HomeFoodHILTL Zurich - The worlds oldest vegetarian restaurant

HILTL Zurich – The worlds oldest vegetarian restaurant

When exploring Zurich, you will ultimately get hungry and will start looking for a place to eat. There is no shortage of good restaurants and lunchrooms in the largest city of Switzerland. But did you know the (self-proclaimed) oldest vegetarian restaurant is to be found in Zurich? It is called HILTL and is a popular place to have vegetarian dishes for both locals and tourists.

HILTL is a household name in Zurich – the chain has several restaurants and lunchrooms in and around Zurich. In addition to those, the brand also has seasonal restaurants by Lake Zurich that are open during the summer months.
The concept of the stores differ a bit: some offer a la carte, others have a vegetarian buffet with many vegan options. The buffet is what HILTL is truly known for, and also what makes this a perfect place to sit down while visiting Zurich.

It isn’t a secret: Zurich is expensive, and eating out certainly is no exception. While HILTL is not traditionally a budget option (you pay per weight), the fact that you configure your own plate (with loads of options) means you can keep your expenses in check.

Several HILTL restaurants in Zurich and surroundings

Since the opening of the very first HILTL restaurant, several more has opened. In the inner city of Zurich, you can choose between haus HILTL, HILTL Dachterrasse and HILTL Silhpost. The latter two are especially convenient if you you want a quick lunch while exploring Zurich.
It is good to keep in mind that HILTL is beloved by locals, and especially during lunchtime, the restaurants can get quite busy. This is definitely true for the HILTL Dachterrasse on Saturday afternoons. HILTL Sihlpost gets busy during the weekdays, as it is located right next to a big Google office campus. Pick your time of visit wisely!

Too many options to choose from at HILTL!

As mentioned before, the options of the buffet at HILTL are endless. This makes it both an amazing and dangerous option for lunch. Great, because everyone will find plenty of dishes to their liking at HILTL. However, make sure that your eyes are not bigger than your stomach, as you pay for the weight on your plate in the end.

A personal favorite is the planted Tikka massala on the menu at HILTL, but their fried snacks and planted ‘Zürcher geschnetzeltes’ are also amazing. There is a salad bar for your daily vitamins and for those with a sweet tooth, the buffet also has a desert selection. Personally, I have never made it that far as the warm options are so plentiful!

Hiltl Zurich food
Still not a star in food pictures, but HILTL knows how to pack taste in their dishes!

At the time of writing (2024), you pay around CHF 4.60 per 100 grams of food at HILTL. That means that you can get a decent, filling lunch for around CHF 20. That is a good deal, especially for Zurich! Drinks are available at the bar the HILTL restaurants usually have a free tap water station.

How it works

When entering a HILTL restaurant, simply grab a plate (or a container if you want to a grab take-away meal). Then, simply start scooping your favorite dishes from al the options available. Once you are done, head over to the counter and put your plate with food on the scale. The attendant will calculate the price for you and will ask you if you want to order a drink with it.
After paying, simply find a spot and enjoy some delicious vegetarian food!

Below, you can find the addresses of the three most popular HILTL Restaurants

Sihlstrasse 28
8001 Zürich

HILTL Dachterrasse
Bahnhofstrasse 88
8001 Zürich

HILTL Sihlpost (right next to the Zurich train station)
Europaallee 1A
8004 Zürich

More information, you can find on the website of HILTL.

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Originally from the Netherlands, I landed in Luzern, Switzerland in March 2022 after 10 years in Sweden. Now, I aim to explore as much of Switzerland as I can, and share it here!

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