Eating in Zurich and Lucerne with nut allergy

Eating in Zurich and Lucerne with nut allergy

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mbakerc
mbakerc
13 posts
new member
Jan 31, 2018 - 12:08 AM

Hi again, we are very excited about our visit this summer and plans are coming together. The only thing I'm worried about is navigating the menus for my 13 year old son with a nut allergy. I have printed out cards in both German and Italian that we can give to the wait staff that explain the allergy. Having a child with a nut allergy is stressful at all restaurants but In the States it is a very common issue. I'm curious if this is as common in Switzerland (Italy and Austria as well!). Are there nuts in much of the cuisine? Are there any staples that kids like that don't usually have nuts? For example, here in North Carolina my son can almost always find chicken wings, spaghetti, macaroni and cheese, sushi, pizza, etc, on a menu and feel pretty good about those being safe selections (although, of course, we always make sure to ask).

Any suggestions would be very appreciated!

Thanks so much,

Melissa

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
4485 posts
expert
Jan 31, 2018 - 1:57 AM in reply to mbakerc

<<"I have printed out cards in both German and Italian that we can give to the wait staff that explain the allergy.">>

Hi Melissa -

Why not French? More common that Italian in the northern parts of Switzerland.

Slowpoke

mbakerc
mbakerc
13 posts
new member
Jan 31, 2018 - 2:02 AM

I should have clarified....I printed German for use in Switzerland and Italian for use in Italy. Do you think I will need both German and French in Zurich and Lucerne?

Thanks, Slowpoke!

Lucas
Lucas
5490 posts
expert &
moderator
Jan 31, 2018 - 7:24 AM in reply to mbakerc

Hi Melissa,

German should be just fine if those are your only two towns you are visiting here. But it isn't a bad idea to have it in French too - just in case.

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
4485 posts
expert
Jan 31, 2018 - 11:22 AM in reply to mbakerc

Hi Melissa-

You may not find these at some of the fancy restaurants, but the cheapest meal on the menu in "non-gourmet" restaurants, especially in train stations or "ordinary" restaurants is Spaghetti Napoli. That means with tomato sauce. The next step up might be Spaghetti Bolognese...not very authentic, but with a some kind of not especially flavorful ground meat in a tomato sauce.

Pizza is common.

Mac and cheese? How about älplermagronen? (alpine macaroni).

growchew.wordpress.com /2011/02/20/aelplermag ronen-swiss-mac-n-cheese/

It is put together from the ingredients that would be available in storage throughout the long winter in a remote mountain valley farmhouse. Not actually mac and cheese, but similar.

When I took my then fussy 8 year old granddaughter to Switzerland in 2009, she would routinely eat spaghetti with butter on it, and, for variety, and sometimes sprinkle a little cheese on it.

We could get that anywhere. In those days, I enjoyed eating in the first class section of the restaurant Au Premier in the Luzern train station. Definitely a gourmet restaurant, sadly no longer there. It was up on the balcony and the back wall of the ordinary ( second class) section had windows that overlooked the railheads. So, you could watch the trains come and go as you ate.

My daughter and I ordered something nice and Swiss with a good wine, granddaughter ordered plain spaghetti with butter, and cheese on the side. I requested "Keine Tomatensauce, kein Schnittlauch." (No tomato sauce, no chives). Schnittlauch is little bits of chopped chives, routinely used as a garnish for a bit of color. Horrors! It arrived with chives. It was quickly whisked away with apologies and replaced with a colorless version.

You can always find a sausage on the menu anywhere. Usually white or (grey) rarely brown. Veal or pork bratwurst, (Kalbsbratwurst or Schweinsbratwiurast), mildly flavored, are almost universally available. If you are lucky, you can get them with Rösti ( particulary good hash browns). Fries are faster and may replace Rösti at restaurants that are in a hurry. In my opinion, the sausages are quite superior to the attempts to copy them that you can buy in the USA. Maybe you can get good ones at New Bern?

