Where to Eat in Geneva

Here you will find my marathon list of where to eat in Geneva, including fine dining, budget eats, and bars. This isn’t intended to be an exhaustive directory… This is a list of all the restaurants I’ve frequented and would recommend to visiting friends and family. 

If you have any questions or are looking for a specific recommendation on where to eat in Geneva, please leave a comment or contact me!

Fine Dining

Café de la Réunion. In the village of Veyrier and off the beaten path, this is at the top of my list of where to eat in Geneva. Creative menus, lovely ambiance, friendly service, and spectacular food. If you’re going to splurge on one nice meal in Geneva, don’t miss this place. Closed Monday and Sunday.

Le Floris. One of my favorite meals in Switzerland was dinner at Le Floris in Anières, a 15 minute drive from Geneva. I visited with my husband to celebrate a particularly long, difficult stretch of work, compliments of his boss. We talked and enjoyed course after course for over three hours while enjoying incredible views across Lac Leman. We indulged on the most amazing food, including the restaurant’s unforgettable “bonbons de foie gras.” Years later, and we still talk about this dish. I hear the restaurant has made a few changes since our last visit, so I’m anxious to get back and try it again. Closed Monday and Sunday.

There’s no shortage of fine dining restaurants in Geneva’s luxury hotels. My favorites include Rasoi at the Mandarin Oriental for Indian fusion, Tse Fung in the Kempinski for Chinese, Patara in the Beau Rivage for Thai (love the Thai tacos!), and Umami in the President Wilson Hotel for sushi. I also really enjoyed a very fancy meal at the Michelin-starred Windows in the Hotel D’Angleterre. All wonderful dining experiences with amazing food and service. These restaurants are great for special occasions or business lunches/dinners, but not what I would recommend if you are looking for an authentic/local experience.

Everyday Favorites

Bistrot du Boeuf Rouge. You always need a reservation at this spot, which is considered one of the best French restaurants in Geneva. I’ve tried a number of the dishes on the menu, and you can’t go wrong with any of the steaks or the stuffed pork. Very nice owners and staff who will ensure you have a memorable meal. Closed weekends.

Les Cinq Portes. My favorite restaurant in Geneva and where I had my first date with my husband. Located in the Paquis, Cinq Portes is a casual spot for dinner with friends, date night, or Sunday brunch. I’ve been too many times to count and have tried everything on the menu – it’s all really good (start with a Lillet Blanc cocktail, try the the lamb shank, tuna carpaccio, or lasagna, and finish with the tarte tatin). One of the only places I’ve found in Geneva with a true American brunch!

Cottage Cafe. A small tapas cafe close to the lake with outdoor seating and lots of vegetarian choices. Also great for breakfast. Closed Sunday.

Le Relais de l’Entrecôte. There’s no menu at this Eaux-Vives restaurant, as they only serve steak-frites. Don’t skip out on dessert. I love the profiteroles and the “Vacherin du Relais,” a decadent tower of meringue and ice cream.

Wine & Beef. Similar to L’Entecote, this restaurant near Gare Cornavin only serves steak-frites. Despite the strange art, I prefer the steak at Wine & Beef.

Brasserie Lipp. A classic French bistro in Old Town Geneva specializing in seafood and great for large groups.

Cafe Restaurant Arts. A cozy cafe in the Paquis with good omelettes and burgers. Service can be really slow, but it’s a great place to spend a chill Sunday afternoon. It’s also a good option if you’re looking for a late, late night dinner.

Thai. While I love Patara in the Beau Rivage, it is so expensive. This is a more affordable (but not cheap) option in the Place du Molard. 

Budget

Hamburger Foundation. The best burger in Geneva. The restaurant has a simple menu that’s fairly affordable – CHF 20 for a cheeseburger, a green salad, french fries, and a side of cole slaw.

Holy Cow. A popular burger place across the street from Gare Cornavin. Casual and convenient. There are several locations across Switzerland.  

Bains des Paquis. This local hangout, right on the water, is a great place to spend a morning or evening in Geneva. In the summer, Bains de Paquis offers swimmers early morning breakfast and live music. The restaurant serves the best salads (I love the Greek salad) and a “meal of the day” for CHF 14. In the winter, the fondue is popular – reservation recommended.

Chez Ma Cousine. A rotisserie chicken restaurant serving big portions at reasonable prices (CHF 16 for half chicken, potatoes, and salad). Caters to a younger crowd and open late. Closed Sunday.

Little India.  Geneva’s best Indian restaurant, located in the Paquis. Authentic, delicious food at reasonable prices and great service.

Restaurant Espresso Club. My go-to spot for late night pizza. Closed Sunday.

Globus Geneva. This high-end department store has an amazing food court. A good lunch option at reasonable prices.

Italian

Da Paolo. Located in Eaux-Vives, this is hands down the best place in Geneva for pizza and pasta. Quality ingredients and a warm, cozy atmosphere (in part thanks to the brick oven). No reservations, so there is usually a wait.

Il Monte Bianco. Near Gare Cornavin, this is my favorite lunch spot that won’t break the bank. I typically order a sandwich with baguette, sliced Italian cold cuts, fresh mozzarella cheese, and grilled vegetables. It is DIVINE. They also serve excellent salads and pastas. Show up early for lunch, or there will be a line. Closed weekends.

Luigia. Another popular spot for pizza in Eaux-Vives. It’s a big, modern space with the feel of a New York City restaurant. Great pizza, but I prefer the charm of Da Paolo.

Lacustre. The best location for lake views, people watching, and cocktails. Skip the food.

Traditional Swiss

For traditional Swiss dishes like fondue, raclette, or rösti, I highly recommend traveling to Lausanne to visit either Auberge du Chalet des Enfants or Chalet Suisse. If that’s not a feasible option, I would recommend Cafe du Soleil or Bains des Paquis (winter only) in Geneva.

Drinks

Brasserie des Halles de L’Isle. Located on an island in the middle of Lac Leman, this spot is a go-to for Thursday night happy hour in the summer. The food is disappointing, so head elsewhere for dinner.

Le Rouge et Le Blanc. This lakeside wine bar is the perfect place to wind down after a long day. There’s an excellent list of wines, great charcuterie and cheese plates, and beautiful views. Reservations recommended. Closed Sunday.

Cotton Pub. A trendy bar in Eaux-Vives that’s popular for after work drinks. Closed weekends.

L’Apothicaire. Upscale cocktails served up by expert mixologists. They have an extensive list of original drinks, but I keep it simple and love their the Old Fashioned. It can take a while to get served, but it’s because the mixologists put a lot of work into each drink.

Bottle Brothers. A lively bar in Eaux-Vives for cocktails and sliders after work or a day of sightseeing. Closed Monday and Sunday.

Arthur’s. Despite the high prices and slow service, this is a great place for an al fresco aperol spritz by the lake. Closed Sunday.

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Thanks for visiting! Helvetia Journal is a little bit of everything: interiors, personal style, travel, and more. I welcome you to take a peak into my life in Switzerland!

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