Have you ever had the feeling of going to the same restaurant over and over in your own city or when traveling? This happens to me and my family very often. We always go to all vegan and vegan-friendly places but we end up coming back to a certain one. This also happened in our short trip to Zurich in July.
We went there to visit friends and to celebrate my birthday. I’ve written one article about everything we did, saw and ate in the city, but I wanted to write a specific review about Samses. I didn’t know what to expect in terms of food in Zurich to be honest and because we have friends there we didn’t do much online research as we always do. You gotta trust your friends, specially when they are also vegan, right?
We arrived in Zurich on a Friday at lunch time and when we got to the city our stomaches were screaming for food, specially mini-vegan’s one. We were with a friend coming from Germany who was also celebrating her birthday and she took us to Samses. It was the closest option and it served food all day. Traveling with mini-vegan makes us look for restaurants that actually serve food and not just sandwiches so he can still get his meals.
Located in a very central, but not so busy area, you can get to Samses by tram or bus or just walking. The restaurant has a buffet service running from 11h30am to 10pm, where you pay for the weight of your food and from 6pm you an also order from A La Carte. According to Zino Lo Giusto, restaurant owner and manager, three aspects make Samses unique: “It has a perfect mix between Asian, North African, Indian, Mediterranean and Swiss kitchen so even if someone comes here everyday food will never be boring; almost all dishes and desserts are homemade – and cook with love; we serve a perfect Italian coffee and have a great staff, always doing the best they can”.
Samses is located in a corner, with tables also outside and a big inside area too. The restaurant is beautiful, elegant but not super fancy, making us feel very comfortable with a mini-vegan running around and wanting to climb chairs and tables. And yes, staff is very friendly and some of them spoke Italian and English so it was really easy for us to communicate (there was even one Brazilian working there so even Portuguese was present in our conversations!).
At our first lunch there we’ve got food from the buffet, a little bit of everything that was vegan – and the majority of the food was – trying just to avoid too much fried stuff for mini-vegan. They have many salad options and also hot dishes. The highlight was the stuffed tomato but everything I’ve ate was delicious, very taste and well presented. Later that day we would go back there for dinner, to celebrate our friend’s birthday and we decided to order from their A La Carte options. I went for the vegan schnitzel (I don’t know what’s wrong with me but every time I’m in a restaurant that serves schnitzel I will order it!) and it was very good. Not the best one I’ve had but it was good and it came with a delicious summer sauce (strawberry and I have no idea what else, sorry!), salad and fries. My husband ordered a “cheese burger”, their best seller according to Lo Giusto. It was very taste, with a fair size (yes, size matters when talking about burgers!) and it also came with salad, sauce and fries. For dessert I decided to order their tiramisu. When I saw it came in a glass I was already suspicious. I am very traditional with tiramisu and they have a really nice dessert, creamy, soft and delicious, but I wouldn’t call it “tiramisu”.
We didn’t go there during the weekend but we came back for one other dinner and one other lunch (just before heading the airport). We’ve chose to go for the buffet option because it was better for mini-vegan and a little bit cheaper too. This is the only negative aspect of eating out in Zurich and Samses is included: it is expensive in relation to many other cities in Europe.
You’ll also have the chance to try some delicious non-alcoholic drinks, specially during the summer. Go for it!
Samses has what it needs to be one of the best options for vegans in Zurich: delicious food, around 80% vegan menu (in the buffet, for their A La Carte just one dish isn’t vegan), great location and a friendly staff. They receive around 250 people per day, but not many of their customers are vegans and this is probably one of the main reasons why Lo Giusto doesn’t see Samses going 100% vegan. Close enough, I’ll be there they day I’m back in Zurich.
(All pictures by AAVF except the restaurant interior one, courtesy of Samses)