April 12, 2012

out and about : sisu, café und bar

While I wait for film to be developed I thought I'd start a little something new on the blog, an out and about in Zürich section. Slowly, as I've settled in and become more accustomed to life abroad what I blog about (mostly food) could be done from anywhere, from New Haven or New Zealand or New Dehli. Unlike an expat living in Paris, eager to grasp the techniques of French cooking, I have no real desire to conquer Swiss cuisine. It's too rich and too creamy. I know, maybe that sounds good, but imagine alternating between fondue and schnitzel every night, and then perhaps you'd change your mind.

Anyway what I'm trying to get at is that I want a Zürich-specific section. I want you to be able to visit the blog and if you live here or travel here be able to find a few spots to hang out on a rainy day. I also want to do it as a reminder of places I've been and places I like to go.

so here we go....
Sisu Café und Bar
Meinrad-Lienerstrasse 1
8003, Zürich
Sisu won me over with the iittala owl cups, but the big brown leather couch that I sunk into and could barely get out off didn't hurt either. The owl 'taika' (meaning magic) reflect that fact that Sisu is a Finish café. They also serve sweet pulla, a Finish cardamon-cinnamon spiced sweet bread, and Karhu, a Finish beer. And they serve it all in a very relaxed, low-key, atmosphere, where you could comfortably hunker with your computer and a coffee for a few hours (they have free wi-fi).

I discovered Sisu because was noted in a New York Times travel article about the gentrification of a previously seedy area of town.
It's taken me awhile to get the hang of European coffee. Drip American coffee has no place outside your own kitchen, the exception being Starbucks, so it's important to get comfortable with the coffee menu. My current favorite is café crème, a long espresso or americano with cream on the side.

I hope you like this new installment. And if you live in Zürich and have any favorite spots, I'd love to hear about them.


  1. I look forward to reading all about your Zurich adventures in the hopes that some day I can get there to try them out myself!

  2. The cafe looks like a living room...heaven!

  3. Love the idea for an out & about in Zürich section! Looking forward to reading future posts. I love European coffee, but I do also miss good old "watered-down" American drip coffee when I'm there!

  4. This is so much fun! Love this addition to your blog. And welcome back! I am so impressed that you still shoot with film. So, and forgive me, but how do you get those pics up to your blog? Anywho, Sisu looks like a gem of a spot, and those iittala cups are darling! Looking forward to seeing more scenes from Zurich.

  5. Love this place - and the new section on your blog! I'm looking forward to all your posts! One of my favorites is café des amis (http://www.desamis.ch/) at Nordstrasse in Zürich...

  6. so glad everyone likes this new little section!

    tirz - yes! cafe des amis is great, I was just there the other day, after the lunch rush, and sat at a great table by the window. wonderful spot, will certainly feature here shortly.

    ali - yeah, I'm really liking film these days. I find there is more depth to the photos. What I do is take the roll to get developed and they put it on a CD for me. I actually don't get any of the hard copy photos, since it seems silly to pay for all of them, when only one or two photos in a roll will be worth printing.

  7. Talley, I approve of the new content! This cafe looks like a great place to hang out. You've also made me curious about these Finnish goods. I have a good Finnish friend here in Chicago. He doesn't cook much, but maybe he can hook me up with a recipe for this cardamom-cinnamon bread.

    1. I asked my friend about the bread over dinner the other day. His girlfriend asked him why they'd never had any while they were in Finland last year. He replied saying that the sweet bread, if we were both thinking about the same thing, was something that only the elderly eat. Now I'm even more curious about this bread!

  8. Love the new addition to the blog and looking forward to checking out more cafes. :)