You can get a choice of sausages including hot dogs at my favorite quick food place in the shopping area (Shopville) of Zürich main station. Horbers sausage stand is near the foot of the escalators that run down from the train platform level to the lower level shopping area. It is on the passageway that leads to the escalators up to the Bahnhofstrasse exit. You all might enjoy that experience; I do every time I am in Zürich. (Bby the way, the sausages come plain, with a kind of paper wrapping to hold them. They do have paper plates). They come with "ein Bürli" or Bürlibrot. That is a chunk of bread to eat with the sausage. The word is related to the English "burl" for a knot in a piece of wood. It means :chunk" in this context..

The websites are in German, but you can look at the pictures.

www.horberwurst.com/

www.horberwurst.com/st andorte

(that shows the location)

www.yelp.com/biz/metzg erei-horber-z%C3%BCrich-2

Yelp offers a laughable attempt at a translation.

Be prepared to pay at least twice what you might pay in the USA for those simple foods.

Another place in Zürich that is a special experience is the Zeughauskeller.

www.zeughauskeller.ch/ en/home

Family style seating, with Swiss of all walks of life, including the local Swiss bankers, and tourists from all over Switzerland and every country in the world. They have about a dozen varieties of sausages along with traditional Swiss-German food.

Slowpoke

mbakerc
mbakerc
13 posts
new member
Feb 2, 2018 - 12:46 AM

Thank you so much for this amazing, detailed, helpful, reply. I know I will be referring back to it on our trip!

Melissa

Slowpoke
Slowpoke
4485 posts
expert
Feb 2, 2018 - 2:07 AM in reply to mbakerc

Hi Melissa -

You are quite welcome.

You had a clear request, and it easier to answer those.

Perhaps we might have other comments if we knew when you were traveling, and whether you will venture further into Switzerland than Zürich and Luzern?

Slowpoke

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mbakerc
mbakerc
13 posts
new member
Feb 2, 2018 - 3:11 AM

Sure, here are the details....

Flying into Zurich on June 18th, train to Lucerne for 3 nights.

Train to Milan, car to Varenna, 4 nights

Train to Venice. 3 nights

Train to Salzburg 3 nights

Train to Zurich 2 nights, fly home

Me, my husband, and 4 teens (son and daughter 13, son 17 and his 17 year old girlfriend). We are staying in Air BNBs the whole time and hoping to find breakfast foods and snacks at the local grocery stores. All of the places have groceries in walking distance (Coops is one I have heard of a few times) We plan to eat lunch and dinner out, although not always fancy. One of my fondest memories of our honeymoon in Italy was buying delicious bread and cheese and paninis and eating them on the various train trips, I hope to repeat that on our travel days!

I noticed someone posted about gluten free concerns and someone else responded with phrases in German to look for regarding ingredients. Could you offer any help with German nut translation, or phrases to look for? Are the food labels on the boxes similar to the U.S. with bold allergens listed first in the ingredient list?

Thanks!

Melissa

Alpenrose666
Alpenrose666
2112 posts
top member
Feb 2, 2018 - 6:42 AM in reply to mbakerc

Hi Melissa,

>> Could you offer any help with German nut translation, or phrases to look for? Are the food labels on the boxes similar to the U.S. with bold allergens listed first in the ingredient list?

I've never noticed the food labelling in Switzerland to be honest.

Here is some German vocabulary in relation to nuts:

  • nussfrei - nut free
  • ohne Nüsse - without nuts
  • enthält Nüsse - contains nuts
  • Zutaten - ingredients
  • Allergie - allergy
  • allergisch gegen Nüsse - allergic to nuts

The first word of each pair is the singular word, the second word being the plural version.

