Dining in Switzerland
- Categories of Restaurant
- In larger towns, you will find traditional Swiss restaurants but also many ethnic restaurants - Indian, Chinese, Thai, Italian, etc. In the small mountain towns, you may find an Italian restaurant or a pizza place, but most restaurants will serve more traditional Swiss food, which normally includes starters (appetizers and soups) followed by main courses and then coffee and dessert. Bread is usually served with the meal. During the main hiking and skiing seasons, mountain restaurants are opened at the top of the mountain rides or along the trails. These offer drinks and snacks or full meals.
- Rules For Eating Out
- Tips are not generally required as service charges are included in the bill.
|Economy Meal||Less than 25 CHF|
|Medium Price Meal||25 – 75 CHF|
|Good Quality Meal||More than 75 CHF|
- Food Specialties
Switzerland is commonly associated with chocolate and cheese Fondues, but also has a rich and varied culinary tradition inspired by French, German and Italian cultures with some uniquely Swiss additions.
Traditional Swiss Fondues are a blend of Emmental and Gruyere cheeses, nutmeg, garlic, cornflour and Kirsch (Swiss Schnapps) all melted in a ceramic Fondue Pot into which diners dip small cubes of bread, and served with pickled gherkins and onions.
Some of the other national specialties are:
- Viande sèchée (dried beef or pork) from Valais and the Grisons (where it is calledBündnerfleisch),served with pickled onions.
- Pieds de porc (pigs' trotters).
- Rösti (shredded fried potatoes).
- Fondue Bourguignonne (cubed meat with various sauces).
- Leckerli(spiced honey cakes topped with icing sugar), decorated in Bern with a white sugar bear.
Tea, coffee and hot chocolate are the most common beverages, although tea tends to be drunk with a slice of lemon rather than milk.
Lager beers such as Hurliman are drunk more in the German Cantons, with wine being drunk in the Italian and French Cantons.
- Dietary Restrictions
- There are no culinary restrictions in Switzerland.
- Table Manners
- Always wait for everybody to be served before beginning to eat.
- If wine is served, you should usually chink glasses with everybody at the table before taking the first sip.
- When you have over with your meals, put your knife and fork on the plate as if they were clock hands indicating 5:25 P.M. If you don’t, your host will serve you more.
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