Geneva Restaurants

For years Geneva's restaurants dished up menus heavily reliant on French, German, and northern Italian fare. Increasingly, there's a more international spin to the city's dining scene with Japanese, Peruvian, Indian, and Nordic cuisine popping up with fanfare. Tapas-style grazing menus have become as common as those offering fiv
For years Geneva's restaurants dished up menus heavily reliant on French, German, and northern Italian fare. Increasingly, there's a more international spin to the city's dining scene with Japanese, Peruvian, Indian, and Nordic cuisine popping up with fanfare. Tapas-sty
For years Geneva's restaurants dished up menus heavily reliant on French, German, and northern Italian fare. Increasingl

For years Geneva's restaurants dished up menus heavily reliant on French, German, and northern Italian fare. Increasingly, there's a more international spin to the city's dining scene with Japanese, Peruvian, Indian, and Nordic cuisine popping up with fanfare. Tapas-style grazing menus have become as common as those offering five-course meals, and signature restaurants run by well-known chefs as prevalent as casual burger joints.

Although dress-code days are gone, casual elegance is the rule of thumb. Hours for meals generally remain noon to 2 pm and 7 to 9:30 or 10 pm; pubs, bars, and clubs satisfy hungry night owls. And yes, after the stores close on Saturday afternoon, Geneva's city center is virtually dormant—and most, but by no means all, restaurants close. That's because the Genevois spend their weekends eating at country inns and village cafés.

Geneva restaurants (and bars and clubs) are all nonsmoking. Some are now charging for the carafe d'eau (tap water). Since it is not local custom to take small children to better restaurants, amenities (and welcome) may be poor if you arrive with babies in tow. Tipping? Local diners may leave the change as a gesture when they leave, but tipping for exceptional service is up to the customer and is still the exception, not the rule.

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  • 1. Café des Bains

    $$ | Plainpalais | Eclectic

    Right across from MAMCO (Geneva's museum of contemporary art), in an arty neighborhood that has come to be known as QuARTier des Bains, this...Read More

  • 2. Fiskebar

    $$$$ | Les Pâquis | Scandinavian

    Overlooking the lake, this Nordic-inspired restaurant has a minimalist look reliant on natural materials like wood, leather, and glass. Four...Read More

  • 3. La Bottega

    $$$ | Plainpalais | Italian

    This rustic Italian restaurant is simply dressed with recycled materials made from brick, wood, and iron, which lend a relaxed atmosphere unusual...Read More

  • 4. Le Chat Botté

    $$$$ | Les Pâquis | French

    The elegant dining room of the Beau-Rivage is dressed in rich creams and browns with the occasional pop of apple green, but with majestic views...Read More

  • 5. Les Trois Verres

    $$ | Plainpalais | Italian

    Sunlight streaming through large windows, impeccable service, and seasonal Italian fare make this corner bistro a bright addition to the Genevois...Read More

  • 6. The Hamburger Foundation

    $ | Les Pâquis | American

    Launched as a food truck, the Hamburger Foundation expanded to a classic, American-style burger joint decorated with simple black-and-white...Read More

  • 7. Au Pied-de-Cochon

    $$ | Vieille Ville | French

    Low ceilings, whitewashed beams, and a worn zinc bar give context to simple regional dishes like cassoulet, émincé de veau (veal strips in...Read More

  • 8. Brasserie Lipp

    $$$ | Centre Ville Rive Gauche | French

    The "Années Folles" decor—green-and-white tiles, mustard-yellow ceilings, warm wood—and busy waiters in ankle-length aprons channel Paris. Local...Read More

  • 9. Café Calla

    $$$ | Centre Ville Rive Droite | French

    With a casual bistro vibe and health-conscious cuisine, the Mandarin Oriental's restaurant draws both business travelers and pleasure-seekers...Read More

  • 10. Café des Banques

    $$ | Plainpalais | European

    This sleek, contemporary restaurant illuminated by sculptural chandeliers and dressed in white, chocolate, and taupe serves a mix of traditional...Read More

  • 11. Chez Ma Cousine

    $ | Vieille Ville | French

    There are three of these appealingly decorated restaurants around town: this one in Vieille Ville, as well as one on Rue Lissignol in Centre...Read More

  • 12. Chez Philippe

    $$$ | Centre Ville Rive Gauche | Steakhouse

    Inspired by New York steak houses, local powerhouse Philippe Chevrier created this modern restaurant with exposed brick and sleek black leather...Read More

  • 13. Gelateria Arlecchino

    $ | Eaux-Vives | Café

    The ice-cream maestros at Gelateria Arlecchino, across the street from the Jet d'Eau, crank out some 50 homemade flavors, including ginger-lime...Read More

  • 14. Il Lago

    $$$$ | Centre Ville Rive Droite | Italian

    Decorated with rich brocades, glittering chandeliers, and bright frescoes, this robin's-egg-blue dining room has plenty of light streaming through...Read More

  • 15. Izumi

    $$$ | Centre Ville Rive Droite | Japanese

    This rooftop restaurant serves up panoramic views of the city and Japanese-fusion fare, which is a rarity in Geneva. Nestled on top of the Four...Read More

  • 16. L'Hôtel-de-Ville

    $$ | Vieille Ville | French

    It's hard to get more Genevois than this: diners reflect the city's mix of locals, tourists, expats, and politicians. The menu specializes in...Read More

  • 17. La Perle du Lac

    $$ | International Area | French

    Built in 1827, this sprawling lakeside chalet set amid magnificently manicured public parks comes dramatically into its own in summer. Although...Read More

  • 18. Le Jardin

    $$$ | Les Pâquis | Mediterranean

    The dining room of Le Richemond is adorned in crimson and crystal, but it's the terrace with views of the lake that steals the show at this...Read More

  • 19. Le Tse Fung

    $$$$ | Chinese

    Plush red velvet chairs and golden accents encourage guests to linger at Le Tse Fung, an elegant Chinese restaurant tucked into the lower level...Read More

  • 20. Les Armures

    $$ | Vieille Ville | Swiss

    A robust Swiss menu has made this Vieille Ville institution a magnet for local street sweepers, foreign heads of state, and everyone in between...Read More

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