Swiss food is more than just sinful chocolate, delicious hunks of cheese and heartwarming rosti (all of which we highly recommend, by the way); it is also about cross-cultural flavours, with influences from France and Germany. It incorporates the latest food movements — slow cooking, haute cuisine, local food — and in Switzerland, a gourmet experience comes enveloped in the most gorgeous of settings, within heritage buildings, overlooking the intimidating Alps, or on the edge of a shimmering lake. With so much on offer, it’s hard to know where to begin. So, armed with a fork and spoon, we scoured the country and put together a list of must-visit eateries in Switzerland.
LA TERRASSE, VICTORIA JUNGFRAU GRAND HOTEL & SPA
Nestled in the foothills of the snow-capped Jungfrau, the Victoria overlooks two placid lakes. Step into the hotel and you’ll be dazzled by its gilded mirrors, stucco and crystals. Within this heritage structure lies La Terrasse, a restaurant that resembles a charming French orangery and has been awarded 15 Gault Millau points. The menu offers the perfect blend of French and Swiss flavours, and you’ll find yourself having foie gras, followed by much sought-after Swiss summer truffles and ending with a dark chocolate concoction; you’ll be crossing borders within the course of a meal. The dishes come elegantly plated and often resemble a work of art. The menu changes by the season, as expert chefs work with fresh produce, making each visit here a delicious surprise.
GOLDENER ANKER, INTERLAKEN
If you’re looking for fine dining where you can also let your hair down, head to the Goldener Anker. The restaurant, set within a heritage structure, comes with a live band that instantly adds a lively vibe. The menu is exhaustive, with dishes that have been carefully sourced from across the globe. You could opt fordelectable cheese fondues, enjoy some pasta, Thai staples and delectable Swiss-German or Swiss-French fusion cuisine. Vegetarians won’t have to compromise, with plenty on the menu for strict herbivores. The wine list too is extensive, and expert sommeliers help you pair the wine with your chosen dish. The service is warm yet unobtrusive. Add to this some foot-tapping Swiss music, and you’ve got yourself the perfect night in Interlaken.
GOURMET STUBLI, HOTEL SEEHOF, DAVOS
Davos and its sister-town, Klosters, are known to attract the rich and famous. From Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to British royalty, these classy sisters have seen them all. When here, it’s only fitting to book a table at an award-winning restaurant, and Gourmet Stubli is a Michelin starred establishment, helmed by the famed Chef Markus Schneider. According to the Michelin Guide 2017,’ The cuisine is modern in inspiration, executed with finesse and feeling, and based on top quality produce, much of it local.’ Chef Schneider works with seasonal produce and dishes out Bundner (from the region of Graubuden) and Mediterranean delicacies. The ambience is inviting, with walls encased in warm wood, comfortable sofachairs and soft lighting. If a romantic dinner is what you’re planning, head straight to Gourmet Stubli.
CHESA BAR, CHESA GRISCHUNA, KLOSTERS
Après ski are the celebrations that take place in different venues in Klosters, which is famed for its ski-slopes, and Chesa Bar is among the most elegant bars you will find here. It is set within a heritage structure that dates back to the 1930s, and will charm you instantly, with its warm wood interiors and live music. The bar also serves up a beverage list hath features local lager, French and Swiss wine, liqueurs and more. Drop in during the ski season and you’ll be met with a lively crowd, celebrating after a fun day on the slopes.
AUER CHOCOLATIER, GENEVA
Chocolate making workshop
There’s an oft-heard saying in this country: 9 out of 10 people in Switzerland love chocolate, and the 10th is lying. Even if you don’t have a sweet tooth, it’s hard to resist Swiss chocolate, with its melt-in-the-mouth creaminess, thanks to a higher milk content. Treat yourself at one of the oldest chocolate boutiques in Geneva, Auer Chocolatier, started by Henri Auer in 1939. To date, it remains a family run business. Drop into the cozy tea-room adjoining the boutique for a hot cup of coffee and sinful, chocolate filled macaroons, or a piece of cake aux pignons. Or head straight to the store, where the heady whiff of melted chocolate hits you as soon as you step in. Choose from cacao truffles, cream filled ganache, hazelnut pralines, roasted almonds that have been caramalised and coated with dark chocolate… the list is endless.
HAUZ HILTL, ZURICH
This restaurant has bagged a Guinness Award for the world’s oldest continuously open vegetarian restaurant (Guinness Records, 2012). It was founded in 1898 by German immigrants who wanted to encourage vegetarianism. Back then, vegetarianism wasn’t a well known concept in Europe, and this restaurant catered to a niche market. Today, it’s become a hot favourite in the city and we recommend booking a table in advance.
The menu ranges widely from Greek, Italian, Thai and Swiss to Indian and fusion cuisine. If you’re craving ghar ka khana after several days on the road, head here from some palak paneer, sambar vada and even an Indian thali.
RACLETTE STUBE, ZURICH
No visit to Switzerland is complete until you’ve gorged on the Swiss classic: fondue. Ask any local for the best fondue in Zurich, and chances are you will be directed to Raclette Stube, in the Old Town. The eatery resemblesa typical Swiss home, with its chequered table-cloth, walls decorated with clocks and nofrills crockery. The service is warm and friendly. The menu is simple, with raclette and fondue as hot favourites. The fondue i served over a hot burner, while the bread comes in a hand-woven basket. You’re encouraged to linger on, even as you envelop each piece of bread in hot, melted cheese. Choose a table by the window and watch as snow-flakes gather on the windowsill, while you enjoy this heart-warming meal.