Zürich is one of the hubs for Swiss Airlines (and the Swiss railway), and therefore is well connected to the rest of Europe. The biggest city in Switzerland, it has a charming old town with a number of interesting sights. Consider staying near the train station (in the Altstadt ["old town"] or Niederdorff) so you can walk to all the major tourist destinations. Be warned, though: like much of the rest of Switzerland, Zürich can be very expensive.
Walk through Altstadt (Old City) - Rick Steves has a good itinerary in his Switzerland book; also check out this YouTube video from his show.
Niederdorf - east of the Limmat river, is now a bit touristy but if you venture a block or two off Niederdorfstrasse it is less so
Lindenhof/Schipfe - some of the oldest parts of the city; there are even some Roman ruins downhill from St. Peterskirche.
Bahnhofstrasse - this was once the western town wall, but is now wall-to-wall with shops
Grossmünster - where Swiss Protestantism started; you can climb the south tower for a fee
Fraumünster - beautiful Marc Chagall stained glass; fee (5 CHF as of 2022) to enter
Swiss National Museum (Landesmuseum) - T-W,F-Sun 10-5, Th 10-7, learn about Swiss history and government
Art Museum (Kunsthaus) - T/F-Sun 10-6, W-Th 10-8, closed Mon, free admission on Wednesday, <17 years free; they have a pretty wide range of art from various periods
Markthalle im Viadukt - covered market NW of the train station, near Dammweg train/tram stop, open M-Th 10-8, F-Sat 8-8
River or Lake Boat Ride - rides up and down the Limmat river are part of the public transport system; you can also take more touristy cruises around Lake Zürich, especially in the warmer months
some recommend the cruise to Rapperswil
Einsiedeln Abbey - beautiful pink/green/white church with a black Madonna; trains from Zurich HB take about 1 hour (change in Wädenswil). The abbey has a large horse stable that you can walk through, and there is some easy/nice hiking in the surrounding hills.
Uetliberg - the closest "mountain" to Zürich, which offers a spectacular view from the top. Take the S10 (the Albis card is a good deal if you don't already have a ZürichCARD) to the end of the line and walk ~10 min to the summit. You can also walk for another hour or so (a nice, mostly downhill walk) to Felsenegg (which also has a pretty view), from where you can take a cable car to Adliswil, so you can return on the S4 train. This (German) brochure includes a map.
***Uto Kulm - restaurant at the summit; actually quite good (I liked their Züricher Geschneltzes in 2012). See this blogpost for photos.
Zürich Market at Bürkliplatz - Tues & Fri 6-11...other locations/times are on this site
Lindt - the most "generic" kind of Swiss chocolate, available easily in the US...however, it is available cheaply here, especially at supermarkets
Läderach - a more fancy Swiss chocolate company, they have a branch in and near the Train Station
Sprüngli - a large, touristy, but good chocolate company; their largest store (which is also a cafe) is on Paradenplatz. In the fall, they have cru sauvage ("wild vintage") chocolate, which is made from wild (uncultivated, in the forest) cocoa beans that have a unique taste.
Teuscher - famous for their champagne truffles...they have branches all over the world including San Francisco
Confiserie Honold - old school chocolate and pastry shop with a few locations
Conditorei Schober/Péclard - chocolates and pastries in a cute café in the Niederdorf
***Max Chocolatier (Schlüsselgasse 12) - wonderful (although also wonderfully expensive) chocolates; also has a branch in Luzern
***Chocolat Dieter Meier (Münsterhof 4, across from the Fraumünster) - does "cold extracted" chocolate that is roasted at lower temperatures, thus preserving more flavor with less bitterness—really really tasty!
