***This is part 4 of my “Everyday I’m Trufflin’” trip report detailing a recent European road trip which started in Zurich, Switzerland and ended in Piedmont, Italy***
2. British Airways Business Class San Francisco to Zurich
3. Zurich Marriott Hotel
4. Eating Zurich – Sausage, Fondue, and Christmas Markets
5. Eating Milan – Shopping, Cathedrals and Pizza
6. Eating Piedmont, Italy – Truffles, Wine, and More Truffles
7. My Thanksgiving Day Truffle Hunting Adventure in Piedmont, Italy
8. British Airways Business Class Zurich to San Francisco
With under 24 total hours in Zurich spread across two separate visits, we had our work cut out for us if we were going to take full advantage of being in the land of cheese. In fact, I was traveling with two people who’s favorite food was cheese, and they couldn’t stop drooling at the prospect of stuffing their faces with some of Switzerland’s finest.
While checking-in at the hotel we asked for a recommendation for a fondue restaurant for dinner, and they provided us with a handful of options. However, most were already fully booked for the night, but we were fortunate to eventually snag a last-minute table at Raclette Stube. Most of the fondue restaurants are quite small, so it is highly recommended to make reservations well in advance.
We went upstairs to quickly wash up, and within the hour were already staring down the barrel of a steaming pot of melted cheese.
The restaurant was super cozy, with a large fireplace in the middle and just about 10 tables scattered around the dining room. After inhaling the raclette appetizer, it was time for the main event. With way too many options to choose from, we trusted our server’s recommendation on a half gruyere and half vacherin mix, and it was as gooey and delicious as advertised.
Apparently I was the only idiot who kept using potatoes and bread as my primary dipping agents, while others kept to lighter options which included gherkins, pearl onions, pears, and apples. After polishing off the basket of bread and potatoes, I felt like I had a brick in my stomach.
After dinner we all decided that we needed to take a digestive stroll, and walked along the river and through the streets. They sure took the holiday season seriously here, and there were Christmas lights strewn all across the city.
The nighttime views along the river were gorgeous.
As we meandered down a couple more streets and alleyways, I caught my second wind and was ready to eat again.
But for once I demonstrated some restraint and instead just opted for a delicious local Chopfab beer.
The next morning we were up at 5AM due to jet lag and went in search for food before beginning our road trip to Italy. There weren’t a lot of options at this hour, so we started at the Zurich HB train station which was already humming with morning commuters. Salty giant pretzels covered in cheese? You had me at salty.
We wandered further into town and with the help of Yelp, managed to find another bakery that was already open and made our way over to Backerei Jung for some delicious pastries.
Even with a heavy jacket and gloves, this California-kid was shivering like crazy, so after that we hustled back to the hotel. But not before one last photo stop along the river.
That was all we had time for on visit #1, but on the return, after arriving at the hotel in the late evening we were able to hustle over to Zurich HB station to catch the opening night of the Christmas markets. This was clearly the place to be, and it was packed with people enjoying the festivities.
The beautiful Swarovski tree was hard to miss and definitely the center of attention.
While others admired the tree, I was too busy flying around eating everything in sight. This was as good of a food festival as I’ve been to. It was hard to decide where to begin, but I eventually settled on fondue. They had the to-go version down pat, which included a hollowed-out baguette that was filled with hot, melted cheese.
Sausage time! There were three types of grilled sausages on the menu, so of course we had to try them all.
Back to the cheeses with this delicious raclette.
And some Indian pakoras just to mix it up.
Moving on to the sweets – freshly made churros smothered in cinnamon and sugar.
All the different types of chocolate-covered marshmellows that your heart could desire.
Up next, a delicious apple struedel drenched in vanilla sauce.
And last but not least, some light and airy donuts covered in powdered sugar.
I’d heard a lot about European Christmas markets and am glad that I finally had a chance to visit one for the first time. If you have the opportunity to visit one during your next winter trip to Europe it’s definitely worth going, just make sure to bring your appetite!