Switzerland is home to some hearty traditional cuisine, enjoy the opportunity to indulge in some seriously indulgent feasting. With a mountainous landscape perfect for decadent skiing holidays, vast lakes and unique climate, and discover delicious Swiss food to enjoy. Treat yourself to a meal at a traditional Swiss inn, a stylish new place with an urban garden, a fine dining establishment known far beyond the national borders, or a place you might visit on a daytrip with panoramic views of the Alps.
The Swiss country is loaded with delicious recipes that have us drooling just at the sight of them. Swiss food is heavily influenced by German, French and Italian cuisines, the cultural variations you will discover in Switzerland are also reflected in the foods with particular recipes taking on a regional flavour. As a result, many traditional Swiss dishes tend to be relatively plain and are made from basic ingredients, such as potatoes and Swiss cheese. However, many dishes have crossed the language borders and become firm favourites throughout Switzerland.
Switzerland is not only famous for its traditional cuisine and Alpine flavors, but also offers a lot of international options in the big cities. Among foreign cuisines, Italian cuisine is well received in Switzerland, and Turkish and Asian cuisines are also popular. In addition to the famous Swiss chocolate, there is also a large selection of delicious pastry sweets. Breakfast in Switzerland is a chic experience, and the high street is filled with coffee shops and taverns. Fast food and street food in Switzerland are also worth trying.
The great cultural diversity within Switzerland is also reflected in the great number of regional or local specialties. Switzerland is a gourmet’s paradise to be explored afresh wherever you go as the menu in addition to a modest number of national dishes mainly features regional specialities. The great variety of Swiss gastronomy at a glance, so you can quickly and easily find the perfect restaurant: A traditional tavern, light cuisine in a modern restaurant with an urban garden, a gourmet temple for connoisseurs or a tourist restaurant with views over the lake or of mountains.
Fine chocolate, exquisite wines and different kinds of cheese. Swiss beer and regional sausages are less famous, but just as delicious. Well-known Swiss dishes include raclette and fondue (molten cheese eaten with bread or potatoes), rösti (fried grated potatoes), muesli (an oatmeal breakfast dish) and Zürcher Geschnetzeltes (veal and mushrooms on a cream sauce).
The association Kulinarisches Erbe der Schweiz (Culinary Heritage of Switzerland) was founded in 2004 and from 2004 to 2009 for the first time gathered details of the production, features and historical background of traditional foods of Switzerland across cantonal and regional boundaries. To date approximately 400 products have been researched and published in an inventory.
Switzerland is famous for its world-class cuisine and hospitality. Switzerland is also a centre of natural gastronomy, where regionality and sustainability become part of the enjoyment. These traditional Swiss restaurants offer authentic experiences in original settings: hearty specialities that usually have their roots here too are served up in a farmhouse in the Emmental region, a village inn or a historical auberge.
Cheese fondue – Melted cheese with bread cubes. The bread cubes are picked up on the fork and swivelled in the melted cheese, which is served in a traditional ceramic fondue pot called ‘caquelon’.
Raclette – Melted cheese served with “Gschwellti” (jacket potatoes), cocktail gherkins and onions as well as pickled fruit.
Älplermagronen – A kind of gratin with potatoes, macaroni, cheese, cream and onions. And most importantly, stewed apple on the side.
Rösti – A flat, hot cake made of grated, cooked jacket or raw potatoes and fried in hot butter or fat. The dish is bound by nothing apart from the starch contained in the potatoes.
Birchermüesli – Developed around about 1900 by the Swiss doctor Maximilian Oskar Bircher-Brenner, it contains oat flakes, lemon juice, condensed milk, grated apples, hazelnuts or almonds.
Swiss chocolate – Chocolate came to Europe in the course of the 16th century, by the 17th century at the very latest it became known and was produced in Switzerland as well. In the second half of the 19th century Swiss chocolate started to gain a reputation abroad. The invention of milk chocolate by Daniel Peter as well as the development of conching (fondant chocolate) by Rodolphe Lindt were closely connected with the rise of Swiss chocolate’s renown.
