Restaurants in Geneva
Eating out in Geneva is a gratifying affair. With more restaurants per capita than New York City, Geneva offers a fantastic selection of traditional and local fare, as well as excellent international and ethnic cuisine.
Local Geneva specialities include fresh fish from the lake and a variety of pork dishes, including petit salé (salt pork) and longeole (pork sausage). While Swiss cheese is enjoyed worldwide, Geneva has copious amounts of Raclette, Emmenthal and Gruyere, among other well-known cheeses on offer. These can be tasted in the quintessential Swiss fondue. Traditional Swiss restaurants can be found throughout the city but Place du Cirque and Quay Turrettini host some of the best.
Diners eating out in Geneva will find a variety of international restaurants offering modern, traditional, ethnic or fusion menus. There are good French restaurants in the hotels on Quai Du Mont Blanc and Chemin du Petit Saconnex and on Rue de Lausanne. For Italian eateries try Rue de Fribourg, while Spanish food is best on Rue de Coutance. Rue du Prieuré has a delightful Indian restaurant, and there are great cafés on Boulevard Helvetique.
While the prices at top restaurants can be astronomical the standards are just as high. There are also fixed-price menus available to lighten the load. A 7% service charge is included in all restaurant bills. Many Geneva restaurants close on weekends and especially Sundays, so call ahead to enquire; reservations are recommended.
Those in search of authentic Swiss cuisine prepared to perfection need look no further than the Les Armures. This renowned eatery located in the 5-star Hotel Les Armures features three dining rooms for patrons to choose between, namely the Terrace, Salle des Artistes and Carnozet and serves Swiss favourites with a French flair and elegance. Try the wild mushroom soup, sliced breaded veal or the roasted duck breast served in a raspberry vinegar sauce. Open daily for lunch and dinner. Reservations recommended.
Address: 1 Rue Puits-St-Pierre
Telephone: 022 310 3442
Café des Bains
A warm and friendly bistro situated opposite the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in the trendy Plainpalais district, Café des Bains serves fresh innovative dishes from all over the world. With a varying daily lunch menu, patrons can expect mouth-watering quality dishes, prepared with only the finest ingredients, which are creatively presented. Take lunch at the new bar area where you can access free wifi or just sit back and enjoy a freshly brewed coffee. In the evenings patrons can choose from an attractive a la carte menu that is accompanied by a good winelist. For a relaxed dining experience in Geneva head to Café de Bains. Open Tuesday to Saturday for lunch and dinner.
Address: Rue des Bains 26
Telephone: (0)22 321 5798
La Perle du Lac
Popular with tourists and locals alike, La Perle du Lac is the only restaurant in Geneva that is situated directly on Lac Leman. Known for its large flowered terrace overlooking the Alps mountain range and the tranquil lake, guests at La Perle du Lac easily unwind whilst relishing the flavours of their pan fried escalope of duck liver with apple or the much loved slow-cooked lamb shanks. Situated in pretty Mon Repos Park, La Perle du Lac has been serving five star French cuisine to diplomats and businessmen for over 30 years. Open Tuesday to Sunday for lunch and dinner.
Address: Rue de Lausanne 126
Telephone: (0)22 909 1020
Café du Soleil
Situated about three miles (five kilometres) outside of central Geneva, city slickers and tourists alike cannot help but gravitate towards Café du Soleil. With a leafy outside sitting area dotted with blood red tables and a simple interior with antique wooden chairs and elaborate framed mirrors adorning the bare white walls, the frank décor of Café du Soleil only highlights the scrumptious cuisine. Regarded as one of the oldest restaurants in Geneva and one of the best fondue restaurants to boot, there is no uncertainty over what to order. For a light lunch try their brochettes or freshly prepared salads otherwise the sirloin and rump steaks are a good bet. Open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Address: Place du Petit-Saconnex 6, Petit-Saconnex
Telephone: (0)22 733 3417
Auberge de Floris
Ideal for a business lunch or gastronomic night out, Auberge de Floris is a sophisticated terrace restaurant overlooking the lake in the picturesque village of Anières, 15 minutes southwest of the city. Claude and Inès Legras warmly welcome patrons to this Michelin star restaurant known for its delectable seafood. Try the tuna carpaccio starter drizzled with orange zest and olive oil and follow with pecorino-stuffed calamari in octopus ink sauce with chorizo potatoes and steam courgette flowers. Next door is the bistro, offering less complex but still inventive dishes at slightly cheaper prices. Open Tuesday to Saturday for lunch and dinner.
