Haus Hiltl the first vegetarian restaurant in the world | Zürich, Switzerland
Updated: Sep 11
Before it became a trendy hype in the 21st Century, back in 1898, Hiltl opened up in Zürich, Switzerland as the first Vegetarian restaurant in the World!
Putting forward the power of eating local, fresh and plant based, for over 120 years, the restaurant has made a strong name for itself not only within Switzerland but globally amongst people seeking to live consciously. Hiltl even has an entry in the Guinness world record book being the oldest vegetarian restaurant in the world. The food offered in the different popular restaurants around Switzerland has been inspired from international dishes around the world improving your general wellbeing through the power of food! At a Hiltl restaurant you will find fresh and homemade dishes, offering you the latest organic and healthy food innovations!
Values: indulgence, vegetarian & vegan
How Hiltl came to be what it is today
1897 a few Germans came to Switzerland and started the organization Vegetaria AG in Zürich, Switzerland offering vegetarian food. At the time being a vegetarian in society was looked down upon and therefore the Vegeteria AG did not see a lot of success.
In 1898 the German tailer, Ambrosius Hiltl, came to Switzerland and due to an illness in 1901 stopped his activity and made important lifestyle changes. This included becoming a vegetarian.
Seeing the positive effects this lifestyle change had on his body, he became managing director at the Vegeteria AG and turned it into a restaurant by 1903. In 1907 he bought the restaurant and turned it into the blossoming family run business which it is today. The initial Vegetaria AG started of its activity in the exact same building as what is known today as the popular trendy destination Haus Hiltl.
With 8 different locations around Zürich, Hiltl is an extremely popular business which has expanded its hospitality activities over the years. At the different Hiltl locations you will find different services offered such as restaurants, clubs, bars and even the first vegetarian butcher.
Most locations offer you a varied buffet or a menu-a-la-carte with international dishes from around the world, with mainly plant based food. Even though Hiltl started off as an abstinence-café, today you will find a diverse range of drinks, exquisite wines and cocktails.
1. Haus Hiltl: restaurant / buffet / club / Sihlstrasse 28, 8001 Zürich
2. Hiltl Langstrasse: restaurant / bar / Langstrasse 84, 8004 Zürich
3. Hiltl Sihlpost: restaurant / buffet / Europaallee 1A, 8004 Zürich
4. Hiltl Dachterrasse: restaurant / buffet / Bahnhofstrasse 88, 8001 Zürich
5. Hiltl Pflanzbar: restaurant / bar / Talstrasse 62, 8001 Zürich
6. Hiltl Vegimetzg: store / take-away / vegetarian butcher / St. Annagasse 18, 8001 Zürich
7. Hiltl am See: restaurant (open only in the summer) / Seestrasse 205, 8802 Kilchberg
8. Hiltl am Strand: restaurant (open only in the summer) / Mythenquai 95, 8002 Zürich
Being a 21st Century business, Hiltl locations can be rented for events with or without the buffet service. The food itself can be ordered for external catering services. Gourmet cooking classes are also offered where you can learn how to make some of the traditional in-house homemade healthy dishes!
For their 111 anniversary, Rolf Hiltl published the cookbook including many diverse dishes served in the restaurants, Veggie International: a world of difference.
Taking responsibility for animals, nature and humans, Hiltl supports different organizations such as the distribution of food after the restaurant closing hours to certain social groups, supporting “LIFT” where young people need help with their career entry or their current project “Greentopf” encouraging health amongst young people to name a few.
Hiltl also plays their part towards our environment and engages themselves through the reusable Hiltl bento bowls!
For a greener Planet – mean green, eco machine
Beyond Hiltl, onto Tibits
Being an extremely popular business and concept in Switzerland, at the end of the 20th century Hiltl invested in a new business idea, Tibits a vegetarian fast-food company which has seen such success across Switzerland that it even expanded to Europe with a chain in London.
Hiltl at the moment, in 2020
In current times, the hospitality industry has seen quite some changes occur! Hiltl services have therefore been adapted with some locations such as the clubs and bars currently closed until further notice whilst other services remain open.
Following 4 locations are open with following service:
→ Haus Hiltl, Hiltl Sihlpost, Hiltl Dachterrasse
o Take away or delivery
o Holiday brunches from 10:00 until 14 :30
o Buffets or food a la carte from 10 :00 – 19 :00
→ Hiltl Vegimetzg
o The Plant based Butcher open from 9 :00 – 19 :00
Following 4 locations currently closed until further notice:
· Hiltl Langstrasse, Hiltl Pflanzbar, Hiltl am See, Hiltl am Strand.
The family run business has now entered its 4th generation and truly is a 21st century business as they stand for conscious eating and wellbeing in a fun and accessible manner, as well as playing their part contributing to improving society as a whole. With published cookbooks putting forward in-house dishes or their strong partnership with Tibits, it stays exciting to see what ventures Hiltl will undergo in the future!
We are generation change.
Enjoy! Yours truly,
© Isabel Silvia
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