Tyler Brûlé was 14 when he first visited Zurich in the early ’80s, and was immediately drawn to the ‘sense of order and uniformity’. Fast-forward a few decades, and the Canadian-born founder and editor-in-chief of global affairs and lifestyle magazine Monocle now lives full-time in the Swiss financial capital.
His adopted home was named the most liveable city in Monocle’s Quality of Life Survey 2019. ‘We’ve given Zurich that title a few times over the years. It’s in the middle of Europe; it’s got one of my favourite airports; it’s hyper-clean; the trains and trams function really well. There’s also a calmness that appeals to people at a certain stage of their life… it’s the Berlin for people over the age of 40,’ says Brûlé.
And, like any other world-class city, Zurich has an enticing dining scene filled with longstanding institutions as well as creative young minds shaking things up. Here are five of Brûlé’s favourite establishments.
Run by brothers Daniel and David Sanchez, Miró started out in 2013 as a speciality coffee truck. In 2018, Miró moved into its new home – complete with a roastery, cafe and shop – on Brauerstrasse in District 4. ‘They’re amazing local coffee roasters and also serve very good breakfast dishes,’ says Brûlé.
District 5 bar and restaurant Wermut features a refined Northern European-inspired menu that showcases the freshest ingredients of each season and a creative cocktail programme. ‘It’s one of the newer restaurants in Zurich, and I really like what they are doing. The kitchen is helmed by a young Swedish chef, David Heimer, who’s been working in Zurich for a few years, and one of the owners runs a distillery’, says Brûlé. As such, guests will also find bottles of the restaurant’s house-made vermouth available for sale.
Set in a heritage building in District 2’s Wollishofen neighbourhood overlooking Lake Zurich, Bürgli has ‘classic European’ written all over its decor and menu. In this case, it’s the tried-and-tested recipes that keep diners, including Brûlé, returning time and again. ‘Its house speciality is an entrecôte (ribeye steak), and it’s probably the best version of the classic French dish out there,’ he says.
This restaurant up in the hilly village of Herrliberg – 15 kilometres outside Zurich – has been a favourite with locals and visitors alike for more than 70 years. Diners can enjoy what Brûlé refers to as ‘classic Swiss fare with a little bit of an edge’ at this rustic country inn, served with an enticing view of Lake Zurich from the restaurant’s expansive garden terrace.
Amalfi, in the Seefeld neighbourhood, specialises in classics from the southern Italian region of Campania. ‘This restaurant is just around the corner from the Monocle Zurich bureau, so it’s one of my regular haunts’, says Brûlé. Popular dishes include the gnocchi served with ragù and the costoletta di vitello (grilled veal cutlet with butter and sage).
Monocle Store at Hong Kong International Airport
Monocle’s first airport-based retail store recently debuted at Hong Kong International Airport, near Cathay Pacific’s The Pier First Class lounge. Developed in partnership with Lagardère Travel Retail, the shop features a range of lifestyle products including travel guides, bags created in collaboration with Porter, books, magazines, stationery and more.