Among many other things, Zurich is well known for its beautiful guild halls. One of these historic guild halls dominates the city center with its magnificent appearance. Having barely arrived at the Münsterhof, one of Zurich’s beautiful town squares, a traditional house with a light blue façade and famous Chagall windows immediately catches everyones attention. Directly facing the Fraumünster Church, the Restaurant Zunfthaus zur Waag welcomes guests to enjoy culinary delicacies in an elegant, Zurich-style 19th-century room on the first floor.
History of the Guildhall “Zunfthaus zur Waag”
1315 Peter Schmid, a doctor and an apothecary from Valais, acquires the house and probably gives it its name “zur Waag”. One could make a connection between Dr. Schmid’s second occupation as an apothecary and the symbol of the house – the scales (Waag). In 1385, 22 linen weavers bought the house. They then left it to the guild, in 1405. In 1440 the guild of the linen weavers merged with the guild of the wool weavers. The guild of “Waag” is one of the last seven guilds to own its own guild house.
Architecturally the style of the guild house is predominantly Renaissance. Yet the windows, for instance, show a Gothic influence. The collection of stained glass paintings and the oil painting by Heinrich Bodmer – depicting the poet and painter Johan Martin Usteri (1763-1827) - are among the most remarkable features of the large guild hall.
Due to this historical background, we were both really excited as Sepp Wimmer, Zunfthaus host, invited us for lunch and we therefore went to the restaurant with appropriate expectations.
After a warm welcome, we were placed at a pretty little table right by one of the beautiful windows, directly overlooking the Münsterhof. The restaurant looks quite elegant but with a homely touch, which leads to a very pleasant and relaxed atmosphere. The menu focuses on the essentials and particularly offers you Zurich’s classics but also new and ingenious creations cooked by master chef Alain Koenig.
As starters, we ordered a lamb’s lettuce with bacon, egg and croutons as well as a marinated char fillet with yellow beetroot, apples and grated horseradish. Even if the char fillet was smaller than expected, both starters tasted delectable and were prepared very lovely.
For the main course, we decided to try the signature dish of the restaurant, which is sliced veal “Zurich style” with “Rösti” and the roasted fillet of beef with tarragon crust, mashed potatoes and braised parsnips. This was definitely the right choice, just unbelievably delicious. The beef fillet was cooked to the point and the “Rösti” was simply heavenly. We were told, that they have a single person, which is just busy making the perfect “Rösti”!
For dessert we tried the chocolate mousse by Marcel Chardon, which preparation is a well-kept secret and dumplings filled with apricots and vanilla sauce, which is another classic on the menu. Both desserts were close to heaven.
Our expectations were completely fulfilled or even surpassed. The restaurant Zunfthaus zur Waag offers a complete dining experience with its perfect service, historic ambiance and incredible food and in doing so conveys an all-round perfect overall impression.
Starters: from CHF 15.50 to CHF 26.50
Main Courses: from CHF 41.00 to CHF 56.00
Desserts: CHF from CHF 14.50 to CHF 18.50
Restaurant Zunfthaus zur Waag
Phone: +41 44 216 99 66