But Switzerland not only exported chocolate, its chocolatiers went abroad as well and their names remain well-known to this day: the Josty brothers, who opened their famous chocolate shop in Berlin or Salomon Wolf and Tobias Béranger who ran the famous Café Chinois in St. Petersburg. The Cloetta brothers opened chocolate factories in Scandinavia while Karl Fazer established the first confectionary shop in Helsinki; later this developed into the Cloetta-Fazer brand. Even Belgian chocolate has Swiss roots: Jean Neuhaus opened a confectionary shop in Brussels and his son Frédéric in 1912 invented the praline chocolate.
Swiss cheese – One could quite easily explore Switzerland travelling from cheese dairy to cheese dairy. Each area of the country, each region has its own types of cheese – the diversity of products created from one single base ingredient – good Swiss milk – is quite astonishing! Such as, for example, the soft and melting Vacherin cheese. The aromatic Appenzeller. The full-flavoured Sbrinz. The Emmentaler, famous for its big holes. The world-famous Gruyère. Or the Tête de Moine which is shaved into decorative rosettes.
There are about 450 other cheese siblings make a fondue, a raclette, an «afternoon snack platter» a culinary experience. By the way, the stalls of farmers and cheese merchants at the weekly markets are a true treasure trove. Many of the cheeses sold there come straight from the Alpine pastures and are cut from the wheel. The many demonstration cheese dairies and Alpine cheese cellars are also well worth a visit.
Swiss Food Tours
There are many regional dishes in Switzerland. One example is Zürcher Geschnetzeltes, thin strips of veal with mushrooms in a cream sauce typically served with rösti. Italian cuisine is popular in contemporary Switzerland, particularly pasta and pizza. Foods often associated with Switzerland include particular types of cheese and milk chocolate. Swiss cheeses, in particular Emmental, Gruyère, Vacherin, and Appenzeller, are famous Swiss products. The most popular cheese dishes are fondue and raclette. Both these dishes were originally regional dishes, but were popularized by the Swiss Cheese Union to boost sales of cheese.
Visiting an alpine cheese-maker feasting on a gourmet safari. Walk among the vines, a visit to a winery or an overnight stay in a vineyard. In addition to high-quality wines, Switzerland also offers an enormous variety of experiences and activities. Whether you are a wine buff or just enjoy a glass at dinner, there is much just waiting to be discovered in the winegrowing country of Switzerland.
The Alpine sea buckthorn is the lemon of the mountains – it is used by the shooting star of Swiss gourmet gastronomy Sven Wassmer, star chef of the multiple award-winning restaurant “Memories”. Harvested by hand at an altitude of 1600 metres, Alpine sea buckthorn finds its way onto the plate of gourmet cuisine – in Switzerland, nature is put on the plate.
Rösti is a popular potato dish that is eaten all over Switzerland. It was originally a breakfast food, but this has been replaced by the muesli, which is commonly eaten for breakfast and in Switzerland goes by the name of “Birchermüesli” (“Birchermiesli” in some regions). For breakfast and dinner many Swiss enjoy sliced bread with butter and jam. There is a wide variety of bread rolls available in Switzerland. Bread and cheese is a popular dish for dinner. Tarts and quiches are also traditional Swiss dishes. Tarts in particular are made with all sorts of toppings, from sweet apple to onion.
High above Lake Uri, in the rocky mountain landscape surrounding the Lidernen Hut, the air smells of fresh grass, cool earth, aromatic herbs and lush flowers – humble resources for unique fine hut dining. Head to Lake Sils in the Engadin if you’re yearning for the shore: at Restaurant Murtaröl, Antonio Walther serves up fabulous fish delicacies, fascinating stories and sumptuous smoked delights.
In the Italian-speaking part of Switzerland, the Ticino area, one will find a type of restaurant unique to the region. The Grotto is a rustic eatery, offering traditional food ranging from pasta to homemade meat specialties. Popular dishes are Luganighe and Luganighetta, a type of artisan sausages. Authentic grottoes are old wine caves re-functioned into restaurants. Due to their nature they are mostly found in or around forests and built against a rocky background. Typically, the facade is built from granite blocks and the outside tables and benches are made of the same stone as well. Grottoes are popular with locals and tourists alike, especially during the hot summer months.
