have no idea how they cooked my steak to medium rare and managed to keep it moist and tender. I have never had meat so good on a plane before. The two course meal was accompanied by Swiss wine and followed by a plate of Swiss cheeses. A second, very hefty “snack” of sausage and potato salad was served a few hours later and of course, the SWISS airline signature chocolates were handed out just before arrival. A sweet note to end on.
Many thanks to SWISS for inviting me to join the other bloggers on this short trip to Zürich, to Kilicom for organizing this trip and to Swiss Tourism, Zürich Tourism and Rutli Hotel for the accommodation and warm welcome. My flight, hotel room and certain meals were covered by the previously cited organizations as part of this organized press trip. SWISS has direct flights to Zürich from Montreal, Toronto and other major Canadian Cities.
Click here to read all about my first day in Zürich. For more photos of my trip, visit my Facebook album here. Also check out my Google map of Zürich with a lot more spots noted on it. It’s a great travel tool.