Cheap Eats in Zurich: 5 Local spots for less

The Zurich waterfront. Photo:

Perhaps “budget restaurants” isn’t the first phrase that pops into your mind when you think of Zurich — and we wouldn’t blame you!

The Swiss city ranks as one of the most expensive in the world, but visiting one of the financial capitals of the globe doesn’t have to, ahem, break the bank.

You don’t have to always stick to cheap supermarket meals thanks to our friends at Spotted by Locals who came up with a list of five spots to check out when you get hungry.

More tips for visiting Switzerland:
• Zurich: The top budget hotels for Cheapos 
• Budget Guide: 50 Ways to save your trip to Switzerland
• How to save on a vacation to Interlaken

Follow these tips by Zurich locals and you’re bound to get some extra bang for your Swiss franc (about 1 to 1 USD at the time of writing).

Everyone loves a buffet! Don’t miss the one at Kafi fürDich. Photo: Time Out

Kafi fürDich

Stauffacher 141

This cafe has a really broad appeal, as you might be able to gather from its name — “Café for you.” At Kafi fürDich you’ll find students, movie-goers, mothers and pensioners drawn in by the excellent coffee and the concerts on Wednesday & Friday evenings. But for our purposes, you should definitely check out their weekend brunch — a scrumptious all-you-can-eat buffet that will set you back a fair CHF 25.

Related: 5 Tips for saving some serious francs in Zurich

Savor cheap Indian dishes at Bombay Karachi. Photo: Roman Rey

Bombay Karachi

Stampfenbachstrasse 32

Stomach rumbling? Like Indian and Pakistani cuisine? Got a sudden urge to see Bollywood music videos? Want one of the best deals in Zurich? Bombay Karachi is for you! It’s nothing fancy — more of a take-out place — but you’ll be hard-pressed to find bigger portions and tastier food. Here you can mix and match your meal from six different dishes and of course complete the picture with rice. If you opt for the vegetarian choices, you may end up paying as little as CHF 12.


So many burgers for so little prices at Holy Cow. Photo: Holy Cow

Holy Cow

Zähringerstrasse 28

Holy Cow is designed like a Swiss chalet. But what this place lacks in interior design it makes up for with reasonable price tags and a very impressive selection of 23 original burgers, including several vegetarian options (around CHF 14). The Swiss soft drink Sirup replaces international brands like Coca-Cola and comes with free refills, too — not easy to find in Switzerland.

Hotel Crush: Sleeping cheap at Zum Guten Glück

Classic Swiss food is on the menu at Weisses Kreuz. Photo: Real Picky Gourmet

Weisses Kreuz

Falken Strasse 27

Weisses Kreuz isn’t what you would call fancy. In fact, it’s probably what some people would call an “old man’s pub’”(there is definitely a table reserved for the regulars), but that’s precisely what gives it so much charm, according to local Emma. This restaurant is a true local Swiss pub, no yodeling and alphorns, but that also means the prices are more modest. Get some sausage and “rösti” (CHF 19.50) and you just might become a regular too!

Beer + Sausage = Heaven at Sternen Grill. Photo:

Sternen Grill

Theaterstrasse 22

If you believe there are few better things in life than a sizzling sausage together with a beer, you just cannot miss Sternen Grill. Prepare for crowds, bratwurst (CHF 7), cervelat, crusty bread rolls (Bürli) and homemade mustard —their spicy one, which will “hit your nose like thunder”, like local Ana Maria longingly warns; be sure to wash it down with their famous Sternen Bier. A must for visitors and locals alike since 1963.