So for my real-life job I occasionally visit cities around Switzerland. I have been in Bern to meet with colleagues quite regularly, and of course we also need to eat while we are there ! Most of the time we go to the same place (Tibits ❤) but occasionally we branch out. One of my dear co-workers suggested going to Wurst & Moritz and I thought they were joking…a sausage place?? Turns out there totally are vegan sausages at Wurst & Moritz! Me and my vegetarian co-worker were happy to try those.
The concept of Wurst & Moritz is simple; they serve sausages (Currywurst), sides (fries, salad, etc) and sauce. And drinks, of course. The place itself can be found in a small food court next to Bern main station. There is a small area where you can sit, and it is very casually decorated with darts and a fuss ball table.
The vegan sausage is served with classic sauce, the other sauces are not guaranteed to be vegan. The fries are very nice, crispy and properly salted. It is a great option if you just want to have some hearty, junky food.
Wurst&Moritz do not serve vegan desserts, but in the same food court you can find a cafe, Coffee Fellows, which serves coffee (with milk alternatives!) and vegan apple pie!
Sometimes I hear people say that it is hard to be vegetarian or vegan in Switzerland. These people are very wrong. I hope I presented enough arguments already for my statement on this blog, and today I will present my strongest argument yet.
Today, let’s talk about Tibits.
This chain of vegetarian restaurants was developed in collaboration with Hiltl, the oldest vegetarian restaurant in the World (since 1898!) which is located in Zurich. I have visited Hiltl as well, and to be honest I kind of prefer Tibits, it is a bit more relaxed, casual and less overwhelming in choice 🙂
Tibits has locations in several cities in the German part of Switzerland (location in Lausanne to open December this year!) and there are 2 Tibits in London. The name is derived from the English ‘Tid Bits’, and the concept is that of ‘Vegetarian Fast-food Restaurants’. Don’t be fooled though, this is no snackbar* quality, this is good food; freshly made, with seasonal ingredients (many pumpkin dishes in the autumn!) and local where possible. The ‘fast’-part is however true! You serve yourself from the buffet, and pay by weight. Tibits also does catering and take-away. They have published cookbooks, and they also sell special kitchen knives, bags and other merch.
I have visited Tibits in Bern several times, since I occasionally have to go to Bern for the day job. My non-vegan colleagues also enjoy the food at Tibits, by the way, it is certainly not just for the veggies amongst us. In general the restaurant is always very busy, with all sorts of different people, from young to old, families, groups of friends, etc. The atmosphere is relaxed, with jazzy music in the background.
Actually, I have been wanting to make this post since forever, but when at my day job I felt a bit awkward writing a review and making many photos (the secret double life of a food blogger :)). So I visited Tibits on the weekend, on Sunday to be precise. (Most, if not all, Tibits locations are open all day every day) On Sunday there is a brunch menu until 14:30. The other days there is breakfast until 10.
Brunch means there was a combination of breakfast foods (vegan croissants!!), and more lunch-type items available. Everything is vegetarian, lots is vegan and all dishes are labelled with common allergens. And yes there are desserts!
So as mentioned Tibits is a buffet-style restaurant, there is no table service. You go to the buffet, load up your plate, go to the bar and pay based on the weight. Since I cannot start with describing everything on the buffet, I just made a bunch of pictures and hopefully they’ll speak for themselves.
Everything I had at Tibits was tasty and there is a large variety of different foods, ranging from vegan shakshuka, to falafel, to baked potatoes, to bread salad, vegan sausages, Indian-inspired dishes such as samosas, Mexican-inspired food like chilli… There are often also surprising dishes, and vegan/vegetarian variations on traditional Swiss food(which tends to be heavy on the meat & cheese).
Tibits offers a variety of cold drinks, such as lemonades and juices, but you can also get some tap water for free. For hot drinks there are coffees (and yes, you can get soy milk!), teas, and even vegan hot chocolate! At the bar there are also some additional pastries, such as the beautiful vegan lemon drizzle pie, and snack boxes later during the day. Last time I also spotted several ice creams.
I cannot recommend Tibits enough, it combines delicious food with a nice casual atmosphere, lots of (clearly labelled!) vegan options and always something new to try.
