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.