The most typical and also very delicious Zürich speciality is Zürigschnätzlets with Röschti. You can try it in various restaurants in Zürich. For example, in Zunfthaus zur Waag, a traditional trade guild house, or Zeughauskeller, the old armoury which was turned into a restaurant in a very authentic and nice setting, and also at more affordable places like the Restaurant zum Vorbahnhof or the Reinfelder Bierhalle which are traditionally restaurants for the working class.
Zürigschnätzlets itself is the very typical local dish in Zürich made out of veal meat with a cream sauce. Traditionally, Zürigschnätzlets also contains kidney. In some very classical restaurants like the Zunfthaus zur Waag you can still eat Zürigschnätzlets with or without kidney. It is cooked with butter, first in the oven and after in a pan. The typical side dish is Röschti.
Röschti is our most famous potato dish. Coarsely grated potatoes are usually pan-fried into rounds or patties. Depending on the frying technique, oil, butter or another fat may be added (and usually salt and pepper). It is also common to fry the grated potato without additional fats.
To be honest, Röschti was initially invented in the canton of Bern as a a breakfast dish mainly eaten by farmers. Nowadays, it is very well known in Zurich and the rest of Switzerland, especially in the entire German speaking area of the country. Some people might even consider it as a national dish. Röschti also emerged to become one of our most popular side dishes. You will easily find it in traditional Swiss German restaurants, also as the one casual side dish for the Zürigschnätzlets.
About one third of the county is French speaking and also offers delicious specialties, but it is much harder to get a good Röschti there. Therefore, the German speaking population also calls the language and culture border the “Röschtigrabe” (Röschti ditch).
Give the local Zurich dish a try, I am sure you will have enough occasions besides trying Fondue and Raclette. In a future article, we will also give you the secret recipe to making an authentic Röschti.
Patric, Free Walk Zurich