Suggestions for a real restaurant dining experience in Zurich on a budget

Jul
2011

29. July 2011

A comment asked for some good ideas for low-cost dining out in Zurich. I gave it some thought and racked my brains for restaurants which serve you food at a proper table for a sit-down meal. I’ve ruled out any place which is takeout only, simply for the fact that dining implies spending time and sitting down. Another thing to keep in mind, that we’re aiming for a full meal with an appetizer, a main course and two drinks. We’re disqualifying any ordering a glass of tap water and dunking some bread in olive oil approaches even though I’d be interested to see how some places react. While there are a lot of cheap places, quality should also count and I’m ony listing places which I have tried and liked. The general rule of thumb remains, if you’re on a budget, go eat at restaurants for lunch where most places will have a set menu for less than 30 CHF.

Here you can get a decent sit-down meal as described for less than 50 CHF:

  • Hot Pasta / Hot Pasta Due – to be fair I’ve been back to both places and if you get a good sauce it’s pretty good, cheap and still a proper sit-down restaurant.


  • Johanniter Liver has a bad name in the us, I love it and at 13.90 for a portion with Roeschti you really can’t be that picky. Nice side effect you can get it until 3 am in the morning.
  • Restaurant Markthalle at the Viadukt. I really like the busy vibe and if you don’t aim for the prime big cuts of meat, value for money is great here.
  • Zeughauskeller – Salad, decent Sausage and a good potato salad, two beers for less than 40 CHF – plus a fantastic atmosphere
  • Miracle – I haven’t been here, but food is said to be fantastic and so are prices.
  • Ah Hua II is well known, a bit too crowded for my taste, but cheap and good food – I prefer the Viet Thai.
  • Viet Thai from the outside looks a bit seedy, but great soups and cheap.

5 Comments

  1. Nice list!
    I’d just add one more restaurant: http://www.gruental-restaurant.ch/
    Have you been yet?

    • Yes – but they’re in process of closing down by the 17th of September.

    • I love your photographs and illustrations, Kristi! Didn’t know of them (and you).

      I also love therealpickygourmet’s illustration of this post. Got the reference and reverence. Kudos!

  2. Thanks, interesting suggestions!

    By coincidence, I just found yet another promising budget place: Restaurant Limmathof, close to the Viadukt and Restaurant Markthalle:

    http://www.arbeitskette.ch/limmathof/angebot.php

    Current menu (http://www.arbeitskette.ch/limmathof/docs/Speisekarte1.pdf):

    Rotes Tomatenmousse
    mit Büffelmozzarella auf
    sommerlichen Blattsalaten
    * * *
    Tranchierte Huft vom Limousin- Rind
    in hausgebackener Focaccia
    dazu Echalottenchutney, Tomatensalsa
    und Rucola
    * * *
    Quarkstrudel mit frischen Waldbeeren
    oder
    Limmathof Käseauswahl
    mit hausgemachtem Chutney
    ° ° ° ° ° ° ° ° ° ° ° ° ° ° ° ° ° °
    3 Gang Menu: 49.50
    Vorspeise: 14.50
    Hauptgang: 30.50
    Dessert: 12.50
    Deklarationen
    Limousin Rind: CH

    With drinks, one might end up at >60 Franks rather than 40-50, but to me, it still looks like very good value for local customs (compared to a pasta dinner for 40 Franks plus). And it’s even for a good cause (integration into employment). Any opinions?

  3. Nice list!Even if you are not welcome,I love Suan Long for a quick meal,the cantonese rice is perfect for only 8.- and they even understand gsprützte suur,the dim sum are also not bad.And don’t be afraid to check out all those tiny thai/indian places in kreis 5&4…

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