On arrival in Zürich everything seems more sophisticated, at least it did for me. Beautiful people speaking a multitude of languages drink exotic drinks like Braulio, Averna and Feldschlösschen. Fondue is served on draft and getting hammered after work becomes, “an apero.” But after a while my body and mind yearned for rare and eccentric items from home and so my quest began. But where do you start? I've compiled a list of some places where you can find teabags, vegemite or a twinkie.
Surprisingly, the Co-op is a good place to start as the bigger stores, (in Sihlcity and Stadelhofen for example,) have sections for foreign food items which are grouped by country. You can also order items from their online store which saves you the embarrassment of wandering around the shop like a lost soul with an empty shopping basket.
Drinks of the world.
Missing your favourite beer? Then Drinks of the World in the Zürich main station is the place to go. They have a pretty comprehensive selection of beers from all over the world including a great selection of IPA’s from all over the place and numerous Czech and Belgian beers.
Halle Landesmuseum, Bahnhofplatz, 8001 Zürich
I love this place because not only do they sell proper English tea, but Barkat also sells a whole selection of curry pastes and spices. Dried spices are way cheaper than in the large supermarkets and they have a whole bunch of grocery items from all over the globe which is reflected in its clientele. There are two of these shops in Zürich, one at Badnerstrasse 530 and one directly next to the 14 and 9 tram stop at Schmiede Wiedikon.
Birmensdorferstrasse 141-143, 8003 Zürich and Badenerstrasse 530, 8048 Zürich
American Food Avenue
For those from across the pond there is the American Food Avenue. Although they do not have a physical shop they have an online presence with a massive selection of candy and chocolate as well as savoury condiments, snacks and breakfast cereals.
On the face of it mullums.ch website doesn’t look like a food store. At first glance it appeared to be a clothes store but it is one of the few places i have discovered where you can buy Vegemite. They also sell a selection of Australian beverages such as VB and, slightly bizarrely, Hot Cross Buns.
Underneath the disused Lettin viaduct lies the Markthalle and this is home to the British Cheese Centre. But they don’t stop at cheese, they also sell beer so you can stop for a quick drink while your Stilton is being weighed. The also host The Pie Shop. Not British? The Markthalle has a great selection of deli’s and sells a plethora of delicious stuff. Situated between Escherwyss Platz and Quelllenstrasse on tram 4, 11, 13 and 17.
Jims British Shop
If all else fails and you are resigned to waiting for a few days for a decent cup of tea then you can order from Jims British Market. As they are based in Switzerland there is no customs wrangles so its a great place to pick up those rare and exotic items that no other country would dream of eating.
Good luck and enjoy the recoils of horror as you tuck into a Twinkie smothered with Vegemite, washed down with a cup of tea.If you have any secret sources please let me know in the comments. En guete.
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