Fondue is officially the national dish of Switzerland, and you’ll find a variety of ways to indulge in the hot bubbly cheese all around the capital city of Zurich. Enjoy fondue the conventional way at a cozy chalet or an open-air restaurant. You’ll find fondue at a rooftop bar, or even on a boat or a tram. Indeed, fondue in Zurich is everywhere.
Derived from the French word fondre, meaning “to melt,” fondue is typically a winter dish, and the Swiss look forward each year to what is known as fondue season. But if you’re visiting Zurich from far away, a feast around a communal pot of fondue is a must-do any time of the year.
Here’s a list of the best places in Zurich for fondue.
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A part of the charming Hotel Adler in the middle of Niederdord in Zurich’s Old Town, Swiss Chuchi is a quaint restaurant with a warm and friendly ambiance. They’ll give your dog a water bowl, and there’s even a stand-up bar for them outside! It’s best known for its Alpine macaroni and rösti spuds, but the fondue menu is one of the best in town.
The Alder’s Special Cheese Fondue is an excellent choice. It’s made with a mixture of aged cheeses and white wine with a dash of cherry liquor and garlic. For something really different, try the “Fondue mit schwarzem Trüffel” featuring pungent black truffle and Gruyère and Vacherin cheese.
Address: 10 Rosengasse, Altstadt
Le Dézaley is an excellent spot for a pot of fondue while out and about touring the city. Easily found, it’s located in a historic building near the Grossmünster. The restaurant has been serving excellent fondue for over a century using mature sur Choix from Switzerland’s Vaud region, a mountainous district in western Switzerland.
Go traditional with Käsefondue using the owner’s age-old family recipe. Or indulge in the lavish Burgundian beef fondue that pairs so deliciously with a glass of white wine from the tempting Vaudoise wine list.
Address: 9 Römergasse, Altstadt
Situated high up on the Zürichberg, a wooded hill overlooking Lake Zurich, Chäsalp is a local restaurant in an Alpine hut that may be overlooked by tourists. It’s in a cozy building that used to belong to the Alter Tobelhof farmstead. The locals love it for fondues flavored with mushroom, chili, apple, peppercorn, and other cheesy dishes. Chalsap Fondue, or moitié-moitié is a house blendmade from a generations-old recipe.
Lots of sides are available including silver onion skins, cornichons (pickled cucumbers,) baby corn, and fresh fruit. In summer, you can enjoy the Fondue Feast for two on the large garden terrace, perfect for a romantic dinner with a sunset view.
Address: Tobelhofstrasse 236, 8044
You’ll be greeted with a warm welcome and a cheesy aroma wafting at Fribourger Fonduebstübli, a casual restaurant with rustic decor and a friendly crowd of tourists and locals.
You can’t go wrong with the Fribourger cheese fondue, the house specialty. The moitié-moitié, a blend with Gruyère, is also an excellent choice. Bread and potato baskets are served on the side and refilled often. For a fruity treat, try pineapple slices or pears with your fondue.
Finish off with a shot of Kirch, a brandy popular with the locals.
Address: Rotwandstrasse 38
Zurich Fondue Tram
A zippy ride aboard the Zurich Fondue Tram is a fun way to try fondu in the city. Ride the 1930s classic tram’s moving dining car while dipping into a pot of melted cheese as the sights of the city pass by. So, you get a tour of Zurich while you eat!
The Fondue Tram is available during the traditional fondue season from November to February. The ride lasts for two hours. Look for the designated stop at Bellevue.
Address: Bellevue Hochschulen
Enjoy Swiss Alpine cuisine served in a rustic cellar vault setting reminiscent of the Valais vineyards. Dip your fondue fork in a traditional cheese fondue that’s available in eight variations according to Valais tastes.
Along with an excellent fondue, the menu includes Bauernbratwurst sausage with onion sauce, Geschnetzeltes (stir-fried veal) served with rosti, soapstone steak, and a crispy chicken basket. Meats are brought out on a hot stone.
In summer, you can dine on the open terrace beside the pedestrian zone. Reservations can be made for 20 or more people.
Address: Zähringerstrasse 21, 8001
Zunfthaus zur Zimmerleuten
Zunfthaus zur Zimmerleuten is worth dining at for the setting alone. Located in an old carpenter’s guild house, the dining room features a unique coffered wooden ceiling, a huge oriole window, and classic marble Corinthian columns. But for the best experience, dip into your fondue outdoors under the historic arcades with a view of the Limmat River and the majestic Fraumünster.
The Open-Air Fondue is an all-you-can-eat affair featuring a cheesy fondue made with Brotwürfeln, Gschwellti, and Cornichons and served with bread cubes, potatoes, and pickled gherkins. There’s an excellent and extensive wine list.
Address: 40 Limmatquai, Altstadt
Frau Gerold’s Garten
For a totally unique dining experience, stop by Frau Gerold’s Garten, an eatery made of repurposed shipping containers for open-air dining. Burgers and craft beer are the usual fares with a variety of warming and comforting fondues served inside the winter garden or the winter room from October to March. From April to September, Frau Gerold’s transforms into a spacious garden restaurant with a sun terrace and several bars.
The fondue menu includes Moité-Moité made with Vacherin Fribourgoi and Feinstein Gruyère, Trüffel, and Guinness Bier & Speck, a hardily Irish-rustic recipe.
Address: 23 Geroldstrasse, Industriequartier