Type of place: vegetarian/vegan buffet
Completely vegan: no
Vegan desserts: yes!
Website (German) : https://www.tibits.ch/de/
A short post, but I think this place needs more recognition! Planty is a new small company bringing delicious plant-based pastries! They do catering, and have a food stall “Que de Bonheur”, which can be found at PlainPalais market in Geneva, on Tuesday and Friday (from 8:30 to 14:00). Planty is zero-waste, so you can bring your own container!
At their food stall I tried a piece of quiche and a seitan wrap, the latter being assembled at the spot! Can recommend! Of course I also tried a piece of lemon pie and some chocolate chip cookies. And yes, they are tasty as they look!
Occasionally the food stall is present at festivals, which are announced on their Facebook. They will be at Geneva’s vegan festival which is the 20 and 21 October, http://urbanvge.ch/festival-vegan-2018/ ! I went to the festival last year, and it was a HUGE success. It was so busy that it was almost impossible to enter the room in which it was held 😀 This year the festival will be 2 days, and I will definitively pop by!
Okay story time! I tried to go to Green Gorilla several times actually. Green Gorilla posits themselves as a superfood place so I assumed they had at least some vegan food items. (Also because gorilla’s are mostly vegetarian!) They sells juices, smoothies, pastries, smart bars, vegan cookies, coffees and ‘bowls’. The latter are mostly pre-made and wrapped. So, the first time I wanted to visit, I was a bit late for lunch (13:30) and there was almost no food left in the shop. They are open the whole day, so that was a bit surprising. I noticed that they actually do not have so many vegan options; there is an açaí bowl and I believe a pre-made salad with veggies.
The next time I went they were closed since they were moving to another location! But it turned out there is a second nearby location in Globus, a large department store. To find the Green Gorilla there is not straight forward, it is part of a gym/wellness place on the 4th floor, and if you don’t know it is there you won’t find it.
The place itself is very beautiful, there is a great roof terrace and it is very lounge-y (probably because it is in a fancy wellness centre 🙂 )
So this time we were on time for lunch, but again most of the pre-made food was gone already. Fortunately, we could still try the açaí bowl, it was being made on the spot, it didn’t take long. I was with my favourite lunch partner, my husband (food blogging is easier with more people since you can try more things!) We both had a smoothie; the Green gorilla (banana, apple, avocado, mint, spinach, spirulina, ginger and dates) and the Blueberry love (blue berries, strawberries, vanilla, coconut, castor oil (?) and dates). The smoothies were seriously next level, they were delicious, huge, and decorated with fruit (great for pictures but made eating them a bit complex) I believe all smoothies are sweetened with dates, which I personally didn’t think was very necessary. We also tried two small vegan raw balls from ‘La smart truffe’ , while waiting for our açaí bowl.
The acai bowl was pretty but a bit disappointing at the same time. It is a basically a smoothie in a bowl with fruits on top. Size-wise it was much smaller than the smoothies we just had. It was tasty, and we did feel superhealthy afterwards, so there is that. I would go back for the smoothies for sure!
Granola is a health food cafe in Geneva, which uses a lot of local, ethically sourced and seasonal products. They offer breakfast and lunch items, such as soups and poké bowls. They have coffee, juices and cakes ( sometimes do have vegan cakes, but not when I visited unfortunately) Delivery is possible too, via smood.ch.
The place is pretty cute. Inside there are several tables and a bar, and outside is a nice terrace. Somehow it seemed to me like a place that would offer a lot of vegan items, because of the hipster-factor (avocado toast! poké bowls!) and focus on health, but that was a bit of a disappointment. Later I read on their site that they offer food that is “hearty and delicious—almost like vegetarian food for nonvegetarians ” and I have to say I have no clue what that is supposed to mean, since most of the food they offer is not vegetarian at all. They also mention their focus on environment and plant-based food, so, it is a bit of a conflicting message.
Anyway, on the food! I actually went there for the avocado toast (something that is not that common in Geneva!) but they were out of avocado. They also have an açai bowl, which is vegan, and a “chia tella”; a chia pudding with banana, coconut milk and Nutella, which can be made vegan if the Nutella is left out. I wanted to try the chia pudding, which was okay but not very special. I spotted later on the menu that they also have a Buddha bowl which seems vegan.
