Eating vegan when travelling can be a challenge. This post is part of a series I am doing called “Eating Vegan in…”. As I travel around to different cities, I will visit and review great places to eat with abundant vegan options. Check out my review of Haus Hiltl in Zurich below, and learn why it’s a great choice for a vegan dining experience!
As the first post in this series, I thought there was really no better place to start than the oldest vegetarian restaurant in the world. That’s right, it all started at Hiltl in Zurich. The company was founded in 1898 by Ambrosius Hiltl and is now run by the fourth generation of the Hiltl family. The restaurant offers a vegetarian and vegan buffet of over 100 dishes at any one time as well as a comprehensive a là carte menu.
Hiltl has a team of talented chefs constantly working on their menu development. They try to veganise everything that is possible without compromising on flavour, meaning that over 60% of the buffet is vegan friendly. The food is locally sourced as much as possible. All the food for the buffet is prepared the night before service to ensure optimum freshness!
The food is so thoughtful and full of flavour, the only problem you will have is overfilling your plate on the buffet! The buffet is split into different cuisines, ranging from salads to Swiss and Asian, giving you a wide range of choices to construct whatever kind of meal you fancy. The system of weighing your plate means you only pay for what you have, so you never feel tied into a standard buffet fee.
The impressive multi-level kitchen in Hiltl has over 55 chefs working hard at any one time, cooking anything from the buffet food, to the a là carte menu, to pastry. Hiltl also run several cooking courses through their “Hiltl Academy” that you can attend in their impressive studio on the top floor of the building.
They also go out and train other chefs and companies how to cook quality vegetarian and vegan food. They try to teach people how to cook plant based food well in its own right, rather than trying to use replacements to recreate a typical non vegetarian dish.
There is a huge seating area at Hiltl, upstairs and down, with plenty of room for large parties. I definitely recommend booking a table in advance as it can get super busy! Hiltl is popular with veggies/vegans and meat eaters alike, so booking is a must. You can do this easily through their website.
Hiltl have written 5 cookbooks of their own, so you can recreate some of their dishes yourself at home. They are available in many different languages with their newest book “Meat the Green” coming out in English later this year.
Hiltl is one of our favourite restaurants to eat at. We ALWAYS take friends and family there when they are visiting, and everybody loves it.
I hope you found this post useful and have the chance to eat at Hiltl if you ever find yourself in Zurich! A massive thank you to Hiltl for showing me around the kitchen and restaurant and allowing me to take some photos for this blog post!