Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Four Ways to Eat at Hiltl in Zurich


Hiltl is one of the best restaurants in Zurich. It's vegetarian inspired food. It's always crowded. And it's always confusing.

At least for me.

Little did I know there were four ways to eat at the Hiltl. So here I am, almost three years into my stint at living in Switzerland and I'm still paying the most I could pay to eat at Hiltl by sitting at a table on the second floor and ordering from a menu. But thanks to my blogger blind date with Kerrin of MyKugelhopf, I am now in the know.

There are four ways (and four pricing methods) to eat at Hiltl. The first, described above, is the priciest.

The next three ways to eat at Hiltl involve getting food from the downstairs buffet. You take either a plate or a plastic container (if you want take out, excuse me "take away"). Fill your plate or container with whatever you want. Then:

If you want to sit on the right side of the restaurant at a table, you weigh your food near the hostess stand, take a receipt, and sit down. I tried this with my plate of food and it cost me SFr 18,50.

If you want to sit on the left side of the restaurant in the bar area, you take your food to the bar, weigh it there, and you can also order a drink from the bar. With the same plate of food this cost SFr 13,00. Hmm.

If you put your food in a plastic container and then decide to stay in to eat, there is no mercy. You will be kicked out because you are not allowed to change your mind. Having put the food in a plastic container, you have not paid for the pleasure of sitting in the restaurant in any place except maybe the toilet. I'm guessing my same food in plastic would have cost SFr 10.

So there you have it. How to eat at Hiltl. Thanks in part to Kerrin of MyKugelhopf, who's not known for being an award-winning travel and food blogger for nothing.

14 comments:

MrsTina said...

I LOVE THAT PLACE!!! LOVE IT. Droool!

Chantal said...

It may be my favorite in Switzerland--especially now that I know how it functions!

Kerrin said...

Kerrin of MyKugelhopf here! I LOVE Hiltl ! I mean, I wouldn't suggest just "any place" for a blind date with the One Big Yodeler ! :)

And here's the 5th way to eat at Hiltl: go for Sunday brunch! It's a splurge, but TOTALLY worth it. Prix fixe CHF 48, all you can eat from 9:30am to 2:30pm, plus Prosecco and live music as of 10:30am. Unbelievable. Here's the link to see the upcoming music groups, enjoy !!
http://www.hiltl.ch/en/restaurant-brunch.php

Chantal said...

Cool. Thanks. Forgot to mention the brunch option :) So many ways to enjoy Hiltl!

Jessica said...

I have never been to this Hiltl place but I have seen the cookbook for it in the book stores in Zurich... I am there.

Young Traveler said...

Hiltl is where all the pseudo-intellectuals of Zurich go to dine (and non-famous bloggers). I apparently have been eating all wrong. Thanks, Chantal!

Chantal said...

Hmm. Maybe the 2nd Zurich blogger meet-up should be at Hiltl!

Z said...

As a pseudo-vegetarian, I love the place. You know it's the oldest vegetarian restaurant in Europe? Also, Tibits belongs to the same group so if you're at the Bern HB or near the Opernhaus in Zürich, you can look for them there. Oh, I didn't know about the enormously elevated rates on the right side. I usually go by myself and get one of those window-bar seats. Great for people watching! And the water is free!

Chantal said...

Did not know Hiltl was the oldest vegetarian restaurant in Zurich. Thanks for the info. And yes, free water, that's really something for this country.

Tibits is also great. Also a madhouse--at least when I visited. At least people here know good food.

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