How good is the vegetarian buffet lunch in Zurich, at the Hiltl Sihlpost at the main Station Zurich HB? Vegetarian dishes for over 100 years – If that’s not a guarantee of tasty food! With the founding of the first Hiltl restaurant in Zurich in 1898, Haus Hiltl in Sihlstrasse, a foundation stone was laid for meat-free nutrition. Haus Hiltl is even a record holder in the Guinness Book of Records, as the oldest vegetarian restaurant in the world. Now run by the 4th generation, Hiltl has continued to expand, and in addition to Haus Hiltl, numerous new restaurants and even a vegetarian butcher’s shop have been added. One of the newest restaurants is the Hiltl Sihlpost in the former venerable post office building on Europaplatz, right next to Zurich’s main railway station.
When you enter the Hiltl Sihlpost, you grab a warm plate, or a plastic bowl if the food is to go, and go straight to the buffet on the left. There are hot and cold dishes on two levels. Each serving container with a sign informing not only about the name of the dish, but also about the ingredients. The vegetarian version of “Zürcher Geschnetzeltem”, for example, is offered here with Seitan and mushrooms. There is really a lot on offer, from various curries to deep-fried to purely cooked vegetables and side dishes like Volkornspätzli. It’s really hard to choose.
In the end, I decided on a small selection of almost everything. Because, very importantly, the entire plate is weighed. You pay according to the weight of the food; for 100 g you pay 4.50 CHF, which is currently around 3.95€. With the full plate, you then go to the bar with the cash registers, seen from the entrance on the right. By the way, these are the original post office counters from the 1930s. Very chic. I was a little shocked when I paid. Because, although I didn’t fill my plate “to get full”, but rather as a “snack in between”, the price was quite high (even by Zurich standards, in my opinion). 17 francs were charged for my almost 400 g plate of vegan and vegetarian food. Almost 15 euros, but at least there is free tap water to drink. Check out recommendations for other Resturants in Zurich, offering meat-free meals as well.
At around 3 pm on Sunday, Hiltl Sihlpost was already very busy, but luckily I was able to get a table for two. Hiltl even recommends choosing a seat first, reserving it with a jacket and then going to the buffet/checkout. If you want to eat on the spot and not take the food with you on the train or to the airport, you should really remember to book in advance.
Surprisingly, I didn’t like all the dishes on my plate (I’m just not a tofu enthusiast, and tortellini with spinach in tomato sauce really don’t need tofu as a filling…), but I will try Hiltl again in the future. Then maybe the Hiltl roof terrace, the Hiltl Haus where you can also dine a la carte, or nicely by the water in one of the Hiltl by the lake. Or just before my next departure from Zurich, I could stop at the Hiltl Sihlpost for a healthy snack before my flight. Absolutely recommendable, however, are the falafels (next time get a box to take away with falafel, hummus and some salad and take it to a cosy bench at Bürklilpatz, by the lake)!
Address Hiltl Sihlpost: Europaallee 1A 8004 Zurich, Switzerland
Opening hours: Monday to Saturday 6 am to 11 pm Sunday 8 am to 10 pm (with brunch)