Rheinfall (Rhine Falls) - one of the largest waterfalls in Europe; this is about 45-50 minutes north by train, right at the edge of the Zürich canton; if taking the train the destination is “Schloss Laufen am Rheinfall”; nearby town of Schaffhausen (where you transfer) is also nice (climb the Munot fortress/tower/hill for a nice view); see these expat blogs for good descriptions/info
If you have more time, the town of Stein-am-Rhein, a bit further east, is supposed to be very nice
Luzern (Lucerne) - beautiful old town on a lake, with beautiful views of the mountains/alps, less than an hour by train
also nearby are beautiful mountains like Mount Pilatus and Mount Rigi, both accessible via cogwheel trains
Bremgarten - nice town ~45 min west of Zurich
Bern - about 1.5 hours by train, see the main Switzerland page
St Gallen - about 1 hour by train, home to UNESCO World Heritage Site Abbey of Saint Gall, a medieval monastery with one of the oldest libraries in Europe
Liechtenstein - this tiny country is about 1.5 hours by train; check out the capital of Vaduz (although some say it's boring, with just a bunch of banks...the castle looks nice even though you can't go inside) or go hiking in the nearby mountains (e.g. some recommend the town of Triesenberg)
*** = especially recommended by Luke
Western Altstadt (near Bahnhofstrasse, Kreis 1)
***Boucherie AuGust - Rennweg 7, open all afternoon, nice salads, sausages, etc. and also other dishes (great geschnetzeltes although one time the röstli was salty), awesome crusty bread, Michelin Bib Gourmand...associated with the fancy/nice Widder Hotel & Restaurant (also rec'd Michelin). Not rec'd for vegetarians.
***Kindli - Pfalzgasse 1, closed Sun, in hotel, a bit upscale/expensive but Luke really liked the Geschneltzes, not the most kid-friendly place, rec'd by Fodors, Michelin
Hiltl - Sihlstrasse 28 (but also other locations), open every day, one of the better vegetarian restaurants in town (it's supposedly the oldest in the world!); features a buffet that is heavy on Indian specialties; rec'd by the New York Times, Time Out, Rough Guide, Rick Steves, Lonely Planet, Fodors, this blog raves about their chocolate mousse (indeed, it's pretty good...)
Kaufleuten - Pelikanstrasse 18, seasonal organic food next to a club, Michelin Bib Gourmand...we tried it in 2016, it clearly had nice ingredients but wasn't anything to write home about
?Café Milchbar - Kappelergasse 16 (near the Fraumunster), coffee shop/restaurant/hotel, rec'd by this blog, fondue rec'd by Harrysding
Rôtisserie - Weinplatz 2, rec'd Michelin
Tapas Bar - Schützengasse 5, less-formal eatery associated with haute cuisine Sein restaurant, Michelin Bib Gourmand (Sein has 1 Michelin star)
Glogge Egge at Hotel Glockenhof - Sihlstrasse 31, closed Sun lunch, Swiss cuisine
Heugümper - Waaggasse 4 (near Paradeplatz), closed Sat lunch, Sun, SE Asian-inspired dishes, rec'd Züritipp, Michelin
Restaurant Reithalle - Gessnerallee 8, closed Sat/Sun lunch, 44-212-0766, former horse stables have been converted into a nice Swiss restaurant, rec'd by Lonely Planet
Wühre Café - rec'd spottedbylocals for small meal/snack
Luigi's Piadina - in Train Station every Wednesday, rec'd by Gourmet.com
Manora - rec'd Rick Steves for "good and fast" affordable food
??Lindenhofkeller - old restaurant in 14th-century building, rec'd Michelin, #4 restaurant on TripAdvisor, CremeGuides, InYourPocket, Girlfriend Guide
??Veltliner Keller - Schlüsselgasse 8, therealpickygourmet says it's a classic place "to take your grandmother to", but underwhelming, rec'd Michelin, supposedly one of the most classic places for geschneltzes
Kaiser's Reblaube - rec'd Michelin
Metropol - East Asian (including Japanese dishes, sushi, sashimi), rec'd Michelin
Zunfthaus zur Waag - therealpickygourmet loved the mousse [this website also says it's great] but said the Röstli was horrible, 11:30-2/6-10
La Piazzetta - has gluten-free pasta
Zapote - California-style burritos & salads, won Best of Swiss Gastro 2018...also a branch in Binz (Kreis 3, not too far from Weidikon)
La Soupière - expensive (>79 CHF/person) place near train station, rec'd Michelin
Hummer- & Austernbar - Michelin says "A real Zürich institution", mostly for seafood
Bü's - Mediterranean influence says Michelin
Tao's - Euro-Asian, rec'd Michelin, Girlfriend Guide
(Zeughauskeller - in the old Zeughaus (Armory) of Zürich; while it's fun (you can get "flaming beer" and a sword wrapped in meat) the food was a bit ho-hum (e.g. the Züricher Geschneltzes were dull compared to others we had, and served with soggy Röstli). Rec'd by Rick Steves, Lonely Planet)
(Restaurant Zum Kropf - In Gassen 16, closed Sun, traditional Swiss fare, small restaurant, rec'd by Fodors, Lonely Planet likes the Leberknödl (liver dumplings)...went here in 2016, liver/blood sausage dishes were nice and the decor is fantastic, but the food seems very "tired", including röstli that was a dried-out puck.)