They do have several milk alternatives, and interesting hot drinks such as rose lattes, and liquid gold latte. And also matcha lattes and coffee. I had a latte with oat milk, which was pretty good. There were some nice looking cakes, but none were vegan. However, at the ordering station I noticed some “energy balls”, which are in fact vegan! I tried two, the espresso and the chocolate and they were good! Maybe more healthy than the cake 🙂
The service was good, it’s a nice place to sit with a coffee (and maybe a slice of vegan cake?) I would still like to try the avocado toast, because they are not so common in Geneva.
Stepping into the American Dream Diner in Geneva is like being transported to the USA in the 50ties. The chrome, the benches, the jukeboxes! Personally, it reminds me of the game Fallout. The American Dream Diner is inspired by old American Diners, and provides, as they call it, an escape from today’s complex world. While I don’t think life was more easy at that time, stepping into the Dream Diner is like stepping in a time capsule. But with vegan options! The interior is the real deal, imported from the US.
American Dream Diner can be found in Geneva, and soon they will open a second location in Geneva, and open in Nyon and Lausanne as well! There is also a small shop attached which sells American foodstuffs like Pop-tarts, non-food like magazines, but there is also a selection of for example Canadian items (also online: http://www.americanmarket.ch/)
The Diner serves ‘typical’ American food, like burgers, fries and hot dogs and they have vegan options for all the burgers! They can substitute both the patty and the cheese with a plant-based alternative. The patties are made in-house and are composed of among others wheat and soy. Also the hot dogs and Mexican Chili can be made vegan. Interestingly they also serve salads, and those are not vegan. (Though I am sure you can ask for them to be made vegan)
So yes, there was a lot to try! We started with the onion rings, served with a vegan sauce and two types of fries, the American and chili “cheese” fries. The fries are nice and thick, the portions reasonable. We tried both the BBQ burger and the classic cheese burger in vegan form. The burgers are pretty big, and taste good, a bit mushroom-y I would say.
To be honest, while the burgers tasted slightly different from each other (because different sauces were used) it was not really outspoken. I think this is because the vegan patties are the same and the difference between these two burgers is rather due to the type of cheese and the addition of bacon in the BBQ burger. Maybe the non-vegan counterparts also taste similar, I cannot really judge that 🙂
There are also special drinks served like floats and milkshakes. Unfortunately these are not vegan. There are also no vegan desserts.
The service was very good, the staff was very kind and helpful when it came to explaining the available vegan options. Also, they actually mentioned that they had no vegan desserts, which was quite thoughtful. Usually when I go somewhere, even if it is clear that I am vegan, I will be offered the dessert card even if there is nothing vegan on there. So extra points from me for this.
I really want to go back to the Diner ! The food was good, the atmosphere great, and I want to test out the vegan hot dogs as well!
It has been a while since we talked icecream here! Time for a quick post on a nice ice cream spot now that it is still summer. I randomly noticed Kalan Paletas when passing through Renens (Vaud) train station. Since we have had some pretty warm weather here, I decided to see if they actually had some vegan ice creams, and yes they do!
Kalan Paletas can be found at Renens train station, every Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. On Thursday they are in Lausanne at Riponne square, and I believe the ice cream can also be bought in several other places. I doubt they’ll be open year-round, but I am sure that they will be around for some more months.
So if you manage to find them, what do they have? Certified organic and fair trade ice cream! Kalan Paletas brings Mexican paletas to Switzerland. For every ice cream sold, they in turn donate part of the proceedings to NGOs which operate in Mexico.
Kalan Paletas offers both vegan and non-vegan options, and the flavours offered are quite special, for example strawberry-mint and hibiscus-raspberry. The ingredients are mostly sourced locally, in Switzerland. The ice cream or rather Paleta (link https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paletero) are more like ice lollies than gelato.
You pick the flavour and there is the option of adding some toppings, like nuts and chocolate. I tried several of their flavours and they are very nice!
