This place is a little hard to put into context. It's a fairly large restaurant including "outdoor" seating in the main train station hall, making for some premium people watching. The main goal of Brasserie Federal is to offer authentic Swiss food and drinks and in some way they are doing a good job at it. Overall though, Federal feels like a hamfisted attempt of a large business at creating profit off of perceived Swissness. There is a large list of Swiss beers, most of which are industrial macros, many not owned by Swiss companies anymore (Heineken, Carlsberg...). The food selection is pretty decent, focusing on traditional Swiss dishes but the prices are pretty high too. Most people use Federal as a stop between two trains or to finish a conversation after a short train trip. It's a good place for that but certainly not a must-have on the list of checkins.
Large beer hall in the main station with lots of Swiss beers. The service varies from good to bad and the atmosphere is okay, but (sometimes) you can sit "outside" (in the main hall under the roof of the train station) and drink a beer while everyone else is stressed to get to their trains. It is a decent place if you wait for your next train.
The beer bar in the main station. The list of beers is surprisingly big, yet it contains mostly Swiss macros. Besides that the place is okay, food works, prices are high due to location, staff does not know that much about beer. Worth a go if you don’t know Swiss beers and you’re waiting for the train for, say, 20 minutes. Because if you’re waiting longer, you should go to Erzbierschof instead which isn’t far either.
Stumbled into this gigantic place. Nice surpirse for a railwaybrasserie, quite a large selection of mainly Swiss beers. OK, just what I wanted. Had a sampler (7 beers), quite regular beers but added to my list. Food not bad either and pleasant service. (Zürich 201609)
Fin (1281) Merton, Oxfordshire, England, England | June 25, 2016
We visited Brasserie Federal on Friday 24th June 2016. We’d just walked from The International Beer Bar to here which was about 8-10 minutes walk away I guess. Brasserie Federal is located in the main station complex on the ground level floor.
The bar is quite big and occupies a corner position there is plenty of seating both inside and out, the outside is on the main station concourse. We sat on the end of a table where a group of young men sat at the other end, I have to say that I was quite surprised that they were smoking as this was still essentially inside, but I am not sure of the rules in Switzerland.
The beer choice was pretty good, the beer menu offering up lots of mostly Swiss beers by the look of things. We didn’t hang around as we wanted to get to the beer shop and also Bar Andorra.
It is a place, in my point of view, classical just to drink one or two beers. I went there twice and the service is standard, anonymous. The selection of Swiss beers is large but they are mostly lagers. It is ok but I think that you have better places to make a all night in Zürich.