  • Cashewnuss / Cashewnüsse - cashews
  • Erdnuss / Erdnüsse - peanuts; Erdnussöl - peanut oil
  • Haselnuss / Haselnüsse - hazelnuts
  • Kastanie / Kastanien - chestnuts
  • Macadamianuss / Macadamianüsse - macadamia nuts
  • Mandel / Mandeln - almonds
  • Nuss / Nüsse - nuts
  • Paranuss / Paranüsse - brazil nuts
  • Pekannuss / Pekannüsse (might sometimes be spelt with c instead of k) - pecan nuts
  • Pinienkerne - pine nuts
  • Pistazie / Pistazien - pistachios
  • Walnuss / Walnüsse - walnuts

Hope this helps :-)

Alpenrose

Last modified on Feb 2, 2018 - 6:51 AM by Alpenrose666
Slowpoke
Slowpoke
4485 posts
expert
Feb 2, 2018 - 11:10 AM in reply to mbakerc

Hi Melissa-

Sounds like a great trip.

I'm biased toward Switzerland, but have visited Salzburg. Sadly, never made it to Venice or Varenna, but have spent quite a few days in Locarno and Lugano. My vist to Salzburg was too brief to appreciate the city. Quite few days in Milano, on business, with minimal tourism, but good food.

I hope your budget will let you eat out well in Italy. The food is usually great.

You are wise to allow a decent amount of time at each location, and to travel before the crowds hit in July.

I'm wondering how to get you to the Jungfrau Region while you are in Switzerland, but I don' t think it is possible. In mid-June it is really too early - just finishing Winter at the higher elevations where the best walks are, and the hotels and restaurants are just starting to open up for the Summer in early and mid-June. Luzern is really nice in June, although there are still Spring rains.

You could squeeze it ( Jungfrau Region) in at the end, but it would be terribly rushed. I would not attempt it, even though it beats Zürich by far as the best place to be a tourist in Switzerland.

www.myswissalps.com/ju ngfrauregion

8 hrs 23 minutes Salzburg to Wengen at 0756, 0956, 1156, then only a half day in the region the next day, because you want to be back in Zürich the night before you fly back to the states. Most flights out are in mid to late morning.

So. I've attached a few pictures from the Jungfrau region to make you wish you could go there, and a few more from around Luzern. There are good train connections to Milano Centrale from Luzern. You go first to Arth Goldau, a major connection point, then get on the main North-South axis to Milano.Plenty of no-change trains on the route from Luzern.

There are some nice sights near Luzern.

The lake is major attraction, as are nearby mountains. The mountain most resembling the other high alpine areas is Titlis.

www.myswissalps.com/lu cerne

This thread describes one of my favorite hikes in the area,which is probably not practical on a short first time visit. But , it has some nice pictures:

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/the-swiss-path-and-southern-lake-lucerne

A good place to eat in Luzern with a range of good foods and prices is the Rathaus Braurei. Terrific location.

Don't worry about the name - das Rathaus is "the town hall." Think oration and berate. ;-)

www.luzern.com/en/rest aurantrathausbrauerei

map.search.ch/?q=Restaurant+Rathaus+B rauerei,+Luzern,+Unter +der+Egg+2&near=662000 ,190000

I like to go up to Hammetschwand on Bürgenstock, for lunch.

map.search.ch/B%C3%BCr genstock,Hammetschwand ?pos=673816,207488&z=32

If it appeals, I can provide details. See attached images.

More about Zürich later. I spend a total of about 8-10 days in Zürich every year when I travel to Switzerland, so I have some thoughts about the city.

Slowpoke

Last modified on Feb 2, 2018 - 11:15 AM by Slowpoke
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mbakerc
mbakerc
13 posts
new member
Feb 3, 2018 - 12:34 AM in reply to Alpenrose666

Thanks Alpenrose for those translations! Exactly what I need!

Thanks Slowpoke for the great ideas and beautiful pictures!

Many hugs to you both!

Melissa

mbakerc
mbakerc
13 posts
new member
Feb 3, 2018 - 1:09 AM in reply to Slowpoke

Just rereading your posts again and thought I should answer your inquiries...

We are planning to buy the golden pass trip to Pilatus since it is easiest to get to and we only have a couple of days. Will definitely go back to your posts and ideas on a return trip! Definitely plan to eat well along the way! Probably a large mix of all cuisines and cost levels. We are a family that especially likes Asian food (we traveled to China 12 years ago and adopted our daughter there), Italian, Japanese (especially sushi), Mexican etc.. I was quite surprised when I saw how many sushi restaurants turned up in my research of Switzerland! And we are all cheese and chocolate lovers so I know there will be something for everyone.

