Haus Zum Ruden is the oldest, longest-running restaurant in Zurich. This classic guild house has been an esteemed dining room in the city center since the 13th century. From elite guild hall to elegant Swiss dining institution, Haus Zum Ruden continuously carries regional gastronomic traditions into the present day.
The house of Haus Zum Ruden was first mentioned in 1348 in the same structure and location facing the river. It was primarily the meeting place of the noblemen of the Gesellschaft zur Constaffel guild in the 14th century. The structure has served as a coin factory and city hall throughout its 500-year-old history. Haus Zum Ruden is the only house which stands by itself because the noblemen of the time were afforded the privacy to gather amongst themselves. Constaffel was a powerful guild in Zurich which continuously grew. By the 16th century, they had to build an additional floor. The portraits and crests of the guild’s many members still hang in the halls of the restaurant.
After the French Revolution, Haus Zum Ruden primarily become a social club with less political influence. The space was used for eating, drinking and celebrating social friendships along with the famous Spring Festival in Zurich. Which brings the house into the modern day, where it continues to serve hearty food to the people and visitors of Zurich.
The current owners, Carina and Till, are proud Zurich locals who took over Haus Zum Ruden to share their city’s gastronomic tradition at the highest level.
“We try to represent the very traditional and modern part of Zurich because Zurich is quite open minded. You find very traditional historical places and then you also find very modern places. That’s what we want to represent: some traditional dishes and the modern way of Zurich as well.” -Till Bächtold, Co-Owner
Haus Zum Ruden serves classic Swiss dishes with a modern twist, or imported modern dishes with a Swiss twist. The most famous item which the restaurant is known for is the Zurich schnitzel, which is the obvious must-try item for every visitor. It’s a perfectly prepared tender veal schnitzel with an unforgettable mushroom sauce. The sauce is supremely flavorful, yet light. The Zurich schnitzel gets served with a side of fluffy potatoes that are crisp on the outside, akin to the most delicious hash browns you’ve ever tried. Being a modern restaurant that keeps up with the times, Haus Zum Ruden even offers a vegan plant-based version of their famous schnitzel with a sauce made of almond milk.
Other than the famous Zurich-style veal, the menu features fresh local ingredients and produce that illustrate the Swiss palette. Start off with beef carpaccio with hazelnut and parmesan or a marinated peach salad with caramelized goat cheese. For mains you can try the tagliatelle with Ruden sausage or locally grown buffalo filet with summer vegetables.
Just like the menu, the restaurant space of Haus Zum Ruden also embodies grand Swiss tradition. The main dining room above the ground floor is a gothic hall with grand wooden ceilings. The main hall preserves the sociable ambiance of the guild’s meeting place from the past with a clear view of the Limmat out front. The Constaffel Hall is a slightly more formal space with intricate baroque ceilings that can be used for events and meetings. There’s also the delightful Ruden Stubli room: a baroque confection of a room with mint-green walls, where antique portraits of the members of the historic guild hang.
The outdoor terrace at Haus Zum Ruden is the best place in town to sit down to a meal or a drink with a view. You can sit right in front of the most scenic part of the city center, directly facing St. Peter’s Church and the Limmat River. There’s truly no setting that feels more Zurich than enjoying an afternoon at the banks of the Limmat in front of the historic Haus Zum Ruden.
To experience the best of traditional and modern Zurich gastronomy, there’s only one place to go. Haus Zum Ruden awaits with a timeless space and the most perfect veal schnitzel in town.
As the empowered female behind the blog: International Women of Mystery, Nadia reps Team JST traveling the world in search of exclusive features on hidden gems and cool hotspots. You can find her exploring metropolitan cities or lounging on tropical beaches.