When considering the best European cuisines, Switzerland isn't a country that immediately springs to mind. Maybe you love French patisseries or you're a big fan of all things Italian. Most people merely consider Switzerland a haven for cheese and chocolate, and assume that is all it has to offer. Having been lucky enough to live there for the past 9 years, I can confidently tell you that the Swiss food scene has a lot to offer. Ok, so it may be a little on the pricier side, but there is no doubt in my mind it should be on every food lover's bucket list.

1. Cheese

Carla Neiss

Ok, so this is the very obvious food that Switzerland is famous for, but that doesn't mean you can skip it during a visit. I could talk about Swiss cheese for hours, but let me keep it simple. If you're looking for melted cheese, have some raclette or fondue. Make sure to try fondue in different cantons, as every region has their own mix. Otherwise, if you're more of a cheese board lover, there's a huge selection of hard and soft cheeses. Just hit up the nearest cheese shop and enjoy.

2. Chocolate

chocolate, milk, milk chocolate, candy, sweet, chocolate bar
Amanda Evertz

Along with cheese, chocolate is a well-established Swiss food. In fact, Switzerland eats the most chocolate per capita. It would be a crime to leave the country without having even a little chocolate. Everyone knows Toblerone, but if you're looking for a classic chocolate bar try some Cailler or hit up Läderach if you're feeling fancy and want an unimaginable range of flavours. If you're seeking some extra chocolate knowledge, plan a visit to the Maison Cailler to discover how the magic is made.

3. Rösti

Carla Neiss

This is quite possibly the best invention ever. It's simply grated potatoes that are fried in a pan, and often covered in melted cheese. Feeling healthy? Order it with grilled vegetables. Wanting to jazz it up a little? Add some bacon and a fried egg. The best part about this Swiss food is that it's acceptable to eat at both breakfast and dinner. 

4. Crêpes

omelette, cheese
Amanda Ryvkin

Maybe it's the French influence, but crêpes are definitely loved in Switzerland. Most towns will have at least one crêperie, so they shouldn't be too hard to track down. Start off with a savoury crêpe, then move on to a sweet one for dessert. Make sure to try the crêperie's homemade ice tea.

5. Müesli

oatmeal, quinoa, muesli, rice
Ellie Haun

Müesli may be known as the really boring breakfast food your mum would force you to eat before school, but it's actually the perfect start to the morning. It was invented near Zürich by Dr. Maxmillian Bircher-Benner (hence "Birchermuesli") to promote holistic and natural healing. Most breakfast spots or hotels will offer their own variation, but if you want the real deal, then you can recreate the original using this recipe

6. Wine

alcohol, wine, red wine, Bottle, glass, pouring, liquor
Caroline Ingalls

Most people don't know this, but the Swiss love their wine. Like love their wine. It has been grown there since the Roman Empire, and most wine is consumed locally. Be sure to try the indigenous Chasselas, a typical white wine that everybody loves. For some scenery to match, be sure to visit Lavaux, the vineyards along Lake Geneva that are a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

7. Barbecues

Carla Neiss

Swiss people seem to have two main food seasons: fondue or raclette in winter, and barbecues in summer. Even if it's just for a couple pieces of fish or meat, the barbecue will be used. It's also very reasonable to have a barbecue as a lunch during a hike, with designated barbecue spots all across the country. Otherwise, pop down to the local butcher in the morning and then dine like kings while soaking up the last rays of sunshine.

8. SAC Huts

Carla Neiss

All across the Alps you'll find SAC Huts, which are run by the Swiss Alpine Club. Mostly located at the top of a mountain, they provide ideal motivation for hiking all the way up and accommodation for those people completing a mountain tour. Once you reach them, treat yourself to some Swiss food and wash it down with a beer. It is a little pricey for what you get, but very much validated when you discover that all food and drink is flown there by helicopter.

9. Markets

radish, vegetable, pasture, green beans, farmer's market, Fresh
Caroline Ingalls

Most towns in Switzerland will have a local market on a regular basis, filled with fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as cheese and bread. It very much fits in with the overall Swiss attitude towards groceries that aims to eat both locally and seasonally. 

10. Food Trucks

If you're a lover of street food and food trucks, you definitely need to visit Switzerland. Most cities will have a Streetfood Festival throughout the year with an impressive choice of stalls. Otherwise, you'll find food trucks at most events from Hot Air Balloon festivals to Carnival. Two of my best friends work at a beef tartare food truck, so don't underestimate the endless choice and quality of food.

11. Drunk Food

ham, sandwich, lettuce, bacon, bread, meat, baguette, cheese
Meredith Davin

Picture this: you've had one too many Aperol Spritz while enjoying the summer sunshine, or you've had a good time at après-ski. Enter Swiss drunk food. As opposed to the greasy chips and cheese you may be used to, we normally end up at a bakery. This results in a fabulous baguette that you'll devour in a minute flat, yet seems to work wonders in making you feel a little better in the morning.

12. Vegetarian Food

Carla Neiss

You may not expect this, but Switzerland has a pretty strong vegetarian food game. It's the proud host of the oldest vegetarian restaurant in the world, as Hiltl has been meat-free and fur-free since 1898. If you're looking for a cheaper alternative, try Tibits. With locations all across Switzerland, and now even  in London, their buffet will make you want to give up meat entirely.

13. Fine Dining


If you're a very serious foodie or just feeling fancy, then you're in luck. Switzerland actually has the most Michelin starred restaurants per inhabitant, with a total of 118 you can choose from, so you'll be spoiled for choice. Maybe see if someone else can foot the bill on this one, though.

So there you have it: the ultimate inspiration to visit Switzerland. You'll get amazing food and amazing views all rolled into one. With all the hiking you'll be doing, it'll totally be fine to over-indulge a little here and there.

Carla Neiss