Western Switzerland is home to a couple of regional dishes and products. Fish dishes are popular around lakes Geneva, Neuchâtel and Biel with powan, perch and trout being the most commonly served. On the shores of Lake Biel in particular, saucissons containing spent grain and cooked in distilling kettles feature on the menu. Cholera, a kind of vegetable which hails from the Valais. It owes its name to the fact that it was created as a result of the hardship during a cholera epidemic.
Cheese is mainstay of this region. Cheese fondue, raclette and Croute au fromage, a Swiss version of cheese on toast (Valais) also come from the French-speaking part of Switzerland and these days are well known throughout Switzerland.
The most famous is probably Gruyère, the production of which can be witnessed in the town of Gruyères. This is also supposedly the birth region of fondue, so head to Fribourg for a taste of the traditional moitié-moitié fondue. There are also numerous local cheeses which are worth a try: The Tomme Vaudoise is a mild, soft cheese from the Vaud region. The Tête de Moine (monks head) is a semi-hard cheese usually eating with the help of a special scraping device.
Meat lovers will find their share of local dishes as well: The Saucisson vaudois is a boiled pork sausage traditionally eating with leek and potatoes. These are served either poached or cooked on vegetables (Papé Vaudois) Atriaux is a product made of minced pork and pork liver wrapped in crépine (the fat lining of a pig stomach) and if you are getting a cut of meat, you might get it with Café de Paris sauce.
Dessert Gâteau du Vully (cream tart) and Moutarde de Bénichon (very sweet mustard) are popular specialities which, like the Cuchaule AOP (typical saffron bread), both originate from the canton of Fribourg as does the. The Bénichon Fete which takes place in autumn offers the perfect opportunity to enjoy the specialities of this region.
Quite a number of Swiss chocolate brands are produced in this region. Notable examples are Cailler (visit the factory in Broc), Camille-Bloch (producer of Ragusa chocolate), Villars (from Fribourg) and Favarger (produced in Geneva).
The Appenzeller “Biberli” is a gingerbread which is pressed into a wooden mould to make it look like a picture. Other specialities the Appenzell is famous for include: Appenzeller cheese, the Appenzeller cheese tart and the Appenzeller scalded sausages. In terms of drinks, the Appenzeller Alpenbitter is famous throughout Switzerland.
As the capital of Switzerland, also a popular tourist destination, eating a traditional Swiss restaurant in Berne can be expensive, most Bernese natives prefer Italian, Asian, or other non-local cuisine. Bern is famous for its wholesome Berner Platte – a sumptuous dish containing a variety of meat and sausages such as beef, smoked pork and beef tongue, smoked belly of pork, smoked pork chops, pork shoulder, knuckle of pork, tongue sausage and pigs ears or tails which are cooked with juniper-spiced sauerkraut, pickled turnips, green and/or dried beans (shukky beans) and boiled potatoes on a large platter. The traditional Zibelechueche (onion tart) is associated with the Zibelemärit (onion market), which takes place every year in November.
The Bernese Haselnusslebkuchen (hazelnut gingerbread) is in fact not really a gingerbread at all as it doesn’t contain many of the typical gingerbread ingredients. Honey, for example, is added to hazelnut gingerbread in very modest amounts, if at all, and of the many exotic spices which are normally contained in gingerbread, the Bernese speciality only features cinnamon. The Bernese Haselnusslebkuchen is created without a grain of flour or drop of water. Instead the sweet pastry consists of an aromatic dough made of ground hazelnuts, sugar and egg white. The sweet Meitschibei biscuit is also made with hazelnuts. Meringues, usually with a generous helping of whipped cream are served as a dessert throughout the canton of Bern.
