Hotel Alpina
Last visit: February 2014
Friendly hotel with no pretences. As one of the team retired recently, dinner is open to hotel guests only and if booked before noon. The famous ‘gute schwiezerische Service’ is held up high. Reasonably priced. Great views (but that’s not difficult in this village).


Gasthaus Krone, Kronengasse 1, 7208 Malans
Last visit: June 2014
It takes a few days not to get lost in this old, stately hotel. The bill says you ate a Schnipo (the all too usual Schnitzel-mit-Pommes/schnitzel with french fries), which is only for administrative reasons; you’ll remember it as a wonderful pork cutlet with green asparagus, sauce hollandaise and new potatoes.
The winelist includes local, often (inter)nationally renowned winemakers.


Fallender Brunnenhof, Wehntalerstrasse 98, 8057 Zurich, T +41(0)44-3501750
Last visit: April 2014; closed down in January 2016, looking for a successor (February 2016). This was my verdict in April 2014:
Location is everything, so they say, but this sympathetic Quartierbeiz proves that to be wrong. If it wasn’t for the NZZ, I wouldn’t have found it in a lifetime, or visited it, had I come across it by accident. Low priced traditional cuisine (Hörnli mit Ghacktem und Apfelmus (= macaroni with minced meat and apple compote), Gschwellti mit Käse (= steamed potatoes with cheese)) and also a more sophisticated daily varying menu. Lots of regulars.

Gasthof Hofwiesen, Hofwiesenstrasse 265, 8057 Zurich, T +41(0)43-4338088
Last visit: April 2014
Though prices in Austria are much lower and the country isn’t that far away, you still may not want to drive two hours up and down for an excellent Wiener Schnitzel or a succulent Tafelspitz. Gasthof Hofwiesen will be happy to solve your problem. This agreeable Austrian restaurant offers great food and wines, all Austrian, in a modern style. The Mediterranean touch they say they have, has eluded me. Staff regards correct bill as sheer luck (‘Ach, die Rechnung ist ja so ’ne Glückssache’, after I pointed out they had forgotten to bill me for the wine).

Hiltl, several locations
Last visit: March 2016
Switzerland is not just Schnitzel and G’schnetzeltes but also Bircher Müesli and Hiltl, the oldest vegetarian restaurant in the world (1898). Some of their locations have quite a different business model during the day. Tasty Indian, Thay, and Middle Eastern dishes, okay house wine. The vegetarian butcher salutes the more traditional Swiss cuisine.

Noon, Oberdorfstrasse 9, 8001 Zurich, T +41(0)43-3439688
Last visit: March 2016
Delicious mezze and friendly atmosphere in this Lebanese family-run restaurant in Zurich’s old city. The Mezze menu’s are good value for money, even if you are, like me, not thrilled by their (orthographically irresistable) ‘Dempting dessert surprise’. Lebanese wines from (mostly) Château Ksara (tasty Blanc de Blanc) and Château Musar.

Zentrum Karl der Grosse, Kirchgasse 14, 8001 Zurich
Last visit: March 2016
Cultural and debating centre of the city of Zurich. The restaurant is a good place to eat. Nice atmosphere. Reasonable prices. My favourite ‘Quartierbeiz’ for lunch when I’m in the old town. If the staff makes a mistake, which they seldom do, profuse uplifting and reasuring is required.