27 February 2010

Top 5 Restaurants in Kreis 5

As I said in my first post, a great thing about Zurich is the choice of restaurant. Statisticaly Zurich should not have that many restaurants, but it seems that people here have a lot money so they eat out a lot.

Now perhaps Swiss people don’t really care about service, but as a North American I am more often than not appaled at the service we get here. Waiters are NOT friendly, are sometimes snob, they are not there to please you, but perhaps the contrary is true! Tyler Brûlé wrote a very interesting colum in the FT complaining about service in Switzerland and got some many reaction about it, not all good. Well, perhaps Swiss people are just not used to good service or are not demanding enough (can the Swiss even complain in public?), but your Canuck here wants what’s best.

So on this list you will find restaurants with good service, great food, special ambiance (except for the smoke but that should be resolved soon enough).

In no particular order:

- Rosso: Geroldstrasse 31, 8005 Zurich. You can find it next to the train station Hardbrücke. This part of town is booming and a mine gold for a night out. Their pizza is great! But beyond pizza, they make great original Italian food. Their antipasti is to die for. I hade the chance to go to a wedding there and got served about 20 of them. Just amazing! Lets’ talk about the décor here: not what you would expect from any restaurant really. It’s under minimal. It’s an old building with tables and chairs to eat, so just concentrate on the the essential here: the food.
- La Salle: Schiffbaustrasse 4, 8005 Zurich. Now here is a place to be impressed by the interior. It has been built in the Schiffbau, an old ship factory. It’s surrounded by glass and has this one big Murano glass lustre in the middle. The crowd is mixed here, perhaps half of the people are foreigners. As for the food, try whatever pleases you. It’s all good!
- Josef: Josefstrasse/ Gasometerstrasse 24, 8005 Zurich Here there are no apetizers and main course, but a choice of about 15 dishes which come in a smaller portion. If you are a skinny woman who has been on a diet forever, you’ll take 2 and probably the salads, normal people have 3 and they could all be with meat. Very hungry: choose 4. Dessert is ordered separately. If you feel more traditional, you can order a salad, then risotto or pasta and finally the meat. I tried 3 meat dishes one, it was great! Their cordon bleu is great, but so are most plates here. They are seasonal, so never expect the same. It’s a very “in” place so expect the usual “in” crowd.
- Taverna Kalymnos: Josefstrasse/ Motorenstrasse 25, 8005 Zurich. Almost across Josef, I really hesitated to put this place here. I would like it to be the best kept secret in town, but I’m afraid it’s already very famous, so I’ll share it with you. This place is tiny. A couple of tables, that’s it. You’re almost under the impression you’re in somebody’s flat. The owner is very nice and friendly, but food does not always come fast, so take your time. As the name gives it all, it’s Greek food. The usual Mezes and co. What you need to try here is the chicken or souvlaki Kalymnos with honey and cinnamon. It’s delicious! I always go back for more.
- Alpenrose: Limmatstrasse/ Fabrikstrasse 12, 8005 Zurich. I don’t understand why all tourist go to the Zeughauskeller. No really, it’s crowded, they get you in and out as fast as possible and the card is several pages long.... For a real cosy Swiss atmosphere, I can only recommend going to Alpenrose. It feels good to be there, not stressful. And the food is very good. Perhaps not only main stream touristic Swiss food, but great food discoveries.

I almost put Cinque on that list. It used to be one of my favorite restaurants, but after they let several times, people smoke cigare in there, I stopped going. The food was great, but wasn’t anymore when I suffocated under the cigar smell. I might try it again once it’s forbidden to smoke, but in any case, I am disappointed in the first place with the owners for letting a few people spoil the evening of so many. Is that what I expect from a good restaurant? No, I don’t think so!

Now come on, get out of Kreis 1 and get your stomach to Kreis 5!

21 February 2010

Fasnacht in Zurich

This weekend was Fasnacht in Zurich. Fore more background on Fasnacht, I found this article on Wikipedia:


The highlight of Fasnacht is the parade in the old town on Sunday. There are music bands ( Guggemusik), lots of witches and other mountain creatures, kids can get candies and nice women will probably get lots of confettis in their hair or worst in their purse!

Here are some pictures:

So what do you think? Do you find this interesting? Scary? Fun?
Let me know.


I love Zurich: Why in a Top Ten

I love Zurich: why in a Top Ten

Why do we love a city and hate another? In a trial to summarize what I love about Zurich, here is my ( I know it’s not so original!) Top Ten of Zurich:

- There are lots of pedestrian areas: along the Limmat, in the old town and along the lake. It’s both very relaxing and useful, as it’s quicker to walk everywhere than drive in the center.
- The choice of restaurant is amazing for such a small city (my top ten to follow).
- Again for a city this size, the cultural choice is fantastic (and why not write a top ten on that as well -to be continued…)
- Everything works: from trains running on schedule to registering at your Gemeinde to postal services (yes, your A-Post letter will arrive a day later anywhere in Switzerland… Amazing!).
- Zurich has history. Perhaps not so great for Europeans, but amazing to the Canuck that I am. Everywhere you walk you feel it. Best places: Lindenhof (the Romans were there. Can you believe it! They surely were not in Canada!), Niederdorf, Oberdorf.
- The city is clean and agreable. You can still be theorically in Zurich but be on the top of a mountain with a great view (Uetliberg), be swimming in the Limmat or cruising on the Lake. Which other city has this all?
- This one is really personal, but I love the fact that Zurich has so many fountains. They are everywhere, look great and give a great look to the city. I’m thinkin about writting another Top Ten just about that!
- Zurich is very Swiss and very cosmopolitan. I know it’s contradictory, but it just feels this way. And the mix is exactly what I need.
- Life in Switzerland, so including in Zurich, is very much season oriented. The year has several events, one after another which give life here a certain rhythm. You have to go through a whole year (or perhaps several of them) here to realize that. For example, on 11 November at 11:11 we have the carnival start in Zurich (but not the real carnival, just the start of it), then days get shorter and darker and it’s Rabeliechtli, and then Christmas (and all the markets) and Sylvester with fireworks, and Carnival, etc. There are all these customs who are regulars to all Swiss calendars. It’s both interesting and comforting. It gives you something to look forward to, at any given time of the year.

Okay then, it was Top Nine! At least something original about it! So tell me: why do you love Zurich? All answers are welcomed (perhaps not if you love the dialect though...). Cheers!