Traveling makes your world bigger, your horizons widen, your life experience deeper. At least this is how I feel. As a self-proclaimed “travel pants” I’m glad living in Europe makes traveling around easier – and cheaper than living in Brazil. There are still many places in this vast planet that I haven’t been yet and that I’d love to go. But I’m sure me and my family are doing the best we can and me and my husband are trying to show mini-vegan the world as much as we can.
When choosing our destinations food is a big element. Yes, we travel for vegan food. This summer we wanted to scape from hot Rome as much as we could to enjoy the most of what this amazing season can offer. We decided to spend my birthday in Zurich for three main reasons: weather, friends and food.
My pre-concepts abut Zurich were that the city was very organized and expensive. I didn’t know what to expect in regards to vegan food, except from what my friends living there had told me: we’d find plenty of good options there. So this was one of the few travels where we didn’t do much research on line about vegan and vegan-friendly places to eat. You gotta trust your (vegan) friends, right?
In five days in Zurich we went to three restaurants, one health store and local supermarket and had home made food twice, which included an beautiful and delicious birthday cake for me. We went to swim on the river and mini-vegan could play in a natural pool for kids by the river. We took him to a playground close to our hotel and also by the river, we walked a lot in the city, we spent quality time together as we always do. He got to spend more time with our friends there – some of the dearest friends I have. Zurich is in fact very organized, with a well served public transportation system, clean streets, polite people. And it is also expensive, specially for people who don’t live there. But it is all worth it. The city is beautiful, charming, welcoming and (vegan) food is great. The river which crosses the city is the cleanest urban river I have ever seen and the warm but not too hot weather makes it a perfect destination for the summer in Europe.
Now that you’ve got the summary of my personal experience in Zurich, let’s talk food:
* Vegelateria: we went there for lunch on Saturday. Located in the city center, it is one of the few vegan restaurants in the city and it is a big place with a very calm atmosphere. They have a buffet option where you pay a fix price and have between 5 and 7 options every day, all organic. They will make your plate and, believe me, it comes with a lot of food! Staff is very friendly, always with a smile in their face. It is also the cheapest option for food in Zurich. They also offer a big selection of vegan ice cream, very tasty. After you live in Rome it is hard to compare ice cream but it was a very good experience and a vegan place serving food and ice cream deserves all the thumbs up! They also have a kids area, which we consider a very welcoming plus! We came back there at our last day in the city for lunch too. Open from Monday to Saturday, from 11am to 9pm. Have children chair. Location: Müllerstr. 64, 8004.
* Tibits: open in 1999, it’s another buffet style vegetarian restaurant with vegan options (hot and cold dishes and dessert) in the city, where you also pay for food by weight. We went there on a Sunday lunch so place was very busy but still a good atmosphere and easy to find a table. I personally liked a lot the food, probably the best one we had in Zurich in my opinion (my husband wasn’t that impressed). Breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner served. Location is also a plus, easy to arrive with the tram and very close to the lake. There’s also a kid’s area and they have children’s chair. Location: Seefeldstrasse 2, 8008.
For buying food for breakfast and snacks, specially to mini-vegan, we went to a Egli store, part of a health food chain, in the city center, which offers organic food, gluten free products, fresh fruits and vegetables and more. But we got organic fruits from a local supermarket close to the hotel, very handy (we’ve found blueberries, strawberries and peaches!).
And one of the best parts of this trip was that every single meal was shared with friends. We were surrounded by loved ones all the time and we also had a barbecue by the river on Saturday evening and a delicious homemade Mexican dinner and a birthday cake for me on Sunday evening from a vegan-friendly cafe and bakery called Miyuko – or Les Gourmandises de Miyuko – the same place where the girls have got Enrico’s dinosaur 1st birthday cake!. Seriously, still the best vegan cakes I have ever had. We didn’t have the chance to actually go there for more cake and sandwiches and this is one extra reason to come back to Zurich.
Overall, I really enjoyed the food we had in Zurich, although I think it is expensive – and I used to think that Rome was expensive before going there. We spent between 45 and 65 euro for two and a half people per lunch or dinner. So my last advice would be save your money if you plan to eat out and plan very well your trip!