Switzerland might remind you of Heidi running around near the Alps, the happy cows roaming freely on the green fields, the chocolate and the cheese, the beautiful mountain cottages and… the heavy meat dishes.
Yes, Switzerland is a heavy meat consumer, but I was impressed by the variety, quality and taste of the many vegan products you find at any supermarket. Some of these supermarkets label their products in different categories: Vegan; ovo-vegetarian: lacto-ovo-vegetarian, which makes our lives so much easier.
In fact, I find Switzerland, especially around the Zurich area – where I’m currently living – a very vegan friendly city, with many vegetarian and vegan restaurants and even regular vegan potlocks for couchsurfers. Here’s a sample of the delicious products I’ve been testing.
A regular supermarket which labels all the vegan and vegetarian products. This is a plus, so you don’t have to go through every single ingredient, especially when the labels might be in German. They have a wonderful quality and variety of vegan products, you can’t go wrong with them.
You can choose from soy or vegetable burgers, nuggets, rice milk, pizzas and other products.
Coop is another regular supermarket offering a range of quality vegan and vegetarian foods, they’re also labelled and easy to spot. Their products are absolutely delicious.
Aldi is a wonderful German low cost supermarket offering a couple of vegetarian products, from burgers to schnitzels and a variety of organic rice and soy milks. This one can be a bit tricky for some vegans because the products are not labelled, and I fell for the mistake of buying a couple of ovo-vegetarian products thinking they were vegan, since I have been buying them for a while in Portugal where they’re 100% vegan. The rice, soy and almond milks are very delicious and cheap.
HEALTH FOOD STORES
Check out HappyCow’s directory of health food stores which offer a wide range of amazing products. The Swiss love quality and the food reflects that spirit. I got some plain tofu and a few other products.
If you’re passing by or moving permanently, you should check out the vegan potlocks, where people from all walks of lif get together to cook and share a vegan meal. This is possibly the best way of making new friends, and exploring the culture and lifestyle of Zurich. Check the Couchsurfing webpage for more info on the events.
Yara Coelho exchanged the comforts of home 16 years ago for a life on the road. She has been traveling the world mixing a love for vegan food, alternative living and low-impact traveling. She’s currently creating her new vegan travel and personal development blog “Heart of a vagabond” and planing an epic trip from Lisbon to Asia by land as a solo female traveler. Follow her on Facebook.