(Cantinetta Antinori and Bindella (related restaurants, 2nd is Venetian) - have gluten-free pasta...Luke went to Antinori in 2018, thought it wasn't bad (good meats/mushrooms) but not much to write home about, also claims to be "Tuscan" but the cuisine isn't really Tuscan, a bit expensive)
Eastern Altstadt (Niederdorff, Kreis 1)
***Wirtschaft Neumarkt - Neumarkt 5, closed most Suns, M-F 11:30-2 & 6-mid, Sat noon-?, Rick Steves rec's for "healthy organic ingredients" and nice outdoor garden, we went here in 2016 and thought it was our favorite place in Zurich! ...quality ingredients, menu changes with the seasons, both innovative dishes and classics (including good rösti and Zürcher geschnetzeltes), rec'd Harrysding
***Restaurant Rechberg 1837 - probably the best food we've had in Zürich, Swiss ingredients but with international style (e.g. their bread is based on the very tasty Tartine Bakery in San Francisco). The setup is a bit odd: they greet you like you're entering someone's house, and the menu is all in Swiss German (although they had a "word translation list" into English), but it's a lovely experience and really tasty food. You can do a tasting menu or order a la carte from their relatively short, seasonal menu.
Ice Cream: Hasta - very intense, delicious flavors...but about half of the flavors I tried in 2022 were a bit icy, so if you care about texture, try them out ahead of time.
Bianchi - one of the better Italian places in Zurich, good seafood, view of the Limmat river, part of the Bindella family of restaurants
Baltho Küche and Bar - Marktgasse 17 (in Marktgasse Hotel), rec'd therealpickygourmet, InYourPocket, Harrysding, people mention the slightly-salted chocolate cake (also coq au vin, bang bang chicken...), we went there in 2017 and it wasn't bad but nothing special, open M-Sat 11-2/6-mid, Sun 11-2/6-10
?Zur Oepfelchammer - Rindermarkt 12, closed Sat lunch, Sun/Mon, old place where writer Gottfried Keller hung out, "Oeli", Gaststübe is more low-key/casual than the Stübli
?Casa Ferlin - Stampfenbachstrasse 38 (across the Limat from train station), Venitian food including homemade pasta, rec'd Michelin
?La Pasta - well-rated (on TripAdvisor, Google) Italian restaurant with gluten-free pasta options, M-F 11:30-2:30, 5:30-11, Sat 11:30-11, Sun 11:30-3:30, 5:30-10
Ristorante Positano - place Lizzie liked? (has gluten-free pizza & pasta)
Zunfthaus zum Rüden (Restaurant Gotischer Saal) - Limmatquai 42, closed Sat/Sun, 44-261-9566, rec'd by Lonely Planet
Zunfthaus zur Zimmerleuten - Limmatquai 40, open every day, old carpenter's guild building, nice people-watching from their Küferstube/terrace (which is a bit less expensive than the restaurant), in 2015 Luke tried their Zürcher Geschnetzeltes which were good but with somewhat disappointing röstli (hard on the outside, perhaps not quite enough butter?), popular on Yelp, rec'd by Fodors
Blockhus - Schifflände 4 (southern end of Niederdorff almost in Bellevue), closed Sun, small, seasonal restaurant with Swiss/Mediterranean mix, known for its tartare, popular with locals and tourists alike, rec'd InYourPocket, strange review from Therealpickygourmet, Harrysding, although Züritipp was disappointed at all but the tarte tatin
Café Zähringer - rec'd Rick Steves for "reasonably priced, healthy food", a bit hippie
Kantorei - rec'd Rick Steves for "modern Mediterranean cuisine with an Italian touch"
Conditorei Péclard at Cafe Schober - Napfgasse 4, historic Baroque building with old-fashioned decor (check out the red room one floor up); a nice (albeit expensive) place to get something to drink or a sweet, see this blog for more, lots of people love their hot chocolate with whipped cream
Café Restaurant Mohrenkopf - Niederdorfstrasse 31, various Swiss specialties and other bistro fare, the name of the restaurant is a kind of chocolate-covered marshmallow, rec'd InYourPocket, SpottedByLocals, Coffee Me Zurich
Bauernschänke - Rindermarkt 24, rustic tavern with traditional "grandma's" Swiss dishes, rec'd InYourPocket, lukewarm review from Züritipp
