A cosmopolitan city, Basel has a lot of great restaurants. When visiting for just a couple days here are my suggestions for where to eat in Basel.
Food Tour in Basel
She was the quintessential chic, cosmopolitan gal-about-town. My guide, Margrit Götz, met me at my hotel in Basel and for the next two hours or so showed me some of the best eateries in Basel. She’s lived in Basel for 30 years and knows this town inside and out including all the best restaurants in Basel.
Traveling has pretty much become about eating for me — what food tour can I go on? Where do the locals eat? How can I meet and eat with locals? What ethnic foods are popular here? What’s the latest food trend here?
I was a bit surprised to hear that Italian food is still “trendy” in Basel, but then again, there are some hot, new Italian restaurants in Chicago that are creating some amazing food.
Where to Eat in Basel
There are a plethora of hot Basel restaurants right now including the aforementioned Italian, plus Asian, French, and Indian. Even vegetarian is starting a slow climb to popularity in meat-heavy Switzerland, although Margrit said she only ‘sees women’ eating at the vegetarian places, so it seems they still have a way to go.
Acqua Osteria is a newer, trendy Italian spot, built into an old former water pumping station.
Globus Department store
One of my favorite stops was the Globus Department store with its food floor of gourmet goodness. Ah, but they wagged their finger at me taking photos there, so I’ve little to show. You’ll just have to imagine (or go look at my post about KaDeWe in Berlin).
Schiesser is a classic Swiss chocolatier creating decadent chocolates since 1870. Buy chocolates downstairs or head upstairs to their tea room and order some sweet and salty treats made according to old traditional recipes with a view of the market square and the town hall.
In a space designed by Herzog & de Meuron, Volkshaus Basel is a classic brasserie injected with fresh modernity. Reopened in March 2012 following an extensive makeover, it features a classic bar, courtyard beer garden with scattered trees, sidewalk café and banquet rooms.
As Switzerland’s oldest and still most active institution for contemporary art, Kunsthalle Basel is a place for innovative art exhibitions of an emerging generation of artists. The restaurant offers seasonal cuisine in a casual ambience in the brown room (Schluuch) and elegance in the white room (restaurant) overlooking the terrace in the garden — a popular place in summer for Basel and tourists.
A Euro-Asian fusion concept, Noohn Basel is a huge, hip space with a sushi bar, lounge and dining room serving up a variety of fare from sushi to steak to vegan options.
Pane con Carne
I had lunch in the lovely, Mediterranean-vibed Pane con Carne. My kind of place, there is a showcase of tasty sandwiches, salads and fresh-baked breads. You can also get coffee drinks and pastries or buy some olive oil from the floor to ceiling shelves.
I heard about this place a lot when researching Basel food. A vegetarian spot with a large salad bar buffet, Tibits is a casual place. They serve over 40 different house-made salads, set meals and snacks from the buffet.
Home to Basel’s ever-popular Basler Läckerli, a hard, spiced cookie, the original Basler Läckerli from the Läckerli Huus are baked according to a top-secret recipe using only the best ingredients: honey, hazelnuts and almonds, candied orange and lemon peel, and spices. The Läckerli Huus also offers other delicacies, such as melt-in-the-mouth rahmtäfeli (caramels), seductive gelée russe (fruit jelly candies), crispy flûtes de bâle (filled wafer rolls) and more chocolates and cookies.
Photos of Basel Restaurants
Here is my personalized food tour in images. Roll over each image for the caption and locations.
Look. Drool. Repeat.
Then book a flight.
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Disclosure: I was a guest of Eurail Group, KLM, and Basel Tourism, as always all writing and opinions are my own.