Dining and the City: Vegetarian Foodie Hotspots, Hiltl and Roots

So there’s the godfather of vegetarian cuisine and there’s plenty of other little vegetarian hotspots opening up around Zurich. The plus points? More options for vegetarian and vegan dining including places that cater for intolerances! Here’s a recap of my trips to the Haus of Hiltl and Roots…

Being someone who suffers from IBS and food intolerances, you can only imagine what it’s like trying to find a great spot that offers yummy food sans the ‘uh oh, run to the toilet’ effect. Haus Hiltl in Zurich, Switzerland offers just that. From a hot and cold buffet with a crazy selection of goodness to an a la carte menu with an endless list, Hiltl is one of my favourite spots to dine in for a hassle free meal.

Despite buffets being a downfall for those trying to watch their weight, I would still recommend a trip down the aisle, which offers a variety of salads, curries, hot appetizers,  Italian pastas, Asian stir fries and much more! So maybe opt for the smaller dish and try not to pile it up? Or just go standard plate and be SENSIBLE! All dishes have specific allergens declared on a small label placed in front of them. You can always ask the staff about nut free, soy free, gluten free and lactose free options!

My trip usually starts off at the salads section – quinoa salad, cucumber and chives, beetroot and wakame. Then, the mains follow with a spoonful of some steamed brown rice, a spoonful of a curry with Okra, a samosa (naughty treat) and either some veggie balls or a piece of vegetarian meatloaf. Finally, an ice cold refreshing beverage: their house ginger and lemon lemonade. Even though this place is strictly ‘vegetarian’, it seems to cater to all and attract EVERYONE. The trick : great variety, awesome taste, good staff, great ambiance and consistency with the quality of food. This place is usually a frenzy at dinner time but I never failed to find somewhere to be seated, however, I would probably recommend booking in advance. Lunch-time is usually not an issue as they always find a way to accommodate you. If you’re feeling a little quiet time over a meal is needed, you may not always have that guarantee at peak hour!

Hiltl-Buffet Salate


Overall, Hiltl is one of my ‘once a week’ go to spots where both great taste and quality are a given.  For more on Hiltl, you can check out their website at http://www.hiltl.ch

Moving on to Roots, a tiny and charming hotspot that has recently opened its doors to vegans,11951334_1474924492810152_7287725536047485129_n vegetarians and foodies alike! Roots offers a selection of juices and smoothies, vegan bagels and breakfast bowls and well as vegan salad bowls, soups and sandwiches. Their menu offers the right amount of variety that wouldn’t overwhelm a hungry customer where you can dine in if a spot is free or just simply grab ‘n go. 

The first time I stumbled across Roots was with a client of mine and we decided to give it a go. We both chose the “Winnie Pooh” smoothie, which was delightful and refreshing yet a little grainy at first. The ingredients? Mango, orange, banana, passionfruit, lemon and vanilla. I would’ve probably cut out the orange not to have an overpowering taste of acidity as mango and passionfruit are a match made in heaven! My second trip was over a late lunch and I opted for the curry coconut soup and the spicy quinoa salad to share with a friend. Now warning: the spicy quinoa is a bowl on fire and not for those with faint-taste buds. The soup was absolutely delicious with the perfect additional crunch of chickpeas and the mango-tomato salsa. The quinoa bowl had the perfect combination of ingredients yet the chilli was overpowering and made it hard to finish the bowl (as much as I wanted to!). Combining quinoa, greens, capsicum, tomatoes, coriander, chilli and pomegranate pearls guarantees awesome flavour but we felt that the balance was lost with amount of chilli added. Screen Shot 2015-09-17 at 10.44.52 am

Overall, the charm of Roots brings you back as well as the freshness of their meals.  Their pricing strategy is great  in comparison to other similar spots where I feel that you do get good value for your money (although I haven’t tried their bagels and sandwiches yet!). Where to find them? Roots is located on Lintheschergasse 15 in a little alley in between Globus and main station. Head to their website www.rootsandfriends.com to find out more!

  1. Great blog post, thanks a lot! I also love Roots! The quinoa bowl was also too spicy for me (while my boyfriend loves it!!) but i’m totally addicted to the Green Couscous Bowl! Sometimes I even dream about it.. seriously!! 😉 Also I find it great, that they serve almond milk if you ask for it nicely and to sweeten the coffee they have coconut sugar! Amazing place and nice guys working there!

    • Thank you for the feedback Cathrin! I agree, it’s a lovely little spot and will definitely try their Green Couscous Bowl next time! If you’ve got any other veggie hotspot suggestions, let us know!

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