Between hiking the Swiss Alps and wandering around all those quaint little Swiss old towns, travelling to Switzerland won't just leave you constantly starry-eyed... It's sure to leave you craving for some good ol' Swiss food as well!
Sitting down to a proper meal isn't always something you have time (or money) for, though, but if you think there aren't enough Muslim-friendly Swiss street food options out there to keep your tummy full, think again! Here's 8 drool-worthy Muslim-friendly snacks you HAVE to try in Switzerland ?
1. Swiss bread
There are normal bakeries, and then there are Swiss bakeries. Wherever you go in Switzerland, you'll likely find that Swiss bakeries are in a completely different league of their own!
With platefuls of plump, fresh bread stacked on top of the other glinting away from behind fancy window displays and entire shelves packed with breads of every shape, size and colour, it's almost impossible to resist stepping inside a Swiss bakery.
Go for the Swiss Zopf bread: crisp, golden-brown loaves baked in the form of a braid (hence the name "Zopf", German for "braid") are super popular and don't just make a good snack. One loaf is enough to last you several days for breakfast ?
If you'd rather stick with the classics, though, look out for Ragusa chocolate croissants, which you can find in most major supermarkets and convenience stores. They come in two different types: Classique croissant (milk chocolate filling) and Noir Croissant (dark chocolate filling) and go for about 2 CHF per piece.
Needless to say, we loved them so much we had them almost every day while we were in Switzerland!
2. Swiss hot chocolate
There's nothing quite like that feeling of pure bliss when you take a sip of steaming Swiss hot chocolate on a cold winter's day in Switzerland. Even if it was the middle of summer, we're pretty sure few of us would say no to some good ol' Swiss hot chocolate, especially when it comes with a little serving of bite-sized Swiss chocolates ?
Credit: @confiseriespruengli on Instagram
Given the Swiss' expertise in crafting some of the most divine chocolatey creations in the world, it's no surprise that Swiss hot chocolate is so popular amongst travellers. But while you can find hot chocolate almost everywhere in the country, the best ones (in our opinion) can be found in Zurich.
Pop over to Confiserie Sprungli near the Bahnhofstrasse to sample their classic Swiss hot chocolate. You can get it in takeaway cups or have it in-store at the cozy cafe on the second floor overlooking the busy square right outside!
Credit: Autchawee FayZereta Osaithai on Facebook
#HHWT Tip: Have your Swiss hot chocolate with Sprungli's signature luxemburgerli to complete the experience! Read on to find out more about what else you should try at Sprungli ?
In case you can't get enough and want to bring some back home with you, Sprungli sells their hot chocolate powder in fancy jet-black tins and packages as well, which makes the perfect souvenir or take-home gift.
Alternatively, head over to Confiserie Honold situated about 5-7 mins' walk away to try their signature hot chocolate as well. We had a hard time deciding which one we preferred: both were super rich and creamy without being too sweet!
Health food-lovers, this one's for you! Who would've thought that Switzerland, specifically Zurich, was the birthplace of Muesli? Back in 1900, a Swiss physician came up with the now world-famous birchmuesli as a prescription to his ailing patient, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Credit: Second Time Around on Facebook
Today, these delightful pink-hued bowls can be found everywhere across Switzerland, especially (of course) in Zurich. Served with a variety of fresh fruits (strawberries are a hot favourite), they're a common breakfast meal for the locals, but they make great on-the-go snacks as well.
#HHWT Tip: Some of the best birchermuesli in Zurich can be found at Hiltl, the world's oldest vegetarian restaurant. They come in takeaway cups for around 5CHF each here. Alternatively, you can find Birchermuesli at supermarkets as well for about 2-3 CHF ?
Muesli also makes a fantastic souvenir, and if you want to be spoilt for choice, head to MyMuesli, which has several branches all across the country. You'll be overwhelmed by the rows and rows of muesli packages here of every size and flavour, from Matcha Green Tea to Chocolate!
Truth be told, we were a little apprehensive about trying brezels while in Switzerland, having had more than our fair share of rock-hard, cold pretzels over the course of our travels to various parts of the world.
Trust us, though: the brezels in Switzerland are seriously the best we've ever had! Baked to crisp, golden perfection, they're not too hard and not too soft, and not too dry either, and they make excellent breakfasts or snacks in between meals!
It's easy to find brezels in Switzerland! They're available in most bakeries, and if you're here during the Christmas period as well, brezels are a mainstay at Christmas markets.
For a bigger variety of brezels to choose from, be sure to try the ones at Brezelkonig, a brezel chain whose outlets you'll often find at train stations across the country.
Butter brezels here cost around 3CHF, while other Muslim-friendly flavours like sesame go for about 3.50CHF.
5. Heissi Maroni
Roasted chestnuts are an all-too-common sight during the colder months here in Switzerland. In fact, if you're here in autumn or winter, it's hard NOT to run into one as you wander around, especially near the Old Towns.
