Haus Hiltl is the world's oldest continually operating vegetarian restaurant, founded in 1898. While there are now several Hiltl locations in Zurich, the original flagship location is Haus Hiltl, at Sihlstrasse 28.
Getting to Haus Hiltl and Hours
If staying at the Park Hyatt Zurich, it's just a 13-15 minute walk to Hiltl, or an even faster 8 minute tram ride on the 7 or 13.
Hiltl is open from 6am-11pm Mondays-Saturdays, and from 8am-10pm on Sundays. Note that to avoid food waste, the buffet is dismantled up to 1 hour prior to closing. Hiltl is especially popular on Sundays, when many Zurich restaurants are closed, so reservations on the weekends are recommended.
Haus Hiltl Menu and Food
While Hiltl is especially known for its vegetarian buffet, it's also possible to order a la carte. Here are some of the a la carte menu selections:
The buffet is priced by weight (CHF 5.30 per 100 grams, at the time of our visit), so if you select heavier food items, the cost can add up quickly. Unfortunately there's no child price for the buffet either, although there are some smaller child size a la carte portions of salad, fruit and pasta.
Our son chose a Pesto Pasta from the adult menu, since he was quite hungry and the child size portion was unlikely to be sufficient. He liked it, and the pesto was clearly very freshly prepared.
The buffet featured so many choices that my husband and I had a hard time choosing what to put on our plates.
Ultimately I went with primarily Indian curries, dips, fritters and pappadum (light!) and some salad; my favorites were the Okra coconut curry and the panang curry.
My husband took quite a bit of rice with his curries, so his plate was much more expensive than mine, although it certainly filled him up.
The desserts were a bit disappointing, as they were primarily mousses and puddings, which I don't care for.
That said, there was a quite good passion fruit cheesecake:
No one in my family is vegetarian, and there was some apprehension (ok, complaining) on the part of our son when I advised that we were going to a vegetarian restaurant for lunch. But with the wide selection of dishes, both available as a la carte dishes and on the buffet, anyone who enjoys an eclectic variety of world cuisines won't miss meat. I especially enjoyed the Asian and Indian curries, such as the coconut curry with okra and panang curry.
Note that since the buffet is based on weight, it can get expensive quickly. If you have a large group and are very hungry, a more cost-efficient approach could be ordering a la carte and sharing family style.
Perhaps the weakest aspect was the dessert selection. I did greatly enjoy the passion fruit cheesecake, but I thought there could have been some better dessert options, such as French fruit tarts, dark chocolate tortes and the like.
What's your favorite vegetarian restaurant in Zurich?
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