eCHo - Neumühlequai 42 (in Zürich Marriott, a bit north of Niederdorff), rec'd Girlfriend Guide
Thai: Ban Song Thai - rec'd Michelin
Wystube Isebähnli - wine bar with food, good Yelp reviews, expensive (145-185 CHF) tasting menus, rec'd Girlfriend Guide
Brasserie Louis - in Best of Swiss Gastro 2015, French specialties
??Cicchetteria Da Rosaa - popular on Google Maps & TripAdvisor, small plates (cichetti/tapas), housemade pastas, and more
(Adler's Swiss Chuchi - Rosengasse 10, 44-266-96-66, touristy, specializing in raclette and fondue; the fondue's not bad but a bit pricey. Rec'd by Lonely Planet, Rick Steves)
(Le Dézaley - Römergasse 7, closed Sun, near Grossmünster, a place specializing in fondue and other Vaud region specialties, rec'd by Lonely Planet...we went there in 2016 and it was OK but nothing to write home about)
(Kronenhalle (Bar) - Rämistrasse 4, open daily, 44-262-9900, rec'd by the New York Times, Time Out, Lonely Planet, Fodors, Michelin, therealpickygourmet, old, fancy, expensive place popular with the "ruling class" of Zürich and celebrities...but with excellent, classic food (and apparently good chocolate mousse); dress fancy if you can! ...I went here in 2019 and was disappointed)
Bellevue/South of Niederdorff/Seefeld (Kreis 8)
***Sternen Grill - right on Bellevue square, this place has awesome bratwurst; pick some up with some bread and mustard and dig in! Rec'd by Lonely Planet, Gourmet.com, foodandwine.com
***Fischstube - beautiful spot on the water (closed in winter), delicious perch and other seafood
??Stefs Freieck - Wildbachstrasse 42 (Seefeld), Swiss/French, dinner only, rec'd Michelin, therealpickygourmet ("one of my favorites"), FoodieHub (although they don't recommend it for vegetarians), open Tues-Sat 6:30-mid
?##Restaurant Tüfi (Tuefi) - Dufourstrasse 154 (Seefeld area), open M-F 11:30-2, 6-11, closed Sat/Sun, regional, fresh, organic produce
Restaurant Obere Flühgasse - Flühgasse 69 (Kreis 8, not too far from Tiefenbrunnen stop on trams 2/4 or S6/S7/S16), closed Tues/Wed; 44-381-111-10, rec'd by foodandwine.com for its traditional Swiss fare, although therealpickygourmet says that despite being cute and having good food in general, its Geschnetzeltes were not the best, FoodieHub says it's "old-school" like a mountain chalet --> we went here in 2016, and really enjoyed the food (especially liver, geschnetzeltes, and rösti) but it wasn't necessarily worth the schlep up the hill...but recommended if you want the "rustic chalet" experience/ambiance
Blindekuh - Mühlebachstrasse 148 (Seefeld), open for dinner every day, open for lunch on Thurs/Fri, 44-421-5050, the "Blind Cow" restaurant, one of the first "pitch-black" restaurants where you are encouraged to use your non-sight senses; all the staff are vision-impaired. Rec'd by New York Times, Rough Guide, Lonely Planet, spottedbylocals
Le Cèdre - in Bellevue, Lebanese, rec'd by Mark Davis, good for groups (we went there with a large group)...although the one on Badenerstrasse gets better reviews
Blaue Ente - Seefeldstrasse 223, closed Sat lunch and Sun, Swiss food in an old industrial mill/brewery, rec'd by Michelin, Time Out, Mark Davis (although he says that as of 2016 it's inconsistent)
Quaglino's - nice French place, Mark Davis likes (especially for foie gras)
Restaurant Bar Miracle - Seefeld area, mostly Italian but also some Swiss dishes, popular on Google Maps & TripAdvisor
Gandria - upscale Italian near Seefeld & downhill from Botanical Garden, very popular on Google Maps & TripAdvisor
##Wilder Mann - up the hill near the Botanical Garden; won Best of Swiss Gastro 2018, gluten free options
?Marcellino Pane e Vino - also near Botanical Garden, Italian food, popular on Google Maps & TripAdvisor
N of Train Station (Kreis 5 and 6)
?##Alpenrose - Fabrikstrasse 12 (near Sihlquai, Kreis 5), closed Sat/Sun lunch, Mon/Tues, 44-271-3919, locavore pan-Swiss (favorites from around Switzerland made with quality local, often organic, ingredients), "very Swiss", rec'd by Lonely Planet, Fodors, Time Out
