Zmittag - A Typical Swiss Meal (Part 3)

In this mini series I'll write about the five daily meals people eat in Switzerland: Zmorge, Znüni, Zmittag, Zvieri and Znacht. What do we typically eat? When do we eat? What is the proper conduct at the table? Today, I'll write about lunch.


Zmittag is the Swiss German word for lunch and is a short form of "zu Mittag" which means "at noon". This logically implies that in Switzerland Zmittag is eaten at mid-day.

However, Zmittag is not very representative of Swiss culture. Lunch in Switzerlandis usually a hot meal and hot meals here have become very international. The Swiss like to eat Italian, Thai, Chinese, Vegetarian and pretty much everything you can think of. There are some traditional dishes like Züri Gschnätzlets (Zurich-style ragout of veal) or Basler Mehlsuppe (flour soup from Basel) that are great for Zmittag but one can only eat them once in a while, right? 

What is special about Swiss Zmittag then? In Switzerland, the time between 12am - 1pm is considered a quiet time or rest time. Any kind of loud noise is not allowed during this time. Lawn mowing and drilling holes in the wall are frowned upon. Some people even consider it rude to call someone on the phone during this hour (even if mobile phones have changed this quite a bit). 

Zmittag - birgitH  /

In this mini series:

Zmorge - breakfast
Znüni - mid-morning snack
Zmittag - lunch
Zvieri - mid-afternoon snack
Znacht - dinner



  1. Your blog is fantastic! I have just found it but I wish I had last year when I first moved to Zürich. It's so informative. Thank you!


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