Zeughausareal is one of only a few green spaces in Zurich’s city centre and yet, as it’s fenced in, with the former military buildings surrounding it looking abandoned, you can hardly call it inviting. Summergarte has changed this greatly. It’s an oasis of colourful lights, scattered tables and picnic cloths, and mouth-watering smells of grilled fish and meat.
As its name (summer garden, you might have guessed) suggests, Summergarte is open in summer only, and only when the weather is good. As a rule of thumb, this means no rain and temperatures on the right side of 20°C. The place looks and feels temporary, but that’s only fair, as so does summer in Zurich.
It’s self-service here; you place your order at their converted trailer. For lunch, sandwiches and cold soup are on offer, but the place really comes into its own in the evening and at weekends, when they fire up their BBQ and serve platters of delicious fish, meat or vegetables. You pay around 35 francs per person for a platter, which seems like a hefty price to out-of-towners, but as a Zurich aficionado you already know of course that this is merely adequate.
In terms of sheer atmosphere and pleasantness you’d be hard-pushed to find a better place on a balmy summer evening.