Whether you are a visitor or a local, the following is a list of some of the best cafés in Zurich.
Bahnhofstrasse 21, 8001 Zürich
If you could only visit one coffee shop in Zurich, it would have to be Confiserie Sprüngli. The main café and restaurant is situated at Paradeplatz, a busy tram interchange located on the main street, Bahnhofstrasse. The old-fashioned café and restaurant upstairs is a popular place to grab a coffee with a buttery pastry or one of their delectable cakes on display. I highly recommend the Café Gourmand which is comprised of a coffee of your choice, along with a small selection of mini cakes, chocolate truffles and macarons. On offer is also a traditional breakfast menu, including their famed Bircher Muesli and various egg dishes, as well as an excellent lunch menu featuring Swiss cuisine. Their Pastetli, or puff pastry shells filled with a creamy meat or vegetable sauce (much like the French vol-au-vents), are a delicious option.
You can generally find a seat on weekdays outside of the busy lunch hours, and there is often a queue on weekends. Reservations by phone are sometimes accepted. If you can’t find a seat upstairs, you might have some luck downstairs in their more modern café bar with alfresco seating options in nice weather. But note that the café bar downstairs has a more limited food menu.
Kappelergasse 16, 8001 Zürich
This coffee shop is located in one of the prettiest courtyards in Zurich, its fountain providing a calming respite in the middle of the bustling city. The café is oddly located in two separate buildings, separated by an open corridor, which means the waiters have to scurry to and fro to fetch and serve your coffee. In nice weather, there is ample seating in the courtyard, which makes it a nice place for young children to run around while you sit and chat with a friend over an expertly brewed coffee. Or better still, order the kiddies a Babycino and they can join you. The usual range of coffee is on offer, including Flat Whites and Cortados. Their chocolate croissants are to die for.
Sihltalstrasse 20, 8001 Zürich
Situated just off Bahnhofstrasse, this cosy but spacious coffee shop is a great place to stop in between shopping at the nearby department stores. A small selection of cakes and pastries are on offer in the morning – you should try their Vanillekipferli (custard-filled croissant) for a decadent treat with your coffee. Aussies will be happy to find Flat Whites on offer here.
Limmatquai 118, 8001 Zürich
If you find yourself in the Old Town or the Niederdorf, or maybe you have some time to kill before boarding your next train at the main station, this is a great little café to visit for a cold drink or caffeine fix. In sunny weather, grab a table outside, overlooking the Limmat river.
Bleicherweg 10, 8002 Zürich
A popular coffee spot, just around the corner from the main banking district near Paradeplatz, is this cosy bar and café with its serious coffee for serious coffee drinkers. Some seats are available next to the large open windows, as well as two highly-coveted plush leather sofas by the entrance, but it is mostly standing room at this bar. Those in search of a morning coffee will also find delicious Italian pastries, including ricotta-filled cannolis and a selection of cream-filled croissants. In the evenings, the crowd will typically spill out onto the footpath, a sign of a popular hangout with the bankers working nearby.
Le Raymond Bar
Bleicherweg 8, 8001 Zürich
Just a short stroll from Paradeplatz is Le Raymond Bar, perhaps the only coffee shop in the city with a beautiful terrace over-looking one of the pretty canals, making it the perfect spot to relax when the weather is warm and sunny. Inside you will find a retro-inspired bar, complete with cosy leather booths. Please click here for a more comprehensive review of Le Raymond Bar.
Limmatplatz 7, 8005 Zürich
Kreis 5 is one of the multicultural hot-spots in Zurich city with a bustling foodie scene; this is the place to head for the best Italian pizzas, Morrocan tagines, and Vietnamese Pho. At the main tram stop, Limmatplatz, you will find Café Lang with its generic facade. But once you step inside, you will be transported back to a cosy, but classy, era with antique wooden chairs and marble tabletops.
Café du Bonheur
Zypressenstrasse 115, 8004 Zürich
This is more of a neighbourhood coffee shop, but the ambiance is always lovely, the food is top-notch and, more importantly, the coffee is very good. Please click here for a more comprehensive review of Café du Bonheur.