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Photo: Anders Modig
Photo: Anders Modig

Places

Eating and Drinking in Geneva

Eating and drinking in Geneva are becoming more and more exciting. Passionate chefs are opening up unusual places, the local produce has improved, local wines have risen up the ranks and new-school bartenders have created a laid-back scene where you can have a perfect cocktail and a burger.

Domaine de Châteauvieux

Geneva's brightest shining star in the culinary sky is Philippe Chevrier. At the age of 25(!), he opened Domaine de Châteauvieux, and four years later, in 1991, he got his first Michelin star. Since 1993, Domaine de Châteauvieux has had two stars. Here everything is cooked to absolute perfection - even when it is not cooked, the tartare of sea bass marinated with ginger, carrot coulis, shellfish and herbs, as well as the pigeon tartare, are simply sublime reasons to celebrate life. Unsurprisingly, there is a cellar holding more than 10,000 bottles to die for. Here you will find not only the usual suspects from Bourgogne, Bordeaux and Barolo, but also many Swiss wines, whose excellent qualities are perhaps the best-kept secret on the global market. If you want an unusual experience, ask for the small table squeezed into the kitchen - you're right in the middle of the action! And why not make the most of the beautiful vineyard surroundings by staying the night in one of the 12 rooms?

Domaine de Châteauvieux

Chemin de Châteauvieux 16, Satigny-Genève

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Photo: Anders Modig

Chez Philippe

This New York-style steak house is one of Philippe Chevrier's seven restaurants. Despite the enormous meat volumes - 38 tons per year - the team manages to keep the service personal and the food on par with the best steak houses in the Big Apple. The on-site butcher carves up Angus beef from Switzerland, the USA, Ireland and - if you want to go all in - mouth-watering Wagyu 12+ Kobe from the Land of the Rising Sun. Given that we are in Switzerland, the CHF 98 per 100 grams is excellent value for the Rolls-Royce of meats. If lubricating your palate by slurping a few oysters is your thing, you won't be disappointed by the firm juicy mollusks flown in fresh every day from Brittany or Marennes d'Oléron. Gillardeau n°2 from Marennes d'Oleron is to many, including yours truly, among the best France can offer.

Chez Philippe

Rue du Rhône 8, Passage des Lions, Genève

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Tavalone

With freshly made platters, paninis, salads, pastas and a great selection of Italian wines sitting in wooden crates lining the walls, Tavalone, located opposite MAMCO, the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, does it simply but very well.

Tavalone

Rue des Bains 41, Genève

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Photo: Café des Bains

Café des Bains

Surrounded by art galleries, this is one of the finer restaurants in Les Bains. Small tables hold huge creations including black cod caramelized in miso, jasmine rice and radish salad. For dessert, try the Café Gourmand - enough to share, as you normally get four or five generous samples of the dessert menu together with excellent coffee.

Café des Bains

Rue des Bains 26, Genève

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Marino

Sometimes you just want a decent pizza. And I dare say the Geneva institution Marino serves some of the best pizzas north of Italy. Kitschy faux-Mediterranean décor adorns a layer of yellowed sponge paint from yesteryear, possibly even from its opening 45 years ago, but who cares when you have friendly waiters, great atmosphere, a wood-fired pizza oven and a proud pizza chef who knows how to use it? They serve mainly classical varieties - I was very happy with my Capriciosa and also tried slices of Verdura and Salami. Wash it down with the apt house red Montepulciano. Why break a winning habit?

Marino

Rue Muzy 22, Genève

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Atelier Cocktail Club with founder Alirio Padeiro Photo: Anders Modig

The thirsty street

There's no doubt about it - Rue Henri-Blanvalet is indeed what a friend of mine called Le Rue de la Soif - the "thirsty street." A tiny lane, tucked away in the north western corner of trendy Eaux-Vives neighborhood, you could miss it if you don't know where to look. And it is not only the drinks that are well mixed on Henri-Blanvalet, so is the clientele - here you find hipsters, youngsters, business types and couples seeking out the creations of some of Geneva's best mixologists in crowded but relaxed settings. Of the half dozen bars, my two favorites are L'Atelier Cocktail Club, whose founder Alirio Padeiro pioneered the street in 2011, and the Bottle Brothers, which also offers scrumptious mini burgers. The latter also run the neighboring Big Bottle, where you will not be disappointed by the whisky sour-inspired, un-baptized concoction crowned with a thorn of aromatic rosemary torch-toasted upon delivery. Cheers!

bottlebrothers.ch,

Rue Henri-Blanvalet 12, Genève

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Cheesy is good

In Geneva, fondue is not ironic, it's a way of life. Do like the locals: Avoid the Swiss flag-adorned, overpriced tourist traps overdosing on wooden chalet style. Instead, head to the local fondue joint - like Café Bon-Vin, which has been around since 1900, a five-minute walk from the Flower Clock in Jardin Anglais. As soon as you step inside, you know what you are in for, as the fragrance of bubbly, silky cheese adds an extra colorful layer to the plain interior. Go for a classical fondue moitié-moitié - 50/50 Gruyère and Freiburger Vacherin - and finish with a digestion-aiding apricot schnapps. Gourmands might also tuck into the Vermicelles de marron Chantilly - a spaghetti-looking, kind of fluffy chestnut marzipan with cream.

Café Bon-Vin

Rue de Versonnex 17, Genève

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Photo: Le Neptune

Le Neptune

The newest foodie destination on Les Bains is all sober Scandinavian-style with the kitchen serving up local seasonal flavors. The space claims gourmand status, but I would rather classify it in the gourmet section - best sampled by ordering the Carte Blanche menu, where they compose a special menu for you. And you won't walk away hungry.

Le Neptune

Coulouvrenière 38

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Last edited: March 2, 2018

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