|Zurich : luxury restaurants|
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There’s no shortage of expensive restaurants in Zürich, places where you’d be lucky to come away with change from Fr.50 per person, and are probably looking at almost twice that for a full meal. The following are a handful of the more characterful and accessible places among the city’s wealth of formal haute cuisine outlets.
Hummerbar, in Hotel St Gotthard, Bahnhofstrasse 87 (01/227 76 21). Of the three restaurants in the hotel, this is the most appealing, a wonderfully romantic place for Hummer (lobster) and a host of other seafood, all flown in fresh daily and prepared in pristine style for consumption amidst a formal, fin-de-siècle setting. Prices – compared with others under this heading – are reasonable, but who’s counting when you’re contemplating fresh oysters?
Kronenhalle, Rämistrasse 4 (01/251 02 56). One of Zürich’s best restaurants. An impressive array of the twentieth century’s great and good have licked their chops appreciatively here, but the ambience of the place, bedecked with original Picassos, Matisses and Braques, remains amiable rather than stiff. Then again, with at least one hors d’oeuvre over Fr.100, they can afford to be amiable. The cuisine is outstanding but undramatic – there’s little on the menu that you won’t have seen before – but where the place scores is in its down-to-earth attitude to those who decide to spurn the champagne and truffles in favour of enjoying the atmosphere over a sausage and a glass of beer instead.
Kropf, In Gassen 16 (01/221 18 05). An atmospheric listed building, boasting a frescoed interior which dates from its conversion into a restaurant in 1888, and which stands a little askance with the solid bürgerliche cooking on offer: Bacchic revels may be erupting all around, but only in picture form on the ceiling. Meat, potatoes and dumplings in various forms, along with tripe, are staples, and yet standards are high and the food is never dull. Closed Sun.
Zunfthaus zur Schmiden, Marktgasse 20 (01/251 52 87). The guildhall of the smiths, dating from 1520, and now a spectacular setting in which to linger over the richest of Swiss-German cuisine, meat-heavy platters and top Zürcher specialities such as geschnetzeltes Kalbfleisch (veal in a white wine and cream sauce), everything in mighty portions. Closed Sun.
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