At 5CHF for a 150g bag of roasted chestnuts, these are great for snacking on while you saunter leisurely through the cobblestoned streets and quiet passageways inside the Old Towns scattered across the country.
In true Swiss fashion, they come in paper bags with two separate compartments: one for the chestnuts, one for your discarded chestnut skin!
Not all heissi marroni stalls are made equal though. You might come across some that taste too bland, and some that aren't too fresh, though it's nothing to worry about. Nevertheless, they're always served piping hot, so it's definitely a good way to keep your body warm ?
6. Vegetarian sandwiches & finger food
Considering the fact that Switzerland is home to some of the healthiest food in the world (like the aforementioned Muesli), it's no surprise that finding vegetarian and vegan-friendly food here is pretty easy!
Every Christmas market we visited in Switzerland (we went to at least 4!) had several stalls selling either vegetarian or vegan food, including Indian vegetarian cuisine, from pakoras to samosas and masala chai!
Disclaimer: Vegetarian and vegan stalls might include alcoholic delicacies, but the ones that contain alcohol are often clearly marked. When in doubt, ask the vendors to help you out: they're super friendly and more than willing to help!
Otherwise, most major supermarkets have a bistro section which serves ready-made sandwiches and takeaway meals. Look out for the vegetarian tomato strudels and spinach strudels here!
Each costs about 3 CHF, but bear in mind that these are Swiss servings, which means that you might want to share your meal with your fellow travellers.
There are also vegetarian frozen food sections in most supermarkets, selling everything from Pumpkin Falafels to black bean burger patties, which is perfect for those of you staying at airbnbs or apartments and want to cook from home ?
7. Chocolate crepes
We don't know about you, but chocolate crepes rank among the top of our all-time favourite snacks. While most crepes we've had came in a triangular shape, though, the ones in Switzerland were rectangular and more plain-looking, though the taste wasn't compromised at all ?
These are commonly found in cafes and Christmas markets all over Switzerland, in both savoury and sweet flavours, and they cost around 7-9CHF per crepe.
Credit: Ami Hays on Facebook
Disclaimer: Some varieties of crepes include alcohol as one of their ingredients, so be sure to check with your server first!
If all else fails, kebabs are a traveller's best friend. Somehow, no matter which part of the world you're in, you can always depend on a halal kebab stall somewhere in the vicinity to refuel your tummy in between all that sightseeing, and Switzerland is no different.
Most of the kebab stalls we came across in Switzerland were centrally located, either near train stations (like Little Istanbul in the basement of Lucerne Main Train Station) or near major tourist attractions (like the Rathausbrucke kebab stall just outside the Old Town in Zurich.)
Disclaimer: We've personally verified with the staff at each of these stalls that their food is halal ?
Kebabs here generally cost around 8-10 CHF, and a la carte dining isn't always available, but meeting the local Muslims that run these kebab stalls is often an experience in and of itself! We had so many chances to learn what life as a local Muslim in Switzerland felt like ❤️
BONUS: Swiss chocolates (they’re not street food but you can’t miss this in Switzerland)
Okay, so the luxurious world of Swiss chocolates isn't exactly what you'd consider street food, but we couldn't leave it out since Swiss chocolates are an absolute MUST while you're in Switzerland!
Disclaimer: All the chocolatiers mentioned in this article don't use gelatin in any of their products, and though some chocolates are alcoholic, those are clearly marked. Ask the staff to help you out if you're not sure!
As the oldest chocolatier in Zurich, Sprungli has built quite a reputation for itself not just amongst the locals of Zurich, but across Switzerland itself. They've got everything from bite-sized chocolates to chocolate bars, chocolate cakes and chocolate pastries here, so it'll definitely take you at least two rounds of walking around the shop itself before you decide what you want to get ?
Their signature creation and their best-seller is the Luxemburgerli, which come in several intriguing flavours like mandarin and apple-caramel, though these tend to be seasonal flavours and sell out faster compared to mainstays like the caramel ones.
Tucked away inside a quaint shophouse in Zurich's Altstadt, Max Chocolatier was our absolute favourite chocolatier in Switzerland. Despite being only a few years old, they've succeeded in carving a niche for themselves as an artisan, 100% natural chocolatier.
They're also especially known for their chocolate bars, which come in various tastes and differing levels of cocoa, and are wrapped in gorgeous multi-coloured packaging, which we absolutely loved!
#HHWT Tip: The best chocolate bars here are the ones that have between 64% to 68% cocoa ?
No need for you to rack your brains thinking about what to eat on your next trip to Switzerland - between all that traditional Swiss bread, Swiss chocolate, and kebabs, we were definitely spoilt for choice when it came to Muslim-friendly local snacks over the course of our travels here, and so will you ?