There are a number of culinary specialties originating in Basel, including Basler Läckerli cookies and Mässmogge candies. Being located in the meeting place between Switzerland, France and Germany the culinary landscape as a whole is very varied and diverse, making it a city with a great number of restaurants of all sorts. Basel has a thriving restaurant and café culture, and the streets of the old town are lined with outdoor seating in the summer.
Basel counts Basler flour soup which is traditionally served during the carnival (Fasnacht) with cheese and onion tart as well as suuri Lääberli (sour, liver strips) and sweet Basler Leckerli, small, relatively hard gingerbread biscuits with a delicious sugar icing among its most best-known dishes. Mässmogge are colourful thumb-length sweets filled with a brown hazelnut mixture. Mässmögge are a regional and seasonal speciality of the City of Basel. However, they are also sold at other Swiss fetes and fairs as well. The Mässmogge season reaches its climax at the Basel Autumn Fair (Basler Herbstmesse) at the end of October.
Well-known and popular throughout Switzerland, Älplermagronen (macaroni, potatoes, cheese, cream and roasted onions) hail from Central Switzerland as do a whole variety of cheese dishes. Also famous are Luzerner Chügelipastete (a vol-au-vent filled with sausage meat balls in a white sauce), stews such as Hafenchabis (lamb or pork stew with cabbage) and Stunggis (pork and vegetable stew).
Sbrinz is an extra-hard, full fat cheese made of raw milk. A wheel of Sbrinz weighs between 25 and 45 kilograms. This cheese is „blind”, i.e. it doesn’t have any holes, and is slightly brittle which makes it particularly suitable for grating. Its flavour is a little salty and full-bodied. Sbrinz is quite simply the quintessential cheese of Central Switzerland, a fact born out by the area it is produced in which includes the cantons of Lucerne, Schwyz, Obwalden and Nidwalden as well as Zug. Sbrinz is also produced in a small number of locations in the Oberaargau and the canton of Bern. The extra hard cheese is sold in shops and at wholesalers throughout Switzerland.
Frying cheese is a full fat semi-hard cheese. A wheel weights between 750 grammes to 1.1 kilograms. It has a mild flavour and typically has a slightly sour aroma. Frying cheese is common in the cantons of Obwalden and Nidwalden where it is regarded as a local speciality. Meanwhile it is almost exclusively produced in Obwalden and Nidwalden valley cheese dairies from pasteurised milk. In the Unterwalden mountains however, cheese makers use raw milk.
The gastronomy of the Grisons is mostly known for a dried-beef delicacy called Bündnerfleisch, often simply referred to as Grisons Meat. Traditional Romansch foods include Capuns, Rosti and Pizokel. Rosti is shredded potatoes, fried, with cheese melted on top. Occasionally, bacon and a fried egg are added on top of the rosti. Other meat specialities include dried sausages (especially Salsiz, made of various meats), speck and ham.
Pizzoccheri (a stew made with buckwheat pasta and a variety of vegetables and cheese), Capuns (rolls made of chard or cos lettuce and filled with Spätzle dough), Maluns (grated potatoes mixed with flour and cooked slowly in butter), Churer meat tart and Birnbrot (a thin layer of bread dough filled with a mixture of fruit, nuts and dough) are all typical Grisons dishes. Then there is the Grisons barley soup(with bacon), the Plain in Pigna (a kind of rösti with bacon and sausage) and, last but not least, the Bündnerfleisch (an air-dried raw salt meat made from beef leg. It is usually rectangular, of a firm consistency and a deep red colour in the centre).
Cheeses produced in the Grisons are also numerous. Among notable dishes are the Capuns, predominantly made in the western part of the Grisons. Capuns consist of hearty dumplings with pieces of meat wrapped in chard leaves, then gratinated in oven with cheese and cream. The Maluns are another well-known dish of the Grisons. They are made of boiled potatoes mixed with flour, then fried in butter. Maluns are typically served with a compote of apples and various other local products such as cheeses and meat specialities. The Pizzoccheri are another dish, essentially eaten in the valley of Poschiavo. They consist of buckwheat noodles, cooked with potatoes, vegetables and cheese.
