Last Updated on March 28, 2021
As with many of their European neighbours, the Swiss have a sense of identity in their cuisine, certain things which make dishes distinctly Swiss. So, if you’re planning a trip to Geneva, Bern, Basel or any of the other key spots, be sure to mix any tourist trips with a mouthful of some traditional Swiss dishes at any of these restaurants.
The Zueghauskeller is a former weapons and ammunition store, having originally been built in 1487. Local legend has it that the crossbow William Tell used for his famous apple-shot, was supplied to him from here, giving Zeughauskeller a direct link to Switzerland’s national hero.
With such strong national ties, it will be unsurprising to learn that the menu here is traditionally Swiss, so tuck into some kalbsschnitzel (veal cutlet) or entrecote (prime cuts of beef) in possible the safest building in Switzerland.
St. Alban-Eck, Basel
This restaurant isn’t big by any stretch of the imagination, with room for around 50 diners at any given time, but in terms of cuisine it should definitely be on your list.
One of the major appeals here are the occasionally run Culinarium dining experiences, which includes 7-courses with such dishes as Weisses Kartoffelsüppchen (white potato soup) and gänseleber (goose liver) to get your teeth into.
Auberge du Chalet-des-Enfants, Lausanne
This is another restaurant steeped in history, as the Chalet-des-Enfants region has been a source of pride since the 14th Century. Its natural beauty now surrounds the restaurant, which emerges from a clearing in the expansive woodland and invites you in with the allure of traditional Swiss cooking from locally sourced produce.
This is a place with just the right atmosphere all year round, with the varied menu, including terrine de chevreuil (venison terrine) and cassolette de champignons (mushroom casserole) particular treats.
Hotel Restaurant du Parc des Eaux Vives, Geneva
The hotel has a stunning view of Lake Geneva, and is quite an impressive sight in itself, developed as it is from an 18th Century mansion. There are two restaurants on site, though the grill restaurant only opens in summer to take advantage of the weather.
This is a place to base yourself if you want a particularly grandiose experience, but with more than a hint of something traditionally Swiss, as the menu is sourced from local produce.
Zum Goldenen Sternen, Basel
Confidently calling itself the Inn of the Golden Stars, this restaurant in Basel’s Old Town district has a mixture of traditionally Swiss and Mediterranean dishes to choose from. This is also Basel’s oldest inn, hailing from way back in 1412.
You could choose have a calf tail consommé (ox tail soup), followed by the classic wiener schnitzel (veal schnitzel) and, everyone’s favourite, apple strudel and cream, and really get into the spirit of Switzerland with some of its more well-known dishes.