Address: Route d'Hermance 287
Telephone: (0)22 751 2020
Les Papilles de Lavinia
A haven for wine lovers, Les Papilles de Lavinia is a new wine and tapas bar that combines the sweet and savoury dishes created by chef Stephan Sanial with a wonderful selection of wines from leading producers around the world. Sit intimately at a table for two or join a larger group around the heavy wooden tables. With tasteful décor and a trendy wine bar atmosphere, Les Papilles de Lavinia is ideal for a sophisticated lunch or after-work drink. Open for lunch and early dinner from Monday to Saturday.
Address: Rue de Coutance 3bis
Telephone: (0)22 732 2222
Parc des Eaux-Vives
The elegant Restaurant du Parc des Eaux-Vives is situated in a historic mansion dating back to the 18th century in the picturesque Parc des Eaux-Vives along the lake. The gourmet restaurant, decorated with two Michelin stars, is overseen by talented chef de cuisine Olivier Samson whose refined menu is composed according to the produce of the season. The art deco dining room is complimented with world-class wines and outstanding service. In summer, the Parc des Eaux-Vives terrace is one of the most beautiful settings in Geneva. Ideal for business or leisure, the Parc des Eaux-Vives is open daily for lunch and dinner.
Address: Quai Gustave-Ador 82
Telephone: (0)22 849 7575
A non-smoking bar and restaurant, Heaven Lounge serves up provincial Mediterranean and French fusion dishes in an ubercool and trendy environment. Owned by Australian chef of Italian parentage, Chef Yvette ensures that what's on your plate emanates the chic standard set by your surroundings. With modern furnishings and carefully considered lighting, patrons will never want to leave. A great place to kickstart a night out in Geneva, Heaven Lounge also hosts performances by musicians and DJ's. Open Monday to Saturday for dinner.
Address: Rue Phillippe-Plantamour 25
Telephone: (0)22 732 1022
Met by an ornate fountain in the entrance way and draped in rich ochre, red and orange décor, this cosy Moroccan restaurant features rugs, cushions, tapestries and belly dancers on Friday and Saturday nights. A popular eatery with locals and almost always bustling, La Mamounia serves traditional Moroccan dishes and delicious tagines. Rooms with different colours and décor can be booked for private parties and large tables. The flagship dish, the chicken 'Mamounia' with toasted almond sauce is not to be missed. Reservations accepted. Open daily.
Address: 10 boulevard George-Favon
Telephone: 022 329 5561
Serving some of Geneva's finest French cuisine, Le Chat-Botte boasts renowned chef, Dominique Gauthier, who prepares innovative and delicious gourmet food night after night. Located in the Hotel Beau Rivage, this stylish and sophisticated restaurant is tastefully decorated and boasts one of Switzerland's finest selections of wines. Try the tartar of slipper lobster with lime and ginger, coco milk and citronella gaspacho, or the Pyrenean spring lamb and polenta fries served with a delicious light cream. Whatever you choose to eat, Le Chat-Botte does not disappoint. Open daily for lunch and dinner. Reservations recommended.
Address: Quai du Mont-Blanc 13
Telephone: 022 716 6666
A popular Italian eatery with locals and tourists, Locanda Ticinese offers guests a flawless evening of casual, yet elegant dining. The attentive and helpful staff will make your dining experience a memorable one, and delicately prepared dishes will linger on the tastebuds bringing visitors back time and time again. Open Monday to Friday for lunch and dinner. Saturday dinner only. Sunday closed.
Address: 13 Rue Rousseau
Telephone: 022 732 31 70
L'Ange des Dix Vins
Located in the leafy green suburbs of Carouge, this bustling classic restaurant has fast become one of Geneva's favourites. The ever-changing art adorning the walls and wine list allows patrons to sample some exciting new additions while dining on traditional French fare. Open Monday to Friday from January through August and Monday to Saturday September through December. Reservations accepted.
Address: 29 Rue Jacques-Dalphin
Telephone: 022 342 40 10
Become our Geneva Travel Expert
We are looking for contributors for our Geneva travel guide. If you are a local, a regular traveller to Geneva or a travel professional with time to contribute and answer occasional forum questions, please contact us.