The Best Restaurants in Switzerland

Swiss specialties vary by region, especially as they incorporate German, French, and Italian influences – though you’ll never have to look far for raclette, fondue, or potato rösti. While restaurants serving traditional cuisine are overwhelmingly popular, Switzerland is on the forefront of modern, sophisticated dining, especially its many Michelin-starred restaurants. Best of all, restaurants here often come with breathtaking lake or mountain views.

4 Rue Sainte-Catherine
A Swiss sojourn wouldn’t be complete with gorging on a plate, or five, of Raclette. For the best, head to the fairytale-esque Château de Villa, which sits on the mountainside in Sierre. Here, the house special consists of five cheeses from surrounding towns, each offering a subtly different flavor. Order it and you’ll get a map showing where each cheese is made, which you can study while your mustachioed waiter heats huge wheels of cheese until they bubble, then scrapes gooey portions onto your plate. Be sure to also order some wine, like the locally made La Petite Arvine, a gentle white that pairs perfectly with Raclette. Afterward, duck into the stunning wine cellar, where a local expert can guide you through Switzerland’s best bottles.
Schlossgass 77, 7414 Fürstenau, Switzerland
There’s no shortage of world-class restaurants in Switzerland but a few stand out for their exquisite culinary experience. With three Michelin stars to its name, Schauenstein Schloss is such a place. Housed in a tiny, renovated castle in Fürstenau, the restaurant serves beautifully crafted dishes, dreamed up by award-winning chef Andreas Caminada. Look forward to a vast wine selection, impeccable service, and signature courses like succulent Graubünden lamb and ravioli with lemon peel.
Stadthofstrasse 14, 6006 Luzern, Switzerland
Hotel Hofgarten is a warm, welcoming establishment housed in one of Lucerne’s oldest manor houses. From the outside, the restaurant looks like a casual pub, but the minute you enter, you sense the elegance housed inside. The space is light and airy. One white-walled dining room has high ceilings, ornate chandeliers, and is flooded with light. The other dining area feels like an upscale greenhouse with floor-to-ceiling windows and a gleaming open kitchen. The chef focuses on fresh ingredients sourced from Lucerne greenmarkets and local cheesemongers. Menu items are seasonal and include favorites such as roasted scallops, porcini ravioli, pumpkin soup, venison, braised veal, poached salmon, and fresh soups and salads. This is a wonderful restaurant if you are seeking lighter, more sophisticated fare in an airy environment while you’re in Lucerne.
Bahnhofstrasse 28A, 8001 Zürich, Switzerland
Sure, the menu comes in a dozen languages, but Zeughauskeller is no mere tourist trap. Occupying a 15th century building on Paradeplatz, the setting—arched windows, wooden ceiling beams and stone columns—is transportive, while traditional dishes include the Bürgermeister Schwert (veal steaks pounded thin and wrapped around a long sword blade and grilled). The house beer is an exclusive from the local TurbinenBräu brewery.
Limmatstrasse 231, 8005 Zürich, Switzerland
Zurich’s first permanent covered market opened in 2010 in the Im Viadukt, marked by its striking century-old stone arches. At the market’s heart is this bustling restaurant, which offers a menu of homey meat-centric dishes like its signature veal meatballs.
15 Kilchbergstrasse
Locals come to this white heritage-protected 1800s house perched on a hill in the leafy green Wollishofen neighborhood to splurge on the city’s best entrecôte Café de Paris, served in its pan over a warming candle, along with heavenly fries (waiters come around offering more if they see you’re running low). Come summer, the kitchen moves outdoors and the garden terrace, dotted with white umbrellas and shaded by a huge Linden tree, is as lovely a place as any to enjoy the lake view.
Talstrasse 1, 8001 Zürich, Switzerland
Baur au Lac, the grande dame of Bahnhofstrasse hotels open since 1844, is home to the city’s most beautiful restaurant, with a stunning glass gazebo with Lalique chandeliers overlooking the hotel’s private park. Chef Laurent Eperon’s dishes are mostly contemporary takes rooted in French technique, though the menu has a special “Veau Suisse” section that includes a meltingly tender glazed veal knuckle that’s been cooked overnight.
Rämistrasse 4, 8001 Zürich, Switzerland
Open since 1924, Zurich’s most esteemed classic restaurant exudes wealth—mahogany wood paneling, glittering chandeliers—and patrons would need a lot of it to dine here, too. (The veal steak with morel sauce and spätzli, a favorite, is an eye-watering 68 Swiss francs.) But some say the museum-quality art collection—with works by Picasso, Chagall, Matisse, Mirò and Braque—make dining here well worth the splurge.
Kappelergasse 16, 8001 Zürich, Switzerland
Über restaurateur Michel Péclard made waves in Zurich when he took over the iconic Café Schober in the Niederdorf a few years ago. In 2012, Péclard set his eyes on another classic establishment, Milchbar, which had sat tucked away in a quiet square off of Paradeplatz for over three decades. Now in its new incarnation near the Zurich Opera House, the café is as alluring as ever with Edison bulbs hung from the ceiling, long wooden communal tables, single origin coffee and super smooth espresso made with an exclusive blend by Fresh Coffee in Rüschlikon.
Rue du Bourg 53, 1663 Gruyères, Switzerland
If you visit in the autumn, watch out for the falling apples on the outdoor terrace of this old fondue chalet in the center of the medieval village of Gruyères. Salads are fresh heaps of greens, bouillon is served with or without egg, and platters of AOP-protected (Appellation d’Origine Protégée, or Protected Designation of Origin) dried meats arrive on cutting boards. But since Gruyères is home to Switzerland’s first luxury product, Gruyère cheese, opt for heavy stuff like croûte au fromage (an open-faced grilled-cheese sandwich), gooey raclette served with boiled potatoes, Alpine macaroni and cheese, quiche gruyèrien, and moitié-moitié fondue, made with pungent vacherin and Gruyère cheeses and best washed down with Swiss wines like chasselas. In the winter, don’t miss the fondue vacherin, served melted in its original tree-bark packaging, or the chestnut vermicelles atop a bed of meringue and Gruyère double crème.
Tortin, 1936 Bagnes, Switzerland
Skiers and visitors who think fondue and raclette are the best expressions of Switzerland’s melted-cheese cuisine will be surprised when they taste their first Käseschnitte (called croûte au fromage in French-speaking Switzerland). This soul-satisfying, open-faced, broiled-cheese sandwich is usually laden with bacon or ham and topped with perfectly bronzed cheese or a cheesy cream sauce before being garnished with cool pickled cukes and cocktail onions. Cabane du Mont-Fort, a self-serve kiosk located in a 1920s stone Alpine hut on the slopes of Verbier at Les 4 Vallées (Switzerland’s largest ski resort), has the best in the country, not to mention stunning views of Mont Blanc from its outdoor picnic tables. Don’t expect fawning or fast service, but you can count on a thick slice of bread anchored by a slab of melted cheese, marbled sweet and smoky bacon, and a few tomato wedges to offset the fatty richness.
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