The emblematic dessert of the Grisons is the Bündner Nusstorte. It is essentially a shortcrust pastry filled with a mix of caramelized walnuts and honey. A true culinary showpiece and export hit is the Bündner Nusstorte (short crust tart with a nut filling) which is not to be confused with the Engadiner Torte (layered cake with two to three thing shortcrust layers, vanilla butter cream and Florentine top). Another similar pastry, but containing chestnuts instead, the Torta di Castagne, is made in the southern valleys, especially in the Val Bregaglia.
Nothing can be more St. Gallen than the OLMA bratwurst. You can get a juicy OLMA bratwurst, served with a hard roll, at a number of street stands around Marktplatz and around the entire city. The OLMA bratwurst comes from St. Gallen and gets its name from the Swiss Agricultural and Food Fair St. Gall called OLMA. It is considered the nation’s favourite sausage for barbecuing or frying. True connoisseurs know that this sausage is best eaten without mustard because this allows the full aroma of the meat to unfold. In fact, people from Eastern Switzerland generally consider it an insult if the sausage is eaten with mustard. Bratwurst connoisseurs recommend picking the sausage up in the hand to eat it rather than using a knife and fork. All you need with it is some bread, ideally a traditional “Bürli” roll.
The barbecue sausage is not only available during the OLMA fair but is omnipresent at other times and in other places too, such as at fairs, barbecue parties and sausage stalls. But the bratwurst takes on yet another guise when it is fried with rösti in a pan to create the highly traditional bratwurst with onion sauce dish. Experts estimate that an unbelievable 45 million bratwursts are devoured in Switzerland per year. That equals an impressive 6.5 sausages per head per year. The St. Galler Schüblig, another sausage, is also popular. St. Gallen has its own brewery that makes at least two beers that are definitely worth a try. These are the “St. Galler Klosterbräu” and the “Schwarzer Bär”.
There are numerous delicatessen specialties (such as boiled luganighe, typical with carnival risotto, grilled luganighetta); polenta (both yellow and gray) cooked on the fire, with cheese, milk or meat (stew, rabbit, stew, etc.); baked kid, especially at Easter; in the grottoes one can still find good soaked fish; game in autumn, especially salmì and saddle of roe deer. Among the desserts, we note the panettone (a tradition shared with Milan), the amaretti (excellent those with kirsch) and some regional specialties, especially biscuits.
Polenta, along with chestnuts and potatoes, was for centuries one of the staple foods in Ticino, and it remains a mainstay of local cuisine. Polenta, a maize puree which in this area is mixed with cheese and served as a main dish or accompaniment (typically, for example, with rabbit cut into strips) comes from the Ticino. Nowadays, the most typical dishes are polenta, often served with meat (such as rabbit) and gravy sauce, and risotto, often with saffron.
Local products of Ticino, called Nostrani, include a large variety of cheeses, meat specialities such as salami and prosciutto, and wines, especially red merlot. Olive oil is produced in small quantities but olive cultivation is growing in the canton.
The cylinder-shaped Zincarlìn is a typical fresh cheese from the Valle di Muggio. It is made from cows or cows and goats milk and seasoned with black pepper. It has to ripen for two months in a natural cellar before going on sale.
Sweet products of Ticino notably include the Torta di Pane, a cake made with stale bread softened in milk and containing dried and candied fruits, and Panettone, a yeast-leavened bread containing candied fruits.
Amaretti are delicious, small Italian macaroons made of whipped egg white, sugar, ground almonds and/or apricot kernels. They rise a lot during baking and turn into wonderfully airy and crunchy biscuits.
During the winter months, Marroni (sweet chestnuts) are available throughout Switzerland. They are sold either roasted and hot at the roadside or in form of vermicelli (cooked, mixed with sugar and then forced through a press to create a spaghetti effect) as a dessert. A whole range of products made with chestnuts are available at the many chestnut fetes in the Ticino. These include bread, pasta, praline chocolates, spreads etc.