From this blog it might seem I go out for food a lot. While that is not entirely true (as I have mentioned before 🙂 ) I don’t often revisit the same restaurants because I keep seeing new, interesting places I want to try. But one of the few restaurants I have visited several times was not even on my blog! Until today, that is.
The first time I went to Sajna, I had recently moved to Geneva, and I was supposed to meet some former colleagues for dinner. They asked me to pick a place because they were a bit unsure what places serve vegan food ! (If only my blog had existed at that time :D) Since I hadn’t visited any restaurants in Geneva yet, I decided to randomly pick an Indian restaurant (because I like Indian food) that was conveniently located. That is how I found Sajna! Of course I checked the menu online, which seemed promising. When I called to make a reservation, I asked about their vegan options, and I was assured that there was plenty of vegan food available. I was not disappointed!
Sajna serves Bengali (eastern India/Bangladesh) dishes, and the more typical Indian restaurant dishes. What is kind of interesting is they have another branch of this restaurant in Bangladesh, which existed there before the Geneva location.
The interior is kind of typical Indian restaurant style. There are two rooms and a small terrace outside. However, the terrace is on a very noisy street, so that is not ideal. As often in Indian restaurants we got a papadum with 3 sauces for appetizer. Two of the sauces are vegan (the tamarind and the spicy chutney), and the other is with yogurt.
As mentioned there are plenty of vegetarian dishes, and some of those are vegan. In most cases, in the description on the menu it will say clearly whether the dish will have cream or paneer (cheese) but it won’t hurt to ask. The staff will happily sub non-vegan items like cream if requested. Another nice thing is that Sajna has vegan chapati (flat bread) !
We started with samosa and mixed pakora. The samosa have a nice shape, a sturdy dough exterior and are filled with slightly spicy potato mash. There are several types of pakora on the menu; you can also order just a set of one type but choosing is hard:), so we went for the mixed pakora and you get one of each type. (In the menu description it says that it is a mixture of the potato, aubergine, cauliflower and onion pakora, but since there is also a paneer pakora, it won’t hurt to explicitly mention that you don’t want that one)
One of my favourite Indian dishes is the baigan bharta: grilled aubergine with tomatoes. This version is a little bit spicey, but so so good. We also got this time the mixed vegetable korma, which is normally not vegan (made with cream) but was made with coconut milk and cashews upon request. The coconut milk was pretty present in the taste and creaminess of the dish. It was naturally a bit sweet, and went well with the vegetables in the sauce. We also got chapati and rice with it.
The service at Sajna is very good. They actually mention on their website that they are very willing to accommodate specific needs. It is always better to mention this upon reserving. But this time we didn’t reserve and they still made us the special korma sauce (it was not very busy when we were there, else we would probably not have asked it) Another time, when I did make a reservation beforehand, I asked about dessert options and they actually prepared a dessert for me (kheer; a rice pudding with coconut milk)
So in summary, good food, great service, will visit again 🙂
Amici Miei, “my friends” is a cute Italian restaurant in Versoix. The restaurant is large, and the style is quite casual with typical bistro-like chequered table cloths and photos of Italian film scenes on the walls. It is very family-style and inviting.
There is a small terrace outside as well. However, since it was pouring rain the evening we visited Amici Miei for dinner, we opted to sit inside. It is very busy, and while I initially assumed it would be more of a place for locals, I think I overheard some tourists as well. Amici Miei also do take-out, at least for the pizza’s.
From the online menu I had already spotted some potentially vegan dishes (always research before!) Our waiter was also really helpful and accommodating. For example, there are several salads for starters for which they could prepare a vegan dressing instead of the creamy dressing.
We chose an antipasti plate for two, bread and a plate of grilled vegetables: aubergine, tomato, artichokes, mushroom and bell peppers. It was tasty, but a bit too oily for my taste.
There are several vegan mains available, such as Penne al Arrabbiata and pizzas which could be made vegan. We had the Spaghetti Napolitaine, spaghetti with a tomato sauce, (which would normally come with Parmesan to the side) and a Pizza San Nicoa, a pizza with grilled eggplant and artichokes without mozzarella. The spaghetti was very nice, but also very hot and the portion was enormous!
