A local institution, the Helvetia is regarded with great affection by all Zürich. Handily located in Kreis 4, it has been a meeting point for artists, actors, philosophers, journalists and businessmen for decades, be it for an indulgent dinner or quick drink in the downstairs bar.
A recent refurbishment kept the tradition but funked up the brasserie styling; crisp white linen table-cloths are offset by dark wood panels punctuated with a rotating exhibition of modern art from nearby Haus Konstructiv. Award-winning chef Françoise Wicki mans the stove, serving up inventive regional cuisine using market fresh seasonal ingredients.
The menu embraces Swiss classics like tender beef hackbraten and perfectly crispy wiener schnitzel, augmented by 12 seasonal options including rock lobster with vodka tagliarini and minced veal and duck liver burger on mash with morel mushrooms. The wine list blends local wines with those from Europe and few carefully selected New World options. Downstairs, the relaxed bar is always popular for a drink and upstairs the hotel has some chic, minimalist rooms.