With a labyrinth of cultures represented in every nook and cranny of town, Houston is one of the most ethnically diverse cities in America. To celebrate this world-class melting pot, we’ll be exploring a new region of the globe through a Houston lens each week, from annual festivals and museums to restaurants and cultural experiences. Join the journey with our Around the World in Houston series.
From a cultural society to a beloved Swiss bakery that’s been around since 1962, here’s how to experience a taste of Switzerland in Houston.
Museums & Cultural Organizations
- Swiss American Society of Houston – The Swiss American Society of Houston is dedicated to celebrating Swiss life via its culture and traditions, food and arts, cultural diversity, and community. Events include art expositions, lectures, picnics, Swiss cheese fondue and raclette festivals, and playing the Swiss national card game called Jass.
- Museum of Fine Arts, Houston – Explore the works of Swiss artists at this massive fine arts museum, which is the oldest art museum in Texas.
Swiss Food & Drink
- Alphorn Bakery – A native of Switzerland, pastry chef Peter Hobi creates fancy cakes and pastries for any occasion.
- Houston Dairymaids – Houston’s finest cheese shop is passionate about the craft of cheese, featuring 150 kinds of cheese from Texas and beyond. Though it features mostly American-made cheeses with a special nod to Texan artisans, the team occasionally showcases irresistible imports, including Alpine styles.
- The Melting Pot – Head to this chain to indulge in the Classic Alpine fondue, featuring gruyère, raclette, fontina, and white wine with hints of garlic and nutmeg.
- Roland’s Swiss Pastry & Bakery – Known today for its decadent Swiss cakes and pastries, Roland’s began as a small pizza bakery owned and operated by Roland Lanz in 1962, eventually moving to its location on Del Monte and expanding into a retail bakery in 1967. In 1992, master pastry chef Gerhard Schaefer and his wife Elvira purchased the bakery, turning it into one of Houston’s best. Stop by to pickup meringues, tarts, chiffon cakes, Danish, chocolate tortes, Christmas yule logs and more.
- Spec’s – Peruse Spec’s gourmet cheese selection for Swiss specialties including raw-milk raclette.
Language Classes, Education Centers, Groups & Meet-Ups
- Berlitz Language Center – You’ll find German, French, and Italian language at this language center, which offers flexible programs for adults and children with languages from Tagalog to Farsi.
- Space City Ski & Adventure Club – Skiing is obviously quite popular in the Swiss mountains. Meet up with fellow enthusiasts in the Houston area for a lineup of social, sports, cultural, and charitable events and trips.
- Houston Area Woodcarvers – This local meetup brings together wood-carving enthusiasts in the Houston area.
- Auf Geht’s – This music group rocks out the music of the Alps, with German, Austrian, Swiss and Texan yodeling, alphorn, and musical saw. Find them at Rudi Lechner’s and other festivals around town.