If you ever happen to be in Zurich and can steer yourself away from the Bahnhofstrasse where all the shopping happens, you may want to check out this street called Niederdorfstrasse. Basically, upon coming out of the main train station, also known as Zurich HB, there is a river of sorts that is pretty hard to miss. Niederdorfstrasse is to your left if you are facing the city, a nice stretch of shops and restaurants behind the main road. Bahnhofstrasse is more towards the right side. Anyway, besides the main shopping street, there are shops all over the smaller streets, but it takes some walking around to explore the area, and if the weather is great, you can really spend hours walking on the cobblerstone streets, so pack along your walking shoes and leave your pointy stilettoes at home.
I got myself some tourist information at the airport when I was waiting in line to inquire about the hotel shuttle so I picked up some maps and stuff (that I conveniently left behind in the hotel) and read about what there is in Zurich. I had friends telling me how costly this place is, and also that I could consider visiting the Rhine Falls and etc., which I didn’t of course. I am lazy to travel too far out when I am on business trips because it takes too much effort and energy when mostly I just want to chill during the weekends and rest as much as I can possibly do.
So I read that there were some nice cafes about and during the weekend I headed to one of them for a coffee break. Henrici supposedly boasts to have one of the city’s best coffee so of course it would only make me want to check them out.
I got myself a seat indoors even though it was a really warm day and most patrons chose to sit outside under the tented verandah. After being in the shade for a while it did start to feel cooler, as long as I was out of reach of the sun’s merciless rays. It seemed pretty much like a hole-in-the-wall kind of cafe from the outside but turns out to be a rather big hole. The indoor seating area was quite large and comfortable and the counter and cake-display showcased an array of delectable-looking bites, from sandwiches to pastries.
Since I already had breakfast in the hotel and due to the persistent pain in my jaw (that still hasn’t healed) I couldn’t really order something that would require me to use my jaw too much. A soft cake is fine since the fork can cut it into tiny morsels and it is easy to shove it into the small space that is now called my open-jaw. I cannot recall if there were muffins, something that I often order when I have coffee, but this raspberry swiss-roll thing (swiss!) caught my eye instead.
The cake was not bad, because it was really soft like I expected so it was so easy to eat though still not without pain, and it was not overloading on the sugar content. Finally, let’s come to the coffee. I won’t say it’s the best coffee that I’ve had but it definitely is better than your regular stuff from Starbucks and the chains. Maybe it’s just a psychological thing but I always prefer to have coffees in such independent cafes because my opinion is that they have a larger vested interest to make sure they serve up the best roast that they can get to earn that niche rather than commercial chains who would probably be content to have acceptable coffee that they can get at a good price. Personal bias perhaps? Still it was a great hour or so spent idling in the cafe while seeking refuge from the sunshine.
Coffee in Zurich doesn’t come cheap either. For this tea-break it easier set me back by I think it was CHF 13, which translates to slightly less than SGD 18. Cost of living is high there is no doubt about that.