When considering travel in Switzerland, a country famous for its chocolate and cheese, you are probably skeptical as to whether it’s the right country to visit as a vegan. Luckily, if you are vegan, Switzerland is an exciting new destination that has more to offer than you might think.
Although Switzerland is not the top vegan destination yet, it is getting there slowly. The growing vegan movement has drawn the interest of numerous organizations and individuals. Every large city has vegan eateries and fast food businesses that are constantly expanding and supermarkets have a decent, varied selection of vegan goods. The Swiss vegan scene is on the reise and it is ready for you to explore on your next vegan ski or hiking vacation!
Vegan Food in Switzerland
It’s not as difficult as one may think to live a vegan lifestyle in Switzerland. At your local supermarket, you can discover a wide variety of easily accessible products such as plant milk, tofu, lentils, veggie burgers, vegan pasta, and other Swiss vegan foods. Look for brands like New Roots Cheeses and Planted Vegan Meats, if you want to try something vegan but authentically Swiss.
If you are not planning on cooking, there are plenty of restaurant options in all bigger cities like Zurich or Geneva. The veg business listing app, HappyCow displays over 3000 locations in the country, including both vegan-only restaurants and restaurants with great vegan options.
The best cities to be vegan in Switzerland are Zurich and Geneva as they are the biggest, but you can find vegan cafes, bakeries, restaurants, and markets in cities like Lugano, Bern and Lucerne as well. Make sure to always check the ingredients when buying food, because sometimes even Swiss breads contain milk products.
Across Switzerland, there are numerous great vegetarian and vegan restaurants. Tibits is one such example of a chain, which you can find in several cities including Zurich, St. Gallen, Winterthur, and more. Instead of serving traditional Swiss vegetarian fare, it offers a modern vegetarian buffet with dishes from all over the world. Another one you should not miss is Hiltl, the oldest vegetarian restaurant in the world that originated in Zurich in 1898.
These restaurants are simple to locate and are close to popular tourist attractions. When you’re in Switzerland, it’s also worth giving some of the accidentally Swiss vegan dishes a try. Rösti is a great example of a dish that can be found in many restaurants, including the regular restaurants that don’t usually serve vegan options.
Vegan Products Switzerland
Switzerland is famous for its dairy products, but you are probably wondering if there are some vegan alternatives you can test out. Here is what you must try on your trip to Switzerland:
The silky, velvety mouthfeel of a Swiss chocolate bar is emblematic of Switzerland. The conching method, which gives Swiss chocolate its famously creamy texture, was developed by Rodolphe Lindt in the 19th century.
The Lindt & Sprüngli company continues to produce high-quality chocolate today, including a variety of dark chocolate bars with different levels of intensity. Many of their bars with cacao contents between 70 and 99% are also vegan. Cocoa butter, a vegan ingredient everyone loves, together with vegan caramel and nuts, are some of the features of many vegan Lindt chocolates.
Pretzels, or bretzels as they are known in Germany, are typically thought of as the hard, baked snack item that comes in a range of sizes and forms. However, the first bretzels were actually the huge, soft version that had been twisted into the iconic knot shape.
While bretzels are occasionally produced with butter, well-known chain Brezelkönig sells a variety of vegan bretzels. Brezelkönig is widely present in Swiss train stations, making it the ideal refueling option for a train trip through the stunning Swiss landscape.
The main ingredient in this dish is grated, fried potatoes. They’re perhaps better known to you as “hash browns.” Almost every typical Swiss restaurant serves rösti, either as a side or as a stand-alone main dish.
There is a variant cooked using apples, but always ask if there are any animal-based ingredients in it. Additionally, if you ask, the kitchen staff ought to be able to prepare it with any vegetables you choose. Just be careful to use oil instead of butter when frying the potatoes.
Vegan Fondue Switzerland
It should not be surprising that fondue is made up only of animal products (melted cheese) and it is served with bread and sometimes veggies.
The good news is that you can purchase vegan fondue! Our favorite brand of vegan fondue is New Roots, followed by Samses fondue. All you need to do is place it in a fondue pot or, in the absence of one, microwave and heat it until it melts.
Vegan Cheese Switzerland
There are many vegan cheese producers in Switzerland. New Roots, Vegusto, and Cremerie are just some of the brands you can find in supermarkets and health food stores. If you are having difficulty finding them, you should look online because they have webshops too.
Vegan Culture in Switzerland
The bigger cities in Switzerland like Zurich and Geneva are the most vegan friendly in general, with an array of vegan restaurants and shops. They are the best places to search for like-minded vegan friends using social media groups to organize vegan meals and meetups.
Vegan Road Trip in Switzerland
The bigger cities in Switzerland like Zurich and Geneva are the most vegan friendly in general, with There is no better way to see a country with such impressive natural beauty than to go on a road trip. You can try to choose destinations with vegan restaurants, but to be safe, you should pack food and snacks for the road because in many small cities and villages the only vegan options are french fries and green salad. Here are some excellent vegan activities you can add to your vegan adventure holiday in Switzerland:an array of vegan restaurants and shops. They are the best places to search for like-minded vegan friends using social media groups to organize vegan meals and meetups.
Kandersteg to Zermatt
One thing you should know if this is your first time visiting Switzerland and you wish to stop in Zermatt is that this village is a car-free zone. i.e., a car won’t be able to transport you there. You can drive up to Tasch, park, and then catch the train to Zermatt from Tasch. From Kandersteg to Tasch, it takes 1 hour and 30 minutes to travel through Switzerland’s best alpine road journey. There are a lot of peaks that you can see.