As far as our 2 nights in Zurich at the end of the trip, I had originally planned for one night before we fly out at 3pm the next day. Most people on this site as well as all others seem to think there are much more beautiful places to see so I was basically planning to skip it. Then I read a few reviews that said its quite nice, at least worth seeing the highlights for a day since we are going to be there anyhow. My kids absolutely love big cities (I realize it's not NYC big:) so I thought it might be fun to wrap up our adventure with a short time in Zurich. Would love to hear your favorite spots we shouldn't miss!

Melissa

Lucas
Lucas
5490 posts
expert &
moderator
Feb 3, 2018 - 8:17 AM in reply to mbakerc

Hi Melissa,

I know Slowpoke will chime in with some great suggestions but I'll get you started with a few pages on our website:

If you haven't read through our Zurich page have a look here. We list a self-guided city tour here, information on boat trips on Lake Zurich here and an easy family-friendly hike on Uetliberg mountain (overlooking the city and lake).

Switzerland's population is smaller than NYC so that gives you an idea on the "big city feel" you'll get in Zurich. :)

A few of my favourite restaurants here are: Frau Gerolds, Cafe Schober & Zeughauskeller. If you have the time & inclination to get a little out of the city check out: Chäsalp (30 minute by tram & bus with a 5 minute walk at the end). Fantastic fondue there but note the menu prices are all in Rappen (pennies) so it isn't as expensive as you first might think ;)

Last modified on Feb 3, 2018 - 9:24 AM by Arno
Slowpoke
Slowpoke
4485 posts
expert
Feb 3, 2018 - 10:50 AM in reply to mbakerc

<<"My kids absolutely love big cities (I realize it's not NYC big:) so I thought it might be fun to wrap up our adventure with a short time in Zurich. Would love to hear your favorite spots we shouldn't miss!">>

Zürich is not a "Big City."

The few high rise buildings stand out like sore thumbs.

Check these threads:

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/need-help-in-my-planning#cq6cUaDW9mqS6 v8AAFcRTQ

and this long one....scroll down to Nov 3 more or less.

www.myswissalps.com/fo rum/topic/swiss-itinerary-for-december-2015

Restaurants -

Lucas and I both mentioned der Zeughauskeller. Pretty much a "must do."

If you go for dinner, try to get there before about 1830....1800 is better. Reservations are possible, but as long as you are there before the crowd, you can walk in and have almost no waiting, even with your group of six. The food is generally quite good, except that they have found a way to mass-produce Rösti that makes them crisp fast, but before they have cooked long enough to develop the proper flavor.. Having been spoiled elsewhere with excellent Rösti, , I choose their good potato salad at the Zeughauskeler.

These days, and actually, many years ago, I have developed and renewed a liking for Restaurant zum Kropf, sort of across the alley ( which is named "im Gassen") a few yards from the Zeughauskeller. Been there a long while, very good traditional Swiss food in a nice atmosphere. A bit more formal in that seating is at separate tables, mostly, than the Zeughauskeller, which has family style seating at large tables....fun because you never know who will be siting next to you.

www.zumkropf.ch/en/men u

www.zuerich.com/en/vis it/restaurants/zum-kropf

Lucas usually adds the restaurant Swiss Chuchi, at the Hotel Adler in the Niederdorf to his list. Raclette and Fondue specialties.

I have been staying at the Adler since about 2004, and agree with that recommendation. It is crowded and busy, but the service is fast..lots of wait staff. It is on a busy pedestrian street/square and gets a lot of walk ins. For six people, I'd reserve, before noon on the day that you go. Or, walk in, in mid afternoon.

A lot of the very old buildings along the river on the Limmat Quai have been made into restaurants.

Are you by any chance a fan of the Irish author James Joyce?

Slowpoke

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