The pizza has a nice thin crust, and was quite tasty. It was also heart-shaped which was a bit unnecessary in my opinion. The pizza was not as gargantuan as the spaghetti (fortunately).
Now to the surprising part. There are vegan desserts! Sorbet ice, in big scoops and a special dessert: ‘carpaccio ‘ of caramelised pineapple with basil and passion fruit ice. It comes with a small waffle, which is probably vegan but I am not sure.
The staff is very nice, knowledgeable and willing to adapt dishes to make them vegan. The atmosphere is nice and casual. Conclusion: I would love to go again to try some of the other pizzas and the other vegan dishes! I might ask for a normal-shaped pizza though 🙂
Sometimes you go out for food and the enthusiasm of the staff lifts the whole experience. Sometimes there is a lack of enthusiasm and you have an okay or good time, either way. I lived in Paris, I am totally okay with non-bubbly waiters.
And sometimes the enthusiasm overwhelms you, and you end up with a confusing experience. Guess what happened when I had lunch at Persepolis?
Of course it is the last one. Normally I only write about the service if it is very good or bad, but in the case of my recent lunch at Persepolis the service kinda overrode the whole event. Not that the food wasn’t good, because it was. But I had the most confusing restaurant experience in a few years. For one I have no idea what I ate, except that it was vegan, and I didn’t think I got what I actually tried to order! In fact, I barely managed to order in the first place.
So let’s start at the beginning! Persepolis is an Iranian/Persian restaurant in Geneva. I think they just moved to a new location, so it was a bit messy. There is a terrace but it was busy so we opted to sit inside. The waiter turned off the TV upon our request, so there is something (seriously, once I ate at a place where the owner was watching a soccer game on the big screen. Talk about great ambiance…) On the menu there are several vegan options, we were told, for both mains and starters. They are not marked, by the way. And from what I could see of the “10 different vegan salads” about 2 were probably actually vegan. They also had dolmas which are usually vegan. Also for the mains there were also several dishes that seemed to be vegan.
I may or may not have eaten one of the dishes from the menu. When I inquired about a specific dish, the waiter insisted I try something special from the chef. The dish I wanted to try from the menu was supposed to come with tomatoes and rice. I tried to order 2 vegan dishes, as I was with my husband, and the waiter thought I was trying to order 2 dishes for myself, since unfortunately the waiter kept assuming my husband would try a meat dish. I tried to clarify that I wanted the one special and the one from the menu, but in the end we got two “chef specials” (I think). I found out that I didn’t get the dish I actually ordered when the dish I got was not served with the tomatoes as it was advertised on the menu. But something more fancy, according to the waiter, and thus pricey, which I found out when I got the bill.
The food we actually got was rice with two different stews. The food came out very fast, which made me wonder how “specially made” for us it really was. Normally the rice is served with butter, but we had it without, of course. One of the stews had tomatoes and aubergine, which was nice. The other was mushroom-based, and was very creamy and nicely spiced. The food was definitively good. The portions were reasonable in size.
There were no desserts left when we were there, just ice creams. I don’t know if they would have something vegan, since I didn’t have a lot of time to actually look on the menu.
When the bill came I found out we were billed more than we expected. Upon inquiry we got ‘a special dish’ that was supposedly more expensive but that we supposedly got a discount for. It was not much more expensive but still weird.
A thing that really did bother me was that the waiter kept trying to push a meat dish on my husband, even after he had said several times he wasn’t interested. The waiter even showed some meat dish that he was bringing to another customer to ask if my husband was ‘sure’ which is pretty bizarre. I think it had to do with the fact that I ordered the food (as I am the better French speaker) which obviously meant I was oppressing my poor husband. It was kind of painful.
So to summarize, the service was pretty intense. Too intense for me personally. I had no clue if the dish I had was actually on the menu. I would have liked to try one of the vegan starters. The food itself was good, but not so great that I am willing to overlook the extra price tag. Of course I could have spoken up more, but when I go to a restaurant to review, I try to take the service and the food ‘as is’. I am a quite assertive person, but since the waiter was so happy and excited I decided to go for it. Still I am not sure if I was got ripped off, or if the waiter genuinely was trying to give us the best his place had to offer.