?##Frau Gerolds Garden - Geroldstrasse 23 (just N of the train station), home-style cuisine made from produce grown on the property, see this blog, FoodieHub
?4 Leone - Luisenstrasse 43 (near Limmatplatz, Kreis 5), Swiss outpost of Oltrarno Florence restaurant
?Kreis 6 - guess which Kreis this is in?, closed Sat lunch/Sun, market-driven French/European cuisine, rec'd Time Out
?Les Halles - Pfingstweidstrasse 6 (NW of train station, Kreis 5), closed Sun, fresh, organic ingredients, moules frites (mussels & fries) is popular, rec'd Fodors, Lonely Planet
??Drei Stuben - Kreis 6, near Limmat, closed Sat lunch/Sun, Michelin Bib Gourmand (but still rather expensive), rec'd Züritipp, 18th century building, cozy environment with international/Swiss cuisine
??Stapferstube Da Rizzo - Kreis 6, Culmannstrasse 45, closed Sun, Bib Gourmand, "Italian Feel" says Michelin Bib Gourmand
??Restaurant Bistro Quadrino - Germaniastrasse 99, Kreis 6 up the hill in Rigiblick, closed Mon, seasonal, fresh menu with Italian style, Michelin Bib Gourmand
??Markthalle - Limmatstrasse 231, Kreis 5, modern Swiss, rec'd InYourPocket, fresh ingredients every day
###Restaurant zum Alten Löwen - closed Sat lunch/Sun, trendy restaurant with Italian-inspired dishes, "Tavolata" is a good deal for 55 francs a person, rec'd by therealpickygourmet and spottedbylocals, fresh/local ingredients
Maison Blunt - Moroccan/Middle Eastern, rec'd Time Out
Die Waid - at top of hill with great views (actually Kreis 10), rec'd Time Out
(Restaurant Eisenhof - interesting, almost "dive bar" atmosphere, you can get grilled horsemeat, nothing to write home about though, rec'd by therealpickygourmet)
Zurich West / SW of Train Station (Langstrasse/Kreis 4)
***Helvetia ("The Helvti") - Stauffacherquai 1 (just W of Altstadt, near the Sihl and Sehlnau station), closed Sat/Sun lunch, in a hotel, highest rated Swiss food on Yelp in the area, pretty fancy but nice Geschnetzeltes and Röstli, also rec'd by Time Out, InYourPocket, spottedbylocals, New York Times, Harrysding, somewhat expensive but OK if you stick to 1-2 dishes
***Restaurant Le Cèdre Badenerstrasse - Badenerstrasse 78, Lebanese food, there's also a branch in Bellevue but this one gets better reviews, good for groups, also good for gluten-free, Best of Swiss Gastro award
***Gartenhof - Gartenhofstrasse 1 (just E of Wiedikon station), no-frills decor, organic quality ingredients, we went in 2017 and loved the lamb and fresh vegetables, although we thought it was very "California cuisine" so probably not worthwhile for people coming from the US (also there was an oddly long ~45 min delay getting our main dishes), rec'd InYourPocket, SpottedByLocals, Züritipp, Harrysding, FoodieHub
***Gelato: Rosso Arancio - this is the real deal! very nice, Italian-style gelato with fresh flavors; I really loved their blueberry (mirtilli / heidelbeeren) flavor in 2022 but pretty much everything was good
?##Der Schwiizer - rec'd Züritipp, chef is obsessed with local/organic ingredients, FoodieHub rec's veal liver
?#Da Angela - Hohlstrasse 449 (on western edge of Kreis 4), rec'd Michelin Bib Gourmand (praises fresh produce), Züritipp, FoodieHub, mediocre review from therealpickygourmet
--> Tremondi - Molkenstrasse 20 (near Helvetiaplatz), Italian new in 2018, very popular on Google/TripAdvisor, Bruno says "excellent fresh pasta"
Barranco - Peruvian place, rec'd by Sascha, "perfect for hipster foodies"
Restaurant Volkshaus - Stauffacherstrasse 60, open every day, organic ingredients, "comfort food" dishes with Swiss/pan-European repertoire, at a music/event theater, rec'd Time Out, Inyourpocket; we went here in 2016 and enjoyed it but felt it wasn't worth a return trip
Seidenspinner - Ankerstrasse 120, 44-241-0700, rec'd by Lonely Planet
Sankt Meinrad - Stauffacherstrasse 163, 43-534-8277, rec'd by Lonely Planet
Caduff's Wine Loft - Kanzleistrasse 126 wine bar with market-driven seasonal specials, rec'd by Fodors
??Gelato: Vegelateria - organic (& vegan?)
