Travel Planning Tips for Dining in Switzerland

Switzerland located in Central Europe is filled with breathtaking scenic lake regions surrounded by mountains, cities, towns, and villages. Visit Switzerland for one of its fascinating global cities; Zurich, Lucerne, or Geneva, and  tour the iconic Alpine peaks on the Swiss state-of-the-art train system. These breathtaking experiences can be taken in all year-round.

If those aren’t reasons enough, Switzerland’s landlocked location contributing to German, French, and Italian influenced cuisine offers a gastronomic experience like no other.

So what are the not-to-be missed foods that you will want to sample while visiting Switzerland? Here are five that we recommend trying:


Travel Planning Tips for Switzerland

Eating is Part of the Cultural Experience of Travel

Fondue – although this may seem commonplace in a country that is primarily known for its food dipping skills, a visit would not be complete without enjoying this staple dining experience. Originating as a way for the Swiss mountainous residents to survive the long periods of winter with limited access to supplies, fondue offerings are so much more than bread and cheese. The communal pot experience can be enjoyed in various forms depending on the region of Switzerland that you visit. Cheese and vegetable-based utilizing multiple kinds of cheese are found in the German regions. While cheese, wine, or chocolate-based fondue are popular in the French regions. Additionally, explore simpler cheese and egg-based options in Italian-influenced Switzerland. 

Rosti – rööschti as it is referred to locally, is a grated and pan-fried potato dish that originated in the Bern canton of Switzerland. Similar to an eastern-european potato pancake, it is more common in the Germanic region of Switzerland. However, rosti is considered the national dish of Switzerland commonly served for breakfast, lunch, or dinner as a side similar to french fries are in the U.S. 

Raclette – a truly swiss dish that has become a french favorite is a melted cheese dish typically made with swiss cheese. The cheese is strategically grilled onto dishes lined with boiled potatoes, onions, and pickles and served as an appetizer. In the modern and very french version of raclette, you will find it served along with charcuterie for a heartier meal.

Polenta – the Italian corn porridge dish crossed the border from Italy as an equally popular option in the Italian-influenced regions of Switzerland. Slow-cooked over a stove for hours with constant stirring, polenta is typically accompanied by a wine marinated beef dish. 

Bündner Nusstorte – Switzerland’s most popular dessert is a pie-like pastry filled with walnuts and caramel. Originating in the eastern (German) region of Switzerland, Bündner Nusstorte is in such high demand here that it is the most sold bakery item and one of the few exported dessert items in Switzerland. Typically enjoyed with coffee or tea, the torte can also be made in variations based on the bakery or restaurant it is served in. 

BucketList Travel Advisors can guide you in a Swiss travel experience. Combine a visit with a 7 night river cruise along the Rhine from Basel or Burgundy and Provence itinerary starting in Geneva. Download our Guide to Get to know the European rivers.