Zurich’s cuisine knows no limits when it comes to food, this is reflected in the outstanding quality and readiness to experiment in the food mecca, Zurich. The traditional cuisine of Zürich reflects the centuries of rule by patrician burghers as well as the lasting imprint of Huldrych Zwingli’s puritanism. Traditional dishes include Zürcher Geschnetzeltes and Tirggel.
Zürcher Geschnetzelte, a veal dish, sometimes also containing veal liver and mushrooms, served with a cream sauce and rösti is well-known throughout Switzerland. Hüppen are biscuits rolled into a tube shape and usually filled with a chocolate mixture. Hüppen are part of the wafer family, many types of which are common in Switzerland. Other wafer biscuits associated with Zurich are Offleten. They are made of an equally brittle, extremely thin pastry but are disc-shaped and consequently not filled. They are the opposite to soft waffles which are best eaten warm. At Christmas Tirggel, dry honey biscuits, baked in special picture moulds are available in Zurich.
Besides regional specialties, food lovers can find international trends, new interpretations, and culinary rarities. The widely-traveled Zurich chefs love to combine their inspirations from far-off lands with local produce. Many Zurich chefs buy the fresh produce for their dishes directly from the market or team up with local producers. When it comes to wine, cheese, vegetables, or fish.
Taste local specialties when traveling to different places. Among Zurich’s culinary classics are “Luxemburgerli”, “Birchermüesli”, and “Züri Gschnätzlets”. The most iconic restaurants, including some with a tradition stretching back 100 years and more. The locals love a hearty breakfast. Like-minded visitors will find a huge selection of restaurants and cafés in Zurich that serve breakfast. Those who want to discover Zurich in a particularly indulgent way can take part in a culinary city tour.
Comfort Food focus is much more on healing the soul with comfort food. In Summer, Zurich brings a real Mediterranean feel. At this time of year, many people spend much of their time outdoors. Countless restaurants and bars entice guests outside into the open air: onto the shores of Lake Zurich, into secluded gardens, or to the popular “Badi-Bars”.
Fondue (melted cheese in a central pot, dip bread into it) and Raclette (cheese melted in small portions, served with potatoes and pickles) are commonly available at restaurants. Grilled bratwurst from street stands, served with a large crusty roll of sourdough bread and mustard, or sandwiches made with fresh baked bretzeln.
The bread available in Zürich is generally delicious. There are many varieties, and your best bet is to go to a bakery or a supermarket in the morning or just after work hours, when most people are doing their shopping and bread is coming out fresh. A typically Swiss bread is the zopf, a b.raided soft bread that is commonly served on Sundays. For breakfast, try a bowl of müesli, which was invented as a health food in Switzerland. The Sprüngli confectionery store tea rooms serve a deluxe version of this fiber-filled cereal with whole milk, crushed berries and cream.
There’s a huge variety of chocolates to enjoy, from the cheapest chocolate bar to individually handmade truffles. Like most European cities, Zürich abounds with cafés where you can enjoy a leisurely cup of coffee, glass of wine or other beverage.
There are many international dining options available too. The current hot trend seems to be pan-Asian noodle, rice, and sushi places. The Italian cuisine holds the highest popularity among the foreign restaurants. They can be found throughout the city and are relatively cheap. Turkish fast food restaurants are also a delicious, cheap option.
The Zuger Kirschtorte is a round, approximately five-centimetre high cake consisting of a biscuit centre which is soaked in kirsch and placed between two short japonaise layers. Inside the cake, two thin layers of butter cream contain the kirsch. Butter cream is also spread over the top and sides or the cake. In terms of taste, the Zuger Kirschtorte is delicate, creamy and crunchy with the flavour of kirsch and butter cream dominating. As the name suggests, the Zuger Kirschtorte comes from Zug. It is made in many cake shops throughout Switzerland, mainly on a commercial basis as making this speciality is very elaborate.
Rivella, a carbonated Swiss drink based on lactose, is one of the most popular drinks in Switzerland. Apple juice, both still and sparkling, is popular in many areas of Switzerland, and is also produced in the form of apple cider. The chocolate drink Ovomaltine (known in the USA as “Ovaltine”) originates in Switzerland and enjoys ongoing popularity, particularly with young people. Aside from being a beverage, the powder is also eaten sprinkled on top of a slice of buttered bread.
