Not everything worth doing is written in a guidebook. You have to talk to people to find out the best stuff (like the Schoggi Tram last week). Our neighbor mentioned that there was a cafeteria / restaurant at the top of the ETH HG (Hauptgebäude or Main Building) for ETH and University of Zürich faculty and staff and their guests. He said that the salad bar was 8.5 CHF.
Here is the ETH HG.
The Dozentenfoyer is on the other side of the rotunda where you see the windows. We entered through a side door and wandered around a bit before we found the correct elevator up. Hint. Find it in the middle of the building.
The main courses of the day are posted out front. They are also online.
We noticed two lines, and one seemed to be for the salad bar. We headed that way and saw that the small plate was 8.5 CHF, and it seemed big enough. We filled ours and headed to the cash register. The most amazing part, for Switzerland, is that a glass of tap water is….hold your breath, glampers….FREE!
The place was packed, but we found two seats together and proceeded to enjoy our lunch. Soon the people started heading out, and I thought to myself that maybe the next time we come (and there WILL be a next time, and maybe weekly) we should come at 12:30. Then I noticed that little signs started appearing on tables. Little signs that read, reserved, and then a time. Our table with six chairs had a sign that said reserved for 5 people at 12:45. Then a nice gentleman came over and asked if I wanted coffee. I said no, but then he proceeded to tell me that even though we would have to give up our chairs (or maybe just I had to, since there were 6 chairs for 5 people) we could still get a coffee and dessert and enjoy them in the coffee area.
We were ready to go, anyway, so we smiled and said Danke.
On the way out we looked up at the rotunda which you cannot see from the first floor. It looks a little like an observatory.