EquiTable (Sankt Meinrad) - organic, local, market-fresh ingredients and left-ish philosophy, 1 Michelin star, rec'd InYourPocket, therealpickygourmet
NENI - Israeli food, in 25hours Hotel, rec'd Harrysding
## Ayverdi's - Badenerstrasse 415, gourmet kebabs, won 2018 Best of Swiss Gastro
...also branches in Oerlikon (N of the train station, Kreis 6 at Genossenschaftsstrasse 18 and Wehntalerstrasse 289)
(Ristorante Italia - Zeughausstrasse 61, Italian rec'd by therealpickygourmet and Lonely Planet; Gault Millau (German) rec's the tripe, baccalà, spaghetti amatriciana, and gnocchi with gorgonzola and radicchio; I went here in 2022 and it's not bad (the staff is indeed all authentically Italian) but it's a bit tired, I don't think it would do well in Italy)
(Paneolio - (in Kreis 4 but pretty close to Wiedikon), rec'd Michelin, In Your Pocket Zurich, therealpickygourmet, Foodfreaks (German), Gault Millau (German), and Bruno --> I ate here in 2019 and it was the best Roman food I'd had outside Rome (e.g. great cacio e pepe)...the menu is only in Italian but the staff are happy to translate for you --> BUT as of 2022 Bruno says they lost their magic...)
Sihlfeld / Wiedikon (Kreis 3)
***Hopfenau - Hopfenstrasse 19 (Alt Wiedikon), closed Sat lunch, Sun, creative Swiss food, relatively new restaurant in Alt-Wiedikon, rec'd by Michelin Bib Gourmand, InYourPocket; we ate there in 2015 and it was very nice (interesting mix of creative dishes); we especially liked the beef knuckles and the panna cotta.
?Wirtschaft im Franz - Bremgartnerstrasse 18 (near Wiedikon), seasonal Swiss food with prix fixe and a la carte options, rec'd InYourPocket, Züritipp, Harrysding, although lukewarm review during its opening by realpickygourmet
?Chez Toi - crepes/galettes, seasonal/organic ingredients, rec'd Harrysding
Mezzo Ristorante/Pizzeria - rec'd by therealpickygourmet
Maison Manesse - expensive, fancy Michelin-starred place, rec'd Time Out
Jdaburg - Gertrudstrasse 44 (NW of Wiedikon station), closed Sat lunch and Sun, international cuisine, somewhat expensive but less so at lunchtime, rec'd by Michelin, photos on this blog
Gertrudhof - Gertrudstrasse 26 (NW of Wiedikon station), restaurant specializing in Cordon Bleu, rec'd spottedbylocals, somewhat rec'd by therealpickygourmet
Bei Babette - Bertastrasse 16 (near Idaplatz, NW of Wiedikon station) gallette/crepe place rec'd by spottedbylocals and Züritipp
??Smith And De Luma - steakhouse that won 2018 Best of Swiss Gastro
*** Cacio e Pepe - Zurlindenstrasse 21, closed Sat lunch & Sun, Roman Italian food, rec'd by therealpickygourmet , Gault Millau , and Züritipp , some of the best Roman food I've had outside of Rome--> CLOSED
Near Enge (Kreis 2)
Seerose - Seestrasse 493, way SE on Lake Zürich, lakeside terrace, seasonal dishes, rec'd by Fodors
Belvoirpark Restaurant - Seestrasse 125, rec'd by therealpickygourmet
Bürgli - Kilchbergstrasse 15 (pretty far S of Enge, on Lake Zürich), fun place with fun menu, Entrecote Cafe de Paris rec'd by FoodieHub
Eastern Zurich/Zürichberg (Kreis 7)
?Chäsalp - way up at the top of Zürichberg (with nice views), closed Sun dinner, the Economist says this is "[a]rguably Switzerland’s hippest cheese restaurant", kid-friendly
