On Fridays, I try to make it an extra early morning in order to be able to go for a stroll across the market on Zurich’s Bürkliplatz and buy some fresh vegetables for the weekend. I love checking out the different stalls, see how they present their produce and how their offer changes across the seasons. Due to the fact that supermarkets feel the need to shrink-wrap the vegetables and fruit they sell, it’s also a more sustainable alternative for your weekly shopping – just make sure to bring a cloth bag to collect and transport your purchases!
The selection at the market is especially enticing during August when it’s time to harvest the summer’s produce. The red of the tomatoes and the greens of the zucchini and cucumbers are particularly bright, the first apple of the year are on display and the selection of berries is simply alluring. Another aspect of the market I enjoy is the conversation. While I wait to be served at one of the stalls, I listen to customers and farmers talk about their produce and exchange recipes and I get immediately inspired to try out something new myself.
One morning, on a Friday off, I brought my camera to the market and was so occupied with taking pictures, that I missed their selling curfew at 11 a.m. – I had to buy my veggies somewhere else that day, but the impressions from a market day in Zurich remain for you to enjoy:
There are several weekly markets in Zurich, my favorite is the one at Bürkliplatz in the city centre, which you can visit on Tuesdays and Fridays between 6am and 11pm. Apart from vegetables, there are stalls offering fish, meat, and baked goods, as well as cheese. Another market, very similar to the one at Bürkliplatz, is on Helvetiaplatz. Also every Thursday there is a very small market on Tessinerplatz with only a few but very charming vendors selling vegetables, baked goods, Italian and Greek specialities and fresh juice. That one is also great for a lunch break!
If you want to dive deeper into Swiss market culture, Butterzopf und Federkohl: Streifzüge über Schweizer Wochenmärkte by Barbara Halter and Vanessa Pünterer is worth a read. The book introduces individual vendors and producers from markets across Switzerland, complete with recipes and reviews of the best markets here in Switzerland. Unfortunately, it is only available in German.