Is it difficult being a vegetarian or vegan in Switzerland?

Vegans are well catered for in Switzerland. Shubhangi Makkar

Vegan Indian student Shubhangi got to grips with the food options available to her Switzerland.

This content was published on January 18, 2019 - 14:01
Shubhangi Makkar, student blogger

Being a vegetarian in Switzerland is not as hard as one would imagine. Here, one can find plenty of readily available products such as soy milk, tofu, lentils, vegan spring rolls, quinoa burgers, vegan pastas and much more at your nearest supermarket. Once you have found a reliable source, like I have by now, being a vegetarian or vegan becomes easier, with the added advantage of reducing your carbon footprint. 

For vegetables that you may not find in your local supermarket, you can venture across any shop catering to Indian, Chinese or Turkish immigrants which have branches across Switzerland. It just requires a little bit of research and planning. 

The weekly market is an option if the supermarkets don't stock what you want. Shubhangi Makkar

Furthermore, you can find a plethora of vegetarian and vegan options at your university cafeteria. My university's cafeteria provides vegetarian meals every day and vegan dishes three times a week. You can also find soy milk lattes and snacks at food trucks. They’re around on campus almost every day and are a sure bet for vegan and vegetarian options. 

This vintage-looking food tuk tuk is popular for its soy lattes. Shubhangi Makkar

Restaurants are also herbivore friendly. Did you know Zurich claims to have the oldest vegetarian restaurant in the world? It’s called Hiltl and it holds the Guinness World RecordExternal link for being the first vegetarian restaurant in the world - since 1898. That says a lot about the inclusion of vegetarians in Switzerland. Now, Hiltl also has several branches in the major cities of Switzerland along with Tibits, a partner restaurant chain. Since Switzerland attracts a lot of Indian tourist groups, you can find Indian restaurants across the alpine nation in tourist spots and major cities. 

Even the festive markets offer the opportunity to tuck into deliciously made vegetarian and vegan dishes. I experienced this during the Christmas market at Bellevue (the largest in Zurich) where I found amazing stalls with cuisines from all around the world. Almost every stall offered a vegetarian choice. Hence, you won’t be left out even during the festive season! 

For more blog posts and information on studying in Switzerland visit our dedicated page Education Swiss MadeExternal link.

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