Berg 8044 - garden restaurant on the way up Zürichberg, looks like a nice spot for outdoor lunch especially
Degenried - woodsy building serving fresh local specialties
Grain Bar & Restaurant - beer, burgers, and other "bistro pub" food
"The Restaurant" at Dolder Grand - fancy haute cuisine place
##North, near Oerlikon (near S3 or 7 line, ~20-25 min from train station): La Fonte - pizza/Italian restaurant, #1 on TripAdvisor for all of Zurich! ...also has gluten-free pizzas & pastas, closed Tues, open M/W-F 10:45-2/5-11, Saturday dinner only (5-11), Sun 12-2:30/5-10
In Zürich but in outer edge of Kreis 7 (about ~20 min walk from the Zoo or Adlisberg): Chäsalp - refined but rustic place, outdoor terrace in the summer, fondue/raclette but also other dishes, won Best of Swiss Gastro 2018
Küsnacht (~17 min on S16/S6 SE of city center, just beyond Zolikon): Rico's - 2 Michelin stars, fancy spot
Restaurant Sonnenberg - still in Zurich but a ways up the hill to the East, The Economist says it has "the best view over Zurich"
#Meilen (SE of city center): Restaurant Alpenblick - Toggwil (up the hill from Meilen, which is on S6/S7/S16...then transfer to bus 922, which leaves at the top of the hour every hour between 9 and 7...or 5 on Sundays), 44-923-04-02, the realpickygourmet claims that this place has the best Geschnetzeltes and Röstli
#Erlenbach (SE of city): Zum Pflugstein - cozy, historic Michelin Bib Gourmand
Oerlikon (N of center of town): Giesserei - Birchstrasse 108, rec'd by Lonely Planet
Stäfa (SE of city): Gasthof zur Sonne - Seestrasse 37 (on Lake Zurich), Michelin Bib Gourmand
Fislisbach (way NW of Zurich, near Baden): Linde - Niederrohrdorferstrasse 1, Michelin Bib Gourmand
Adliswil (S of Uetliberg): Restaurant Krone - Zürichstrasse 4, a mix of southeastern Swiss specialties and more modern fusion dishes, Michelin Bib Gourmand
Kloten (near airport): Restaurant Rias - Gerbegasse 6, Michelin Bib Gourmand
Olten (Solothurn canton): Rathskeller Olten - rec'd by MyGirlFriendGuide
Wangen (~20-30 min NE of town by train/bus, near Dübendorf): Gasthof Sternen's Gaststube, rec'd Michelin, relatively inexpensive (20 CHF lunch!)
Western Altstadt (near Bahnhofstrasse)
***Widder Hotel - expensive but beautiful/historic...their breakfast is in the AuGust restaurant (recommended above), and is very nice
Walhalla Hotel - nice location on the Limmat river, rec'd by Rick Steves, modern
Herzkammer - looks like a cute B&B, great location
?Hotel Schweizerhof Zurich - highly rated on TripAdvisor, Booking, near train station
Eastern Altstadt (Niederdorff)
Boutique Hotel Wellenberg - nice, not too expensive (by Zurich standards) hotel with a good location
Hotel Adler - exposed beams, historic
Marktgasse - very nice rooms/aesthetics
Hotel Florhof - uphill (so a little bit less central), historic building, rec'd Frommers, Travel & Leisure, see this blog for photos
?Helmhaus - reasonably good reviews
B2 Boutique Hotel - nice spa/pool (although you have to pay extra to use them even if you're staying at the hotel, daily charge is 25 CHF hotel guests, 55 CHF non-hotel guests, see spa website for more)
Hotel Engimatt - near Enge train station
Seehofstrasse - ho hum, near Enge
25hours Hotel Langstrasse - near Europallee west of train station, good reviews...?
