New Restaurant Find: Roots in Zurich


Moving from Lausanne to Bern has brought it's many benefits. Not only am I 10 minutes away from a local Tibits, but I am just a short hour train ride away from Zurich. We in Switzerland are not very 'spoiled' when it comes to healthy eating options and Lausanne is right up there in terms of vegan-unfriendliness. The change in residency might not be the best for my wallet (read: I am taste testing every health hot spot in my way of destruction), but my taste buds are happy campers.

Before going to the Rhythm108 event at Balboa with Victoria, we had some serious catching up to do. We decided to grab a quick lunch at Roots, which opened a couple of months ago and has been getting lots of attention since. I'm happy to see such positive reactions towards a healthy, trendy restaurant; maybe it will encourage more of this type to pop up?

Roots is run by three friends of which two are vegan themselves. The concept is based around (mostly) vegan food including yummy salads, sandwiches, soups and a big range of creative smoothies and juices. So far, I've tasted the spicy quinoa salad, avocado bagel, creamy coconut soup and acai bowl and they were all delicious.

I had a little chat with Matthias, one of the founders.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

My name is Mattias and I’m the co-founder of Roots. I have been vegan for 11 years and before that I was vegetarian for a long time. I love to skateboard, snowboard and surf during my free time and am also a huge hardcore/punk music fan (I play the guitar myself).

How did Roots come about?

My friend Frédéric had the idea of opening a juice bar, but wanted to offer more than just drinks. He contacted me as I was the only vegan he knew that could maybe help him out. I was sold straight away! Shortly after that Hermann, our vegan chef, joined us.

Two of you are vegan. Do you guys have to deal with any stigmas around “vegan men”?

Hahaha yeah, especially as we’re not the typical “vegan” as you know them. We’re both from the Hardcore/Punk vegan scene and have lots of tattoos. One of those could already be intimidating for some, but the combo definitely brings along some stigmas.

And Hermann adds:

Hermann, tell us a bit about how you maintain a weight lifting lifestyle while eating a plant based diet. Let’s finally shed some light on the protein myth!

I don’t eat any different than other vegans, I just eat more! To build up muscles I have to eat more proteins, vitamins, minerals and long-chained carbohydrates. You have to eat each 3 hours to give your body what it needs to build muscles (carbs, proteins). To get enough proteins you have to know how many of those you need (for me that would be 2g of proteins per kilo body weight per day).  I make sure I eat a lot of tofu, seitan and leguminous plants. I also drink a lot of protein shakes using plant based protein such as brown rice protein, hemp protein and protein.

roots Lintheschergasse 15 8001 Zürich | Monday - Friday: 7AM - 8PM Saturday: 10AM - 8 PM Sunday: Closed