To some extent, Geneva has always suffered slightly from being tagged as a sort of “outpost of French cuisine” in another country.
To a certain extent, that’s unsurprising.
Part of the actual territory of Geneva sits technically in France and over many years it and the surrounding areas have been subject to significant French influence and even occupation during the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. It might be natural to assume that the city therefore offers pretty much French fayre – great as that is of course!
However, is that perception entirely valid? What is dining out in Geneva really like?
Geneva and its Restaurants
The city has several Michelin-starred restaurants though they don’t all necessarily offer that classic, familiar French cuisine.
Some of Geneva’s best restaurants are located just north of the Rhône and close to the Old Town. Here you’ll find some big names which, at first glance, might appear very French in culture but in practice many will serve dishes that are quite distinct to the area.
Try the Perch (fish) caught locally in Lake Leman; the famous local fricassee of pork; or Longeole, which is a form of sausage. Expect to see plenty of artichoke and also game of different sorts plus fairly hearty soups, just as you’d expect in mountain cuisine.
The near legendary fondue and raclette are also well worth trying even if, in truth, they’re very similar to the same dishes just across the border.
However, Geneva is also heavily influenced by Italian cuisine too – the border is close by. Restaurants such as “La Gondola” explore this to the full and you’ll sample some of the best Italian food anywhere outside of Italy itself.
In fact, dining out here is far more cosmopolitan than many imagine.
“Miyako” is a fantastic Japanese restaurant right in the very centre of town. It’s famous for its chefs who fill in the odd few spare seconds here and there by juggling with razor-sharp knives!
At “Inglewood” you’ll find home-made and freshly cooked burgers. They’re absolutely delicious and if you think of burgers as mass-produced fast food, this will help you to think again.
Another one that’s very different is “Parfums de Beyrouth” which serves freshly made and very aromatic Middle-Eastern cuisine. Little could be further away from traditional French dishes and it’s a marvellous experience.
Just like any other city, the price tag that comes with eating out here can vary hugely.
There are some fantastic lunchtime deals almost everywhere and the set menus in the evening, in those establishments that offer them, are usually very good value.
Expect to pay considerably more in the top and very trendy restaurants, eating à la carte or in those which sit in prestigious locations with sweeping views.
There are excellent and frequent air services here including some low-cost airlines.
Geneva Airport transfers into the centre are frequent and they’re usually good value for money. If you don’t like flying, try the train or driving. You can also get international coach services into the city as well.
Lukas Johannes is a driver for Shuttle Direct, the number one provider of shared and private airport transfers all over Europe and northern Africa. If you’re looking for affordable Geneva Airport transfers, Lukas and his colleagues can make sure that you and your luggage get to and from the airport swiftly and safely.
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