Montreux to Geneva
Due to their locations on each side of Geneva Lake, one could assume that these two cities are quite close to one another. Actually, not quite. It takes one hour and thirty minutes to get there. This distance results from the Lake of Geneva’s extensive surface area. The fresh, azure water of Lake Geneva will keep you company while you travel to Geneva. In addition to being a relaxing drive, the Chablais Alps and vineyards will be seen along the way.
Lucerne to Interlaken
Probably one of the most well-known road trips in Switzerland is this one. Within an hour, the entire journey will come to an end, but that hour will live in infamy. While through the iconic Lungern tunnel, you’ll be traveling over mountains and lush farmland. You’ll get to see the lovely Lake Lungern as you go to Interlaken.
You’ll have the opportunity to view several lakes from your car in addition to this one. The other lake that will enhance the splendor of this journey is Lake Brienz. You’ll travel for 14 minutes to get to Interlaken from there.Lucerne to Interlaken
Zurich to Lake Lucerne
The journey from Zurich to Lake Lucerne is another that shouldn’t be missed. You might be asking what is unique about this road trip. You will pass through numerous farmlands and tunnels, I suppose. Additionally, you’ll be at Lake Lucerne in 45 minutes. Once you’ve arrived, begin the second step of enjoying the location by taking a cruise for lunch or simply strolling about the lake and taking in the fresh air. Lucerne offers a wide variety of additional things to do, which you can explore while there.Zurich to Lake Lucerne
Vegan Restaurants in Switzerland
From the best vegan restaurants Zurich has to offer, to those in the beautiful mountains, there is something for everyone in Switzerland. Here is a short list of best-rated vegan food stops in the country:
This is a nice and cozy place to have a sweet bite to eat. They are a vegan cafe and bakery that serves baked goods, sweets, and coffee to go.
Being the oldest vegetarian restaurant in the world, this is a landmark every vegetarian and vegan has to visit in Switzerland. It’s self-service, and the cuisine is delicious. It is not your typical boring vegetarian restaurant, but rather a cool spot to be.
Perfect place if you are looking for an upscale vegan dining experience. They serve amazing seasonal dishes but make sure to have a reservation.
This is a restaurant and cocktail bar with an extraordinary vegan menu. If you love hummus and pita bread, make sure to stop by this place.
A great place to immerse yourself in new tastes. This is an Indonesian restaurant that serves only plant-based food inspired by their national dishes. Did you know that tempeh is originally an Indonesian product? Try it here!
For those who love Asian cuisines, Chimy’s is a perfect place to try new dishes. It is a buffet-style vegan and vegetarian restaurant.
For fans of fast food, this is a must-try restaurant. They have won the Swiss Vegan Awards two years in a row, and have some excellent healthy fast food options.
This well-known veggie-vegan restaurant offers à la carte options as well as a sizable buffet. The menu combines classic Swiss cuisine with many international selections at the buffet, including savory roulades packed with vegan “bacon.”
Enjoy some upscale cuisine at this vegan restaurant in Zurich city center, with tasting menus with up to eight dishes. Everything is expertly constructed, which explains how it has attracted a large number of carnivores and earned a Bib Gourmand designation from the Michelin Guide.
The small yet inventive menu at this vibrant, entirely vegan coffee shop features inventive vegetable pairings. Think of dishes like fancy burgers and weekend brunch options. Dishes change frequently to suit what’s in season.
Be KindThis cafe and juice shop serves organic vegan food for breakfast and lunch. They work Monday to Friday, so check ahead to make sure they are open. Everything is freshly prepared in the restaurant and they have great reviews.Cafe, Geneva.
At this specialty donuts and cafe shop, you can grab a snack or a coffee and enjoy amazing comfort food. They are the first vegan donut shop in Switzerland and should be on your road trip itinerary.
If you are a fan of healthy plant-based food, reserve your table at this fully vegan restaurant in Lucerne. Once a month on Sundays, they also have brunch, so check their schedule in advance.
14. Vegan Stays in Switzerland
Hotels and B&Bs are often accommodating when it comes to vegan travelers, but what is a great idea if you are planning a trip on your own is to email a hotel where you are staying and ask for vegan-friendly options. In most cases, they will say yes, and the chef will prepare delicious meals for you.
If you go on a trip with us we’ll be staying at the famous Hotel Beau Sejour in Luzern, Switzerland. This historic hotel has already for almost two centuries been popular among tourists, and although traditional they are very open to new trends and our guests will enjoy delicious vegan meals prepared specially for them.
There are also several excellent vegan stays around Switzerland, like Hotel Swiss which is a vegan hotel located on the shore of Lake Constance. Other interesting places to stay are Hotel Balance in Les Granges, Sonnenberg Health Hotel in Schwellbrunn, and many more.
15. Can’t wait to go on a vegan travel adventure in Switzerland?
We hope we have helped inspire you to visit beautiful Switzerland as a vegan! Although it can be difficult for vegans to deal with the presence of the huge dairy industry in a country like Switzerland, a better tomorrow is on its way.
For peace of mind, we recommend booking the all-inclusive vegan holiday of a lifetime with The Getaway Co. and set out on a magical journey exploring the beautiful nature and luxury of this fabulous country.
As a responsible travel company, The Getaway Co is committed to providing memorable vegan travel holidays that are sustainable, and the best eco-friendly vacations available.
Whether you are a vegan dedicated to protecting animal rights, a conscious traveler looking for stressless eco-friendly tours, or maybe the concept of sustainable and responsible tourism is totally new to you, we are happy to invite you to our upcoming vegan getaway in Luzern, Switzerland for the best vegan vacation in 2022.