Atlantis by Giardino - highly rated hotel close to Uetliberg
Dolder Grand - fancy hotel near Adlisberg
Sechseläuten - spring festival, held the 3rd Monday in April, celebrates the end of winter with parades and blowing up a snowman (!)
Zürich Festival (Zürcher Festspiele) - June/July
Zurich Tourist Office Event Listing - lists a number of events going on in Zürich
Züritipp - the best source for event information; in German
Christmas Markets - Zurich's are fantastic; the largest is indoors in the train station. Enjoy a mug of mulled wine (glühwein) - with a shot of amaretto or brandy - while perusing the dozens of little shops.
Like most of Switzerland, Zürich has a fantastic public transportation system.
From the Zürich Airport take the SBB (Swiss Rail), which gets you into town in about 15 minutes for 6.40 CHF (a bit more than 6 USD)...a pass that lasts you all day on public transit costs 12.80 CHF. From the train station, you can get everywhere quickly by Tram (or, if you're close enough, walking).
If going to Enge, S-2 takes you there without having to change trains (it does make a stop at the main train station)
If you're doing a lot of sightseeing, consider the ZürichCARD, which covers all transportation in the area near Zürich, which includes transport to and/or from the airport (fare zones 10, 11, 21, 40, 50, 54 and 55) and free admission to all museums...it's 20 CHF for 24 hours or 40 CHF for 72 hours.
e.g. if you're going to both the National and Art Museums in one day, it's already paid for itself (unless it's Wednesday when the Art Museum is free)...even more savings if you're heading to/from the airport or Uetliberg on the same day
Zone/Time Based Tickets - apply to all trams/S-bahns (local trains)/busses in the Zürich region; buy before you board (be sure to save change! many machines don't accept bills/cards). Within the main city, short public transit journeys are 2.60 CHF and a day pass costs 8.20 CHF.
If you want to leave the city center there are a few options:
Albis Day Pass - good for going to Uetliberg, since it covers all of zones 10, 50, 51, 54 and 55. It 16.40 CHF; dial *131 on a ticket machine to get one.
9 O'clock Day Pass - if you're staying relatively close to Zürich get the ZürichCARD (which is 4 CHF cheaper and includes museums), but this card could be better if you want to go anywhere in the entire Zürich canton (e.g. to the Schloss Laufen station on S16 to see the Rheinfall); it also covers the night busses. It costs 24.00 CHF and is good from 9 AM until 5 AM the next day; dial *141 on a ticket machine to get one.
Night Owls: If you're partying all night long, note that Night Busses running between 1 and 5 AM require an additional 5 CHF supplement in addition to normal fares (unless you have a 9 o'clock day pass).
...also if you're in Switzerland for a while or will be doing a lot of train travel, consider the Half Fare Card (120 CHF, which gives you half price on all train tickets for a month...yes, it's a lot, but Swiss train tickets cost a lot, so it pays off if you're going somewhere expensive like the Lauterbrunnen Valley). Note that there's an annual version that is an even better deal if you're traveling >1 month...but it's only available to residents.
Guidebooks and Resources
Here are some Zürich guidebooks, and other websites:
Guidebooks/Things To Do
The Art of Slow Travel - has nice blog posts on things to do/see in/around Zürich
The Real Picky Gourmet - food blog written (in English!) by local Zurich native (also contributes to FoodieHub)
#In Your Pocket - local guidebook
#Out and About - a nice list of restaurants in English; the site also talks about stuff to do in Zürich
TheDiningExperience - blog with good Zurich recommendations
Time Out Guide - list top 10 of restaurants
#Fodors Zurich listings
#Michelin Zurich listings (starred: "The Restaurant" has 2 stars, several [CLOUDS, Maison Manesse, mesa, Pavillon, Rigiblick-Spice, Sankt Meinrad, Sein] have 1 star)
Züritipp - German page that reviews new restaurants, etc.
spottedbylocals Zurich restaurants
The Economist lists some favorites (from 2007, so may be a bit dated)
Best of Swiss Gastro - guidebook and prize, all content is in German
Chowhound: discussion from 2014