Whenever you visit a foreign place you want to experience the local culture, and one of the best ways to do that is through the people’s favorite foods. The foods that people eat say a lot about their history, their tastes, and what is most plentifully available for them to use. In addition, the overall dining experience at restaurants deemed local in tradition and flavor teach you something about local culture as well. In Switzerland there are a number of such restaurants, and some delicious local specialties to be enjoyed. Specialties such as Swiss cheese fondue, raclette, and rosti can be found at numerous restaurants, each offering a unique twist on the local dishes. And the restaurant themselves are unique as well, with some more casual and laid-back than others, and with some sitting locally in the town and others sitting further up in the mountains. With so many options available in regards to Swiss cuisine there is no doubt that you will spend part of your holiday enjoying the wonderful flavors, but you will also likely want to have a little variety in your diet while you are in Zermatt as well. And you will be happy to hear that there are plenty of options in this regard as well. Being that Zermatt is so close to certain European countries known well for their delicious food, such as Italy, some of the international restaurants and the dishes that they serve are influenced by those places as well. A few restaurants in particular offer some great international cuisine and some great atmospheres, which equals to great dining experiences. Dining at one of these will make you glad that you decided to add a little variety to your Swiss holiday for sure.
- Snowboat Café – The Snowboat Café, which is located in the Zermatt Yacht Club, serves a variety of international dishes from around the world, and is also known for its delicious vegetarian offerings. The restaurant is located right in the town of Zermatt, so you can easily walk to it, and you will be afforded great views of the town if you happen to get a seat near a window. The décor of the restaurant is very simple, and incorporates many local natural elements in the design, and as a result the atmosphere is very laid-back and comfortable. The prices are a bit on the expensive side, but this is worth it considering the quality of the food and the portion sizes. The menu is not extensive but what is served is served well. Some of the menu items to try at the Snowboat Café include the Pita Panini, which consists of grilled cheese, chorizo, salad, and tomato in pita bread, the Surf and Turf Skewer, the Greek Style Lamb Burger w/ Goat Cheese, and the Hummus Guacamole and Nacho Chips. Each of these simple dishes consist of unique flavors that will surely delight your taste buds, and the atmosphere is worth paying the restaurant a visit anyway.
- Chez Vrony – For European cuisine that features dishes a little bit different than the Swiss dishes you might try at local restaurants Chez Vrony is an excellent option. The décor on the inside of the restaurant is very interesting, to say the least, with a rustic yet comfortable and romantic feel. But the real treat is the seating on the outside of the restaurant, overlooking the Swiss Alps. This is not your average outdoor dining, as you will get the same level of five-star service on the outside as you would if you were dining inside the restaurant. In fact, the outdoor seating is so comfortable that even when there is snow on the ground you will find people dining outside of this wonderful restaurant. And of course it doesn’t hurt to have a little wine with your dinner either, as it will surely help to take away the cold winter chill that you get from the Swiss Alps. Some of the specialties served at Chez Vrony include the homemade sausage, the dried meats, and the homemade mountain cheeses. And it is important to also point out that the produce served here is all organic as well, which makes the dishes even more special. Chez Vrony may be a little outside of the village of Zermatt but it is worth the trip to dine there.
- Cervo – Another great European restaurant in Zermatt is Cervo, and there are many things in addition to the food that make this restaurant great. The atmosphere of both the restaurant and the lounge are extremely laid-back, with a bit of a country feel. And dining is available both indoors as well as out, and the outdoor seating comes with a spectacular tree and mountain filled view, in addition to the view of the village that sits beside the property as well. And to top it all off, the restaurant is and always has been family owned, so everyone involved in serving you a delicious meal is invested in your dining experience. The menu that is served at Cervo is somewhat small, but delicious all the same. It includes simple yet flavorful dishes, with something that will suit almost any tastes. Some of the best dishes on the menu according to previous visitors include the Deep Fried Mountain Cheese Nuggets, the Meatballs w/ Thyme and Lemon, the Risotto w/ Pickled Lemon and Scallops, the Fresh Goat’s Cheese w/ Forest Honey and Thyme, and the Filet of Veal Marinated w/ Hot Olive Oil, Garlic, and Herbs from the restaurant’s garden. Cervo is a great choice both in regards to the dining choices as well as the views of the village from the outdoor seating.
- The Bubble – If you are looking for a more casual feeling restaurant then The Bubble Bar & Restaurant may be the perfect choice for you. Both the food itself and the atmosphere are very casual, but the food is no less excellent for it. You will find a variety of international options here, each prepared carefully to reflect the true flavors of where the dish comes from. In addition to the delicious menu items The Bubble also offers great views of the Matterhorn as well, which is the number one reason that most people visit Zermatt to begin with. The menu at The Bubble is fairly extensive and includes all different types of items to choose from. Some of the most popular menu items served at this great restaurant include the Garlic Mushrooms Topped w/ Cheese, the Samosas w/ Mango Chutney, the Falafels w/ Minted Yogurt Dip and Cucumber Sticks, the Chicken Korma (which is curry chicken with lentils and tomatoes, coriander, almonds, and yogurt, served w/ rice, poppadoms, and chutney), the Rump Steak (which is grilled w/ house spices and served with coleslaw and a potato), and the Bubble Original Burger (seasoned with rosemary and thyme and served on a sesame bun with all the fixings). The menu at The Bubble offers a diverse selection of dishes to choose from, which is why it is the perfect place to dine if you are looking for something other than Swiss food.
To be sure, you will no doubt want to enjoy some Swiss specialties while you are staying in Zermatt, but for a little variety in your life any of these places would surely be a treat. And that is what a holiday is all about, a week full of such delicious culinary treats, both in regards to international dishes as well as local flavors.