Whether you are a visitor or a local, the following is a list of some of the best Zurich cafés.
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.
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.
Grande Café & Bar
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.
Molkenstrasse 16, 8004 Zürich
Set in the former grand Credit Suisse building at the busy Helvetiaplatz, the name of this café is a nod to the previous tenant, but that is about it. The décor is bright and modern, and the clientele are mostly locals in this hip (and once red-light) district.
Breakfast is highly recommended at this joint, not least because the artisan bakery, John Baker, has a branch on-site to offer some of the best breads and pastries in the city.
Lindentreppe, Strehlgasse 26, 8001 Zürich
Up until recently, espresso bars were almost non-existent in Zurich. Pretty much all cafés in Zurich were sit-down locations, with the exception of Starbucks where you could also buy take-away coffee.
Since then, many boutique coffee shops have sprung up around Zurich, offering both in-house and takeaway coffee, but ViCAFE is one of the few businesses to only offer the latter. You can spot their popular location at Bellevue by the long queues often outside their hole-in-the-wall location, just opposite the busy tram interchange.
Several other locations exist around the city, including a new and highly-coveted spot on Bahnhofstrasse just near the Zurich main train station.
If you are looking for expertly brewed coffee on the go, look for a ViCAFE location near you.
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.
Café & Conditorei 1842
Napfgasse 4, 8001 Zürich
More commonly known by the locals as the former Café Schober, this is a cosy and old-fashioned coffee shop tucked away in the Old Town. The décor may not be to everyone’s taste, but their selection of cakes and pastries are undeniably exquisite. Popular choices include their plum crumble cake, almond croissants and macarons.