Absinthe is being distilled officially again in its Val-de-Travers birthplace, in the Jura region of Switzerland, where it originated. Damassine is a liqueur produced by distillation of the Damassine prune from the Damassinier tree and is produced in the canton of Jura. Bon Pere William is a famous regional Swiss brandy produced from pears, alcohol 43% by volume. It is usually paired with fondue or raclette dishes or taken after dinner, sometimes poured in coffee with dessert. Some bottles are available with the full size pear inside the bottle, grown with the bud placed in the bottle. There are many other types of regional brandies made from local fruit, the most popular being cherries (kirschwasser).
Gazzosa ticinese, a soft drink available in lemon and a number of other flavours, is one of the most popular beverages from Ticino, and is also common in other regions of Switzerland. Gazosa is a clear, non-alcoholic, sweetened fizzy lemonade from Italy and the canton of Ticino. From the Misox, south of the Alps, hails the Gazosa “La Fiorenzana”. It owes its name to a medieval tower in Grono. Right next to it, the Ponzio-Tonna family has been producing its fruity drinks following original recipes since 1921. The original lemonade is available in eight flavours nowadays. Gazosa is extremely popular throughout Switzerland particularly in fashionable bars.
It usually comes in flip-top bottles. The estimate for the production of gazzosa in Ticino is 7–8 million bottles a year. Food and wine were historically conserved in grottos, which were ubiquitous stone structures built in shadowy and fresh areas. They have become rustic, family-run open-air restaurants in the latter part of the 20th century. They serve traditional food and local wine (usually Merlot or similar), often in a little ceramic jug known as boccalino, which is also a popular souvenir for tourists.
Wine is produced in many regions of Switzerland, particularly the Valais, the Vaud, the Ticino, Neuchâtel and the canton of Zurich. Riesling X Sylvaner is a common white wine produced in German-speaking parts of the country, while Chasselas is the most common white wine in the French-speaking parts of the country. Pinot noir is the most popular red grape in both the French-speaking and the German-speaking part, while this position is held by Merlot in the Italian-speaking part. In addition to high-quality wines, Switzerland also offers an enormous variety of experiences and activities. Whether you are a wine buff or just enjoy a glass at dinner, there is much just waiting to be discovered in the winegrowing country of Switzerland.
Follow the educational wine trail with its historic dry-stone walls to the St. Jodern Wine Cellar, where you’ll have the chance to find out more about local wine culture and sample some local wines. After lunch, you’ll head to Visperterminen for a circular walk along the Bisse de Beitra, with magnificent views of the Bietschhorn and Matterhorn. The St. Gallen Rhine Valley is one of the most beautiful hiking regions and holiday resorts in Switzerland. Its dreamlike valley location between Lake Constance, Sargans and Altenrhein.
Hiking in the home of the Johannisberg grape, fortifying them for the hike through the vineyards of Chamoson, passing the Romanesque church of Saint-Pierre-de-Clages along the way. Lunch is served at the highest point of this viticultural trail, with views of the Rhone Valley. Tasting and tour of a wine cellar in the home of the Johannisberg grape.
As of October 2018, the House of Wine in Berneck is a new hub for products from regional winegrowers. It is open to the public and holds tastings of regional wine and other local products. This can be combined with an expert guided tour of the Rhine Valley wine region. Wine lovers can explore the history of viticulture here along a wine trail or learn interesting facts about winemaking in the past.
Wines in Grisons are essentially produced in the Bündner Herrschaft. In the vineyards between Fläsch and Malans, 42 types of vines are found, Pinot Noir being the most popular. Wines are also naturally produced in the southern valleys but in smaller quantities. The valley of the Mesolcina is contiguous with the Ticino wine region and that of Poschiavo is contiguous with the Valtellina wine region. Numerous breweries can be found in the canton as well. The largest, located at Chur, is Calanda Bräu.