For 11 days from 8 -18 September 2016, Zurich will host its first ever Food Zurich festival, where 80 gastronomic related events (tours, demonstrations, tastings, cooking courses, exclusive dinner events, films and many more) will take place throughout the city.
While the city celebrates the launch of its largest foodie event, visitors are encouraged to expand their gourmet experiences by joining locals in the many open-air bars and eateries that pepper the city and along the water’s edge of Lake Zurich.
A good insider tip to know is many river and lakeside bathing facilities transform into lively bars with music performances, readings and even movie screenings during the warm months.
Below, Switzerland Tourism shares its top 10 picks for al fresco venues in Zurich.
A hop, skip and jump away from the Zurich Opera House is Pumpstation, a chic and casual open-air eatery serving up some of the city’s best bratwurst and potato salads. One of the major highlights here, while enjoying their sumptuous grilled options, is the unobstructed panoramic view of Uetliberg Mountain and Lake Zürich in the background.
Traditional Swiss cuisine is usually best enjoyed with some pretty views. For many locals and visitors, the Bauschänzli is a popular summer venue to enjoy traditional dishes including Wienerschnitzel, bratwurst or steak tartare, while marveling at the view that surrounds them. On this miniature island on the River Limmat, patrons dine under chestnut trees, while looking out at Lake Zürich and the Alps.
Once an austere industrial location at the foot of the Prime Tower that was transformed into a temporary summer project in 2012, this beer and kitchen garden has since grown into something of a community complete with shops, art, a lush garden and a vibrant program of events. An urban oasis in the heart of trendy Zurich-West, patrons here can enjoy the dramatic view over the railway tracks and even the mountain peaks in the distance.
Located on the banks of the River Limmat, this effortlessly chic venue is where locals come to have a drink and bite after they’ve had a swim in the water below. Treats served include a range of sumptuous burgers, grilled items and an impressive range of local beers.
Possibly the most charming garden locale in Zurich, the Kleine Freiheit is located in a small corner park between Weinbergstrasse and Sonneggstrasse. Serving up some much loved Middle Eastern flavours of falafel, hummus and mezze platters, patrons dine from the comfort of their deckchairs, bench, sofa or wicker beach chairs in their cargo container convert.
A riverside bathing facility for men by day, the Monday Market at Rimini-Bar on Schanzengraben draws in hip and trendy types with a colorful mixture of stands selling second-hand and Zürich labels. Here, Zürich’s young creative scene congregate and hang out on oriental cushions, while enjoying specialty grilled items on the spit and the latest drink concoction.
Located on the lakeside promenade by Riesbach harbour, colorful furniture made from Indonesian ship deck planks compliment the restaurant’s contemporary architecture. With a menu that offers the likes of crispy battered fish fresh from the lake, light and airy pizzas from the wood-fired oven, freshly made pasta, a range of salads and seasonal grilled items, this garden venue is where the patrons come to enjoy unpretentious food in a relaxing atmosphere.
A lakeside swimming pool by day, where sun worshippers and sports lovers flock to top up their tans, by night, the Seebad Enge is a cosy bar that serves up refreshing drinks and home-made summer cuisine. Evening readings, mini concerts and themed parties are all part of their summer program as well.
A women’s only bathhouse by day, this original Art Nouveau swimming facility in the center of Zurich is an architectural art piece. In the evening the venue is opened to everyone and anyone seeking good music and a chilled ambience. Patrons must enter sans shoes, where they can join others dancing bare feet on the wooden planked floors in the open-air.
As part the one and only camping site in the City of Zurich of the same name, the Fischer’s Fritz restaurant sits by the lake and is tastefully decorated with minimal fuss. Serving up freshly cooked meals including assorted fish dishes and tender chicken with their specialty homemade sauce, campers who dine here not only get spoilt with the quality of the food, but also with the views before them.