The aperitif is one of the great Swiss traditions that shouldn’t be missed. Before dinner is served, friends and family gather for a course of drinks along with accompaniments like wine, bread, crackers, nuts, cured meats and sausages. A perfect reflection of Swiss hospitality and cuisine, an aperitif brings together people for an extended moment of relaxation, conversation, delicious wines and drinks, and preparedness for the amazing meal that lies ahead.
To elevate your aperitif to something you’ll never forget, visit a mountainside vineyard for a wine and walk, like the ones in Lavaux. Or a cheese tasting at the Er de Lens Alpine pastures and Tambourin wine cellar.iStockphoto.com / margouillatphotos
Foods to try in Switzerland
A special melting cheese poured over potatoes, cured meats and bread. This meal is sure to be the envy of whoever you share stories with!
Buttery potatoes cooked with a special cheese and bits of bacon, an amazing side dish — or main!
One of the most popular Swiss dishes, this meal consists of crispy shredded potatoes and onions. It can be topped with many of your favorite condiments like crème fraîche or even fried eggs!
This dish hardly needs an introduction. Traditionally, diners dip bits of bread into this bubbling pot of creamy melted cheese.
Showing the Italian influence on Swiss food and culture, polenta is popular, especially near Ticino.
A traditional Swiss semi-dried sausage, this “hunter’s” food makes for a perfect snack on a hike or on a charcuterie board.
• Emmental cheese
Switzerland is home to countless varieties of cheeses, with each unique farm producing its own special recipes. However, if there is one you can’t leave the country without trying, it is the ubiquitous Emmental. This cheese is similar to a Gruyère, but a bit milder, making for the perfect snack.
These simple and sweet confections trace their roots to the Bern region.
• Bernese plait
You are bound to come across Bernese plait, a buttery, braided loaf of bread that was once reserved only for Christmas and New Year’s.iStockphoto.com / juefraphoto
• Brunch on the Chäserugg, Eastern Switzerland
Every Sunday in the summer, the mountain peak “Gipfelrestaurant” serves a breakfast buffet. A feast for both eyes and mouth, you’ll be taking panoramic views that spread over six countries!
• Brunch to Go from Alpe Foppa, Monte Tamaro.
The recently renovated and environmentally responsible Alpe Foppa restaurant is the perfect place to have brunch before your mountain adventures. Take your locally sourced “brunch to go” on your way to your next destination, or help yourself to the buffet. Afterward, get some thrills at the summer toboggan run, zip line, rope park or children’s playground.
• Brunch Cruise on Lake Lucerne
Every Sunday, a brunch cruise serving meats, cheeses and other specialties crosses Lake Lucerne on a scenic ride.
•The name is Brunch, James Brunch
Eat brunch like 007 — or at least, where the famous mountaintop scenes of the classic “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” were filmed. The Piz Gloria restaurant lets you dine in a 360-degree rotating restaurant, giving you exceptional views.iStockphoto.com / vm
Switzerland’s culinary scene is rapidly adopting sustainable practices. This means that not only is the environmental impact lessened, but your meal will be that much fresher and that much more local.
• Auberge de l’Abbaye in Montheron, Lausanne
They say the start of your day informs the rest of it. At the Auberge de l’Abbaye, they start their day with deliveries of seasonal produce from local farmers. Then, this restaurant uses medieval cooking techniques to turn these ingredients into historic meals that you can enjoy in the present day.
• Magdalena in Rickenbach
Chef Dominik Hartmann goes above and beyond to create sustainable meals by avoiding sea fish and meat, focusing on exploring the best tastes that more environmentally-friendly ingredients offer. It’s part of the reason this restaurant has earned itself two Michelin stars!
• Kartause Ittingen: Restaurant Mühle in Warth-Weiningen
What is more sustainable, fresh and local than a restaurant that serves food grown on its own farm? This restaurant serves local cheese, wines made in its vineyards, beef and dairy products produced on its premises.
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